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

Saturday, May 11, 2024

R.E. Slater - Personal Update, May 2024

Me and my grandsons reading a story together

Hello to all. I'm not promising to be back in full but will begin to find a new rhythm since the massive collapse of my health in late January. As update, I'm healthy again but without a foot, and am learning to hobble around until a prosthetic can be installed and I learn to walk again. As such, though healthy my energy and ambition levels waffle up-and-down day-in and day-out.

Secondly, I have built this website to serve as a personal wikipedia of sorts... that is, I have shared by evangelical journey from fundamentalism to conservative evangelicalism to post-evangelicalism. Along the way I've discussed many of the major Christian doctrines which I had accepted, then questioned, and now have modified through process-based Christian theology.

Thirdly, Whitehead's process metaphysic became the best way for me to update my past church and Christian heritage. It's up to date, contemporary, and comports very well with today's intellectual discussions across all areas and disciplines of human thought, belief, and endeavor. I have become very, very happy with this discovery.

Fourthly, Process Christianity can now easily absorb and expand conservative evangelicalism and it's sister-religion, progressive evangelicalism. Using Whitehead's process metaphysic and cosmology Christians can more completely speak of God, Jesus, the Spirit, God's Love, and what the Christian mission has been and now is when informed by Christ's love.

Fifthly, this entire journey and academic recount has been listed as topics and/or more completely indexed in the column to the right. Use all 3000+ articles in it as a help to your own faith journey. I have written it to be both easy to read and academic where it needs to be. I have also left this site open ended for the generations to come to add their own insights and faith journeys.

Sixth, I have several series I have pursuing all at once. Though the posts may seem unrelated to one another as I skip around, I will eventually - if I haven't already - leave a clear reading order through appropriately titled Indexes. Here are some of the series I am working on:

  • Evolution in general
  • The Evolution of God and Religion
  • The Evolution of human societies/civilizations
  • All things Process - Keeping Up to Date in Studies
  • Process-based Cosmology including Quantum Sciences and AI
  • Amazing Quantum AI and How to Use It
  • Why MAGA Christianity is Heretical
  • How to Build Processual Ecological Societies
  • Etc

Biblical series as I come across them:
  • The development of the Torah
  • The development of the Jewish Canon
  • The development of Human Language
  • My Senior Capstone Project from Seminary
  • Some of my Inductive College and Sem Studies
  • The Lukan Parables
  • The Kingdom of God
  • The Sermon of the Mount
  • etc

Seventh, and last, since retiring many years ago the cost of reading material has gone up. I do not carry ads on this site as I detest anything which takes away from our focus. However, I do need help with resources from time to time and believe I should place a link for a capped annual stipend to help me with costs from this point forward. So look for that to come near the top of the site. As example, the books listed below would be a help in me developing how Christianity got to where it is based upon proto-beliefs in ancient human history. 

Blessings to all,

R.E. Slater
May 11, 2024

* * * * * * * *

I'm very glad to see other theologs picking up on the idea of love in religion. My past evangelical faith claims to speak God's love but it's "God of War" and "War Crimes" + it's "MAGA God" is not a loving God but a devolved image of man playing God.
So if Judaism can claim love sans it's current administration of radical rightwing war lords killing Gaza children then I think Christians should also let go of their evangelical tribulation, hell, and civil injustice to all non-white anti-supremacists. - re slater

Book Description

A profound, startling new understanding of Jewish life, illuminating the forgotten heart of Jewish theology and practice: love.

A dramatic misinterpretation of the Jewish tradition has shaped the history of the West: Christianity is the religion of love, and Judaism the religion of law. In the face of centuries of this widespread misrepresentation, Rabbi Shai Held―one of the most important Jewish thinkers in America today―recovers the heart of the Jewish tradition, offering the radical and moving argument that love belongs as much to Judaism as it does to Christianity. Blending intellectual rigor, a respect for tradition and the practices of a living Judaism, and a commitment to the full equality of all people, Held seeks to reclaim Judaism as it authentically is. He shows that love is foundational and constitutive of true Jewish faith, animating the singular Jewish perspective on injustice and protest, grace, family life, responsibilities to our neighbors and even our enemies, and chosenness.

Ambitious and revelatory, Judaism Is About Love illuminates the true essence of Judaism―an act of restoration from within.

Book Description

Archaeological excavation in the Holy Land has exploded with the resurgence of interest in the historical roots of the biblical Israelites. Israelite Religions offers Bible students and interested lay leaders a survey of the major issues and approaches that constitute the study of ancient Israelite religion. Unique among other books on the subject, Israelite Religions takes the Bible seriously as a historical source, balancing the biblical material with relevant evidence from archaeological finds.

Book Description

Few topics are as broad or as daunting as the God of Israel, that deity of the world's three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who has been worshiped over millennia. In the Hebrew Bible, God is characterized variously as militant, beneficent, inscrutable, loving, and judicious. Who is this divinity that has been represented as masculine and feminine, mythic and real, transcendent and intimate?

