“Revelation comes in two volumes; the Bible and nature.” Thomas Aquinas
“When a Story becomes scripture, it ceases to evolve.” Michael Dowd, Thank God for Evolution
As we think of Martin Luther’s revolutionary challenge to the Catholic Church some 494 years ago last Sunday we honour his role in breaking down the stranglehold of the Papacy and Priesthood over creative community.
But to stop the move towards more divinity at his 95 theses, to not take the next step, would ultimately be to betray him. As Peter Rollins has shown us, sometimes our fidelity to the Highest will involve betrayal. Some of those who were brought up in Protestantism feel that many of its traditions and tenants no longer serve the ongoing “rule of God”. One such idea, so life-giving half a millenium ago, is “Sola Scriptura” (I’ve written on this before.)
So, in the Spirit of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, I’d like to propose a slogan for the now:
Sola Storia Universale.
This follows Luthers “sola” (only), but instead of implying exclusion, I’d want to say we cannot afford to settle for any story that is less than universal. It’s great that we have a Christian tradition, for it does nourish us in faith for the most part, however, it does need to find its place within larger circles of story within the Storyverse.
Firstly, the Christian story is a subset of the Abrahamic one, involving our sibling faiths Islam and Judaism. This in turn belongs to the broader Wisdom tradition of the world, be they Vedic, Taoist, or Shamanic. And of course Wisdom is a part of the 200 000 year old tale of Homo Sapiens.
But humans are still extremely late comers; Earth is only some 4 million years old, less than a third, of the age of the Universe at large, from which it was born.
I do not believe we have an alternative but to radically broaden our frame of reference to fully include what our discoveries have taught us, that all things are connected, that the universe increases in complexity (love), diversity, and intimacy (rock-single cell-multi cell-reptile-mammal-man) and that to relate to this Supreme Whole, we need an arsenal of myth that is appropriate to the task.
If you are searching for reformation, for God, for ultimate truth, you cannot afford to settle for less that the biggest story… Sola Storia Universale.
These thoughts are offered a part of Something Beautiful Podcast’s 1more.