The Philosophy of Life Undergirding Christianity and The Christian Ministry


In this essay fragment from his Crozer Seminary days, Dr. King writes that Christianity is a value philosophy whose values are embodied in the life of Christ. He begins to spell out what those values are. The first, King states, is the value of the world as something positive and life-affirming, in contrast to the negative view of the world of the ascetics and religions of India. The second value is that of persons, who have supreme worth. People must be used as ends, never as means to ends, although there have been periods in history where Christianity has fallen short.

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The Philosophy of Life Undergirding Christianity and The Christian Ministry
Transcripts & Translations


[Handwritten text: The Philosophy of life Undergirding Christianity and all Christian Ministry Basically Christianity is a value philosophy. It insists that there are eternal values of intrinsic, self-evidencing validity and worth, embracing the true and the beautiful and consummated in the good. This value content is embodied in the Life of Christ. So that Christian philosophy is first and foremost Christocentric. It begins and ends with the assumption that Christ is the revelation of God. We might ask what are some of the specific values that Christianity seeks to conserve? First Christianity speaks of the world, it is not negative; it stands over against the asceticism, world denials, and worlds flights, for example, of the religions of India, and is worlds-affirming, life affirming, life creating. Gautama bids us flee from the world, but Jesus would have us use it, because God has made it for our sustenance, our discipline, and our happiness. So that the Christian view of the world can be summed up by saying that it is a place in which God is fitting men and women for the Kingdom of God. Christianity also insists on the value of persons. All human personality is supremely worthful [worth full]. This is something of what Schweitzer has called reverence for life." Human being must always be used as ends; never as means. I realize that there have been times that Christianity has short at this point. There have been periods in Christians ['s] history that persons have been dealt with as if they were means rather than ends. But
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