What is Christian Literacy?
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.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Some of the best things ever said about Christmas . . .
The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. - Luke 2:10-11
Unto us a child has been born, unto us a son is given; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14
"Why I go to Church at Christmas" by Harry Reasoner
So far as I know, all Christian denominations expect their members to go to church at Christmas. It may be the only time, or practically the only time, that some do go to church. You can say that in all societies there has always been a midwinter festival, and that many of the trappings of our Christmas are almost violently pagan. But in the quietness of Christmas morning, you come back to the central fact of the day, ...the birth of God on earth.
If this is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the universe in the form of a helpless babe -- it is a very important day. It's so revolutionary an idea that it probably could only have come from a God who is beyond logic, and beyond theology. It has a magnificent appeal.
Almost nobody has seen God, and almost nobody has any real idea of what God is like, and the truth is that among men the idea of seeing God suddenly, and standing in a very bright light, is not necessarily a completely comforting and appealing idea! But everyone has seen babies, and most people like them.
If God wanted to be loved as well as feared, He moved correctly here. If God wanted to know his people, he moved correctly here; for a baby growing up learns all about people. If God wanted to be intimately a part of human life he moved correctly, for the experience of birth and family-hood is our most intimate and precious experience.
So it comes beyond logic. If it is false, we are doomed. If it is true, as it must be, it makes everything else in the world all right.
Prayer: Thank You, Loving God, for the miracle of Christmas and for your beautiful love which came to us in Jesus Christ. In His Name. Amen.