The Origin and Character of God is Theodore J. Lewis's monumental study of the vast subject that is the God of Israel. In it, he explores questions of historical origin, how God was characterized in literature, and how he was represented in archaeology and iconography. He also brings us into the lived reality of religious experience. Using the window of divinity to peer into the varieties of religious experience in ancient Israel, Lewis explores the royal use of religion for power, prestige, and control; the intimacy of family and household religion; priestly prerogatives and cultic status; prophetic challenges to injustice; and the pondering of theodicy by poetic sages.

A volume that is encyclopedic in scope but accessible in tone and was honored with all three of the major awards in the field in three seperate disciplines (American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR) 2020 Frank Moore Cross Award, 2021 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, 2021 Biblical Archaeology Society Biennial Publication Award for the Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible), The Origin and Character of God is an essential addition to the growing scholarship of one of humanity's most enduring concepts.

Book Description

Yahweh is the proper name of the biblical God. His early character is central to understanding the foundations of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic monotheism. As a deity, the name appears only in connection with the peoples of the Hebrew Bible, but long before Israel, the name is found in an Egyptian list as one group in the land of tent-dwellers, the Shasu. This is the starting-point for Daniel E. Fleming's sharply new approach to the god Yahweh. In his analysis, the Bible's 'people of Yahweh' serve as a clue to how one of the Bronze Age herding peoples of the inland Levant gave its name to a deity, initially outside of any relationship to Israel. For 150 years, the dominant paradigm for Yahweh's origin has envisioned borrowing from peoples of the desert south of Israel. Fleming argues in contrast that Yahweh was not taken from outsiders. Rather, this divine name is evidence for the diverse background of Israel itself.

Book Description

This compendium examines the origins of the God Yahweh, his place in the Syrian-Palestinian and Northern Arabian pantheon during the bronze and iron ages, and the beginnings of the cultic veneration of Yahweh. Contributors analyze the epigraphic and archeological evidence, apply fundamental considerations from the cultural and religious sciences, and analyze the relevant Old Testament texts.

Book Description

Who invented God? When, why, and where? Thomas Römer seeks to answer these questions about the deity of the great monotheisms―Yhwh, God, or Allah―by tracing Israelite beliefs and their context from the Bronze Age to the end of the Old Testament period in the third century BCE.

That we can address such enigmatic questions at all may come as a surprise. But as Römer makes clear, a wealth of evidence allows us to piece together a reliable account of the origins and evolution of the god of Israel. Römer draws on a long tradition of historical, philological, and exegetical work and on recent discoveries in archaeology and epigraphy to locate the origins of Yhwh in the early Iron Age, when he emerged somewhere in Edom or in the northwest of the Arabian peninsula as a god of the wilderness and of storms and war. He became the sole god of Israel and Jerusalem in fits and starts as other gods, including the mother goddess Asherah, were gradually sidelined. But it was not until a major catastrophe―the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah―that Israelites came to worship Yhwh as the one god of all, creator of heaven and earth, who nevertheless proclaimed a special relationship with Judaism.

A masterpiece of detective work and exposition by one of the world’s leading experts on the Hebrew Bible, The Invention of God casts a clear light on profoundly important questions that are too rarely asked, let alone answered.

Book Description

Understanding of the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Israelites has changed considerably in recent years. It is now increasingly accepted that the biblical presentation of Israelite religion is often at odds with the historical realities of ancient Israel's religious climate. As such, the diversity inherent to ancient Israelite religion is often overlooked-particularly within university lecture halls and classrooms. This textbook draws together specialists in the field to explain, illustrate and analyze this religious diversity. Following an introductory essay guiding the reader through the book, the collection falls into three sections.

The first focuses on conceptual diversities. It deconstructs common assumptions about Israelite religion and reconstructs Israelite perceptions of the nature of the religious world. The second section examines socio-religious diversities. It studies the varied social contexts of ancient Israelites, exploring the relationship between worshippers' social locations and their perceptions and experiences of the divine. The third section deals with geographical diversities. It seeks to understand how geographical distinctions engender certain characteristics within Israelite religion and impact upon religious perceptions.

Underpinning each essay in this volume is a shared concern to: (1) explore the ways in which worshippers' socio-cultural contexts shape and colour their religious beliefs and practices; (2) assess the role, benefits and limitations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in reconstructing ancient Israelite religion.

Book Description

The scholarship of theology and religion teaches us that the God of the Bible was without a body, only revealing himself in the Old Testament in words mysteriously uttered through his prophets, and in the New Testament in the body of Christ. The portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as merely metaphorical, figurative, or poetic. But, in this revelatory study, Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a vividly corporeal image of God: a human-shaped deity who walks and talks and weeps and laughs, who eats, sleeps, feels, and breathes, and who is undeniably male.

Here is a portrait - arrived at through the author's close examination of and research into the Bible - of a god in ancient myths and rituals who was a product of a particular society, at a particular time, made in the image of the people who lived then, shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world. From head to toe - and every part of the body in between - this is a god of stunning surprise and complexity, one we have never encountered before.

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