Faith and Do

Let me geek out for a moment. During the late 1990s and early 2000s I played with and wrote about a software application for PCs called Think and Do. This software was loaded on a PC which then controlled the actions of a machine.

The innovation was that you thought through all the actions the machine must do to produce its products using a simple flow chart interface and then the machine would perform the required actions. Think and Do.

An unfortunate (to my way of thinking) byproduct of “reformed” thinking in the Christian tradition was that everything begins and ends with faith. Luther famously was reading in the letter to the Romans and saw the verse, “By faith are you saved…” Evidently he stopped reading at this point.

That may be a bit unfair, but too many of his followers did. I have come across far too many examples of people who think that you only need to agree with a statement, with a proposition, with them, and then everything is alright. You are done.

Reading through Matthew 5-7, for example, I don’t hear Jesus telling us to sit on our butts. Nor when Luke records the actions we should take toward a neighbor in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus didn’t come and preach, “I believe.” No, he healed people. He set people free from their sins so that they could enter God’s Kingdom.

Reflecting on my spiritual and intellectual and social development, I think I have always subscribed to the the invitation to a way of life that includes pursuing the depth of faith while also living out Jesus’ teachings regarding serving other people.

It’s both faith and do.

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