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Tolstoy on spiritual rebirth


   In passages in Anna Karinen, Tolstoy insinuates that 
   evangelical theology, "saved by faith and not by works", is a 
   sham.  To what extent is he right? 

   Tolstoy implies that after a person has "given his heart to 
   Christ", been "born again", he still has the same bad 
   motivations, wrong spirit, and tendencies toward badness that 
   he had before and is simply deceiving himself when he thinks he 
   is transformed, a new creature led of God; that he becomes 
   pharisaical and self-righteous, that he pretends to be better 
   than others, on a higher level than others, but has the same 
   mean motivations and weaknesses; is guilty of rationalizing and 
   deceiving himself, putting a religious slant and justification 
   on everything but doing the same mean things; that he 
   exaggerates feelings and facts, pretends to feelings he doesn't 
   have, makes mystical claims such as "having a heart that is new 
   and filled with God" that are deceptive and untrue --- 
   resulting in self-deception and sham. 

   How much truth is there in this?


                       Anna Karinen, Penguin Classics, p.765-771

   Oct 1976

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