Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy


Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Word studies: religion, leaps of faith

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Yesterday I wrote: "Apparently you ["Person A"] use a different working definition of religion than I. To me, life is religion; religion is that which is the most important consideration in all of life...."

In response to which "Person B" replied: "My two cents: ...to me, religion is that which enables us to live and appreciate an honorable and decent life...not the replacement for it...."

To which I took and continue to take strong exception. "Life is religion/religion is life" has nothing to do with replacing life with anything else; it is to put life under Jesus Christ who is, He said, the way, the truth, and the life. As the Apostle Paul puts it: "to me to live is Christ."

Next, Person B makes some good and true propositions when she says, "What is life but a gift from God, to be utilized? If all things come from God, then what do we say to the Lord on judgment day when he wants an accounting of what we did with the gifts he gave us, those things being our lives, our loved ones, our talents," all of which I and I think any thinking Christian would endorse.

But Person B continues with: "Are [we?] to say: We have forsaken our spouses in the name of religion? We have forsaken our children in the name of the religion? We have forsaken our talents in the name of religion? Isn't that wasting God's gift of life for the sake of God?"

These are all things that Jesus forbids, as does the Old Testament law, which the Psalmists and other wisdom writers repeatedly call "God's truth." How could anyone who knows God and His truth do any of these things?

Finally: "religion should be life's buffer...not it's insulation." And earlier in the same thread a claim was made for religion as basis of our morality but not for debating whether truth is relative or absolute.

I've argued here repeatedly that a New Testament understanding of "religion," life in Christ, engages every facet of life and therefore it should be described as the very essence of the Christian's life, as life itself. As Jesus said (again) "I am the life."

In a later email, Person B asked: "And what in the world is an 'upper story leap?'"

I answered this just a month ago, in the Jonal of February 1, "The irrationality of believing":

Some...teachers describe the view of religion as irrational...as "an upper story leap," or, to use the words of Francis Schaeffer, as an "escape from reason," which is the title of one of Schaeffer's first books. Called "the missionary to Europe's intellectuals" in a Time magazine article and described as one of the most influential teachers of the evangelical church in the past century, Schaeffer lamented that even most evangelical Christians tend to separate their "Sunday lives" and their "everyday lives" into two unrelated realms; sacred/profane, supernatural/natural, grace/nature, and so on. Thus many people who profess on Sunday that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords, King of kings, and ruler of all, nevertheless have no problem with propositions like "God and politics don't mix" or "science and religion must be kept separate." The latter proposition is no less than confessing that "God is only a figment of our imaginations" and the "spiritual" is ever divorced from the material world.


I also discussed it in the Jonals of January 14 and January 16, 2004.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

latest additions
to the Nanty Glo Home Page

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BVHS Class of 2000 list now online
'New' Library of Congress Nanty Glo photos from 1937


Today's chuckle

Things to ponder—

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

— Sent by Trudy Myers


Lenten thought for today*

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear?

St. Peter (1 Peter 31:15)
*As the Eastern and Western lenten observances coincide this year (except for a few days) we are resuming our past practice of using lenten thoughts during the fast leading up to Easter.


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