Letter from the Editor (Spring 2013) by Ryan Stewart

Dear reader,

 

If you have any Christian friends, they might seem a bit odd. Occasionally they go off to their strange “spiritual activities,” whether church, or bible study, or a quiet place to pray. Some may announce these comings-and-goings, and perhaps encourage you to come along, while others may subtly slip out at the same time each week. They might also assent to a few odd propositions about the existence of God and the resurrection of an ancient Jewish prophet. Perhaps they speak with a different language, peppered with words like “discipleship” and “Jesus” and “fellowship.” Maybe your Christian friends even seem just a bit nicer–whatever that means–than the next person. Or, on the other hand, you may discern a certain self-righteousness, an occasionally hypocritical condemnation of the world buried underneath this veneer of kindness.

But when all is said and done, Christians probably seem fairly normal, not really any different than the next friend. Most people here are generally pretty nice, have their own activities, and try to do things, right?

So what is it that defines a Christian? Or better yet, what should define a Christian? What really is the purpose of this mysterious thing called Christian faith? After all, the things that often distinguish Christians can appear arbitrary, largely meaningless distinctions, falling short of the goodness and power Christians claim belong to their faith.

For that reason, we, the staff of the Ekklesia, offer you these works of art as a small window into what Christian faith can be in Claremont. We hope you’ll find that our faith offers not only a distinct “spiritual” piety, but also a particular way of thinking and being that is valuable for the life of the university and, ultimately, for the life of the world. But of course, the publication you hold in your hands is not the essence of the Christian faith. Rather, it is but one drop that spills out of the lived experience of the historic and global ekklesia.

Love,


 

Ryan Stewart, Editor-in-Chief