Quotes & Sayings

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

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

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

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Process Theology and the Many Creeds of the Christian Church - Part 2


Process Theology and the Many Creeds
of the Christian Church

by R.E. Slater

Here I have provided resources and timelines to the important moments within the developing early church as it formalizes its beliefs about Jesus, itself, and a host of theological debates. There was no Catholic Church until c.1054 when it split with the Eastern (Greek) Church we now know as our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters who follow and worship the same Christ as their Catholic, and later, Protestant brethren. Why, or how, this split occurs is given briefly in the two videos provided below.

R.E. Slater
December 28, 2021

Early Church Eras of 
Apostolic Fathers - Apologists - Early Church Fathers
under the Roman Empire
Era of the Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers
click to enlarge

The two great splits of the Church
and how this has impacted Protestantism today:

>  c.1054 - Catholic Church v Eastern Orthodox Church

>  c.1517 - Martin Luther/Protestant Reformation          

Why did the Great Schism Happen?
Nov 30, 2020

Why Did the Catholic Church Have 2 Schisms?
Jul 15, 2021

  • Councils & Synods
  • Creeds
    • Apostolic Fathers
    • Greek Fathers
    • Latin Fathers
  • Writings & Development of the Canon
  • Other - Edict of Milan, c.313

Timeline of Christian History

c.2100 BCCalling of Abraham - the Father of the Jewish nation.
c.2000 BCBirth of Jacob, later to be called Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel are named after Jacob's sons.
c.1900 BCJoseph is sold into slavery in Egypt. Israelites eventually become captives in the land.
c.1446 or 1290 BCThe Exodus begins. Led by Moses, the Israelites leave Egypt and eventually settle in Canaan.
c.1010 BCDavid becomes king of Israel, making Jerusalem his capital.
c.970 BCDavid's son Solomon becomes king. He later builds a temple in Jerusalem to honour God.
c.930 BCFollowing Solomon's death, the Kingdom is divided into two sections: Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah).
753 BCTraditional date for the founding of Rome.
722 BCFall of the kingdom of Israel to the Assyrians.
612 BCNineveh, the Assyrian capital, falls to the Babylonians.
586 BCBabylonians take Jerusalem and destroy Solomon's temple. Jewish nation is taken into captivity in Babylon (the exile).
c.538 BCReturn of some of the exiles. Start of reconstruction of the temple.
c.512 BCCompletion of the temple.
c.330 BCConquest by Alexander the Great. Rise of Hellenism (Greek culture).
c.250 BCWork begins to translate the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. This is known as the Septuagint or LXX.
63 BCRoman rule of Israel begins.
c.4 BCBirth of Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem.
c.30 ADDeath of Jesus Christ.
c.33Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
Sometimes known as the Birthday of the Church.
c.33Stephen - First Christian martyr (Acts 7).
c.48Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) - a Watershed Moment
Gentile Christians accepted alongside those in the Jewish tradition.
c.60First Gospel published (often thought to be that written by Mark).
62Martyrdom of James, "The Lord's Brother".
c.67-68Apostles Peter and Paul* martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero.
70Jewish rebellion against the Roman empire ends. Destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
From 70Centre of Christianity moves to Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.
c.90Book of Revelation and Gospel of Saint John written.
161-80Widespread persecution of Christians under Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
(Severe persecutions also occurred under the emperors Decius (249-251) and Diocletian (284-305)).
301Armenia becomes the world's first country to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion.
312Roman emperor Constantine receives a vision of a flaming cross with the words
'In hoc signo vinces' : 'By this sign conquer'.
Defeats rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
313Edict of Milan issued by Constantine - Christianity becomes a legal religion within the Roman empire.
325Constantine calls the first ecumenical council at Nicea.
Arian heresy which declared Christ was a created being is refuted. Nicene Creed is drawn up, declaring Christ to be "...Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father..."
367Saint Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testament books in his festal letter.
381Ecumenical Council at Constantinople revises the Nicene creed to its current form.
c.382Saint Jerome begins a translation of the Bible into Latin.
397Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament as sacred scripture.
431Ecumenical council held at Ephesus refutes Nestorianism.
(The doctrine that Christ was two persons (one human, the other divine) in one body). Mary is declared Theotokos   i.e. 'God-bearer' or more commonly, 'Mother of God'.
449At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his 'Tome', defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.
451Ecumenical council at Chalcedon affirms Christ as having two distinct natures united in one person (known as the 'Hypostatic Union').
553Ecumenical council at Constantinople affirms teaching of previous councils.
563Columba establishes a monastery at Iona.
589Insertion of the filioque  (Latin: 'and the son') into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed at a council in Toledo.
597Following a mission authorized by Pope Gregory I, St. Augustine becomes the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
664Synod of Whitby ratifies the authority of the Pope in England.
680-81Ecumenical council at Constantinople rejects Monothelite heresy of one will in Christ.
731The Venerable Bede writes his Ecclesiastical History.
787Ecumenical council at Nicea ends the controversy over the use of icons in worship.
800Charlemagne is crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.
988Conversion of Prince Vladimir in Kiev. Growth of Christianity in Russia.
1054Great Schism - Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches separate.
1095Pope Urban II authorises the first Crusade to recover the Holy Land from Moslems.
1099Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.
1182Massacre of Latin inhabitants of Constantinople.
1187Jerusalem recaptured by a Moslem army led by Saladin.
1189Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart of England.
1204Sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade.
1216/23Papal approval of the Dominican and Franciscan mendicant ('begging') orders.
1266-73Thomas Aquinas writes his great work of systematic Theology: Summa Theologiae.
1305Papacy moved to Avignon following a dispute with Philip IV of France.
c.1341Defence of Orthodox spirituality by Gregory Palamas. Rise of Hesychasm.
c.1376John Wycliffe writes 'Civil Dominion', arguing for reform of the church.
1378Following the return of the Papacy to Rome, rival claimants (Antipopes) emerge. Dispute ends in 1417 with election of Martin V.
c.1380John Wycliffe translates the Bible into Middle English.
1453Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks.
1517Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenburg, Germany; beginning the Protestant reformation.
1521Diet of Worms - Luther's final breach with the Catholic church.
1525William Tyndale completes his translation of the Bible into English.
1534Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuits.
1534Act of Supremacy passed - Henry VIII becomes supreme head of the English church.
1536John Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
1545-63Council of Trent - Roman Catholic counter reformation.
1549Thomas Cranmer publishes the Book of Common Prayer  in England (later revised in 1662).
1555Peace of Augsburg ends religious wars in Germany.
1611Publication of the King James Version of the Bible.
1618-48Protestant/Catholic conflict in Germany (Thirty Years War).
1730-60The 'Great Awakening' - A revival movement among Protestants in the USA.
1738John and Charles Wesley converted. They lead an Evangelical revival in England and form the Methodist church.
1854Dogma of the Immaculate conception of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic church.
1870-1First Vatican council. Dogma of Papal infallibility proclaimed.
1906Azusa street revival in Los Angeles. Beginnings of the Pentecostal movement.
1910World mission conference held in Edinburgh.
1918Billy Graham born. Later becomes one of the most prominent evangelists in Christian history.
1948Formation of the World Council of Churches.
1950Dogma of the Assumption of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.
1962-5Second Vatican council. Major reforms in the Roman Catholic church are initiated.
Mutual anathemas of 1054 between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches lifted.
1997Death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta - founder of the 'Missionaries of Charity'.
1999Signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification by the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches.
2005Death of Pope John Paul II, who is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI.
2006World Methodist Council adopts the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification.
2011Beatification of Pope John Paul II.
2013Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who is succeeded by Pope Francis.

