What is Christianity?

Here is something exciting and frustrating: If you ask a hundred people what Christianity is, you’re likely to get 75 different responses. (Which is at least better odds than Judaism; it’s been said that if you ask two Jews, you get three opinions. Maybe Christians are just better at Math?) Exciting because you realize that different people have different experiences with God. Frustrating because sometimes you just want a simple answer.

Some say the purpose of Christianity is to introduce others to Christ so that they escape hell when they die. A ticket to heaven is the point. But when you realize that when the Bible speaks of heaven it refers to “the other, hidden dimension of our ordinary life,” as NT Wright says, the get-out-of-hell-free card loses its luster.

One opinion on the whole purpose of Christianity is that the Christian life is a quest to recover our humanity (See Michael Wittmer’s book Heaven is a Place on Earth).

If indeed the Christian life is about recovering our humanity, the Christian can confidently and curiously explore everything the world has to offer, keeping both eyes open to whatever smells like life, whether it’s Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Atheist, or even Southern Baptist. Whatever is good.

2 thoughts on “What is Christianity?”

  1. I don’t refer to myself as a Christian, for some of the reasons you describe. I know people who call themselves Christians on both sides of the abortion issue, both sides of gay marriage, both sides of the death penalty issue, illegal immigrants,

  2. continuing . . .interracial marriage, losing or never losing your salvation and more. Name any social issue and you’ll find “Christians” on both sides just as convicted that their position is “righteous”. I wrote a blog post about my feelings. I called it, “I don’t want to be a Christian”. You might enjoy reading it, since it deals with some of the same issues you bring up in this post. Thanks for sharing. It’s a thought-provoking post well worth reading. https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/i-dont-want-to-be-a-christian/

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