Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Faith in adversity

Artist: Thomas Eakins

For a long time I've been troubled by the sort of Christian formation that essentially tells people to live right and have faith so nothing bad will ever happen. Then, of course, when something bad does happen, people who have been formed in this way lose their faith. I count myself very fortunate that my early formation emphasized faith not as an insurance against difficulty but as a way of being strengthened to withstand difficulty when it happens. Here's a good way of expressing what I mean by that:

The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life.

-- James L. Christensen

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