We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Monday, December 27, 2021

Process Theology and the Many Creeds of the Christian Church - Part 1


 

Process Theology and the Many Creeds
of the Christian Church
PART 1

by R.E. Slater


I haven't explored any of the Christian Creeds of the Church here at Relevancy22 and thought it might be a good place to begin by listing out many of the more popular dogmas.

Needless to say these are all set in a non-Process context, that is, many, if not most, of the church's creeds are set in a Westernized (Greek) context using Platonic, or neo-Platonic philosophical thought.

For a Process Theologian this would be of particular note when examining the biblical text and attempting to separate the church's Greek mindset from the the older Semitic mindset which more closely parallels Process Philosophy than they would Platonism with its idea of "eternal substances". 

It is also of note that process philosophy and theology have only become available the past 100 years through Whiteheadian process scholars. And though it may capture more of the ancient mindset in terms of organic thinking than the Westernized ideas of God and Love of Greek Platonism, still Semitic philosophies never formalized any of their process ideas as had the ancient Chinese philosophers when examining the world's  flow-and-rhythm within a Buddhistic sense.

As a Baptist raised first within a fundamental tradition (Dispensationalism) and later within a conservative evangelical context which leaned into Reformed theology (Covenantalism) I've had a long lifetime attempting to consider how-and-where my biblical Christianity has been taking me in my thoughts about God, Jesus, the Spirit, redemption, atonement, love, hate, judgment, justice, and Christian hope.

After some 56 years of faithfulness to my Christian heritage I have more recently these past 10 years been led by the Lord into a long, dark wilderness where He tore down and built up a new foundation granting erasure of borderlands and openness of discussion to His presence, being, and telling in the bible and through today's societal cultures.

The Lord first began by removing the unhelpfulness of Calvinism in my spiritual life to replace it with Arminianism. Next, this led to a more contemporary form of Open and Relational Theology all of which is now being rebuilt on Process thought's organic structures as versus Platonic forms of thought (as seen explicitly in the church's creeds of the past 2000 years).

As Newtonian physics has been replaced with quantum physics (classicism v organism) so too is the world moving from "time in place" thinking to "time through event" forms of thinking. Platonic forms of substance are now being recast as fluid organic relationships working in network with both the part and the whole of the cosmic creation of God. The history of "the past" has become "a living history we have inherited". Events are no longer static forms of content but dynamic states of being-ness moving towards, or becoming, other states of being-ness.

Hence, unless Christian Creeds become something more than words on documents which people forget, ignore, or choose to consign to older traditions, such Creeds no longer have import. But if Christian "Truths" (a Platonic concept) are translated into attitudes and behaviors of Christ-likeness (you know, the Sermon on the Mount's, Beatitudes, or the Corinthian Gifts of the Spirit of kindness, humility, etc) then the Christian faith becomes an organic dynamic of the Spirit of God translating itself into the societal structures and communities of humanity.

Process theology then is a look at the Christian traditions by deconstructing, then reconstructing those traditions to be more useful than they have become. The ideas may not change but how they are communicated into today's organic societies will require plasticity, fluidity, and relevant, contemporary context which Jesus told us comes through the lives of men and women living their faith outwards in dynamic contexts of love and embrace.

R.E. Slater
December 27, 2021






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List of Christian creeds
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Christianity has through Church history produced a number of Christian creeds, confessions and statements of faith. The following lists are provided.

In many cases, individual churches will address further doctrinal questions in a set of bylaws. Smaller churches see this as a formality, while churches of a larger size build this to be a large document describing the practical functioning of the church.

Biblical creeds

  • Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3)
  • Pre-New Testament Creeds in the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:5, Phil 2:6-11, 1 Timothy 3:16)[1]
  • Christ died, was raised, then list of eyewitnesses to the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-10)

Ecumenical and historic Christian creeds

CreedDateAccepted byOriginal nameNotesLink to text
Apostles' Creed120–250Western ChurchLat.Symbolum Apostolorum or Symbolum ApostolicumProduct of the Roman Christians around A.D.180, who developed an early form of the Apostles' Creed, possibly to critique Marcion.Wikisource-logo.svg "Apostles' Creed".
Creed of Nicaea325Ecumenical ChurchGreekΣύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας or, τῆς πίστεωςLatinSymbolum NicaenumProduct of the first ecumenical council in Nicaea which tried to solve the Arian controversy.[2]Wikisource-logo.svg "Creed of Nicaea".
Nicene Creed (Nicaea-Constantinopolitan Creed)381Ecumenical ChurchExpansion and revision of the 325 Creed of Nicaea (includes new section on Holy Spirit). It is the most widely accepted Christian creed.

It critiques apollinarism and a later addition, the Filioque clause, resulted in disagreement between Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity.

