The affirmations which the Christian makes about God arise out of relationships which have been constituted and reconstituted. History rather than nature or thought is the context in which such relation-making can occur. As other traditions engage each other, it will be discovered that the God of history will be none other than the One whom Christians call the Father of Jesus Christ.
Preoccupation is the most common form of failure. For the ultimate trouble with preoccupation is that it takes no account of the flight of time. So the day passes and the enriching experiences which fellowship with the Highest offers us are lost, not because we deliberately discard them, but because our time and attention are preëngaged.
In Jesus, the call of God comes to us in two ways: in the example of his own obedience, through which the world is saved from sin; and through his verbal calls. We may say then in answer to the question, Who is this Jesus who calls to us from the pages of scripture? that he is the one who in both deed and word summons us to fulfil our Creator’s intent.
The author describes four aspects of vocation: to serve human need, to seek truth, to work for a better society, and to worship God.
You propose to live a good life, to be a decent character and a useful citizen. That is to say, you are planning to be what is technically called a "nontheistic humanist." No more religion for me, you say; I will live by the golden rule, and that is enough. But one needs more than just ethics. One needs a philosophy of life that will put sense, meaning, hope, into one’s existence.
To care about the welfare of mankind supremely, to rejoice in better work than ours which helps the cause along, to be interested in the thing that needs to be done and to be careless who gets the credit for doing it, to be glad of any chance to help, and glad, too, of any greater chance than another may possess, such magnanimity is both good sense and good Christianity.
Christ calls us to servanthood–to seek the welfare of others.
Jesus an impractical idealist? — who more than he knew the ugly facts of life? Who more than he was hated, rejected by his people, betrayed by a friend, spat upon, and crucified? Who better than he knew what base things can come from the black depths of the human heart, dealing as he did with extortioners and prostitutes, the cruelty of the strong and the bigotry of the religious, and feeling over all the tyranny of a vast military empire? But it is he and his teaching that have endured and have again and again, in one field after another, realistically confirmed his saying, “I am the truth.”
The principles of Jesus, the power of applied science, the idea of democracy — from these three things the most hopeful elements of our civilization flow. These things are the heart of the heritage which we hold in trust from our fathers before us for our children after us. God pity the man who ever grows so sophisticated that the thrill drops out from any one of them!
Eleven living faiths claiming man’s devotion are discussed: Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddllism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. If, in view of all these varied kinds of religion and diverse interpretations of Christianity, you feel bewildered, and wonder just what being a Christian really is, I would call your thoughts home to Christianity’s unique Fact, Jesus Christ.