Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Christian Dichotomy

A quick thought this evening....

I wonder whether traditional Christianity's focus on sexual morality and lack of concern over wealth and poverty can be entirely explained with ancient Christian theology's selection of the wrong dichotomy. The leaders of the early Christian Church, most prominently Saint Augustine, were heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. As such, these teachers emphasized a body/soul dichotomy -- with intellectual and spiritual pursuits identified as "the good" and corporeal pursuits identified as "the bad."

Many Christians, with their obsessive concern with sex, still find this dichotomy compelling.

But we should ask ourselves whether this dichotomy is a Christian dichotomy. Indeed, isn't a self/other dichotomy more scriptural -- more in line with Jesus' teachings? That is, perhaps it is other-directed pursuits which are "the good" and self-directed pursuits which are "the bad."

Liberal Christians should encourage their more corporeal compatriots to think in these terms.


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