A provocative quote from Douglas Harink for Canada Day from his insightful discussion of Romans 13 in his recent book Resurrecting Justice:
“What do messianics owe political authorities and institutions? Not obedience. Not loyalty. Not flag-waving, anthem-singing devotion. Not military service. Not participation in their ministries of punishment and death. But also, not violent resistance or revolution (Rom. 13:2). Messianics are neither for nor against worldly political authority. In this sense, they might truly be called anarchists, because for them justice and life do not depend on the “archys” – the ruling powers of this age. Nothing truly messianic hinges on whether the ruling powers are for or against them. Messianics are conscientious unbelievers in worldly politics (syneidesin = “conscience” in Rom. 13:5). They practice holy, peaceable anarchy because they refuse to believe in and dedicate their bodies and souls to the political systems of this age.”
When I was teaching in Toronto, there was a period of several years in a row where I read Lesslie Newbigin’s Foolishness to the Greeks with my students. I consider the book, written in 1986, to be something of a 20th century theological classic. As evidence of that, I did try a few years ago to blog through Newbigin’s seven essentials for a church seeking a genuine missionary encounter with Western culture. I only made it through the first four before other endeavors required my attention, but you can find links to those previous posts here. Continue reading Newbigin’s Prophetic Insight
“God commanded Noah to make an Ark, in which he and his family — that is, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives —were to be saved from the devastation of the Flood, together with the animals that went into the Ark in accordance with God’s directions. Without doubt this is a symbol of the City of God on pilgrimage in this world: that is, of the Church which is saved through the wood upon which hung ‘the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’.” (XV.26)
A rich, but very busy semester has cut into the frequency of my blog postings this year. However, a spring “snow day” here in Manitoba has provided me with the opportunity to share a quote from the 4th century Church Father Gregory Nazianzus. I was lecturing on the Cappadocian Fathers last week in my “Reading with the Fathers” class and we will be discussing Gregory’s “Defense of His Flight to Pontus,” as well as his “Last Farewell” (delivered at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.) this coming week. Continue reading Gregory Nazianzus on the Pursuit of Wisdom
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”)