3.15.2011

What is Christianity About? ...really?



A friend of mine, Jason Clark, has a book coming out soon, one of his co-authors produced the video above.  I don't know what the relationship is between the video and the book, and I certainly intend to buy a copy, but I don't know if I like what the gentleman in the video is saying...

What do you think?

4 comments:

LindaFaye said...

Well, what good are beliefs if they don't translate into actions? In that sense I can see what this guy is saying. I know words are much heavier to you, but I kinda get his gist.

Sean said...

Did he actually say something?

steven hamilton said...

Steve - I'd be interested: you're not sure if you like what he says or you're sure you don't like the way he says it?

it seems to me (after listening to it twice...) that he is approaching the same place as Jamie Smith in Desiring the Kingdom, related the transformation of the heart/desires and the practices that develop discipleship.

he's obviously not as a good a communicator - verbally - as Jamie...

Steve S. said...

Here is what I heard him say:

1) He created a dichotomy between a) beliefs and b) practice

2) He claimed Christianity is about practice

3) He clarified that by practice he did not mean solely the behavioral output, but rather the transformation of what is central to our identity and person, which results in transformed behavioral output

4) Beliefs are important in that they distinguish us from what other faiths claim

5) But, Christianity is fundamentally about changed human lives (ie practice)

I don't actually want to critique his moral theory. I like it, and actually say very similar things myself. But I want to distance myself from the idea that Christianity is fundamentally about morality. (I recognize that the individual in question may not have meant his words to be taken this way, after all this is a 3 minute video, not a book length exposition.)

I would track with him if he said 'Christian morality is about transformed desire,' but I cannot say that Christianity itself is about transformed desire, because I do not think Christianity is fundamentally about morality; morality is incidental to what Christianity is fundamentally about. (I would also say that beliefs are incidental to what Christianity is fundamentally about!) Both beliefs and morality are important, but are secondary to (or perhaps the fruition of) something else...