The cliff-face in our theological quarry is the Bible and the rich resources and insights into truth which are to be found in the Christian tradition, and the other world faiths and ideologies that have interacted with the Christian tradition If we are faithful in our quarry work in the heat and sweat of the day, we produce:
- Rough blocks of stone, which others may fashion and shape and use for building strong and lasting edifices – homes and hospitals, schools and churches, places of welcome and of service, places of stability, constancy and love, built of living stones. ® And from our quarry we also produce the small rubble stones called road metal, used for making firm, straight paths on which God’s people may move forward.
- Occasionally we find a gemstone in our quarry, which delights by its beauty, sparkling in the sun.
- Sometimes we come across a crystal, acting like a lens, helping us to see more clearly into the depth of things, to glimpse another world, to fmd a vision that others may share.
- And then, as in every quarry, there’s loads of grit and dust, apparently useless, untidy, pervasive, irritating the eyes and coating the nose and throat. But if perchance a piece of that grit might ultimately find its way into an oyster, it gathers around the irritant layer upon layer until the grit becomes the nucleus of a pearl. The grit stands for the awkward, probing, irritating questions that a lively theology should address to church, society and culture.
So, back to the quarry, to obtain the fragments that serve as road metal, the living stones that make our homes and churches, the grit that provokes the oyster to produce pearls, the crystals that concentrate light into visions, the fragments that generate Utopias, that build up jigsaws of meaning, and that nourish the activity of truthfulness, love and justice which is the practice of God’s Reign.
Is that kind of theology the true service of God and humankind today?