Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16

One of the few reliable maxims in theology is that the simpler the question, the tougher the answer. Volumes of scholarly articles examining centuries of intellectual struggle emerge from questions that are strikingly stark: Who is Jesus? Why does evil happen? What is salvation? What is the point of the church? The less these questions are adorned, the more pressing they become.

This is not because the simpler questions are somehow ineffable or because the Christian tradition lacks adequate responses. The simplest questions can be hardest to answer because the tradition has bequeathed to us a glorious excess of images and narratives through which we can address the deepest issues of life. Christians are often reduced to a kind of blessed stuttering, not because they lack things to say but because they struggle to know which of the many available answers is the right one for a given situation.

 

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