Monday, August 22, 2005

A WEEK WITH HAUERWAS, day 1


Hauerwas on Violence And The Church:

God's given us all the time we need to patiently help our congregations be what they can be. That's the way you want people formed, because that's the way the Spirit operates. If you help people discover the violence in their lives, though, don't expect to be honored. One of my favorite epigrams is that Christians are not nonviolent because we believe our nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, even though, of course, we want to make the world less violent. But rather, Christians are nonviolent in a world of war because we cannot image anything else as faithful followers of Christ.

9 comments:

Dale said...

Great article. So what Hauerwas stuff are you planning on reading this week?

St.Phransus said...

oh i've got some great snippets of hauerwas reflections lined up. i came up with the idea last night to a whole week of lil' quotes to spark the imagination.

shalom,
jonathon

Zoomdaddy said...

Is there room for just war banter on your blog, Jonathan?

St.Phransus said...

sure 'nough. but i warn you, i'm a pacifist who when engaged in banter begins to play nasty. ha ha.

jonathon

ColeWake said...

uhh...shouldn't this be a post about some visit with someone somewhere?

St.Phransus said...

Actually I'm inviting my readers to spend a week with Hauerwas's words and see how they sit with the Christian conscious.

Zoomdaddy said...

OK, Here goes...
I am not convinced violence in and of itself its morally evil...
cases in point 1) we do "violence" to eradicate germs that are potentially harmful to human life, 2) we "destroy" drug labs that spread the blight of narcotic addiction, 3) we "use force" to apprehend suspected criminals, 4) there are the biblical examples of Israel's warfare against her enemies being blessed by God.
I believe violence is morally neutral and can be harnessed for good ends, not unlike anger. Violence can be a means of grace, especially if accept the validity of "spiritual warfare" to mean physical structures being under spiritual malevolent spiritual influences. In fact, violence has been used to bring about the end of the evils of tyrants such as Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Even Bonhoeffer, pacifist as he was, was in on the plot to assassinate Hitler, putting flesh on the theoretical struggle of how violent ends are necessary to maintain peaceful societies. I think pacifism is laudable in its goals, but practically untenable in the midst of this already/not yet world where the kingdom of God has been ushered in through Jesus Christ but has not come to full fruition with the new heavens and new earth where peace will truly and fully reign.

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St.Phransus said...

"I think pacifism is laudable in its goals, but practically untenable in the midst of this already/not yet world where the kingdom of God has been ushered in through Jesus Christ but has not come to full fruition with the new heavens and new earth where peace will truly and fully reign."

I think you bring up some good points that I want to think through. But from where Hauerwas is coming from, and I tend to agree, nonviolence as an alternative is not to eradicate violence and war. For Christians it is simply a way of life that is an example to a violent world of how Christ lived. We live in hope that our actions might rub off on others and create alternatives, but that's not why a Christian would be pacifist- we'd simply be so because Jesus was ultimately nonviolent.