Hauerwas in 30 Seconds

Jason Micheli —  October 19, 2016 — 3 Comments

maxresdefaultStanley 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 first task of the Church is not to make the world more just; the first task of the Church is to be the Church for only then might the world know that it’s the world.”

“Beware when you hear a Methodist minister quote his twelve year old in a sermon. When that happens you know you’re fixin’ to hear some bullshit.”

“I say I’m a pacifist because I am a violent son of a bitch. I’m a Texan. I can feel it in every bone I’ve got. And I hate the language of pacifism because it’s too passive. But by avowing it, I create expectations in others that hopefully will help me live faithfully to what is true.”

“You can’t have a personal relationship with God and correctly speak Christian.”

“The story of modernity is that you should have no story except the story you chose when you had no story. Notice, this is a story you didn’t get to choose. We call this ‘freedom’ and it alone can produce bullshit such as “I believe Jesus is Lord but that’s just my personal opinion.”

“American Protestants do not have to believe in God because they believe in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce an interesting atheist in America.”

“A social order bent on producing wealth as an end in itself cannot avoid the creation of a people whose souls are superficial and whose daily life is captured by sentimentalities. Such a society produces people who ask questions like “Why do bad things happen to good people? ”

“Christians do not place their hope in their children”

“Christianity is not ‘all about love.’”

“Conservatives and liberals understand the Christian faith as a set of ideas because, so understood, Christianity seems to be a set of beliefs accessible to anyone upon reflection, which is but a way of maintaining the status quo.”

“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.”

“You never marry the right person.”

Jason Micheli


3 responses to Hauerwas in 30 Seconds

  1. I can’t wait to hear him preach!! Thanks, Jason!

  2. Sources! I wanna go back and read where these came from… 😀

  3. As a fellow Hauerwasian and Duke grad, I have greatly enjoyed posting this on facebook and fielding the responses. Thank you for collating this.

    These feel like quotes from lectures for the most part. Is that an accurate hunch?

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