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, January 13, 2023

Process Shorts by R.E. Slater - Re: Common Ground, Healing and Social Justice


The Elephant is Running: Process and Open and Relational
Theologies and Religious Pluralism,
by Bruce Gordon Epperly (Author)
Book Description
Bruce Epperly believes that God invites us to affirm religious pluralism while remaining faithful to the way of Jesus and the prophetic spirit of Christianity. Unique among texts on religious pluralism, The Elephant is Running integrates theological reflection, encounters with the wisdom world’s spiritual traditions, the author’s personal experience as a spiritual adventurer, and inspirational and innovative spiritual practices.
RE Slater Comment
Here, in Epperly's writing, I find process-based religion to be it's own common denominator. That is, the more religious theologies become affected by process thought in their foundational philosophies the more commonality all religions will find with one another. This also holds true for today's quantum sciences as their cosmological particulars begin to resemble the processual qualities of the cosmos.
One other note I find pertinent is that all religions, whether they know it or not, have processual elements in their theology where they know it or not. Some more than others, such as Buddhism. Process is how the world works; religions' observing this characteristic in creation would inadvertantly practice and teach some form of their observations unconsciously. 
Lastly, Whiteheadian Process thought is a more recent development of a processual quantumtative and evolutionary world. One that flows with itself and continually course-corrects to stay in rhythm and synchronicity to itself. This cosmological internaIity one may describ as panrelational, panexperiential, and panpsychic per process philosophy and theology.
As an aside, the cosmic quality of panpsychicism I use here in i) the scientific sense of a "quasi-sentience-like responsiveness" by cosmic quantum structures to it's own processual quantum elements such as emissions of force and energy. Or ii) of the cosmological whole to its parts and back again from its parts to its whole. A processual universe seeking to be in rhythm to itself however chaotic, however random, it's processually evolving evolution may appear.

- res 

Amazon Link

Book Description
We live in conflicted times. Our newsfeeds are filled with inequality, division, and fear. We want to make a difference and see justice restored because Jesus calls us to be a peacemaking and reconciling people. But how do we do this? Based on their work with diverse churches, colleges, and other organizations, Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill offer Christian practices that can bring healing and hope to a broken world. They provide ten ways to transform society, from lament and repentance to relinquishing power, reinforcing agency, and more. Embodying these practices enables us to be the new humanity in Jesus Christ, so the church and world can experience reconciliation, justice, unity, peace, and love. With small group activities, discussion questions, and exercises in each chapter, this book is ideal to read together in community. Discover here how to bring real change to a dehumanized world.

* * * * * * *

Judicial Courts v LGBTQ+ Civil Rights
by R.E. Slater

What do you get when you cross a judge with a skunk? "Law and Odor." - a common schoolyard quip

The 9'10" mark of the MSNBC video summarizes the argument put before the December 2022 Supreme Court by a conservative defense wishing to protect their client's "white rights" over the presumed "non-rights of minority victims of white majority rule. In this case, the "revoking of the rights of a gay businesses."

The case revolves around a web designer who did not wish to do business with gay clients who live a different lifestyle then their own. In this case, a gay business requiring a website which the web designer refused to create if so asked. Supposedly this was not an actual event but a hypothetical event which the web designer fear might happen.

Since this is a personal column, if I were gay I would choose not to use the bigoted web designer as I would feel such a person would produce an "inferior" product to the one my business may require.

Further, to allay any fears conservative businesses may have I would want them to know that I would chose other businesses which would accept my gay business. I would find businesses which were "color-blind" and will do business with both non-conservative and conservative religious sectors.

In short, there are LGBTQ+ designers and non-LGBTQ+ designers who would be glad to provide their talents and services to clientele like myself thus making use of discriminatory business practices and lawsuits unnecessary.

But here, in this legal presentation before the Supreme Court, we have a reversal of circumstances to which the majority Other - in this case, a religiously-oriented business - is claiming they feel Colorado's nondiscriminatory law is actively discriminating against their own discriminatory practices (which was why Colorado's law was written in the first place). The thinking here being argued by the religious web designer that discriminatory practices should be allowable rather than disallowable, contra Colorado's current laws.

Firstly, any person having experienced discrimination will readily admit all forms of bigotry are neither kind, fair, or fairly treating to those they are actively oppressing another.

Secondly, the bigots of society are not the victims here but the victimizers. They are showing themselves willing to victimize the victim by their unfair treatment of the Other - and by their unwillingness to see their own personal and religious beliefs as offensive and motivated by racism, bigotry and discrimination. Essentially they do not recognize anyone beyond their own kind as people of value.

