Thursday, 18 August 2011
Christianity is Christ
"Christians need to be clear that the chief distinctive characteristic of Christianity is Jesus Christ himself." He then goes on to summon three witnesses to this truth, European, African and Asian. He writes:
"In his book 'Christian Faith and Other Faiths', Bishop Stephen Neill writes: 'The old saying "Christianity is Christ" is almost exactly true. The historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth is the criterion by which every Christian affirmation has to be judged, and in the light of which it stands or falls."
He then quotes Professor John Mbiti of Kenya who Stott says "expressed the same conviction even more succinctly in teh words: 'The uniqueness of Christianity is in Jesus Christ".
Lastly he calls as his third witness Sundar Singh, who was born into an Indian Sikh family but after his conversion became an itinerant Christian Sadhu. Stott writes: "He was once asked by an agnostic professor of comparative religions in a Hindu College what he had found in Christianity which he had not found in his old religion. 'I have Christ,' he replied. 'Yes, I know,' said the professor a little impatiently, 'but what particular principle or doctrine have you found that you did not have before?' 'The particular thing I have found,' he replied, 'is Christ.'
From 'Focus on Christ' by John Stott published by Kingsway