Re-framing the Faith

Sunrises, however, are not our major stuck point. Seasons are. The words above, “Once again the world engage, blessed with love or pained by rage.” are penned with Tevye in mind. “One season following another, laden with happiness and tears.” The new Cosmic Creation Story is not a cyclical story. There is a single arc to Creation, from the big bang towards increasing diversity and complexity.

Seasons, like sunrises, are an anthropomorphic framing of Nature. They exist, but their immediacy can obscure the greater directionality of Creation. Ruth Nickodemus tells us that Creation Spirituality bends towards the three cosmogenic principles of the universe – differentiation, autopoiesis, and communion. Thomas Berry insists that today’s Creation and Christian theology must be rooted in our understanding of the universe as an “emergent reality.” Seasons and cycles can lead us into caverns of confusion when what we need is a clear way forward.

I believe our Christian tradition and Scriptures have much to offer as we articulate the new Cosmic Creation Story. New knowledge challenges not only our words, but our basic assumptions as well. “Re-phrasing” allowed Tevye to bypass the matchmaker and rejoice as Hodel married for love. However, his inability to “re-frame” his faith meant he could not do the same for his younger daughter, Bielke.

Thomas Berry suggests we are coming to the end of the 65 million year long Cenozoic Age, and entering what he calls the “Ecozoic Age.” This is the lens through which he re-frames the question of Christian faith and life. In a similar way we read in the Bible, “Behold, I make all things new!” It is time for Christianity to claim the telos of its proclamation.

Like the Cosmic Creation Story the Christian framing of life is directional. “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” says the Lord, “The First, and the Last.” In Genesis life begins green, in a garden. Yet, this is not where the story ends. Strangely enough the book of Revelation shows the Omega point of life to be a city. A city! Jacques Ellul in his book The Meaning of the City discusses this point at some length. His assertion is that the city is the Bible’s most consistent symbol of human rebellion and Sin. Yet, it is precisely this human contribution to life, metaphorically speaking, which is woven into the fulfillment of all. Reconciliation is emergence and evolution. All that has been in brought into all that is to be. Human brokenness has been taken into the very being of the Divine.


Cubist, anarchist, leftist

Borg like, monolithic

Man’s measure cubits

Trinity imprisoned by the corners of creation,

squared, cubed, secularized


One hundred forty four cubits in every direction

Techno boring

Industrial ugly

Soldier secure

Sign of all that isn’t


Adorned with jewels

Pure gold

High walls with gaping gates

Of pearl

tripled, quadrupled, redeemed

Inviting, welcoming in every direction

Coming down

From heaven


Sign of all that is



Feng Shui salvation

Yin yang yes

Acceptance, forgiveness, integration, accommodation

Gray-green reality

Chrysolite creation

Topaz tolerance within prismatic rainbow wonders

Pflag possibilities

Sign of all that is


Dave Brauer-Rieke 3/21/2008


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Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke on Reframing the Faith – Part 2 of 3

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