Saturday, November 21, 2009

(3) Cosmic Christ

Following my examination of Teilhard's "Christogenesis," I
had to admit that I felt disappointed. Earlier in my theological
training, I felt shot down by all the recent academic studies of
the Historical Jesus. And now it would seem that Teilhard
indulged in religious *speculation.*

Again I felt shot down. During my youth I was so enraptured
by Teilhard's thought, accepting the "surface" of his thought
with then no idea how he came about it. Sometimes it hurts
being a scientist. And as a careful theologian, now more
scholarly aware, I felt sad.

Still I refused to write-off Teilhard. Basically he was trying to
get a grip on the biggest Mystery we face: the meaning of the
universe, the meaning of our role in it. And I have no doubt
he was sincere in his faith. For him, it somehow all made
sense to declare the Historical Jesus and the Cosmic Christ
as one and the same.

But the question arises: what about the billions of other people
on this planet who are not Christian? Can they be forced-fed
to believe Teilhard? Of course not. Even his own Church
silenced Teilhard for nearly his entire adult life. Earlier I felt
this a cruel infringement on academic freedom, but now I
must take pause and wonder.

Still, after his death, Teilhard's thought was published--and
thousands upon thousands of Christians (and even maybe
others) took hope that we were engaged in a majestic
universal process that really was about helping to build the
Body of Christ in a grand and new way. Even today, some
hope--though the memory of Teilhard has faded considerably.

Yet, his old idea of Cosmogenesis keeps being refreshed by
today's scientists--employing new scientific theoretics enabled
by modern technology. But most no longer dare to give a
name to this phenomenon that we still witness.