After You Believe
I have recently been enjoying N. T. Wright's latest book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters.
In this insightful work, Wright declares that there is much more to Christian conduct than "just keeping the rules" on one hand, or "just being yourself" on the other. He says Christian character is a matter of virtue. . . or Christlikeness. . . or living as Kingdom people.
The good bishop's emphasis on virtue reminds me of another Anglican -- John Wesley (although Wesley uses other words, it's the same concept of heart holiness.)
As usual, Wright brings it back around to eschatology. We are called to live virtuous lives, as a reflection of the Kingdom that has already come (in Christ) -- and WILL come in fullness.
We are Kingdom people -- and thus, our lives should reflect this citizenship.
If we're falling short, we need to keep practicing! As Peter Bohler told John Wesley (my paraphrase), "Preach it until you have it, and then. because you have it, you will preach it."
Or, "Practice it until you have it, and then, because you have it, you will practice it."