Monday 19 June 2006


“Instead of strangling reason, [mystery] invites expansion of the mind and heart. It is not a mystery that leaves us dumb and terrified, but one that leaves us happy, singing and giving thanks. It is not a wall placed in front of us, but a doorway through which we go to the infinity of God.”

—Leonardo Boff, Trinity and Society (London: Burns & Oates, 1988), p. 159.


byron smith said...

It is such a shame when 'mystery' is abused to do the opposite: to close down possibilities and human speech. There will always be a place for silence before God: indeed, we cannot proceed at all unless we begin in silence, in listening. Yet if silence becomes a catch-cry to muffle discussion, then there is no listening. All we have instead is the shrill insistence of the librarian: shhhh!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Byron.

I've just been reading Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science and Religion (2005) by John Polkinghorne, who writes: "The mysterious ineffability of the divine, emphasised by what is called apophatic theology, must always be borne in mind in the course of honest enquiry. Yet the mystery card should be the last one to be played in theological discussion, for Christians believe that God has acted to make the divine nature known in humanly accessible ways, particularly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Cynthia R. Nielsen said...

Refreshing words--for us mystery should issue in worship, as Boff says, "...singing and giving thanks."


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