Friday 21 February 2020

What is the appeal of Christianity? Excitement and depth of living

What is the appeal of Christianity?

1. Life is a war, and...
2. Life is a quest.

(So far, the Christian life is as exciting as anything can be - as exciting as a gripping novel, movie or TV show - with all the classic plot elements. Life, my life and yours, are playing for the highest stakes; like, but more than, the most epic-catastrophe eco-disaster thriller - but with immortal souls at stake instead of just temporary bodies.)

3. Life is a destiny.

(All the above is about you, specifically. You are part of a big war and universal quest, with a family, comrades, a nation... But also within that plot you have your own unique destiny, that nobody ever had before, or will ever have again - and which only you can accomplish.)

4. Life has an extra dimension.

(Add to the above an undiscovered realm of spirit, and expansion of everyday reality, an extra depth behind everything. There is always more than meets the eye. Magic is real, supervillains are real, superpowers are real. Everything is in some way alive, in some way conscious, and part of creation. There is a secret garden, a fairy kingdom - accessible from everywhere...)

5. Life matters: it is real, serious and/because permanent.

(This is so because followers of Jesus will each live forever in an indestructible body; there is potential for our experiences in mortal life to have everlasting effects for eternity. Christians can 'take it with them' after death. And the persistence is not into something like a museum of dessicated artefacts; but is a living, growing, creating, developing kind of enduring.)

Note: And if your Christianity is Not as above, then you are probably missing the point. Because all that stuff, above, is not just available to all Christians, but is how Christians ought to be - ought to see themselves and their world... 


Bruce Charlton said...

Comment by "Thomas" :

"I have by nature an adventure-inclined temperament, but - and this is probably just me being neurotic - I feel like Christianity gets in the way. I have been a Christian my whole life and I don't want to abandon it, I fully believe in Christ, but my religious scrupulosity is a great burden. I sometimes feel like I would be so much freer if I were not a Christian, but that is probably a demonic lie. But when I try to talk about my scruples with other Christians on the internet, many of them simply tell me that no, I am *right* in being scrupulous. (...)"

Bruce Charlton said...

@Thomas - My understanding is that virtue and sin are (understood properly) related to alignment and harmony with God's creative purpose, or not. Discernment of what is sinful is not usually difficult for a Christian; in the sense that externally we have the Holy Ghost (through prayer), and we also have our inner compass of discernment (inborn, because we are children of God). If/when we convict ourselves of sin, we need to acknowledge and repent sin - which is just the negative flipside of positively loving Jesus and wanting to follow him to Heaven.

In sum, the issues need to be reframed - with a larger and more significant frame.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - 'Evolution' has various (older) meanings other than natural selection; if you had read the post attentively you would have seen this.

SPDI said...

Very good!