When I was away on my mini-sabbatical a couple of weeks ago, Shannon Huffman Polson had a wonderful two-part article on Teilhard de Chardin at Patheos. The article describes how Ms. Polson was listening to an On Being radio interview with biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann. Professor Brueggemann was describing how God will always be greater than our human imagination of Him can be and that Christianity calls us to live a life of “holy unease”. Ms. Polson then describes the life and vision of Teilhard de Chardin as examples of this:
“The reality of our life and the reality of God are not contained in most of our explanatory schemes,” Brueggemann warns.
Tippett asks: “You also think that that unease is a holy thing, or can be a holy thing, that, in fact, the Bible calls the faithful not to be too settled and too comfortable.”
“I think that’s exactly right,” says Brueggemann.
How might we learn to live into a holy unease? By learning from those who did.
Ms. Polson then describes Teilhard de Chardin’s grand vision that God is continuing to create through evolution in both the physical and spiritual dimensions:
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin saw creation as dynamic in matter and spirit, and understood the world and specifically human consciousness as continually evolving. He believed creation to be the process of divine incarnation, all of the world perpetually moving toward God. The process was not and could not yet be complete. As a result “nothing is profane here below for those who have eyes to see.” All is sacred.
In [Teilhard de] Chardin’s Mass of the World, written in the vast expanses of the Inner Mongolian Ordos Desert, he prays: “the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.”
God is no passive player, as [Teilhard de] Chardin writes in The Divine Milieu:“God truly waits for us in all things, unless indeed he advances to meet us.”