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, September 5, 2023

Personal Update - A Life Reconstructed, Part I

In 1903 Edvard Munch held an exhibition at the newly refurbished Kunsthandlung P. H. Beyer & Sohn in Leipzig, where Munch had been allocated the gallery’s skylit room. Eighteen paintings, inlaid in a light textile frame, were presented as a frieze in the room. Running as a horizontal band high up on three walls, the frieze essentially became a part of the room as a whole. The article therefore proposes to consider the exhibition as spatial art and examine it in light of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk. The documentation of the exhibition is a unique source for understanding Munch’s “Frieze of Life” and its spatial representation, even as the paintings highlight the role of the exhibition room at the turn of the twentieth century. The exhibition room played an instrumental role in how Munch developed his art.

Alan Sorrell: A Life Reconstructed

Personal Update:
A Life Reconstructed
Part I

With apologies, I have been sick most of the summer dealing with a surgical infection from eight years ago. At the end of last summer of 2022, I was dealing with a newly opened abscess on my foot which I managed until May of this year when a surgeon opened up the foot to clean it out and sent me home to let the newly opened gash heal.

However, the surgery failed and necessitated a second surgery weeks later resulting in the addition of a wound pump for the rest of the summer... this time with thrice weekly nursing visits to the home. But again, the open would wouldn't heal despite the care. In fact it got worse.

At which point, after eight years of sloughing it out, it was time to remove the infected foot-and-ankle titanium prosthetic which held my foot together. One I broken in my early teens attempting to stop my fall over the edge of a cliff I had intentionally and poorly navigated. And upon the same limb which I had played physical sports until my early fifties when needing a total knee replacement.

This hopeful prosthetic was removed a week ago, cleaned of gunk, and cemented in place with a time-released antibiotic. Since there was now extra skin all was bound up without the miserable wound pump I had come to detest. Nine days have past in morbid pain from loss of device, crutching around on tired arms, and awaiting removal of cast some nine days out. Thankfully, we found a couple knee scooters which helped immeasurably giving relief to my aching body and spirit.

Once this surgery heals there will be a minimum of two more surgeries until there is no longer any infection and the foot can be fused to the ankle without addition of any more mechanical devices. If unsuccessful then there might be a future holding an amputation with the addition of a fully mechanical half-limb and incumbrances to come. Hopefully not. But it is why I waited so long before finally allowing the doctors to remove the original prosthesis.

Tomorrow I speak once again to infectious services to determine if a picc line through the arteries to the heart will be necessary or not. I expect it will require a month or more of antibiotic infusions which I will manage along with a nursing visit once a week to change out the port placed into my arm. But I am no stranger to this practice either as my first wounds eight years ago were far, far worse... being quite long and wide, travelling up-and-down several parts of my leg. It is the main reason I will not "suffer" a second internal prosthetic; the other being that 35% of these second surgeries fail in infections again.

At that time I found myself slipping into despair, if not depression, as I looked into a black pit badding me step forward one more step. The pain was overwhelming. The worse being the first three months - though the next five months thereafter were no picnic either. And then there was the constant severed nerve pain which lasted 4.5 years. It required a steely will beginning with refusing to step forward into an oblivion I might not come out... though I remember blackness to seem a fathomless comfort to the septic fevers rolling through my body.

Anyway, I've been taking these past summer months to catch up with life. Find a little time for introspection. And to rest from writing, which task I've done regularly since the fall of 2009 upon retirement. A retirement I've not only filled with poetry and writing on the cutting edge of a new theology - which I've placed on my other website - but to leave my job and volunteer church ministries to work within my community.

During these past retirement years I held committee and board positions on City, County, and College panels; became a certified Master Naturalist through MSU's extension program (including a 100 hours of community service); and joined over two dozen environmental organizations working, planting, burning, strategizing, creating, and building a living ecology in West Michigan with others who bore the same passion and veracity as myself.

