Reconciling Two Stories
Two themes are interwoven through these pages– the mystery of Creation and the mystery of Incarnation. If we get one wrong, we get the other wrong too. (And we certainly have!) For the enlightened Christian both are central – the source and wellspring of all else. They are not two separate, disparate acts of God, two unconnected epic moments for the world. Theologian Karl Rahner reassures us that Creation and Incarnation are two moments and two phases of the one process of God’s self-giving, self-expression and mysterious way of loving.
Creation and nature are the first scriptures where we read the word of God. In Romans 1:20 we find, ‘Ever since the creation of the world, God’s power and divinity – however invisible – have become visible for the mind to see in all the things that God has made’. The 14th Dalai Lama preached ‘There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.’ And Jesus said, ‘The Kingdom is within your own hearts.’ (Lk 17: 21). Your core, your DNA are already and always divine. It is the Spirit of Love implanted in you by your Creator-Mother at the first moment of your being.
People now sense that we’re at a very significant threshold in history where two pivotal stories meet – the love-story revealed in the orthodox theology of nature and grace, and the amazing story revealed in the scientific explorations of a painfully evolving and utterly wonderful world and cosmos. These two stories no longer have to collide with each other: rather do they embrace each other, offering a fuller picture of what is beautiful and true. They both speak of a fundamental connectedness in our origins, evolution and destiny. The emerging cosmology, often called the New Universe Story, can be seen as validating the rich theological (but mostly neglected) vision which has always been at the heart of true Christianity. ‘Science and religion are long-lost dance-partners’, said Rob Bell, (What we talk about when we talk about God;
So, a new moment is emerging – the moment that brings the two stories into a meeting place where they complement each other, shaping yet more clearly a new outline of what is true, shedding a welcome light on both the gifts of religion and the gifts of scientific exploration. We now know that we are living in a very unfinished universe still at the dawn of its creation, a universe that is still evolving and will continue forever to do so. God needs us to energise the momentum. It is evolutionary connection rather than doctrinal correction that will convince a new and younger generation by opening up for them fascinating new approaches to the love and meaning at the heart of Creation, at the heart of evolution, at the heart of Incarnation, at the heart within them, at the heart of God.
A liberating, inviting cosmic energy is now beginning to release some astonishing truths that are streaming from the heart of Incarnation. Pope Francis urges us to take the time and trouble to become more aware of, more interested in, and more excited by the undreamt-of horizons opening up before us. It now seems as though it is not possible to talk, teach, preach or write about God or Christianity except against the astonishing background of a dynamic understanding of the love and meaning in Incarnation, and of an evolving Creation. This is a challenge that will not go away. It will stretch your mind, stir your imagination and challenge your certainties. It is far too soon to put a full stop to the story of our universe and of our God – a story that, in fact, has scarcely begun.
(From an unpublished work by Daniel 2018)