Dogma in the middle-ages up to the present gravitates toward simplistic ultimatums and hubris. The so-called dogma of the Alexandrian Mystics is of a different order. The Jesus Paradox counters static dogmatic religion by focusing on dynamic creative tension. The Alexandrian Mystics’ understanding of the incarnation (the Jesus Paradox) isn’t simple union, but dynamic creative union.

Today’s liberals often get lost in complexity and fail to define anything decisively. The Alexandrian Mystics bypass the unending thicket of complex arguments by holding fast to Jesus: God’s human incarnation: God’s dynamic moving target.

The essence of fundamentalism is the same as extreme liberalism—absolutism about words. In the hands of both, words lose flexibility and become fixed. The Christian Right asserts that “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” The Christian Left insists that “N.P.R. said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Neither of these statements reflects the dynamic mystery of the incarnation—the resounding depth of the Jesus Paradox.

Political/religious convictions and agendas take a back seat to basic respect (Luke 6:31). Words, at their best gracefully bear one another’s burdens in mutual respect, confronting when necessary. This dynamic interchange expands horizons. Those with entrenched positions on the Left or Right are annoyed or infuriated by this presumption!

I appreciate Georges Bataille: “True language is poetic.” Poetry doesn’t make heavy-handed demands, demeaning people who miss the mark. It quietly invites transformation.