Theology. A Cut-Away Life

I enjoy paging through a great book, The Art of National Geographic: A Century of Illustration.

On pp. 121-122, there are illustrations by Ned M. Seidler, “Unseen Life of a Mountain Stream” and “Teeming Life of a Pond.” I love these “cut-away” views of life below the surface with diving frogs, wriggling invertebrates, and swaying weeds.

There’s a cut-away in the Christian life, too. When we confess our sins, we also reveal a cut-away: many of our sins of thought, word, and deed are unseen or unheard. We reveal the complex: complications of what it is to be a human being and a Christian struggling against sin like nature struggling against tin cans, worn out tires, and heavy metals.

Again, when we confess our faith in Christ to others, we show a cut-away of life below the surface. People can’t see our faith and how it changes us unless we let them in. When we confess Christ, we show how He takes away our sins and brings forth new life in all its diving, wriggling, swaying splendor. People see us as we are: a sinner who is yet a saint, what theologians call simul justus et peccator (“Righteous and sinner at the same time”).

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