A Failure of Orthodoxy • Deepening our Christianity #26

Deepening our Christianity

the Monday Newsletter of Paul Prins

Edition #26 · 12 February 2024

Blessings Reader,

A Failure of Orthodoxy

For most of the last century, the western Protestant Church embarked on a grand project. It was rooted in their vision of reformation. That project was based on the belief that the right knowledge results in the right action. Within the walls of our churches, we have believed that knowing leads to wisdom. Wisdom that would inform our being in the midst of a changing and challenging world.

I am not one to speak against knowledge. I love learning and teaching and will continue to be deeply formed through my studies. Yet there is a disconnect somewhere. How did the such a biblically literate generation of American evangelicals get drawn in by Christian Nationalism?

The Lord of the Kingdom of God demands our allegiance, and the dust of these earthly fiefdoms will all melt away. There is nothing keeping us from living the reality that Jesus is our Lord and King. If death thus finds us, it is our glory.

So how did this project of orthodoxy fail? In simple terms, it failed because it ignored the tremendous work of embodying faith and knowledge. Where do we get to experiment in being gracious or loving? How great is the distance between the understanding of atonement theory and the act of forgiving your neighbors? Forgiving yourself?

It is far too easy to fly past "God is love" and to spend one's time wrestling with just war theory. Yet all of God is love. Jesus invites us into a new life. A life defined by humility, grace, mercy, and love. None of which can be mastered in a hundred lifetimes.

Know the scriptures because they point to Jesus. Treasure the words of Jesus deep in your heart. Let them define you. Be like Jesus. Be like Him just a bit more this week.

Until Next Week

Unpublished Photo for this Edition

Curated Goods just for You

Sharing what I've come across from around the internet that may encourage or help you.

  • J. R. R. Tolkien: the faith behind his writings ~10 Minutes
    Chris Armstrong, a church historian and my friend, walks through the relationship of Tolkien's Catholic faith and the ways some of those themes may or may not appear in his works. A really enjoyable read if you like Tolkien and faith.

A Prayer for the Week to Come

Jesus, help us to see in ourselves what we see in you. Give us the courage to long to be defined by grace and love. Invite us into the transforming of our character and soul we get to do together with you.

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