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

Monday, May 29, 2023

Ecological Processualism - Healing the Earth and One Another

The first edition of this book fostered the emergence of the "Spiritual Ecology Movement," which recognizes the need for a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It drew an overwhelmingly positive response from readers, many of whom are asking the simple question, "What can I do?" This second expanded edition offers new chapters, including two from younger authors who are putting the principles of spiritual ecology into action, working with their hands as well as their hearts. It also includes a new preface and revised chapter by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, that reference two major recent events: the publication of Pope Francis's encyclical, "On Care for Our Common Home," which brought into the mainstream the idea that "the ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem"; and the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, which saw representatives from nearly 200 countries come together to address global warming, including faith leaders from many traditions. Bringing together voices from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American traditions, as well as from physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, this book calls on us to reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the Earth and wake up to our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.

 * * * * * *

Ecological Processualism -
Healing the Earth and One Another

by R.E. Slater

The Means

Yesterday, as I was working through a few subject matters when extending radical process Christianity to cover all religious and non-religious viewpoints, I chanced upon a question which I thought might be relevant in practical-sort-of-way. The question of "What to do in a world torn by ecological disruption and social inequity."

I believe these two great needs of our time can be mended together as one if we, as virtualized societies, are committed to rebuilding transformative societes towards the idea of "ecological societies and civilizations." To do so we will need a common referent, language, and construct. Process philosophy and theology are exactly that... the first provides a pervasive philosophical foundation and, the second, an extensive theology for all religious and non-religiously oriented people.

The radicalization of process theology speaks expansively to the significantly transformative societal responses needed for performative expression and creativity. It can cover the many diverse strands of belief and outlook quite nimbly when taken within a radicalized socio-politico and religious context (which was the point of my previous six-part series on Radical theology; Radical theology is simply the internal and external acts of disengaging from unhealthy, and harming, beliefs and societal behaviours).

After many years of searching for a philosophic hermeneutic which might help translate the world's many enculturated referents into healing acts of grace and forgiveness I believe a processually-based societal outlook is large enough to include everybody from everywhere in the greatest global participation of our time... if not of all time... that of healing the earth and one another.

The Why

As a process Christian I can say that a process-based Christianity teaches individual-and-societal health-and-healing as a centering focus and missional-drive of generative value. This is also the defining act of the Christian-event marked by God's atoning redemption as Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, in the first century.

As a process philosophy, Whiteheadian processual thought encapsulates this very Hebraic-Christian principle of atoning/redeeming acts of processual reclamation, rebirth, and renewal. It is why process philosophy and theology seem to reflect the sentiment of "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" Once conceived, processual thought reflects creational evolution as ideally as the Christian faith that of regenerative life through death (sic, entropic worlds birthing worlds of negentrophy).

It is only upon the ruins of destruction can one rebuild significantly, and transformatively, renewing foundations. Without atoning ruins death is death. But with redeeming ruins death can become life. - re slater

So rather than eclipsing my earlier discourse yesterday by leaving it within the ranks of Radical (Process) Theology (e.g., a good theology is always radical, and radically transformative, in rejuvenating and regenerative ways) I have plucked it out from yesterday's discussion with ChatGPT to help underline the necessary and needful discussion for ecological processualism.

The Response

Please review then, the discussion below to determine if processual environmentalism might be large enough, and wide enough, in engaging, and rupturing-forth, personal and societal embrace of necessary and needful change. I believe it's common language for birthing socio-ecological renewal is exactly what the world needs in reclaiming healthier societies - both environmentally and with one another.

It also gets to the very idea that God is a kinder God than we have proposed in our religions (sic, Christianity, for one). That God is a God of Love first-and-foremost and that Christianity must become a Theology of Love and not a theology of divine wrath and judgment. 

Religious people when driven by fear and unloving actions forget that a loving Redeemer/Creator is working with them in deeply restorative acts of healing. We read of this time-and-again through the Old and New Testaments of the bible: "How people and localities when repenting and changing their hearts - and subsequently, their behaviours - can find healing grace and forgiveness as a spiritually performative result".

Even so, processual philosophy and theology beat with this same heartbeat of "self-serving sacrifice" as an expression of loving care and forgiveness to one another and to nature.

R.E. Slater
May 29, 2023

Ref: Radical Christian Process Theology, Part 6 - 
Radical Approaches, Propositions & Applications

Be the Change Around You


What propositions might be expected when proposing a metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society?


