Wednesday, June 30, 2010

beyond "rules" and more genuine than "genuine"

Admittedly, it's taking a big longer than usual for me to make my way through "After You Believe" by NT Wright. 

So far Wright has been focusing on things like "What is good?",  "What are we to do as humans?", and particularly the Christian discussion of these things.  The fact there seems to be 2 main groups, both of extreme:

On one side, you have someone who believes Christianity and following Christ are about what we do and don't do.  A list of rules and lifestyle choices God has pointed out for us, that we follow out of obedience and love.

On the other side, you have someone who believes Jesus came to abolish rule-following.  That we've been released to discover and follow who our "genuine" self is, and follow that.  Both of these extremes often having the same goal in mind.

What NT Wright discusses instead is a third, and more complete view of what it seems Christ and the early Church were advocating.  That not only are there certain things we simply "obey" as our lives come under the authority of God, but we are also to be developing "Christian Character" so that our "true selves" are becoming more and more a 2nd nature type of Jesus-following.

Which apparently is a lost discussion these days, especially compared to the early Christians.  Many of the early Christians had taken concepts of Plato's "Cardinal Virtues", and the Aristotelian concept of "Eudaimonia"...and improved them with a framework and goal that was a bit less vague and subjective.  A purpose that goes beyond simply "happiness" or "the greatest common good".

I want to post more on the topic, but this is already a bit long to go into it.  So come back :)

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