Ideas or action? The divide goes back millenia. Aristotle and Plato promoted the life of contemplation–theoria–as superior to the life of action–praxis. It is a tension which Christianity has never been able to escape.
In the last twelve months, I have become far more sensitive to the tension within my own life. At the same time, I have become interested in the role of the internet to promote and support “on the ground” efforts to help people. Politically, conservatives have been late to this game. Christians, it seemed, had not yet started playing.
That, however, is not quite the case. A few weeks ago, I was notified about ChristianVolunteering.org. It is a unique website aimed at linking individuals who are not sure where to put their efforts with ministries that are focused on urban development and change.
This Christmas season, consider searching their database to find an opportunity to minister to the poor, the orphan and the widow in the area closest to you. And if you know someone who runs such a ministry, spread the word about ChristianVolunteering.org, to help them build up their database of local ministries.
Christmas and Advent are times to reflect on the goodness of God in creation. But they are also excellent times to pour out the love of Christ on those who lack, to share in their common humanity and brokenness from sin, and to rejoice together in the goodness of God’s love. This Christmas season, join together theoria and praxis, and put yourself to work through ChristianVolunteering.org.
Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.