The modern Western understanding of religion is bluntly, terrible. One would be forced to say the reason for this terrible state of affairs is a lack of understanding just what theology means from an enlightened perspective in which religious practice is the direct realization of theos or the divine.
Theos, which is a special word, has to point beyond words and the mundane. In this regard, what it points to is both unspeakable and unimaginable. We cannot explain it sufficiently to show it nor can we with our imagination, imagine theos. The idea of some super being or super boon-giver is repugnant to theos.
If there is a barrier that we have difficulty overcoming it is the world that is created by our senses and the natural intelligence that we are born with which has to cope with it, including our corporeal body. This intelligence is limited to Darwinian fitness. Making matters worse for the understanding of theos, whereas our sensory world is filled with enumerable facts which are things that have actual existence for us, and we could even say are useful, too, theos is never a determinate fact. It lies beyond our sensory nets, in other words.
What we are left with in theology are abstract concepts and vague descriptions. To be honest, our position is absurd because theos is neither a concept nor describable except to give a vague account in words and play metaphysics.
Does all this sound Buddhist? Yes it does. You can bet your bottom dollar on that. Theology doesn’t escape the Buddha’s teaching. Theologians, even with great faith, face a barrier that will not even allow faith passage. Faith is not enough!
In the teaching of Zen, even with our faith we must still pass through that barrier/check-point 関 if we are to see theos or tathatā both of which are the ground of being, the very substance of all that we perceive, including our thoughts. And we can converge with it. In Christianity converging with theos is called theosis. There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the realization of theos and tathatā. Only the unawakened would believe such nonsense and make a division where there is none possible.