February: Faith, hope, and love

1 02 2010

Woot! Got to celebrate – today marks the beginning of Soul Theology’s second month. Sure, I had a one week lapse, but I made it and feel like I’m beginning to get an idea where this is headed. It’s not much, but celebrating the little milestones is an excellent motivator.

I recently read Ellen Charry‘s article found in Essentials of Christian Theology, compiled by Placher.

This short article explicates a model of Christian living from the book of 1 Corinthians. “Christianity is more than a set of beliefs and more than a set of practices. It is a window on the world that comes from beyond the world and reaches beyond the world as we know it. Christianity cannot be understood or lived out apart from a community” (264).

She talks about the “wisdom of the cross” as standing over and against earthly wisdom. Also, the “mind of Christ” is living for God and others. Then she goes on to the details of “sex, idolatry, and table manners”. Finally, love and spiritual gifts.

After this, she summarizes reasons we have a hard time truly trusting God: it is unnatural, an enormous undertaking, and others may laugh at us. She succinctly summarizes, “Christians . . . live from faith rather than fear, hope rather than despair, love rather than ambition.” (280)

I think her concluding sentence reveals an excellent exposition on “faith, hope and love”. Somehow, by viewing the entire book in light of that phrase, she discovers what that faith, hope, and love stand in opposition to: worldly values and wisdom. May we all live without fear, despair, and ambition.