Monday, July 02, 2007

Moderation in Everything

I'm re-reading the wonderful novel by Bo Giertz*, The Hammer of God. In it, a Swedish Lutheran peasant is given a great and generous offer by a baron. The exchange goes as follows:
"You are not like the other pietists," he [the baron] had said. "You are mery and can sing a gay ballad at times. If you will promise to keep from excesses and to show moderation also in Christianity, I'll give you half a barrel of rye right now. There should be moderation in everything."

Aron [the peasant] had answered him, "You can keep that rye, Baron, because the condition you require is too difficult for me. Moderate means, does it not, that the amount shall be the proper amount? And the right measure of Christianity is to love God with all one's heart and one's neighbor as oneself. I still have far to go to measure up."

The baron laughed and sent for the half a barrel of rye, nevertheless.
(pg 67)

* Bo Giertz, born in Sweden in 1905, was a parish pastor and then a Bishop of the Lutheran diocese of Gothenburg, Sweden. An internationally respected clergyman and theologian, Giertz has been compared to other twentieth-century Christian apologists, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and C.S. Lewis.


Anonymous said...

On the website there is a good article written in 1949 by Bo Giertz concerning liturgy and spiritual awakening.

Jim Roemke said...

Thanks for the info on the article. I will read it this afternoon.