30 MAY 1952, Page 18

" Ascended into Heaven f)

SIR,—Can you allow me space for a few lines of comment on the article by the Rev. J.- Stafford Wright in your issue of May 23rd, under the title Ascended into Heai.en. I do not desire to combat anything he says, but only to make a single suggestion which, personally, I find eases the situation for anyone who has to interpret " the faith once delivered to the saints " against the background of the philosophy and science of today. It is this. The oriental mind of the first century A.D., like that of today in Islamic lands, schooled by the Old Testament poet-prophets, thought in metaphors (as indeed we must and do today). But does that compel us to believe that they were the slaves of their own thought-processes ? Moreover, that the long unfolding of the Divine Revelation, which culminated in " Jesus, the Son of God," involved what the N.T. calls an oikonomia ("economy "), i.e., a con- descension on the part of God to humanity's limited intelligence, seems to me to remove, once and for all, the difficulties of a literal interpretation of St. Luke's narrative in his " Gospel and Acts." " Locality " or " temporality," to our minds today, cannot be predi- cated of Ultimate Reality !—I am, Sir, your obedient servant, H. MARTYN SANDERS, Gresham Professor in Divinity. Oxford & Cambridge University Club, Pall Mall, S.W.I.