How Am I a Christian?

December 1, 2018

“How am I a Christian?” is the title of an article I have in this month’s Friends Journal.  Here’s a snippet from the piece:

One of the Advices in the New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice reads “Make space in your daily life for communion with God and for spiritual nurture through prayer, reading, meditation, and other disciplines which open you to the Spirit.”

By no means do I confine this ongoing spiritual nurture to those who self‐identify as Christian. I do not doubt that many who call themselves Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus are on roughly the same journey and have much to teach me. Still, I read more from those who have identified themselves as Christians, especially those that know at least as well as I do the whole catalog of horrors. I find myself part of a company of Christians over the ages; I have elected to join a tradition of spiritual nurture. At various times in my life, Rufus Jones, Thomas Kelly, C.S. Lewis, the Book of Common Prayer, Marilynne Robinson, Howard Thurman, Mary Rose O’Reilley, and Henri Nouwen (to name just a very few) have fueled my spiritual journey.

You can read the whole article here, and the rest of the articles in the issue, all on Quakers and Christianity, here.

Here’s the closing:

It is from the best of those who have called themselves Christians; it is in their company that I find I learn the most. And that is why, today, I think of myself as a Christian.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
This entry was posted in Beliefs, Bible, Quaker Identity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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