Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I read a comment today that John Wilkes wrote in regards to Day 6 of "A Week With Stanley Hauerwas". I love what he has to say so much that I think it's post worthy.

John, I just want to say thanks for insightful and "bridge building" comments that help all who read to grow and stretch a bit more.

Hauerwas says:

"When people say, "The world changed on Sept. 11, 2001," we have to say "No, the world changed on 33 A.D." The question is how to narrate what happened on Sept. 11 in light of what happened in 33 A.D."

John Wilkes replies with:

"I have read and re-read that quote from Hauerwas about 15 times since I first saw it up on your blog. Really, it is the answer for not just 9/11 but every tragedy, every cultural or ideological shift, every innovation or evolution or even collapse that passes in our moment of history.

We, as people who follow the Crucified and Risen Master, must see the events of our world in light of the Gospel and not the other way around.Perhaps the driving force of the growing rift between the Progressives and Evangelicals is that neither has really learned that lesson yet. Maybe we are all trying so hard to make the Gospel make sense TO us that we've forgotten how to let it make sense OF us."

Yeah, I definitely cannot say it any better than that folks.



TN Rambler said...

All I can add is AMEN and thanks for the reminder.


John Wilks said...

In all honesty, though I said it in my own way, the credit for that thought doesn't belong to me. The idea behind those words came to me through the music of Rich Mullins.

In his song "Creed" Mullins sings

"I did not make it! No, it is making me! It is the very Word of God and not the invention of any man."

When I first heard that song, I dismissed it as lazy song-writing. After all, 90% of it is just the Apostles' Creed set to music.

But that line has haunted me for the last few years. It has invaded my very soul. Often when I read the Scriptures, lead the congregation in a creed, or sit down to teach teen-agers about the Christian life, the refrain carries through in the back of my mind.

I don't know one Christian who doesn't derive some comfort and guidance from their faith. But it is one thing to believe and take comfort- and quite another to give oneself completely over to those beliefs and let them have their way- let Christ have His way- with the whole person.

That is to say nothing about the great surrender it will take for the Bride to finally yield in devotion and trust to Her Groom.

As a Methodist, I think of that surender, that willingness to let the Good News about Jesus shape us and mold us until we become the Gospel's kind of person (as opposed to tweaking and interpriting it until we have our kind of Gospel) is very close to the heart of Wesley's understanding of Christian perfection.