Different gateways into the one garden: Every era has its insights. Today, different theologies are glimpsing God again, not by deducing all there is to know – the Holy will never be available to us in this way – but by illuminating the presence of the divine mystery in our own times. Rather than discussing one aspect of the divine, each particular approach amplifies the meaning of the whole – like different gateways opening into the one garden.
By listening to where the Spirit is moving in people’s lives today, by paying attention to others’ experiences, and interpreting them creatively in the light of biblical faith – and by calling for a universal practice of justice – these theologies shed new light on ways to know the divine. They also bring us hope.
The fact that voices from around the world – including many outside the centers of established power – are contributing to our understanding of God indicates the dawning of a truly global Christianity. So the quest goes on, and will continue to go on, as long as the unfathomable mystery of God calls human beings into the future. A beautiful soliloquy from Christopher Fry’s A Sleep of Prisoners speaks of this mystery:
The human heart can go to the lengths of God.
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move,
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul men [and women] ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
Is exploration into God.
Christopher Fry, A Sleep of Prisoners