Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reason For the Season

According to Dicken's A Christmas Carol was NOT Christ's Atonement or Incarnation but rather man's good works and good will. I reposted it at Brayton's blog here.


Tom Van Dyke said...

In his last will and testament, written on May 12, 1869, Dickens wrote, “I commit my soul to the mercy of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children humbly to try to guide themselves by the teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man’s narrow construction of its letter here or there.”

Close enough for rock'n'roll.

True, Dickens leaned unitarian, not much for doctrines and dogmas. But in 2010, we have little idea what "unitarian" really means. To Dickens---and to Founding-era unitarians, Jesus was still Our Saviour, and not just a great moral teacher.

And remember that in A Christmas Carol,

And how did Tim behave?" asked Mrs. Cratchitt... "As good as gold," said Bob, "and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember, upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see."

In this day and age, Dickens' sentiments are undubitably Christian.

Jonathan Rowe said...

"Jesus was still Our Saviour, and not just a great moral teacher."

The Socinian view, as I understand it, is Jesus the 100% man, not divine at all (but on a divine mission) SAVED man by being the greatest moral teacher.

Tom Van Dyke said...

And performed miracles, see above.

I'm not sure Dickens ever quite squared away his Christology. [He still attended an Anglican church.]

Which is fine. But in emphasizing his differences from orthodoxy, it's easy to miss his essential Christianity.