As we strive to study the past Christianly, one of our goals should be to identify heroes without manufacturing idols.
We all need heroes, individuals to look up to who model the character and accomplishments we aspire to. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact we have biblical warrant for it. In his first letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul taught and admonished the fellowship there regarding a number of topics and then offered the audacious suggestion, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). It is as if Paul was saying, “Look, I realize that this teaching can be difficult, so if you’re having a hard time, just follow my example as I try to live it out before you.” He even promised to send his “son in the faith” Timothy to “remind you of my ways in Christ” (I Corinthians 4:17).
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