I began this blog in a time of inspired ignorance and confusion. And that is how I remain, confused and excited, passionate and constrained. A paradox of ideas. I love paradoxes. They thrill and they provide energy. They are to ideas what membranes are to biology. Rowan Williams speaks of paradoxes as though they might imply failure, opacity. He has a point. If we cannot find a way through the thicket of thoughts and uncertainty, then perhaps we need to retrace our steps. If an idea does not resolve to clarity then perhaps we are thinking about it wrong. But then again, a fine paradox can be the heart of a new thought. Stick with them. They are the interfaces of newness.
I began this blog with some kind of intention about the ecological agenda. I wanted to describe my thoughts about our lives as Christians and how that could influence environmental theology and how we live as practical examples of good stewards. The plan was to explore and expand the phrase ‘the cost of living’ using its internal ambiguity as a paradox for who and how we are. The cost of living is that we destroy and ultimately that is all we can expect. Yes, it is a play on words. and attitudes: “What are the consequences of being alive: the cost of living?”
My thinking has developed.
I am still of scrambling around in the undergrowth, but have come to see that the phrase and its ambiguity speaks to far more than the world around us. It speaks to the whole of our faith. I am aware of the oddness of thinking there is more to our lives than this world around us. It counters common sense. Truly, however, a full appreciation of discipleship must incorporate a metaphysics and that cannot, obviously, be constrained by the world.
So, the cost of living — and the ambiguity it brings — is a phrase to help us consider the way. The way to God. Yes, God is infinitely gracious and eternally merciful, and yes, that might well imply that we need do nothing to receive forgiveness and perpetual joy through salvation. Equally, though, the love we receive is given to us in a universe that has physical laws. These laws describe decay and entropy and we cannot ignore such features. They are part of creation. They bring with them responsibility and duty.
This blog, therefore remains at its root an endeavour to reflect upon the theology of our place in the world. But is not simply concerned with ecotheology. There is a crisis in our world that converges into all we are and all we can achieve. As conflict and reconciliation seem ever more divergent, the cost of living is to bring ourselves into one.