Aesop’s Fables and Arguing Religion

Been reading Aesop’s Fables lately. There is much wisdom in these cute little stories, along with some other stuff.

One of the fables I read reminded me of arguing about religion! It goes like this:

A TRAVELER hired an Ass to convey him to a distant place. The day being intensely hot, and the sun shining in its strength, the Traveler stopped to rest, and sought shelter from the heat under the Shadow of the Ass. As this afforded only protection for one, and as the Traveler and the owner of the Ass both claimed it, a violent dispute arose between them as to which of them had the right to the Shadow. The owner maintained that he had let the Ass only, and not his Shadow. The Traveler asserted that he had, with the hire of the Ass, hired his Shadow also. The quarrel proceeded from words to blows, and while the men fought, the Ass galloped off.

In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.

If that doesn’t describe Christianity, I don’t know what does.

Christ and the Gospel are center. If we miss that, if that gets lost, then whatever it is we are pontificating on, even if we are right, is nothing but hot air fogging up the windows of theological clarity.

Argue sparingly. Pick your battles. Make sure the battle brings the war closer to a conclusion. Be careful out there.

2 thoughts on “Aesop’s Fables and Arguing Religion”

  1. I thought I read once in a bio of Aesop that he was killed when he offended the citizens of a certain city. He said something like this: “You citizens of [blank] are like the froth on the sea, which at a great distance looks very valuable, but as we come closer to it, we realize how worthless it really is!”

    Two more recent books that are along the line of Aesop, and also very good reading, are Laura Richards’ “Golden Windows” and “Silver Crown”. They seem to be written for children, but the deeper meaning in the stories have a depth that a child would not fully grasp.

    By the way, Jeff, the statue of Aesop on Wikipedia looks a bit like you…!

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