* See the Timeline of Paul's ministry for more information.

click to enlarge

Timeline of Christianity

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The purpose of this timeline is to give a detailed account of Christianity from the beginning of the current era (AD) to the present. Question marks ('?') on dates indicate approximate dates.

The year one is the first year in the Christian calendar (there is no year zero), which is the calendar presently used (in unison with the Gregorian calendar) almost everywhere in the world. Traditionally, this was held to be the year Jesus was born; however, most modern scholars argue for an earlier or later date, the most agreed upon being between 6 BC and 4 BC.

Jesus begins his ministry after his baptism by John and during the rule of Pilate, preaching: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:12–17). While the historicity of the gospel accounts is questioned to some extent by some critical scholars and non-Christians, the traditional view states the following chronology for his ministry: TemptationSermon on the MountAppointment of the TwelveMiraclesTemple Money ChangersLast SupperArrestTrialPassionCrucifixion on Nisan 14th (John 19:14Mark 14:2Gospel of Peter) or Nisan 15th (Synoptic Gospels), entombment by Joseph of Arimathea and NicodemusResurrection by God and Resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and other women (Mark 16:9John 20:10–18), Simon Peter (Luke 24:34), and others, (1Cor.15:3–9), Great CommissionAscensionSecond Coming Prophecy to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, and establishment of the Kingdom of God and the Messianic Age.

Apostolic Age

Shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Nisan 14 or 15), the Jerusalem church is founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes (Acts 1:15), followed by Pentecost (Sivan 6), the Ananias and Sapphira incident, Pharisee Gamaliel's defense of the Apostles (5:34–39), the stoning of Saint Stephen (see also Persecution of Christians) and the subsequent dispersion of the Apostles (7:54–8:8, also Mark 16:20) which leads to the baptism of Simon Magus in Samaria (8:9–24), and also an Ethiopian eunuch (8:26–40). Paul's "Road to Damascus" conversion to "Apostle to the Gentiles" is first recorded in 9:13–16, cf. Gal 1:11–24. Peter baptizes the Roman Centurion Cornelius, who is traditionally considered the first Gentile convert to Christianity (10). The Antioch church is founded, where the term Christian was first used (11:26).

Ante-Nicene period

First Seven Ecumenical Councils

Constantine called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to unify Christology, also called the first great Christian council by Jerome, the first ecumenical, decreed the Original Nicene Creed, but rejected by Nontrinitarians such as AriusTheonasSecundus of PtolemaisEusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicaea who were excommunicated, also addressed Easter controversy and passed 20 Canon laws such as Canon VII which granted special recognition to Jerusalem.

Middle Ages



17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century