Thirdly, the conservative judges of the Supreme Court are showing themselves to be working for the racist minorities of white America and not for the true victims of white supremacy and Jim Crow laws. By it's actions it is showing it's callousness towards racism and thus eschewing it's legal profession to stand against racist juris prudence.

Consequently, the Supreme Court is protecting the "rights" of the religionist whose "God" is as racist as they are in their racist interpretation of the bible.

More so, the conservative elements of the Supreme Court are announcing their preference to support laws which will exercise discrimination against the LGBTQ+ populations of America in its current hearing of all such legal cases.

This then is the harm which comes when the "Supreme Court of the Land" does not work to legally expand Constitutional civil law for all citizens when looking only to blindly protect the majority rule's active practice of religious racism.

Fourthly, any person standing behind religion declaring their rights to be racist as God-ordained is, in my opinion, sinful and evil. Religion aside, any actions of racism, bigotry, or practice of oppression upon others is morally wrong. That wrong cannot be protected by a religious group's racist faith. It simply tells us that that church, fellowship, or religion is actively justifying its racism as unloving acts of oppression and bigotry. Too, they are NOT the victims in this story they are telling themselves. No. They are the victimzers.

Contra the "God of the conservative Bible" which most evangelical churches cling to, do not see anti-gay religious sentiment as sinful and evil but biblical and morally right. But this is not true. At no time is it right to practice bigotry and civil injustice. 

Conversely, the "God of the Bible" which many historic religious groups are presenting differs from the "God of Wrath and Judgment" conservative Christian churches and denominations are preaching as right and good. From my own perspective I find these kind of faith expressions, doctrines, creeds, and practices by the conservative church and its followers as ungodly and unloving... as I'm sure God does as well. Their model of God is inaccurate and the biblical model followed is based on bigoted religious expressions from the bible which have survived its library. Rather than as an observation of sinful practices by ancient Israel these same bible passages have been assumed to be God ordained. A God of Love does not ordain these sentiments. But a God of wrath and judgment would.

Fifthly, there is a Christianity of love and welcome, embrace and support and then there are Christian faiths which preach love and exclusion with limited forms of welcome, embrace and support. Each faith group interprets the bible to their own view of God.

For myself, I have chosen to rewrite all my conservative evangelical Christian beliefs, teachings, doctrines, creeds, and practices around a God of Love rather than a God who loves sometimes. Which makes me at minimum a post-conservative or traditionalist I believe in teaching a God with no exclusions, no wraths, and no judgments. If for no other reason than its faith outcomes will be healthier for a transformative world given to hate and exclusion. It eliminates at best one more source of wars and friction between human societies.

That the bible I've received in the past I may now read as a library attesting to previous socio-religious reactions to this God of Love who has been misapprehended so very early in human history. A history which continues to unfold even today in its misinterpretations of a loving God based upon ancient ethical and moral constructs which were sadly "set in stone" by religious beliefs... Even as they are today seemingly set in stone now because of the church's current teachings. 

Against all these previous religious histories I assert that God is still a God of Love even as God was when first thought of by early religious man. That this Redeemer God is not a God of wrath and judgment nor a God of bigotry or discrimination. No. This religious practice of sin, wrath, and judgment we do quite well on our own against one another. We do not need a God of wrath and judgment to tell us that what we are doing to one another is wrong and evil.

And lastly, one might describe conservative religious beliefs as yet another form of religious legalism... preached by conservative churches against civil democratic societies which are actively attempting to recognize the worth, dignity, and value of all its people.

America's Civil Constitution protects the rights of all its peoples whereas the dominionist beliefs of uncivil religious institutions would divide and destroy such civil unions committed to the liberty and freedom of the common man.

The irony is, the United State's Constitution was written in the name of God by colonial segregationalists, slave owners, church-dominionists, native extermination, and ecctera. All preaching a God of exclusion, judgment and wrath. But in reality, this very same nationalized legal document we know as the Constitution (undergirt by the Bill of Rights) has become a righteous voice for the despised, hated, unwanted, overlooked, and disapproved Other. 

These are the ones Jesus would hang with today if he were around. A Jesus whom I somehow hope the Church of "God" might likewise follow in their Savior's practices rather than to overlook its own Pharisaical deeds of hypocrisy and legalism which pronounced anathema upon Jesus, abandoned his vision of atoning unity, and killed and buried Jesus in a life-stealing tomb. Essentially, the God of love became a brutal sacrifice to the unlove of man whose own idol was raised upon the tomb of Jesus. To this we say Anathema! Let us be done with such gods!

R.E. Slater
January 13, 2023