Peter Kreeft on the essence of Christianity

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“What’s missing here? Simply the essence of Christianity, which is not the Sermon on the Mount. When Christianity was proclaimed throughout the world, the proclamation was not ‘Love your enemies!’ but ‘Christ is risen!’ This was not a new ideal but a new event, that God became man, died, and rose for our salvation. Christianity is first of all not ideal but real, and event, news, the gospel, the ‘good news.’ The essence of Christianity is not Christianity; the essence of Christianity is Christ… The Sermon on the Mount not only comes from Jesus but also leads us to Jesus. It does not divert us from Jesus to a set of abstract ideals, but its ideals lead us to Jesus. who alone can fulfill them in us… The sermon is an arrow and Jesus is the bull’s eye, not vice versa.”

– Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue, p. 83, 86