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

Friday, December 16, 2022

R.E. Slater - Divine Sovereignty - What Is It?

Divine Sovereignty - What Is It?
Is It Near or Far? Controlling or Uncontrolling? Fully Knowledgeable
or Processually Affected in It's Divine Knowledge, Power, and Presence?

by R.E. Slater
December 16, 2022

A Fresh Perspective of Divine Omnipotence

When thinking of a Divine God with Divine Power it perhaps is better think in terms of Divine Love....



But certainly much more in line with a "biblical" God than if casting Divinity in terms of non-Loving power and control. (aka, church-like dominionism with its legalisms, rites, and beliefs).

For a process theologian when speaking of God we prefer to speak of a God who is loving at all times rather than some times... or maybe not at all.

Too, if divine Sovereignty were cast in terms of a divinely Loving God at all times than the traditional terms of power and control must also be altered to better reflect a loving God.

As example, for the traditional language of omnipotence let's recast it in terms of "amnipotence" - that is, LOVING power (see Oord's articles below).

Let's also do the same with the very unhealthy word "control" which Christians love to sing about and speak to when praising God's omniscient determination of our own affairs and the world's.

A process theologian will do away with words like "divine control" altogether when speaking to a divinely-loving sovereignty within processual categories of divine processual indeterminancy. By which we mean, that creation, if it were to follow it's inherently- divine "Imago Dei" of God birthed within it (and yes, even today does this divine birth continue - as versus just one time "in Adam" ala Paul's voluminous characterization of Adam's sin in the book of Romans).

And further, because divine Love created creation in God's Image (Imago Dei) it also was created by Love (and not by divine fiat) with intermittant freewill.

That is, creational freewill agency - just like our own freewill agency - is fraught between generative, or valuative, good and sin and evil, which are not generatively good or valuative of someone or something outside itself.

A Processual Divinity Takes on a
New Divine Character and Attributes...

Hence, process theology generally teaches of a loving and uncontrolling (or noncontrolling) divine Sovereignty which, though genuinely powerful is genuinely loving and noncontrolling per the processual metaphysics found throughout the universe's "cosmic being".

Which cosmic being may also give rise to someone or something that isn't just "IS," in itself, but also "BECOMING" more than itself in itself.

So when when describing God as a processual God a process metaphysician (or metatheologian?) will say that God is not only complete in himself but also has the capacity in God's Godness of transcendence to be 100% present and immanent to creation's "processual" being. Which is to say that God in God's relationship with creation will "grow" and "become" with creation as it becomes.

When saying this a process theology is stating that neither party is static but continually evolving in relationship to itself and with creation as a whole. And that an IMMANENT God - in God's timeful existence - processually evolves with our own existence. An existence which, unlike God's divine Self, may also devolve in it's processually timeful existence.

Take note: "God qua God is complete." God is infinitely Becomed or Evolved. But in God's processual relationship with an evolving or devolving freewill and indeterminant creation, God is continually processing - or urging - that creation to become what it inherently is in itself re its Divine Imago; than to lean into the dark side of its unloving, devolving freewill which is as "uncontrollable" as its upside potential is.

Processual divine Sovereignty then speaks to an evolving/devolving creation which is and may become more than it is or may become less than it is.... And further, it is by God's redemptive power imbued into creation (as depicted by God's atoning redemption) that a freewilled, indeterminant creation may be released from its devolvement towards a processually good and generatively valuative part of the creational whole when partnering with salvific God of creation.

Thus and thus, the classical church teachings re divine omnipotence, omniscience, even omnipresence, when recast processually completely change the nuances of a truly divine loving sovereignty. And when done, show us a divine God who is much more who God is than our own images of God cast into our own religious images however "Christian" or "biblical" they claim to be. Let's read below Thomas Oord's thoughts on a few of these Christianized aspects of God....

Blessings & Merry Christmas!

R.E. Slater
December 16, 2022

Part 1
The Death of Omnipotence
(and Birth of Amnipotence)

by Thomas Jay Oord
November 16th, 2022

I’m writing a new book. My tentative title is “The Death of Omnipotence… and Birth of Amipotence.”

As the title suggests, I’ll argue that God is not omnipotent. But instead of simply saying, “God can’t do…,” I’m also proposing a view of divine power I think is more biblically supported, philosophically coherent, and experientially justified. I call it “amipotence.” (Here’s a 3-minute ORTShort describing the word.)

Here’s how I plan to start the book…


“My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty there’s nothing that He cannot do.”[1] These lines from a children’s song give voice to what many people believe: God can do anything.

Other song lyrics proclaim the glory of an all-powerful God. In his Messiah concerto, George Frideric Handel’s oft-repeated lines ring out:

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah![2]

Contemporary worship choruses promote omnipotence, declaring a sovereign God cannot be thwarted nor the divine will be frustrated. It’s common for believers, enraptured in praise, to lift their voices to the One they call “almighty” and proclaim, “our God reigns!”