Wikisource-logo.svg "Nicene Creed".
Chalcedonian Creed451Council of ChalcedonLatin: Concilium ChalcedonenseIn response to Nestorian teachings, the Chalcedonian formulation defines that Christ is "acknowledged in two natures", which "come together into one person and one hypostasis". Accepted by nearly all Christian denominations (except Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East, and much of Restorationism).Wikisource-logo.svg "Chalcedonian Creed".
Athanasian Creed500Western Christian denominationsLat.Quicumque vultThe origin of this creed is uncertain, but it is widely used in various Christian denominations.Wikisource-logo.svg "Athanasian Creed".

Creeds of the early church

Interdenominational creeds

Ecumenical creeds

  • The Call to Unity, Lausanne (1927)
  • The Scheme of Union of the Church of South India (1929/1942)
  • The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Edinburgh (1937)
  • Affirmation of Union, Edinburgh (1937)
  • The Constitution of the Church in South India (1947)
  • Message of the First Assembly of the World Council of Churches (1948)
  • The Unity We Have and Seek (1952)
  • A Message from the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches (1954)
  • The Unity of the Church, St. Andrews (1960)
  • The Church's Unity, World Council of Churches, New Delhi (1961)
  • The Holy Spirit and the Catholicity of the Church, Uppsala (1968)
  • What Unity Requires, Nairobi (1975)
  • Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, Lima (1982)
  • Uniatism, Method of Union of the Past, and the Present Search for Full Communion (1993)
  • The Covenant (2015)[3]

Denominational creeds

Adventist

Anabaptist/Mennonite

Anglican

Arminian

Assemblies of God

Baptist

  • Thomas Helwys Confession of Faith (1611)
  • Baptist Confession of Faith (1644)
  • Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/1689)
  • The Orthodox Creed of the General Baptists (1678)
  • The Philadelphia Confession (1688)
  • New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833)
  • The Free-will Baptist Confession (1868)
  • Abstract Principles for Southern Baptist Seminary (1858)
  • The Doctrinal Basis of the New Zealand Baptist Union (1882)
  • Doctrinal Basis of the Baptist Union of Victoria, Australia (1888)
  • The Statement of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland (1888)
  • The Statement of Faith of the American Baptist Association (1905)
  • Johann Kargel's Confession (1913)
  • Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptist Convention (1925)
  • The Doctrinal Statement of the North American Baptist Association (1950)
  • Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptist Convention (1964)
  • Baptist Affirmation of Faith, Strict Baptist Assembly (1966)
  • Romanian Baptist Confession (1974)
  • The Statement of Beliefs of the North American Baptist Conference (1982)
  • Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptist Convention (2000)

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

  • Mission, Vision and Confession[10]
  • Christian Church: The Design for the Christian Church (1968)

Congregational

  • The Cambridge Platform (1648)
  • Savoy Declaration (1658)
  • The Declaration of the Congregational Union of England (1833)
  • The Declaration of the Boston National Council (1865)
  • The Declaration of the Oberlin National Council (1871)
  • The "Commission" Creed of the Congregational Church (1883/1913)

Eastern Orthodox

  • Doctrine of the African Orthodox Church (1921)

Huguenot

Lutheran

Methodist

Pentecostal

Presbyterian

  • Scots Confession (1560)
  • Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)
  • The Confession of the Waldenses (1655)
  • The Confession of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (1814/1883)
  • The Confession of the Free Evangelical Church of Geneva (1848)
  • The Confession of the Free Italian Church (1870)
  • The Auburn Declaration (1837)
  • Auburn Affirmation (PCUSA) (1924)
  • Book of Confessions (PCUSA)[part 1; Second Edition 1970]
  • The Creed of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Chile (1983)
  • Living Faith: A statement of Christian Belief, Presbyterian Church in Canada[13] (1984)

Puritan/Congregational

Quaker

Reformed

Catholic

Salvation Army

United Church of Canada

United Church of Christ

Waldensian

  • Waldensian Confession (1655) [16]

Creeds of specific movements

Neo-Evangelical

See also

References

  1. ^ Pelikan, Jaroslav (2003). Credo. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 133. ISBN 0300109741.
  2. ^ "The Council of Nicaea: Purposes and Themes". Archived from the original on 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  3. ^ Covenant Christian Coalition (2015). "Covenant".
  4. ^ "Denck, Hans (ca. 1500-1527) - GAMEO"gameo.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  5. ^ "Concept of Cologne (Anabaptists, 1591) - Anabaptistwiki"anabaptistwiki.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  6. ^ "Concept of Cologne (Anabaptists, 1591) - GAMEO"gameo.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  7. ^ "The Anglican Catechism. A. D. 1549, 1662"biblehub.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  8. ^ DeJong 1968, pp. 220-.
  9. ^ "The Opinions of the Remonstrants (1618)" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Mission, Vision, and Confession".
  11. ^ "ELCA Constitution, Chapter 2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  12. ^ Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). "Scripture, Creeds, Confessions". Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
  13. ^ Presbyterian Church in Canada. "Living Faith: A statement of Christian Belief".
  14. ^ "The Confession of the Society of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers. A. D. 1675"biblehub.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  15. ^ "Richmond Declaration".
  16. ^ "Waldensian Confession". Archived from the original on 2014-05-12.

Bibliography