In my sermon prep today I came across this piercing paragraph from the always prophetic Stanely Hauerwas (his commentary on Matthew).
“Rightly reading the signs of the times requires a church capable of standing against the legitimating stories of the day. American Christians often think that if we had been confronted with someone like Hitler we would have been able to recognize that he was evil. Yet in many ways, the church in Germany was a church more theologically articulate than the American church has ever been; still the German church failed to know how to adequately challenge the rise of Hitler. It failed because Christians in Germany assumed that they were German Christians just as American Christians assume that they are American Christians. Churches that are nationally identified will seldom be able to faithfully read the signs of the time.”
Please, please don’t read this as some overt political statement from me or some kind of Hitler/Trump equivalency. If you do, you are missing the target.
It is actually an ecclesial statement.
How does the church remain faithful in the midst of so many counter-stories, particularly “nationalism”? How do we maintain our equilibrium in the midst of so many different and competing narratives?
How do we maintain our equilibrium in the midst of so many different and competing narratives?
BTW – this commentary was written in 2006 if anything he was referring to George W Bush. Hehe!