Christian Themes

As a work aiming to establish the relevance of Christianity to the modern reader, The Soul of Christianity pays much attention to imagery. While frequently cautioning that spatial, gender-based, and similar terms do not really apply to the divine realm, the author continues to uses them fairly consistently. The result is a strong, if unintended, theme of the inadequacy of words to describe God.

In contrast, the book presents the Christian story as the way the infinite breaks through such limitations and makes itself known in the world. Jesus Christ, a man without ego, was completely open to God and God’s love. His story reveals the divine nature in a way that no mere words or definitions can.

The question of whether transcendent truth or salvation can be found outside Christianity is one on which Christians today differ greatly. Even the earlier, united Christian Church had varying opinions about this, Smith says, and then points out that the Vatican makes a distinction between the church visible and the church invisible. As a student of world religions, he finds the same underlying structure and sense of the divine infusing all religions. However, the author is not willing to go beyond this in this work, which makes a persuasive case for Christianity.