Father Joe, who teaches biology, explained to me that soup was a metaphor for how he approached faith. “Your mind is like a big pot. Throw in evolution, cosmology, everything that science might yet discover, history, theology, scripture, and everything the church teaches. Mix it, cook it, and let it simmer. If it tastes right, I have a faith I can live with.” The shroud, he told me, is too overpowering of a flavor. “If it’s real, it is too close to saying something certain. Faith is trust in the absence of certainty. Certainty spoils the soup.”
I’m an Episcopalian. In the Anglican Communion—the Episcopal Church in the United States is part of the Anglican Communion—we have long had a way of explaining our faith, and indeed how we act on our faith, as resting upon a three-legged stool. The legs are scripture, reason and tradition. Remove any one leg and the stool will not stand. Sometimes, with a bit too much pride, we call this metaphorical stool the genius of Anglicanism. Perhaps soup is a better metaphor. The idea, however, is the same.