Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hauerwas and Willimon

William Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas are professors at Duke Universtiy. I was profoundly influenced by their first book entitiled Resident Aliens. My friend Phil Webster introduced that book to me before leaving Las Vegas to go to Duke and study with Hauerwas.

I just read another book by them that is the best book I've read in a few years. It is called Lord, Teach Us: The Lord's Prayer and the Christian Life. They wrote with the idea that The Lord's Prayer contains all a new convert needs to begin to living as a Jesus disciple within the Kingdom. It's solid.

Here are a few selected passages from the first part of the book:

"Think of Christianity, not primarily as a set of doctrines, a volunteer organization, or a list of appropriate behaviors. Think of Christianity as naming a journey of a people. As you read the Gospels, you will note that Jesus and his disciples are always on the way somewhere else, breathlessly on the move." p. 13

"There are many books that attempt to “explain” Christianity, as if Christianity is a set of interesting ideas or a set of beliefs. By affirming a minimal section of these beliefs, Christianity is supposed to give your life meaning and purpose, or fulfill some set of expectations you had in your mind before you met Christianity. We have nothing against your life being meaningful, but that is not primarily what the Christian faith is about. Rather, to be a Christian is to have been drafted to be part of an adventure, a journey called God’s Kingdom." p. 14-15

"Salvation, Christian salvation, is not some individualized relationship between me and God. Rather, salvation is being drafted into an adventure, having our lives commandeered by God to go on a journey called the Christian faith…Being saved is not some individual achievement, not the result of some flash of personal insight, nor the securing of life’s sense of meaning…Salvation is the delightful surprise of having your little life caught up in the purposes of God for the whole world. Salvation is having your life bent toward God when all you thought you were doing was memorizing the [Lord’s] prayer." p. 21

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