Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The things we do understand

Over at the Questing Parson Blog, there is a post Easter conversation between the parson and an Atheist. The Atheist wants to know how the Parson, who he sees as a man of integrity, can preach about stuff like the resurrection which intelligent people don't believe. The Parson has no problem with the resurrection, but he points the man away from things about which he can't be sure and toward things agreed upon, but avoided:
“William the trouble with the Christian faith is not those supernatural things we don’t understand. The trouble with the Christian faith is the things we do understand.”

William stared at the parson. He leaned back in his chair for a moment. He straightened up the table a bit as both had finished their coffee and snack.

“The trouble is what you do understand? I don’t follow you,” said William.

“In our scriptures, William, a man came to Jesus and asked him ‘Master, what is the greatest commandment?’ Jesus answered him, ‘The greatest is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your mind and your soul.’ Now, William, I understand that. Do you?”

“Well, I understand what Jesus is saying there, sure.”

“Without any prompting, William, Jesus gave the man another commandment. He told the man, ‘The second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Now I understand that, too, William. Do you?”

“Well, sure, parson. I understand that. What’s your point?”

“My point, William, is the problem with Christianity is in these things we have no possibility of not understanding. Our problem is in simple statements as this one. Jesus entire message was centered on this second greatest commandment, loving our neighbor as ourselves.”

“How’s that a problem?”

“Well, here’s where you’re going to find your old atheist soul is very similar to we Christians. It’s a problem, William, because we just don’t want to do it.”
The full text of the Parson's post is online here: The Problem with Christianity

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the essence of Jesus' teaching. The rest is vitally important, but largely is also commentary on this simple to understand, hard to live out statement.



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