Feb. 24, 2005
Feb. 26-27, 2005, weekend

Feb. 25, 2005

One of the persons who helped me most in understanding my own faith was Shirley C. Guthrie Jr. Shirley (a male) taught theology at Columbia Seminary in Georgia and was the author of several books, including Christian Doctrine, which I consider a classic in popularizing theology.

Guthrie died not long ago, and a recent edition of The Presbyterian Outlook devoted considerable space to various recollections of the way he made a difference.

Guthrie’s skill, as I experienced it through his writing, was being able to take complex theological concepts that had been refined in the lofty air of academia and make them understandable to people in the pews. That’s the great strength of his book Christian Doctrine, which still is widely used.

If theology is left only to the professional theologians (we are all theologians, by the way), then it gets to be little more than inside baseball. I invite you to read about Guthrie on the Web site listed above and, as you do, to remember and give thanks for great teachers in your own life who could take complicated subjects and open up their mysteries to you.

See my "About" page to find out how to read online what I've written for The Kansas City Star.

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