The Faith Fitness topic for the past couple weeks has been that of love, including the pivotal biblical verses attesting to this greatest of Bible themes. The Faith Fitness study meets each Tuesday and I provide written handouts that help organize the topical discussions. We may finish one topic a week or, as is more common, take two-to-three weeks to comprehensively cover an area. It is helpful for every participant to read and speak, to share and to listen. Often, we ask more questions than which there are satisfying answers. That’s entirely okay. The value of discovering and discerning is such that easy replies to tough questions seldom suffices. As far as digressing, we encourage it! In the realm of theology and philosophy seldom is a straight line the shortest distance between two points. What may at first seem like a side-track can often unlock insights and intrigues not otherwise known.
This past Tuesday, October 1st, we talked about how people grapple with the imperative to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength–and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The beautiful simplicity of these two greatest commandments is often overshadowed by controversy and complications. Examine the broad sweep of Christian history and it is apparent that God’s otherwise elegant, redemptive plan is often obscured.
Our talk on October 1 also involved a discussion about prayer, how people perceive their role in church, and differences between and among various Christian sects on what God wants and how we should accomplish it. The value of a holistic approach to Christian living arose as a central topic inasmuch as the heart, soul, mind and strength of the greatest commandment implies loving God with our entire being, hence the term holistic. Holistic is more than just a by-word or artifice from some sort of New Age lexicon. Indeed, loving God and neighbor involve more than just words because we are privileged to leverage every facet of our being.