God’s grace is a commanding grace, Karl Barth says. The sheer fact that God turns towards us to say anything at all means that revelation IS grace. God’s free forgiveness is inseparable from God’s command and call for us to be his particular people in the world.
Across decades and in over 20 books, Stanley Hauerwas has explicated those sentences above, equipping the Church to be the Church so that the world might learn it’s the “world.” Though as a preacher I work in the medium of wild exaggeration, I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that I give God thanks every day that God put Stanley into my life. Folks like Barth, Fleming, Luther, DBH and others make my Mt. Rushmore, but it’s Stanley that I return to again and again. From him, I’ve learned that the Gospel is that Jesus is Lord and the purpose of the Church is not to make the world come out right but to perform the Gospel so that the lives of Christians might make it intelligible.
This is an old episode, one of our first, in which I failed to get Stan off his usual talking points. Oh well, look for an upcoming episode with Stan and David Hunsicker about David’s new book on The Making of Stanley Hauerwas.
In the meantime, get your very own Stanley T-Shirt emblazoned with his choice quip “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit.”