General CBF

Experiencing Holy Envy

By Bryce Null
Bryce Null
Krister Stendahl is credited with developing three rules for religious understanding.

The first two rules are straightforward:
1. If you desire to learn about another’s religion ask the adherent, not the enemy, of that religion.
2. Do not compare your best with their worst.

In the third and final rule, Stendahl advises that one leave room for what he calls “holy envy,” that is strive to recognize the beauty that can be found within a religious tradition that is not your own.

Almost three years ago (about a month before I started seminary) I was first introduced to these three rules while I attended Second Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. Every year Second Baptist participates in a ‘Worship Exchange’ with Congregation Shaareth Israel. On Friday, members from Second Baptist experience the service at the synagogue and then on Sunday morning the members from Congregation Shaareth join Second B during their service.

However, on this particular weekend there was a special event held at the Raindrop Turkish House, where members from the community were invited to participate in Noah’s Pudding (Ashure). Noah’s Pudding is known as one of the oldest dishes in the world and originates in Turkey. On this evening we learned the history of Noah’s Pudding and were able to dialogue with members of various faith traditions in the community.

On this night we broke bread together and had time of fellowship. We did not meet for the purpose of converting the other from his or her religion, but rather to learn from differing experiences and find shared belief.

This event has remained with me throughout my time at Logsdon Seminary.

Seminary is a time when students are exposed to various ideas and theologies—sometimes vastly different from what she or he ever experienced growing up—this is a time to learn from others with open minds and open hearts.

Bryce Null is a CBF Leadership Scholar attending Logsdon Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University.

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