Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wisdom from A Saint in Glory

My mentor and beloved friend and colleague in ministry for more than twenty years sent me this recently. It is a quote by Krister Stendhal, Swedish theologian and scholar, Emeritus Lutheran bishop (of Stockholm), and faculty member of Harvard Divinity School until his death last week at the age of 87.

"One of the best rules for reading scriptures is the very same as for preaching: It should be light, it should be quick, and it should be tender. It should not be ponderous, it should not be labored, and it should not be heavy."

In looking up his particulars at Wikipedia, I came across the following quotes, which I wish could be cross-stitched and hung on the walls everywhere religious people gather. He was speaking about opposition to the proposed building of a temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Stockholm.

(1) When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.

(2) Don't compare your best to their worst.

(3) Leave room for "holy envy."
(By this Stendahl meant that you should be willing to find elements in the other religious tradition and faith that you admire and wish could, in some way, be reflected in your own religious tradition or faith.)

Cool guy. Rest in Peace, Bishop Stendahl.


Wyldth1ng said...


Jane R said...

Thank you for the words of wisdom. More on Krister here, by yours truly and another student of his.