Thursday, November 10, 2011

Phillips: tragic idealist?

Thursday, November 10, 2011
    Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
    Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
    Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
    —Luke 9:18-20 (NIV)
    It is easy to criticise the many failings of the Church; it is all too easy to criticise the lives of those who profess and call themselves Christians; but I should say that it is almost impossible to read the Gospels thoroughly with adult, serious attention and then dismiss the central Figure as a mere human prophet or a tragic idealist. The reaction to such a study may indeed prove to be conversion or open hostility, but it would at least mean the end of childish and ill-informed attacks upon what is supposed to be the Christian religion.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, chapt. i, p. 12 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, help Your church to show forth the truth of Christ.
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