In so doing, we have created the foundations necessary for empowering regional green infrastructures and green business practices to our part of West Michigan across local and state levels and all parts in-between. I could never have done this while working or raising a family. After 30+ years in technology and lay ministries I finally laid all aside and took the time to participate in creating healthy sustainability practices for habitat and clean water projects.

Over the last fifteen years I worked, volunteered, learned, and gave input across a number of ecological areas. Many of them politically unwanted but expediently necessary knowing the climate change coming upon us in the decades ahead. In these tasks I have greatly enjoyed being a part of community seeking to aide strangers via innumerable opportunities and probabilities. It was fun. And it gave to me the experience, perspective, and depth I needed to write of social contracts and personal enlightenments.

Now lately, one I get pass these remaining hard monts, I hope to continue working on both websites to leave with my family, friends, and interested readers helpful ways in which we might think about our personal value to one another and the greater good we might attempt for humanity. I see no reason not to thrive during these times of pandemic, socio-political upheaval, failure of religious institutions. At no time should we give in to adversity, perversity, calamity, bleakness, or short-sightedness. But at all times we are to give ourselves to diversity, modality, veracity, and tonality in the trying years ahead. It's what get's me up in the morning to create, destroy, rebuild, and envision communities of life.


R.E. Slater
September 5, 2023

* * * * * * *

We will always rebuild - a poem for the broken by Jeanette LeBlanc

We will always rebuild

(a poem for the grieving)

by Jeanette LeBlanc

You are here.
You are here.

Even though everything smells like love and loss and burning.
Start with this.

You are here and it hurts.
It hurts because of all you’ve lost.
Your heart is a 3am siren, driving through that sucker punch bruise of a night sky.
Never a sign of anything good.

Here, nothing feels good.
Now you’ve begun.

You are here and it hurts and the world feels impossibly heavy.
There is not enough air in the room.
The quilt on your bed is eight hundred pounds of weight keeping you from movement.
There is no going back

There is never any going back.
Now you’re getting somewhere.

You are here and it hurts and the world feels impossibly heavy and you are shouting bargains at the moon.
He is listening but does nothing.
There is nothing he can do.

You are on your knees in the grass,
clutching handfuls of earth.
This is progress.

You are here and it hurts and the world feels impossibly heavy and you are shouting bargains at the moon and there is nobody else to hear you
It is the darkest night you’ve ever lived through
You’ve lived through.
You’ve lived.

Do you hear me?
You live.
You make it.
You survive.

There is a faint tinge of light on the horizon and you made it.
Now we’re finally moving forward

You are here and it hurts and the world feels impossibly heavy and you are shouting bargains at the moon and there is nobody else to hear you and there is a grief wail building inside of you.
Through the earth, through your toes,
Your legs, your belly, your chest and lungs,
The reach of your arms, your curled fists.
Your neck
Your jaw
Your face
The top of your head.

Have you ever seen a building implode?
Yes. This is you.
Now you know you have begun the work of healing.

You are here and it hurts and the world feels impossibly heavy and you are shouting bargains at the moon and there is nobody else to hear you and there is a grief wail building inside of you and you crumbling.
The ground shakes as her own broken pieces slide rough against each other.
There is a red earth landslide and everything is tumbling into the sea.
On the ocean, a wall of water rushes toward land.
Disaster cannot be prevented, only survived or not.
The earth knows well the pain of things that cannot be fixed.

Your pain cannot be fixed.
There is no shortcut through this.
This knowledge is the key to everything that will come next.
There is more to come.

Sometimes healing looks like falling apart.
Sometimes falling apart is the path to what can be built.
Sometimes, we go through the darkest nights and there is nobody but the moon to hear.
He always listens.
Now you listen.

There is not enough air in the room but you are breathing.
There is nobody here but you are held.
You have broken and the world is breaking and we will always rebuild.

Do you hear me, love?
We will always rebuild.

Jeanette LeBlanc