A little bit of theology

In this letter I will solve the theological problem of all times. I will do that on the basis of a question which should occupy all and which goes like this : Should one say uphill or downhill?

Children will surely give clear answers. But I do not have children with me, so I must resort to theologians when I will clarify the issue, and the two theologians which are natural to distinguish, are Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther, who both lived in the 1500s. Those two did totally disagree. Erasmus said uphill is the correct thing to say, and Luther said downhill is the correct thing to say. The two of them disagreed so much, they could not play together.

Erasmus believed that life is an uphill God has made, and that one needs to stay on the path to reach the top. To stay on the path is good, while leaving the path is bad. If one leaves the way, there will be a lot of snow one will get lost in, and if one does that, one will never reach the top. It may seem like it is more fun to go off the road, but if one does, one will be awfully stuck very fast. Man has a free will, said Erasmus, and it comes to choosing to go so that one stays on the road. The climb up the hill is tiring, for the ascent is also steep, but the rewards are great for those who manage to get to the top, and who God thus finds worthy of eternal life.

Luther was very indignant when he heard what Erasmus meant, and he told Erasmus his view in very clear terms. Life is not an uphill, but a downhill, said Luther. When one has been saved: when one has been converted and has been incorporated in Christ, life will be a downhill that leads to eternal life. The path is narrow, but one has no choice other than to stay on the road, since the road gives itself, and since gravity sees to it one only has to steer a bit on the way down. And should one fall into the ditch, that is fun, too. It is fun to embarrass oneself. To leave the road and take to the woods, no one will do. There one has nothing to do. Thus, one has no choice, said Luther, other than to stay on the road.

The two of them totally disagreed whether one should say uphill or downhill. Most would agree with Erasmus, and tell us one should say uphill. But Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen. Erasmus said that Christians are called, and Luther said that Christians are chosen.

Personally, I am certain one should say downhill. If I want to ride the sleigh a second time, Dad will pull me up. Those who think it is called uphill often claim that those who believe it is called downhill are smug and proud . But that is to turn everything upside down. It is those who think it is called uphill who are smug and proud, for they believe themselves to be important by virtue of their ability to climb the hill. We who believe that it is called downhill just want to thank God.

Those who think it is called uphill are as goats, who typically hope they reach the top of the hill. We who believe it is called downhill are like sheep, who typically believe it goes the right way down the hill. And we are justified by faith, and by faith alone.