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    175
    The Dangers of Theology

    A Poem
    by Godfrey Rust

    Where the apostles (fortunate of men
    to understand Your mysteries!) had then
    only You, Holy Spirit, to draw on
    we have concordance and the lexicon,
    such commentaries and textual critiques
    that kept our curates occupied for weeks
    as verse by verse they plumb divinity.
    The angels, awed, stand dumbly by as we
    religiously apply the apparatus
    (each new translation failing to placate us),
    prod at our secrets, first this way then that,
    as schoolchildren dissect a classroom rat
    until Atonement dies before our pens
    like blood under a microscopic lens
    and Love, before which once we dared not speak,
    becomes a mistranslation from the Greek.

    Lord, all Your gifts are worthy, and forbid
    that fruits of scholarship should be kept hid,
    but subtle is the pathway to disaster
    when all the scholar's study is his master.
    O Thou who prayed to keep us from temptation
    save us now from our imagination
    lest -- thinking in our ingenuity
    it*s You who falls beneath our scrutiny --
    we file and reference till we can recall
    only the doctrine, not the All-in-All
    and let You Lord (it will not save our necks)
    be crucified again, by card index.

    Copyright © Godfrey Rust ([email protected] ).
    From the collection "Breaking The Chains", Word Books 1992. All rights reserved.

    This page was created on 22 May 1998
    Last updated on 22 May 1998

    Reproduced with Thanks