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Dods: What is Christianity?

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’” — John 21:15 NIV.

“What is Christianity? It is God’s way of getting hold of us, of attaching us to what is good, of making us holy, perfect beings. And the method He uses is the presentation of goodness in a personal form. God makes goodness supremely attractive by exhibiting to us its reality and its beauty and its permanent and multiplying power in Jesus Christ. Absolutely simple and absolutely natural is God’s method. The building up of systems of theology, the elaborate organization of churches, the various expensive and complicated methods of humanity, how artificial do they seem when set alongside of the simplicity and naturalness of God’s method! People are to be made perfect. Show them, then, that human perfection is perfect love for them, and can they fail to love it and themselves become perfect? That is all. The mission of Christ and the salvation of people through Him are as natural and as simple as the mother’s caress of her child. Christ came to earth because He loved people and could not help coming. Being on earth, He expresses what is in Him — His love, His goodness. By His loving all people and satisfying all their needs, people came to feel that this was the Perfect One, and humbly gave themselves to Him. As simply as love works in all human affairs and relationships, so simply does it work here.” — Marcus Dods (1834-1909), The Gospel of John, Volume 2 (The Expositor’s Bible) Chapter 25.

I changed some of the language of this quote to make it conform to contemporary usage and spelling.

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