Not Faith 101
Regarding Paul, Buechner says, "Since then the charges against him have tended to narrow down to one, i.e. that he took the simple and beautiful Gospel of Jesus and loused it up with obscure, divisive, and unnecessary theological subtleties."
There is a scene in the movie An American President when the President, played by Michael Douglas, says, "American isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bed, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight." He means, among other things, that you can't just say, "Freedom of speech." You have to stand up for the right of the person in front of you, who disagrees with you completely, to be able to say so. It isn't easy.
Christianity isn't easy, either. We can boil it down to "Love God; love your neighbor," but that's not simple. It's not easy. It's not faith 101. You have to want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight.
I'm always wary when someone tells me that faith in God is simple. That the words of the Bible are black and white, and there is no interpretation needed. I always want to ask if the person saying it has actually read it - all of it.
Thank God for Paul, who God gave us to help us to understand what happened when Jesus "exploded on the scene...and blew the world in general ... sky high."