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02 February 2010

Big Thought

It would be fascinating to take a poll of the people in our churches and ask them what it means to be a Christian.  Many "Bible Christians" might answer, "Have faith in Jesus as Savior," and fail to include the obligation of loving others.  A greater number of Christians, not doctrinally concerned, might answer in existential terms about what one must do, for instance, in terms of loving one's neighbor.  Existential demand is urgent -- Christians must love but our behavior is not a sufficiently differentiating element in the definition of a Christian.  Christians are those who have a clear faith about Jesus of Nazareth, that he is the Christ, the Messiah of God.  Any definition of a Christian that does not involved a clear proclamation of who Jesus is (alongside the obligation of loving) fails the criterion of the first proclamations of Christianity. 
Raymond E. Brown, S.S.
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine

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