Proposing a metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society would involve considering various propositions that blend elements of metamodernism, process philosophy, and ecological thinking. Here are some propositions that could be expected in such a proposal:

  1. Embracing Complexity and Pluralism: A metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society recognizes and embraces the complexity and plurality of ecological and societal systems. It acknowledges that ecological and social challenges require nuanced and multifaceted solutions that consider diverse perspectives, values, and knowledge systems.
  2. Dynamic Balance and Resilience: Building upon process philosophy, the proposal would emphasize the importance of dynamic balance and resilience in ecological and societal systems. It recognizes that both natural and social systems are interconnected and constantly changing, requiring adaptive approaches that foster resilience and the ability to respond to environmental and societal disruptions.
  3. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: A metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and integration of knowledge across various fields, including environmental science, social sciences, philosophy, economics, and governance. It recognizes that addressing complex ecological issues necessitates a holistic and collaborative approach that draws upon diverse expertise and perspectives.
  4. Ethical Responsibility and Stewardship: The proposal would emphasize ethical responsibility and stewardship towards the environment and future generations. It recognizes that human actions have consequences for ecological systems and emphasizes the need to consider long-term sustainability, intergenerational justice, and the well-being of all beings within the ecological community.
  5. Participatory Democracy and Local Empowerment: A process-based ecological society would prioritize participatory democracy and local empowerment. It advocates for inclusive decision-making processes that involve diverse stakeholders, including local communities, indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups, in shaping ecological policies and practices. It values grassroots initiatives and bottom-up approaches that empower individuals and communities to actively contribute to ecological governance and decision-making.
  6. Regenerative and Circular Economy: The proposal would advocate for a shift towards a regenerative and circular economy that minimizes waste, promotes resource efficiency, and seeks to restore and regenerate ecological systems. It emphasizes the importance of reducing reliance on non-renewable resources, transitioning towards renewable energy sources, and adopting sustainable production and consumption patterns.
  7. Environmental Justice and Equity: A metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society places a strong emphasis on environmental justice and equity. It acknowledges that environmental issues disproportionately affect marginalized communities and seeks to address environmental inequalities and social injustices. The proposal would strive to ensure equitable access to clean air, water, and natural resources, and work towards the inclusion of diverse voices in decision-making processes.
  8. Education and Cultural Transformation: Recognizing the need for cultural transformation, the proposal would highlight the importance of education and awareness-building to foster ecological literacy, sustainability, and empathy towards the natural world. It would promote transformative education that encourages critical thinking, ecological consciousness, and a sense of interconnectedness with the environment.

These propositions serve as starting points for a metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society. They reflect the integration of metamodernist values, process philosophy's emphasis on dynamism and interconnectedness, and ecological thinking's focus on sustainability and the well-being of the environment and society. The specific formulation and emphasis of these propositions would depend on the particular context and priorities of the proposal.


Might the same be expected of a Process-based Radical Christianity to the church at large?


A Process-based Radical Christianity, inspired by process philosophy and radical approaches to Christianity, would likely share some common propositions with a metamodern approach to a process-based ecological society. Here are some propositions that might be expected in such a proposal for the church at large:

  1. Openness to Pluralism and Dialogue: A Process-based Radical Christianity would embrace openness to pluralism and engage in dialogue with diverse perspectives, both within and outside of the Christian tradition. It recognizes that different interpretations and understandings of Christianity can coexist and contribute to a richer understanding of faith.
  2. Dynamic Faith and Process Theology: The proposal would draw upon process theology to articulate a dynamic and evolving understanding of faith. It would emphasize that God is seen as actively engaged in the ongoing process of creation, and that human understanding of God and religious truths is subject to growth and development.
  3. Social Justice and Liberation: A Process-based Radical Christianity would prioritize social justice and liberation, inspired by the radical teachings and actions of Jesus. It would advocate for addressing systemic inequalities, combating oppression, and promoting the dignity and well-being of all individuals, particularly marginalized and vulnerable populations.
  4. Inclusive and Affirming Community: The proposal would promote inclusivity and affirming attitudes towards diverse individuals and communities, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or other identities. It would challenge exclusionary practices and advocate for the full participation and acceptance of all members within the Christian community.
  5. Ecological Stewardship: Building on the ecological concerns of process philosophy, a Process-based Radical Christianity would emphasize ecological stewardship and care for the Earth. It would recognize the interconnectedness of all creation and the responsibility to protect and restore the environment as a sacred duty.
  6. Participatory and Empowering Church Structures: The proposal would advocate for participatory and empowering structures within the church. It would encourage shared decision-making, inclusivity, and active engagement of all members in shaping the direction and practices of the community. It would prioritize the voices and agency of marginalized groups and seek to dismantle hierarchies and power imbalances.
  7. Transformative Spirituality: A Process-based Radical Christianity would emphasize transformative spirituality that engages with the personal and collective transformation of individuals and society. It would encourage practices such as contemplation, social action, and ethical living that foster growth, compassion, and a deep sense of interconnectedness with all of creation.
  8. Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation: The proposal would encourage interfaith dialogue and cooperation, recognizing the value of learning from and engaging with other religious traditions. It would seek common ground, foster mutual understanding, and work towards shared goals of justice, peace, and the well-being of humanity.

These propositions reflect a process-oriented and radical approach to Christianity that incorporates elements of openness, social justice, inclusivity, ecological stewardship, transformative spirituality, and interfaith engagement. They seek to reimagine and revitalize the church, aligning it with contemporary challenges and the evolving understanding of faith and the world. The specific articulation and emphasis of these propositions would depend on the particular context and aspirations of a Process-based Radical Christianity within the church.


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