As he did last year, President Obama offered some moving remarks about the meaning of Easter to a group of pastors this morning at the White House. Among his most noteworthy comments:

Its only because He endured unimaginable pain that wracked His body and bore the sins of the world that He burdened — that burdened His soul that we are able to proclaim, He is Risen! So the struggle to fathom that unfathomable sacrifice makes Easter all the more meaningful to all of us. It helps us to provide an eternal perspective to whatever temporal challenges we face.

Well, amen. Good words. Although contra Mr. Obama in another section of the speech, Jesus did not “know doubt.” He knew the unutterable pain that would be His, but anticipation of suffering and doubt as to its purpose are two different things.

But not to nitpick: it is encouraging when an American President refers to “the sacrifice of a risen savior who died so that we might live.” Yet lost, sadly, in his affirmation of the reality of an atoning death and justifying resurrection is the potency it would have were Mr. Obama to ally himself to what Paul the Apostle called “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). This includes the belief that the unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt with recognition of his cousin Jesus (Luke 1:41), that the risen Savior was conceived in a virgin’s womb, that the kind of marriage ordained by God in Genesis 2 and affirmed by Jesus at Cana (John 2) exists only between a man and a woman, that honoring religious convictions means not coercing those who hold them into violating their consciences.

The President need not be a theologian, but his encouraging profession of trust in Christ is dampened by his unwillingness to apply the implications of that relationship to his public policies. Now, three years on, doing so should not be above his paygrade - or beyond the reach of his faith.