“Omnipotence” expresses in formal language the “God can do anything” view. A God with all (omni) power (potent) apparently can do anything we imagine and more. Augustine made this connection, saying the omnipotent God is “He who can do all things.”[3]

In some theologies, God actually exerts all power and is the cause of everything; call this “theological determinism” or “monergism.” In others, God could do everything but chooses not to. God so conceived controls from time to time but generally opts to allow creatures to exert power; call this view “voluntary divine self-limitation.”[4]

Among the attributes theists ascribe to God, omnipotence is likely best known. For many, it’s a placeholder for God – “the Omnipotent.” Although distinctions can be made, the term is often thought synonymous with other words and phrases describing divine power: “sovereign,” “all-powerful,” and “almighty.”[5] These describe what many think necessary of a being worthy of worship: unlimited power.

Christian creeds refer to God’s almightiness. “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…” begins the Apostle’s Creed. The Nicene Creed starts similarly: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…” The Westminster Confession speaks of a God who, in “sovereign” or “almighty” activity, saw fit to “ordain whatsoever comes to pass.”

Theists espouse various meanings of omnipotent, almighty, or all-powerful. In this book, I address three common among scholars and laity. To say God is omnipotent typically means at least one of the following:
1. God exerts all power.

2. God can do absolutely anything.

3. God can control others or circumstances.[6]


Some theists affirm one or two meanings but not all. Some reject the idea God exerts all power, for instance, but believe God can control others. Others say God can do anything but also say God doesn’t always control creatures. Many claim God can singlehandedly determine outcomes but cannot do what is illogical or self-contradictory. And it’s common for believers to say God is omnipotent but appeal to mystery when vexing questions arise.


I’d love to hear your questions, suggestions, and thoughts. Now that you know the general aim of the book, what issues should I be sure to address?

(I explain amipotence a bit in my book, Pluriform Love. Also, see this essay from Jay McDaniel.)

[1] Ruth Harms Calkin, “My God is so Big” (Permission to quote granted from Nuggets of Truth Publishing).

[2] Handel seems to be drawing from Revelation 19:6, which in Latin and in the King James Version of scripture is translated “omnipotent” but in most contemporary biblical translations is rendered “almighty.”

[3] Augustine, De Trinitate, IV 20, 27 (CChr.SL), 50, 197: “Quis est autem omnipotens, nisi qui omnia potest.” Despite this claim, Augustine also notes a number of things God cannot do.

[4] Theologians have explored the distinction between God’s potential power and the actual expression of divine power. See, for instance, Ian Robert Richardson, “Meister Eckhart’s Parisian Question of ‘Whether the omnipotence of God should be considered as potentia ordinata or potentia absoluta?” Doctoral Dissertation (King’s College London, 2002), 17.

[5] In previous writings, I’ve said we could rightly call God almighty in the senses. God is 1) the mightiest, 2) exerts might upon all, and 3) the source of might for all. Gijsbert Van Den Brink argues for “almightiness” over omnipotence in Almighty God: A Study of the Doctrine of Divine Omnipotence (Netherlands: Kok Pharos, 1993).

[6] By “control,” I mean acting as the sufficient cause of some creature, circumstance, or event. To describe such control, I use phrases like “singlehandedly decide outcomes,” “unilaterally determine,” or others that depict God as the sole cause. I will argue that God never has controlled and, in fact, cannot control others.

* * * * * * * *

Part 2
Omnipotence Not in Scripture

by Thomas Jay Oord
November 27th, 2022

I’m currently writing a book that rejects the doctrine of divine omnipotence. I’ll suggest a replacement I call divine amipotence – the power of love. I introduced the writing project in this previous blog essay.

One chapter in my book addresses God’s power described in what Christians call the Old and New Testaments. I’ll argue that omnipotence — even the Hebrew and Greek words often translated “almighty” or “all-powerful” — are not in the biblical texts.

God’s Power in Scripture

Authors of sacred writ describe a God who does amazing things, including creating the heavens and the earth, enacting miracles, providing salvation, and promising ultimate victory over evil. While English translators typically avoid “omnipotence” when translating Hebrew and Greek texts, they do use “almighty.” Many people believe biblical writers portray God as all-powerful.

Given this reading of scripture, Arthur Pink puts the significance of omnipotence this way: “If God were stunted in might and had a limit to His strength, we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue, no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for him to relieve.”[1]

According to many, only an omnipotent God can save.

The Hopelessness of Omnipotence

Omnipotence does not inspire hope in everyone, however. It leads many to despair and unbelief. To those who suffer, a God who can singlehandedly liberate seems asleep. Or this God doesn’t care enough to rescue the hurting from horrors and holocausts. Fervent prayers for healing go unanswered; cries for help from the sexually abused elicit few godly rescues.

Consequently, many people have no desire to live forever with a deity who allows evil now. An almighty God isn’t trustworthy.

I will argue that Christian scripture does not support omnipotence, at least as understood in the three ways I’ve identified. God doesn’t have all power, there are many things God cannot do, and God can’t control others.

Biblical authors talk about divine action, and they consider God’s power immense. But the Hebrew and Greek words translated “almighty,” “sovereign,” and the like support neither classic nor popular understandings of God as all-powerful.


In fact, writers of scripture acknowledge limits to divine power. And they point to the role creatures play in bringing about outcomes.

Omnipotence isn’t born of scripture.

Issues to Address?

As you see it, what words, passages, or issues should I address when talking about God’s power described in Scripture?

[1] Arthur Pink, 67.