We Christians are a praying people. Many of us pray as we go to sleep at night. Some bow their heads to say “grace” at meals. Many whisper one liners throughout the day at the onset of some less than pleasant experience. Maybe the holiest of us are the ones able to muster a prayer through sleep-crusted eyes as we moan and groan our way out of bed in the morning. Ask many, however, what prayer is and you’re bound to get a few different responses. Some of these responses will be complimentary, others mutually exclusive. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Meanings of Christianity
Righteousness. What a confusing and misunderstood word. We use it and use it over and over again without much critical thought as to what it means. Thanks to our traditional focus on personal piety, this word has taken on overtones of a personal experience. One is righteous if they are upright, pure, above reproach in their personal morality. Clearly that is part of what makes someone righteous, but it ignores a whole side of the word that is of utmost importance, perhaps of even more importance than this personal side of the word. Continue reading
Another frequently used word in our vocabulary is the word ‘faith’. “Do you have faith in Jesus?” we ask. He’s struggling with his faith. She has told me that she has doubts that challenge her faith daily. Faith can mean belief, trust, religion, or a plethora of other things. In this way, faith is a word that we need to figure out. What does this word mean? What does it have to do with following Jesus? Continue reading
I feel that “Gospel” is one of the richest words in the Christian vocabulary. That is probably evident in it’s widespread use across the theological spectrum. All the way from Roman Catholics to the most fundamentalist evangelical to the progressive, emergent movement, the word Gospel figures predominantly in our thought and speech. Pope John Paul II wrote the encyclical letter “The Gospel of Life,” whereas evangelicals speak of preaching the “Gospel” to the ends of the earth. There are Southern Gospel quartets and African-American Gospel Choirs. In spite of this extensive use, and perhaps because of it, the word ‘Gospel’ has lost much of it’s original meaning. Continue reading
I’m currently reading Frederick Buechner’s devotional book, Listening to Your Life, and the following quote caught my interest.
“I shall go to my grave,” a friend of mine once wrote me, “feeling that Christian thought is a dead language – one that feeds many living ones to be sure, . . . but which I would no more use overtly than I would speak Latin.” I suppose he is right, more right than wrong anyway. If the language that clothes Christianity is not dead, it is at least, for many, dying…. Continue reading