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

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Remembering Who We Are Against All Which Tells Us We Are Not

Remembering Who We Are Against
All Which Tells Us We Are Not

by R.E. Slater

I have been developing a process theology which speaks to love surmounting hate and goodness prevailing over evil. Neil speaks to the cosmic creation we know as avariciously survivalistic in an environment which is always harsh and live denying.
It is hard to argue against what we feel, know, and sense in our day-to-day struggle to survive. Yet I believe that the cosmos we have been placed in can be surmounted by our own individualistic choices to love, be kind, be helpful, and healing.
These are God given graces meant to survive in an otherwise harsh world. Without these graces life is a misery of suffering, pain, aloneness, and without sense or purpose. But with these graces we may heal, recreate, reconnect, redeem, and repurpose what is bent and gone astray.
Which is also how I see Jesus as God Incarnate come to resurrect all the death daily found in creation. Without Jesus' atonement, redemption, and resurrection we have no theme to our lives. But with it we can see the world differently. Act in it magnanimously. And bring back to it it's own sense of identity and purpose.
Thus and thus the Gospel, ecological theologies of repurposing civilization and societies, and atoning ministry throughout every stratum of humanity's endeavors.
This I know and preach as a pancessual negentropy of life-restoring panentheism (not pantheism) where God's Self that is imbued in creation may itself be resurrected to recreate the heavens we long for and not the hells we experience.
R.E. Slater
October 8, 2023

* * * * * *

A Story of Life and Death and Resurrection

by R.E. Slater

My neighbor and friend recently passed away at 97. I came to know Bob about five years ago when moving next door and having to rebuild the house I had just bought. He came to the site, introduced himself, I showed him around, and everyday after that when he visited our friendship grew.

He was the one who said to me to not fret over our loss when discovering a rotting foundation but to move on and rebuild. Over all other words spoken to me his alone was the one which made the most sense to me at the time. I valued him for his wisdom.

Soon after our meeting he introduced me to his church fellowship in town nearby. A smallish local church with a classic white steeple soaring over the village which thought itself a town. A friendly group who suffered my presence to their little cliche of towns people.

Bob also introduced me to another group of his friends which also met daily like his church group at a local coffee shop. My experience was little different from the other. Oldish, friendly but wary, and preferring their own company to new attendees. Still, they took me in as I spent the next 14 months rebuilding a disaster.

Bob was known as the "mayor" amongst his church friends and as a 90 year old winter snow skier, resident pilot who flew for "Wings of Mercy" delivering sick people to regional hospitals as needed. A fellow respect elder of his church and long lived marital couple of 75 years to his teenage sweetheart. 

Bob was also know for his service to the Naval Pacific Fleet off the coast of Japan with many WW2 engagements across the Pacific. Which is what Grand Valley State University's interview concentrated upon years before I had met him.

As my own father had died near his 84th birthday many years earlier in 2014 of Parkinson's, Bob became the "stand-in-father" I have daily missed. He was a good listener, advisor, and steadying presence in my life when I needed it. To this I will ever be grateful.

Thank you Bob for your faith and friendship. I will miss you.

R.E. Slater
October 8, 2023

* * * * * *

Clarence Robert "Bob" VanStrien
(1927 - 2023)

Clarence VanStrien Obituary

Van Strien, Clarence Robert "Bob"
10/16/1927 - 9/19/2023

Clarence Robert "Bob" Van Strien passed away at his home in Cascade on September 19th, 2023, surrounded by his children and loved ones. He was preceded in death by Pauline, his wife of 72 years and his brother, Dave Van Strien (Lois)....

Bob was a profoundly devoted son, brother, husband, and father as well as one of our last remaining WWII Navy Veterans. After the war he bought a milk truck and married the farmer's daughter, Pauline. His love of farms and the farming community remained throughout his life. He made his livelihood in the trucking business as an owner, operator, dispatcher, salesperson, and manager. His last business was C. R. Transport that moved sand, gravel, and rocks...hence, his love of gravel pits and construction sites.

Bob built the family's first home along the Thornapple River and later purchased several tracts of land in Cascade township and divided them for homesites. A sod farm along the Grand River became Van Strien Airport with the help of son Greg. Bob made it possible for Lowell Township to complete the development of Grand River Riverfront Park with a section of that land.

Bob loved to travel, and he and his wife Pauline journeyed all across North America in their private plane and RV (which they fondly referred to as "the box"). They visited all 50 states together and made many friends along the way. Bob was also an avid skier with the local Silver Streakers and others into his 90's.

Giving back was a constant theme throughout Bob's life. He was a fixture at Cascade Christian Church for 72 years, eventually becoming a lifetime elder. No service was beneath him; whether it was mowing lawns, fixing the steeple, driving kids to camp, steering the property committee, sitting on the board or many other unsung jobs that served the church. He also served as trustee on the Cascade Township Board, transported patients in need for Wings of Mercy, volunteered with Operation Santa Clause and delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.

I could not embed the video but it may be found at the link below.

Van Strien, Robert
(Interview outline and video)
August 15, 2008

Digital Collections.html

Van Strien, Robert (Interview outline and video), 2008

Van Strien, Robert

Moore, Debra (Interviewer)

Robert Van Strien was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Byron Center High School in 1945. After high school he and three of his friends joined the Navy. After basic training he was assigned to be a typist for a Commander aboard the USS Columbus. He served after the war during the Occupation of Japan and typed part of the ships newsletter. After his discharge in 1946 he used his GI bill money to learn how to fly and has owned three planes.


Veterans History Project Collection, (RHC-27)

Robert Van Strien (29:00)
(00:18) Background Information

• Robert was born in Grand Rapids, MI and moved to Byron Center, MI when he was 10
• His dad was a cashier at Byron Center Bank
• He graduated from Byron Center High School in 1945
• Robert joined the Navy with three of his friends after high school

(1:42) Training
• Robert went to Virginia for basic training in late September for 3 months
• He got to go home for one week during training
• Robert then went to the west coast and boarded a ship to Japan

(4:18) Occupation of Japan
• Robert was assigned to be a typist for a commander on the USS Columbus
• The war was over and there was not much work to do
• He was on a radar machine at one time and got to watch them plot out the ship’s route
• Robert helped type part of the ship’s news letter
• They went to Kobe, Japan where the Japanese had a submarine base and took about a
dozen or two subs out to sea and blew them up
• He got assigned to do work on the USS Chicago which had more than 3 thousand people
on board

(11:45) Leave
• Robert and other men had time on leave to go to Tokyo and go shopping
• He would trade his cigarettes for things because he didn’t smoke
• Robert went to Nagasaki to see where the Atom Bomb had been dropped
• A lot of guys went to the bars
• Prostitution was a problem and many of the men on the ships had STDs

(15:38) Impression of Japan
• A lot of Japan was “bombed out flat”
• The mountain sides were full of caves
• He mostly ate on board the ship and didn’t eat Japanese food
• Robert would visit friends on an Army base near by

(20:30) Discharge
• He went to the California and then to the Great Lakes Naval Academy where he was
discharged in 1946
• Robert used the GI Bill to learn how to fly
• He has owned 3 different planes
• After his discharge he bought a truck and hauled milk for 25 years
• He got a deferment from the Korean War because he was married and had a baby
• Robert appreciates living in the United States after being in Japan
• He belongs to the American Legion