Quotes/Comments from 2013 Trinity Institute
We are engaged, not only with discovering the meaning of religion in an evolutionary context, but with becoming instruments of the power of God. Otis Gaddis III
Embracing the cross of Christ is a necessary aspect of becoming a good Buddhist. Chung Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary
The cross of Christ demonstrates God’s solidarity with all victims of torture and injustice, and God’s commitment to restorative justice, which (unlike retributive justice) seeks to repair and make right the harm done to God’s creation. Derek Flood, author
“The American prison system teaches offenders that you must be violent to survive. You do not learn empathy by being shamed and abused.” Derek Flood
The Good news of the Cross applies to all of creation, not just human beings…”the hope promised by the gospel …has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.” Colossians 1: 23. Biological life on earth is essentially a Tree, with all living species forming the part above the ground, and the remains of all the dead supporting that life from below the ground. The cross of Christ affirms the presence of God in that colossal death of millions…God in compassionate solidarity with all life, all suffering, all death. Elizabeth Johnson, Fordham University.
The cross of Christ reveals God’s “deep incarnation” into the “tissues of biological life.” Elizabeth Johnson
“Abundant Life” does not mean that I have more than someone else. It means “God wants the best for everything and for everyone all the time, and the integrity of creation.” The question is, do we trust that God can and will bring this about? Almeda Wright, Yale University
In evolutionary terms, “Abundant Life” means the capacity for adaptation. By virtue of consciousness, humans are uniquely equipped to direct the course of their own evolutionary future. The environment responds to these choices and successfully adaptive traits develop and get passed on. David Sloan Wilson, Binghamton University
“Tight churches” are those that resist diversity and value uniformity. “Loose churches” welcome a wide variety of interpretations. Every denomination and congregation has a “tight/loose” continuum. “Looseness” increases along with feelings of existential security. The less secure, the more tight. David Sloan Wilson
“Prosociality”= any behavior undertaken for the welfare of the total group. When prosocials interact with other prosocials there is a high likelihood of success for the group. David Sloan Wilson.
“The goal of the church is to facilitate the gathering of prosocial people who learn how to find abundance even in places of greatest scarcity. “ J Sams
The cross of Christ is not a glorification of suffering, but rather God’s protest against injustice and violence. The Rev. Otis Gaddis III
The world we inhabit has a Trinitarian shape…”Past/Present/Future”…”Formlessness/Form/Consciousness”…”Father/Son/Spirit”. Christian prayer takes us through the Form (Jesus) to the Formlessness (Father) in Discerning Consciousness (Spirit). The Rev. Otis Gaddis III, Episcopal Chaplain to Students at University of Maryland
The movement of such prayer is analogous to what we experience in infancy, where language develops as a means of communicating with others, and only then can be used to talk to ourselves in a way we could never have done in our pre-linguistic state. By the same token, the forms (i.e. “language”) of religion can be used to access the formlessness of God, which lies “beyond” any form or language. Indeed, “only those who can utilize the forms are equipped to move beyond them…”. Such persons are, by virtue of the Discerning Spirit, able to themselves become “forms” of the Formless God. This is what is meant when the Gospel of John says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Otis Gaddis III.