Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 120

BOOK REVIEWS Dei. Quoting the theologian and missiologist Leslie Newbigin, Metzger writes: The Christian confession of Jesus as Lord does not involve any attempt to deny the reality of the work of God in the lives and thoughts and prayers of men and women outside the Christian church. On the contrary, it ought to involve an eager expectation of, a looking for, and a rejoicing in the evidence of that work. (p. xi) Yet, if such rejoicing in the unexpected presence of Christ should not be mistaken for a sort of melting-pot syncretism, it should not be mistaken either for seeking refuge in a safe and superficial happiness. These encounters, even—perhaps especially—among friends, are risky. St. Augustine in his Confessions once likened being saved in Christ as riding a board of driftwood, ragged among the waves; here in Evangelical Zen a sort of beautiful, oceanic melancholy haunts the prose of the text as both men serenely reflect on the great costs that purchased them their joy. The real question must be: when the waves come, what are you holding on to? Such is not a simple thought experiment. This text came in the midst of the greatest cost: Abbot Kyogen passed away before final publication as his heart failed. It is testimony to the commitment and legacy of both that in Kyogen’s passing, the dialogue efforts did not cease. This was not a publicity stunt, nor an endeavor born merely of reluctant necessity. Paul Louis Metzger and Kyogen Carlson had been dialoguing since 2003, and since 2005 the Dharma Rain Zen Center and New Wine, New Wineskins, an academic institute out of Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, have engaged in monthly potlucks and dialogues. I myself had the pleasure to meet Kyogen on several occasions. It is wonderful to see that, through this work, Kyogen’s memory lives on. At the end of Herman Hesse’s famous novel, Siddhartha, a man named Govinda hears stories of an enlightened ferryman, and travels to meet him. Initially, Govinda does not recognize that this ferryman is in fact his long lost childhood friend Siddhartha. It is not until Siddhartha requests Govinda to kiss him on the forehead that the truths of the universe are unlocked to Govinda. In other words, a plausible way to read this ending is to say that truth is discovered only by the love bestowed within the foundations of friendship. This is not alien to Christianity. After his resurrection, the Gospel of John records that it is in the midst of a fire Christ prepared for them that the disciples first recognize he is in fact the Christ they thought they lost (Jn 21). In Luke, the disciples only recognize the resurrected Christ as he breaks bread with them (Lk 24:35). While there are many other themes 117