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.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
How can a mere mortal, an imperfect sinner have a relationship with a holy and perfect God? This is a question that Christianity seeks to answer.
Justification is the act by which a person is made right with God. The word itself has a bit of a courtroom image to it. How does a sinner get pardoned? How can one be declared righteous when one deserves a guilty verdict?
These questions played an important role in the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther claimed that a person is justified, sola fide, by faith alone. He based his claim on the Apostle Paul's teaching in the New Testament letters to the Romans and the Galatians.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24).
"For we hold that a person is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law" (Rom. 3:28).
"Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 2:16)
Thus justification is by grace through faith. We can only have a relationship with God because God is gracious enough to extend it to us - through grace! And we accept this relationship by faith - faith in the goodness and grace of God and in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Our justification (pardon/acquittal) is not based on anything we've done. It's based on God's radical acceptance of us. Amazing Grace. And that's good news.
Prayer: Holy God, thank you for justifying me through your grace and graciousness. Help me to live out my gratitude to you this day and always. Amen.