In an age when there seems to be quite a bit of anxiety about the place of the Church and Christians in the world, perhaps it is a good thing to return to our roots. Writing in the second century, when Christianity was powerless and illegal, an anonymous Christian philosopher penned what we now call "The Letter to Diognetus". In chapters 5-6 he lays out a breathtaking vision of Christian identity and mission in the midst of a pluralistic, nationalistic, materialistic Roman Empire:
I often have friends and congregants who decide to read the Bible from front to back. But getting past the first few chapters is a formidable challenge, because the literature is so very different from what we expect from the Bible. We expect a Law Book or a History Book or objective reporting like a Newspaper. But what we get is something that is neither history nor fiction nor poetry nor prose. It is not until we reach the story of Abram and Sarai in chapter 12 that the story becomes predictably “human”. Until then it is a bit… weird.
If modern readers can get past the conflict between the two Creation narratives in chapters 1-2 (and their conflict with the narrative of evolution), and then make it past the talking snake in chapter 3, the next big shock to the system happens in chapter 6:
This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.