This is so good. As Bonhoeffer says, true brotherhood is not found in bonding over what we have in common, but transcending our differences to discover our greater bond in Christ. And so I’m always excited to hear someone with a very different intellectual background speak simply and straightforwardly about Jesus—I know I’m about to learn something important.
Since leaving Washington, I have made my life over and I am happier, freer, and healthier in body and spirit and apparently it shows. When people ask me, “What changed?” or, “How did you do it?” or, sometimes, with nervous humor, “Tell me your secret!” I have a litany of concrete lifestyle changes I can give them—simply leaving Washington is near the top of the list—but the honest answer would be this: I try, every day, to give my will and my life over to God. I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.
That’s good enough for me. And a simpler and more direct statement than I’ve ever written.
Cox’s essay is short and to the point, and so well written that I’m not going to quote it at length here—please go read it for yourself. But I will note her reason for writing the essay:
I’ve lately observed conservatives questioning Obama’s faith with more than professional interest. Because if Obama’s not Christian, what does that make me?
Unlike President Obama, Cox is in a position to speak honestly about her faith without raising any questions of a secret agenda. And so I think she does us all a service by presenting herself as a similar sort of challenge for conservative Christians, but without all the political baggage. What exactly will it take for us to transcend our differences with her in order to discover our greater bond in Christ?