Origins of Christianity Richly

In Catholic, Christianity on March 20, 2009 at 11:30 pm

It now feels foolish to have waited so long before launching Christianity Richly. The idea was born in 1991, when my son and I were staying in Freiburg, Germany, across the square from the Freiburger Münster (the Cathedral begun in 1120 A.D.).  While there, I started making notes for a book called Simple Things.  

The book is still unpublished, but the idea was to focus on one word at a time: “tent,” “face,” “power,” or “gospel,” for example.  The book’s goal was to show the richness of biblical truth underlying each word.  That idea later evolved to include word pictures and metaphors of scripture.  If we know a little about the food, customs, and agriculture of the Mediterranean, then when those metaphors are employed, our appreciation of the richness of God’s love is enhanced.  When the Psalmist writes, “You brought a vine out of Egypt . . . and planted it,” the image of God’s tender care is greatly magnified by having lived (as I did for a decade) among vineyards.  

What finally prompted launching Christianity Richly, however, was having become a Catholic Christian. Father Dwight Longenecker, a former Protestant, has written a fine book titled More Christianity. His book explains that the Church is not mere Christianity (as wonderful as C.S. Lewis’ book is). Nor is the Catholic Church characterized by additions to Christianity (as commonly supposed by many Christians still outside her walls). Rather, more Christianity is the fullness of what God intended in Christ—fully biblical and glorious in its richness and beauty.

Not every Christian is convinced of that, of course.  But taste and see.  Stay a while. Come back to visit, as time permits.

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