The phrase “In but not of” is heard in Christian circles, entreating and encouraging the Christian community to live and love their neighbors but to remember that many of the concerns of the secular community affect the faithful differently than the secular. Catholic Saint and Jewish philosopher Edith Stein had a sea change in her life. She went from being from one of the preeminent German philosophers and an atheistic Jew and converted to Christianity, becoming a Carmelite monastic and ultimately perishing in Auschwitz. According to the intellectual biography of her life by Alasdair McIntyre, her conversion was in a large part driven by the surprising (for her) reaction of her Christian friends to the deaths of family and friends during the trials of the Great War.

Apparently today we are undergoing great global economic trials. Our response to stressful times is an opportunity for martyrdom (which means witness). And it will be witness to our beliefs … or lack thereof. And, I suggest that if our reactions and our actions are indistinguishable from our secular neighbor … then our faith is indistinguishable as well.

Filed under: ChristianityMark O.ReligionYou Cry Out

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