Stanley Hauerwas, one of my Mt. Rushmore theologians, is our guest preacher this weekend for my church’s 60th Anniversary. Hauerwas, variously described as either an angry, happy man or a happy, angry man, is the master of dense, loaded quips and asides.
To introduce him to my church, I collected these choice quotes:
“The church doesn’t have a politics, the church is a politics.”
“Christians are called to live nonviolently not because we believe nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but in a world of war as faithful followers of Christ, we cannot imagine being anything other than nonviolent.”
“The basis for the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount is not what works, but rather who God is.
“When Christianity is assumed to be an ‘answer’ that makes the world intelligible, it reflects an accommodated church committed to maintaining the status quo.”
“Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol.”
“I always say I represent the “Tonto principle of Christian ethics.” When Tonto and the Lone Ranger found themselves surrounded by 20,000 Sioux, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and said, “This looks pretty tough; what do you think we ought to do, Tonto?” Tonto replied, “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”
“Our sin is exactly the presumption that we can know God or ourselves through our own capacities.”
“Christian salvation consists in works. To be saved is to be made holy. To be saved requires our being made part of a people separated from the world so that we can be united in spite of – or perhaps better, because of – the world’s fragmentation and divisions.”
“Christians are nonviolent not, therefore, because we believe that nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but as followers of Jesus in a world of war we cannot be anything other than nonviolent. Christians, then, do not work for the abolition of war, but rather Christians live recognizing that in the cross of Christ, war has been abolished.”