A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quote of the Day-- Stanley Hauerwas

"The lordship of Christ is the center that guides all that Christians do and all they hold dear. Christians, therefore, must subordinate or even reject those desires and loves that make it impossible for them to be disciples of Jesus."

"Attempts to defend the cause of the church before-- or by using-- secular standards and processes cannot help but betray the presumption that the true meaning of history is to be located somewhere else than the church. According to Yoder, the view that what God is doing is being done primarily through the framework of society as a whole and not through the Christian community is the presumption that lies behind the Constantinian accommodation of the church to the world. Put simply, Constantinianism is the attempt to make Christianity necessary, to make the church at home in the world, in a manner that witness is no longer required."

"To be sure, Constantinianism has taken many different forms throughout history, but the common thread that constitutes the family resemblance between its various forms is that the validity of the church of Jesus Christ, and of the New Testament is to be judged by standards derived from the world. According to Yoder, 'secular revelation' originally was assumed to come by way of the power of the emperor of Rome. But for those of us constituted by the secularism of modernity, this 'revelation' is captured in the presumption that our only alternative is to believe in the fantastic capacity of our democratic and technocratic societies to make things work..."

"It is a mistake, therefore, when in the interest of 'justifying' our convictions or of being socially 'responsible,' Christians think that we must translate our language into the dominant language of our surroundings. The early Christians did not ask, "Shall messianic Jews enter the Hellenistic world and adjust to its concepts. Their question could not be whether or not to enter the world of Hellenism, but how to be there."

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From With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2001), 221-222.

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