The Z-Theory: Mystery, Discovery, and History

In 2009 I had a dream that relieved my theological anxiety and brought peace:

"There is a huge waterfall. Oceans of water pour over the rim of the cliff. The water tumbles down and explodes at the bottom. The deluge spreads over the land covering and consuming everything."

This blog unpacks my dream and how it comes together to form the theory known as the Z-theory.


z-theory image by nakedpastor david hayward


Mystery: "There is a huge waterfall. Oceans of water pour over the rim of the cliff."

We can't see above the rim, but we can guess that it is an infinite source. There is no proof. Only evidence. We can't even say it exists. We just know it must be. It is. This is That-Which-We-Call-God, the Absolute, the Source, Wholly Other, Nirvana, Allah, Yahweh, the Unknowable, the Frontier, the closeted, the Undiscovered.

History: "The water tumbles down and explodes at the bottom." 

This is the evidence we have of what is above the rim. The infinite and invisible are now finite and visible. This is the revelation of the Wholly Other, the exposure, the incarnation of the mystery, the transmission of truth, the manifestation of the unknown, and the discoveries of science. It is the encounter and reception of the unknown now known, the mysterious now perceived. This is what we call the Christ, the Torah, the Buddha, scientific discovery, revelation, the condescension, the incarnation, the transmission, the embodiment, the coming down, and the coming out.

Religion: "The deluge spreads out over the land covering and consuming everything." 

This is the realm of time, history, and culture. This is where spirit and nature meet. It is the manifestation of the good in the muck of the human story. It is forgiveness, reconciliation, and love that find expression in community. Where truth, justice, and love abide, this is the working of spirit in the turmoil of history. This is what we call the spirit, the application of the revelation, the discovery, and the made known. This is the historical impact of the mess and beauty of this world. This is community, unity, peace, and justice amid suffering. Here scriptures are written that try to point to what's been revealed and seen. It spreads throughout the earth filling and fulfilling all living things, binding all together as one.

Shared Realities 

This trinitarian structure describes the reality that everyone shares. No one has exclusive rights. Though our language articulates our own vantage points, they all describe the same thing from a superficial to a complex level.


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