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

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

R.E. Slater - "Questions I Ask Myself When Nobody is Listening" (a poem)

Religion by Charles Sprague Pearce

What is Apophatic Verse?

It seems the Internet did not wish to answer my question as to what apophatic verse might be. What I got were thoughts on negative theology rather than poetic verse which, I suppose, was on target if "verse" were taken to be referring to Bible verses.

Yet, this was not what I wanted when searching the Internet. And yet, in a skewed, sideways sort of mention, I suppose my query might have unconsciously asked how "Spirit" and "spirit" might coexist between my God and my heart.

As example of this latter mention, when positively declaring "God is infinite" one might redress the topic apophatically - that is, in negative rephrasing - by saying, "God is not finite." Even so, this was neither my question of the Internet nor how I normally wish to come to God's Person or Personage in negative address.

And yet, curiously, in it's reply the Internet went a bit further when expanding on the tangential subject of apophatic prayer - of which question I definitely was neither asking, nor seeking, nor even considering such a reply.... even so, I continued my sideways glance, focusing on the wayward paragraph then reading it finding my heart warmed in a way only the Spirit might do on so late an eve as I quietly read for a third time the Internet's serendipitous contemplation:

What is Apophatic Prayer?

Answered negatively, "Kataphatic" prayer has content using words, images, symbols, and ideas; whereas "Apophatic" prayer has no content. It simply means emptying the mind and heart of restless words and thoughts to find oneself simply resting in the presence of the God in prayerful reflection. Restated,... a centering prayer may be apophatic in result.

R.E. Slater
May 15, 2024

*What is apophatic mysticism? Apophatic mystics claim that nothing positive can be said about objects or states of affairs that they experience. These are absolutely indescribable, or “ineffable.” Thus, apophatic theology typically will be negative theology — meaning, we may only say what God is not. - SEOP: Mysticism

* * * * * *

Francesco Botticini, The Assumption of the Virgin (c. 1475; detail)

Questions I Ask Myself
When Nobody is Listening
by R.E. Slater

Sitting in absence wishing it were not so,
    is unlike sitting in want finding I have no needs.

On a day when my heart is broken,
    only then can it be made whole.

So too is curiosity a curious thing -
    but so is satisfaction when unmet.

There is fullness in every new day,
    yet by nightfall I find myself empty.

When mind and heart restlessly struggle,
    in God's presence I find stillness.

Can the way of the bee and the ant teach anything?
    Or is it foolishness which cannot be taught?

If it is true that a good ploughhorse requires a field,
    then a good student should require a good teacher.

When parents fail whom do they turn to?
    Or, when turning, find none to help.

I cannot say whether Time is a mystery or an illusion,
    though I believe both are true of relationships.

There is also mystery in each new day,
    but by day's end all seems known.

"Can a true thing be less true?" I ask myself.
    And if so, were it never true at all?

Too, can a false thing teach truth?
    ... Perhaps so, when discovering my own error.

Daily chores seem a burdensome imaginary,
    until unmet, then finding they were never imaginary.

Of thoughtful questions there seems no end,
    but upon reflection they seem never asked.

Might salvation be found before one is fallen?
    Or must one fall to be found?
         ... Life lessons are oftimes hard.

Similarly, if one is found had a fall occurred?
    Or was it I who needed most to be lost?

Testimony always seems right when utter,
    but in hindsight, it holds many a cruelty.

A faithful witness, like one's love,
     is most needed when spoken timefully.

To waste a day is to lose more than a day,
    but in truth, many days are just as well lost.

If one's heart goes unheeded,
    does it sour in remiss?

And if one's heart is heeded,
    does the errant day run brighter?

Most days seem futile though, in hindsight,
    they were as necessary as the air we breathe.

A good prose poem blends seamless to the hour,
    even as the wayward hour expires when unnoticed.

Age looks back on youth seeing wonder, miracle,...
    yet youth, looking to age, has yet to comprehend.

R.E. Slater
March 26, 2023

Note: An experiment in apophatic poetry

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