My Homiletics students are reading Stanley Hauerwas’s essay “Speaking Christian” for our next class on Wednesday. It contains the following prescient gem of a quote. Keep in mind the address was published over twelve years ago.
“Many Christians think being a Christian gives them all the problems they want. In particular they fear being associated with the Christian right. I am sympathetic with their desire not to be identified with the Christian right not because the Christian right is intolerant, but because the Christian right has lost the ability to speak Christian just to the extent they identify Christian speech with what Americans call “freedom.”” 1
Ever the equal opportunist, this quote occurs directly after Hauerwas has called to task a prominent mainline church leader for their failure to speak in a manner consistent with the Christian affirmation of the incarnation and the Trinity, as a result of capitulating to the liberal ideal of tolerance.
- Stanley Hauerwas, “Speaking Christian: A Commencement Address for Eastern Mennonite Seminary,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 84, no. 3 (July 2010): 441-449; it also appears in Working with Words. ↩