One of the more prominent homiletical metaphors that is operative in the imaginations of preachers of many different stripes and backgrounds is that of the preacher as a bridge-builder between the ancient world of Scripture and our current cultural moment. Through careful rhetorical engineering, the preacher is able to construct a bridge that is capable of carrying the biblical freight across the chasm of the ages, in the process demonstrating its relevance for today. Continue reading The Preacher as Bridge-Builder: A Misguided Metaphor
Michael Gorman, a New Testament scholar whose work I have found to be both insightful and refreshing, has recently published a fictional letter from the Apostle Paul to Christians in the United States in the Christian Century. I heard Gorman present an earlier version of this letter during an address at a theological conference at Northeastern University in Rochester, NY, a couple of years ago, which was subsequently published in the Canadian Theological Review. It is well worth the read. I will be incorporating it into my upcoming Christian Ethics course. You can access it here.
It was able to share an enjoyable evening last night with an engaged group of people at the McNally Robinson bookstore in Winnipeg. One of the things I was attempting to do in my lecture was to recover the eschatological character of the Christian faith, bound up as it is with the coming of Messiah and the pouring out of the promised Spirit. The irruption of the eschaton introduces the distinction between church and world, which is clearly elucidated by Hauerwas and Willimon in the following quote which appeared in my lecture: Continue reading It’s Still the End of the World!
“The church lives in Advent. That is to say, the church lives between two advents, Jesus Christ has come; Jesus Christ will come. We do not know the day or the hour. If you find this tension almost unbearable at times, then you understand the Christian life. We live at what the New Testament depicts as the turning of the ages. In Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God is in head-on collision with the powers of darkness. The point of impact is the place where Christians take their stand. Continue reading The Church Lives in Advent
This is the sixth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
“In contrast to the triumphant church, the early church was a militant church. The militant church, moreover, alone is the church. The triumphant church, as well as the very concept of Christendom, is but vain conceit. Nowhere is that vanity more apparent than the triumphant church’s inability to produce martyrs. Continue reading The Failure of the Triumphant Church (Series on “Minding the Web”)
This is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
“To find the proper words” strikes me as the great challenge for the recovery of the church’s visibility. Consider, for example, Bonhoeffer’s reflections in the Ethics—tellingly in the section “Ethics as Formation”—in which he describes how Hitler, the one who tyrannically despises humanity, makes use of the meanness of the human heart by giving it other names. Continue reading Bonhoeffer on “Stolen Words” (Series on “Minding the Web”)