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 18, 2012

World Religions - The Salvation Question

When I was a teenager in church we called it the "Pygmy Question."  It went like this: "What about the Pygmies in Africa? Will they be saved?"

What about folks deeply committed to religions other than Christianity?

And what about those who've never heard?

CNN's Larry King brought up the issue one night to Evangelist Billy Graham. Rev. Graham gave an answer that surprised me - "I believe people will be judged on the merits of their own religion." With all due respect, that's pretty good for a Baptist! Then Billy went on to say, "But ultimately we all get to heaven because of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ." I believe that, even if I can't logically wrap my brain around it.

"Christ died for our sins, once and for all, in order to bring us to God.   
                                            - I Peter 3:18

My favorite answer to the Salvation Question, however, comes from Christian author, Brian McLaren. When asked the "What about other religions?" question, McLaren responds, "How the heck should I know? And furthermore, it's not my problem. It's God's."


Prayer: Gracious and Loving God, I trust in your love for all people, and I trust in the love that I experience through the grace of Jesus Christ. Receive my thanks and my love this day and always. Amen.

Extra Credit

One passage that comes up a lot with this issue is John 14, Jesus' words to the disciples at the Last Supper:

"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."     - John 14:7

It seems pretty straightforward and clear. However one thing the commentaries point out is that Jesus was speaking to his own followers at the culmination of his ministry with them. He's saying, "The way to know God as I've been teaching you - as a personal, loving parent - is by following my ways and my truth. That's your sure way to know God as Abba."

Christ is the Christian Way; He is the Christian Truth, He is the Christian Life in the Spirit. There are other ways, but the Christian way is through Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment