I should like to consider a subject that I have often wished someone had explained 20 years ago when I was an undergraduate in college. I refer to the fundamental logic of the Christian faith—the theological foundations of our religion.
Surely the rudiments of Christian theology are familiar to most of us. We have all been to church, listened to sermons, uttered prayers, read the Bible, attended Sunday school. But the trouble is that a person can do all these things—and I speak from sad personal experience—without comprehending the broad framework of Christian thought, and without grasping the profound questions to which Christianity provides answers. Once you do get such a panoramic view, the subordinate ideas and details of information fit into place easily—like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle when suddenly you discover what the puzzle depicts. I was 10 years out of college before I had any grasp of theology worthy of the name, and when this happened, it was like being given a key to a whole new way of looking at human existence. If some of you are experiencing this same delayed understanding of what Christianity is about, perhaps my remarks—though coming from a religious amateur—will be of help.
The first thing we need to understand is that the biblical view of God and man differs in important respects from the prevailing assumptions in America today. The average American is not a Christian in any real sense. Christianity is, and perhaps always has been, a minority religion; most of our contemporaries worship security or technology or a system of government or a set of ethical ideals or social evolution—all of which may be valuable, but are not to be confused with the living and acting God, the majestic God of the Old and ...1
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