What is Christian Literacy?

refers to the ability to use a language - to know what words means, to be able to use grammar, sentence structure, to be able to converse in that language is to be literate.

Religious literacy
means having the ability to understand and speak about our faith intelligently. It’s the ability to communicate the basic tenets of our religion.

I'm very grateful to B.U. Professor Stephen Prothero for his excellent book, "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn't." This book, along with my desire to teach the faith, served as the inspiration for this effort.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Twila was always a very calm, even keel person. Nevertheless I asked her, "Are you afraid, Twila? Are you afraid of dying?" The doctors said she only had a few weeks. "No," she replied instantly; "I did it once before and it was absolutely beautiful."

From all that I've read and heard the accounts are all the same. Those who have died and come back say it's amazing on the other side, so much so that they don't want to return.

It is proof?  No.   It is evidence?  Yes.

I believe in Heaven because Jesus taught that we have a home with God after our life here is complete (John 14:1-3). I believe in Heaven because I believe that Christ's victory over the grave is a shared victory. It's shared with us.

But I also believe in Heaven because of logic and experience. I experience the love of God here and now in this life. So to me it logically follows that the eternal God's relationship with me (and you!) will not end when we take our last breath.

Former Princeton Theological Seminary President Dr. Thomas Gillespie once put it this way:

By raising Jesus from the dead, God gives us a 'sneak preview' of our own destiny. The risen Christ declares, 'Because I live, you will live also.' That is where our faith begins. And in this faith our hope is grounded.

Yet, contrary to popular opinion, faith is not blind. Faith believes in eternal life, not merely because it is written in the Bible. Faith believes in eternal life, not merely because it is taught by the Church. But rather, faith believes in eternal life because it is experienced now in this life. Faith believes because it knows.

Here's a thought: Heaven is perfectly consistent with the love of God.

Prayer: Thank You, Gracious God, that your love is eternal and therefore so is my life in you. In the Name of the Risen Lord.  Amen.

Extra Credit:

Martin Copenhaver is a U.C.C. pastor and author. He once wrote this about eternal life.

"God cannot be indifferent about our destiny any more than a mother can forget the name of her own child. To believe in eternal life, then, is not to believe in something in addition to believing in God. To believe in eternal life is to believe in this kind of loving God. There is another way to put it. If we believe in God--a God of justice rather than a God of indifference, a God who fulfills rather than taunts, a God who loves rather than torments--then eternal life is simply too good not to be true."

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