The audio from Glen Soderholm’s presentation at the launch for my book, For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, has now been posted in the Book Launch Celebration section of the website. Glen drew the fourth chapter of the book, “For the Life of the World: Church and World Revisited,” into fruitful dialogue with his own unique experience as a missional practioner, pastor, and church planter.
For those who would appreciate a primer on the chapter before listening to Glen’s remarks, a brief synopsis can be found below.
Chapter 4 – For the Life of the World: Church and World Revisited
This chapter can be considered to be the logical outworking of the Christological and ecclesiological commitments of the two theologians explored in the previous two chapters. It considers how both Bonhoeffer and Hauerwas understand the unique ministry of the church as a distinctly evangelical and catholic community in the world. Stemming from their Christological commitments, both men have a profound interest in the world and could be considered to be advocates a certain type of Christian humanism. However, the form of this humanism cannot be dictated by terms of the world, but must be received from the saving activity of the Triune God made manifest in Jesus Christ. Particular attention is directed towards the question of church and state and the themes of genuine worldliness and friendship. The writings from the period of Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the conspiracy and subsequent imprisonment (1940-1945) provide the impetus for exploring Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the church-world relationship. Whereas Hauerwas’s writings following the turn of the millennium, which mark a self-professed turn towards engaging in a much more constructive manner with American society, provide the material content for the exploration of Hauerwas’s understanding of the church’s witness to the world. The chapter is brought to a close with a concluding section that seeks to bring the two theologians into dialogue around the themes addressed over the course of the chapter.