October 18, 2006

Wishful Thinking [reading]


Some think of a Christian as one who believes certain things. That Jesus was the Son of God, say. Or that Mary was a virgin. Or that all other religions are wrong.

Some think of a Christian as one who does certain things. Such as going to Church. Giving up liquor and tobacco. Reading the Bible.

Some think of a Christian as just a nice person.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." He didn't say that any particular ethic, doctrine or religion was the way, the truth and the life. He said that he was. He said that it was only by him - by living, by participating in, being caught up by the way of life that he embodied, that was his way.

Thus it is possible to be on Christ's way and with his mark upon you without ever having heard of Christ, and for that reason to be on your way to God though maybe you don't even believe in God.

A Christian is one who is on the way, though not necessarily very far along it, and who has at least some dim and half-baked idea of whom to thank.

A Christian isn't necessarily any nicer than anybody else.

**Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking.


::athada:: said...

the link is defunct.
that's all.

Josh said...

Fixed. :)

::athada:: said...

Quoted @ Amazon:
"Unfermented grape juice is a bland and pleasant drink ... [but] it is a ghastly symbol of the life blood of Jesus Christ, especially when served in individual antiseptic, thimble-sized glasses. Wine is booze, which means it is dangerous and drunk-making. It makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous. It loosens the tongue and breaks the ice especially when served in a loving cup. It kills germs. As symbols go, it is a rather splendid one."

Christin said...

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Christin said...

The irony is that Buechner is NOT an Evangelical, but Evangelicals love him all the more. The same with Anne Lamott. What do these two authors contribute to the literature of faith that Evangelicals are so thirsty for?

Jeremy R said...

Great to see you blogging again buddy.

I like how Dominic Smart defines Christian in his book, "When We Get It Wrong".

Christian simply means "in Christ". The word Christian is only found maybe a couple of times in the NT, but the prepositional phrase "in Christ", is used dozens of times to describe someone who follows Christ.

Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

That new life comes from being dead, buried, and raised "in Christ" so that we now have a new life.

Just a thought. Later buddy.

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