Words from FR. Bob

Postscript (4)

I want thank John Savant for his contribution of last week to this discussion. Along with recognizing the contributions of the theologians of the Cosmic Christ, he has focused our attention on the importance of the imagination for leading to compassion, of uniting our theology with our personal spirituality, of the balance of the mystical and the prophetic in spirituality, of rooting all of our theologies in the new paradigm of an evolving world, and of meeting Christ “in the human city, in the loneliness and poverty, violence and injustice that challenge the coming of communion.”

In conclusion of this series I offer several comments:

All of the theologians of the cosmic Christ recognize in their writings the importance of Jesus’ Kingdom of God for our present world. But to me this recognition in the works of some seems swamped by beautiful discussion and images related to life beyond the resurrection, so that I feel drawn away from this world when reading them.

This is not, however, true of Denis Edwards, my favorite of the group (although he is more concerned about evolution and ecology than Christ of the cosmos), who strongly supports participation of Christians in coming of the Kingdom now. His two books that I have read are Ecology at the heart of Faith and How God Acts. Also good is Karl Rahner whose work is foundational for the whole group. Edward’s book on ecology and Ilia Delio’s books explain Rahner’s thinking.

Theologians of the cosmic Christ work out of a high Christology that seems to me to be heightened even more by their constructs of an evolving risen Christ. To me this is problematic for our relationships with the other great religions. It also seems to me that at least some of the role assigned to the cosmic Christ might be better filled by the Spirit of God. Roger Haight would prefer a “Spirit Christology” to the present pervasive “Logos (or Word) Christology.” I think a fully developed Spirit Christology, if it could be orthodox, would solve this problem. With regard to the Spirit, I note that while cosmic Christ theologians speak of Christ being the animator of our evolving world, Elizabeth Johnson in her “Qwest for the Living God” credits the Spirit of God for the empowerment of the evolutionary process of creation.

Having mentioned the evolutionary manner of the creation of the world, I think it important that all theologies explain how they fit with this new creation paradigm.

Theologians of Liberation Theology, Postmodern Theology, and theology of the Cosmic Christ, all hear the pain of desperation of the poor, exploited and oppressed of the world and also recognize the need of our natural world for healing. This needs a response of every Christian, now, regardless of one’s understanding of life after our resurrection. This response of working for the justice and peace of the kingdom of God should be a priority effort rooted in our spirituality and forcefully promoted by every Christology.

We Christian people, a vast community having much inertia, are only now, after many centuries rediscovering the full meaning of the Kingdom of God and its centrality in the mission of Jesus. At the Last Supper through the giving of His Body and Blood Jesus handed his mission over to his disciples and us, asking us by eating and drinking to join with him in his work for the coming of the Kingdom. It is that to which we recommit every Sunday as we eat and drink in communion with him and are sent forth into our world. As the Kingdom of God was central to Jesus, so he means it to be central to his community in the world.

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