Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

A Compelling Conspiracy

September 7, 2005

The topic for my Wednesday class was ‘religious ethics’. Since The Dean’s supplied notes gave some weight to Christianity, I followed his lead. If you were to pour out the finest distillation of Christian thought, what would it be? Well, The Dean and I are of like mind, and both bet on The Sermon on the Mount.

Now, I was quite nervous about talking about Christianity at all, since it is my preferred religious ethic and the source of most of my passion. I didn’t want to tip my hand, nor give short shrift to the other religious perspectives which would follow. So I sort of undersold the sections of the Sermon on the Mount which I read, looking up only occasionally. Here’s what I saw:

I saw people smiling and laughing at the image of some knucklehead poking at a speck in her friend’s eye while simultaneously balancing a beam in her own eye.

I saw students physically leaning back in their chairs, jaws agape, as I read about a person so free from lust and anger that he would not even consider acting on these impulses.

And I saw folks at a loss for words in realizing that the heart of Christianity is not some God said it, I believe it, that settles it brand of divine command theory, nor a presentation of justification by faith, nor a collection of four spiritual laws, but rather a highly developed, carefully nuanced ethic of love and self-sacrifice which would change the world.

Posted in:

2 Responses to “A Compelling Conspiracy”

  1. sonja says:

    You do Dallas proud, man.

  2. kate says:

    WOW! Sounds like your presentation must’ve been pretty awesome. (yes, I’m giving the messenger some credit, too.)

Leave a Reply