Hauerwas for my Homies

My daughter just came in the kitchen to get some chocolate milk for her and “bubby,” so I filled up their sippy-cups and said, “OK, but when you take it to Caleb I want you to say, ‘One for me, and one for my homies!'” She did it, and I laughed. I wasn’t in the living room to see my wife roll her eyes.

The blogging-experts out there seem to have a low opinion of folks who simply link to other people’s good stuff without a lot of commentary, and I sometimes think I do that too much. Yet, nearly every time I run into someone who frequents my blog they comment on me pointing them to things they wouldn’t otherwise stumble across (I use Google Reader, an RSS reader, so it really doesn’t take much time to come across a lot of great things).

So, I’ve come to realize that this is part of what I do through this blog. Anyway, that’s a long way of introducing this really good article by Tony Jones on the “Hauerwasian Mafia.” Trust me, I’ve had a similar journey to him after a good dose of Hauerwas during seminary. I especially loved this small vingette from his larger piece,

Having been persuaded by this thinking while in seminary, my assistant at the church didn’t understand when I went catatonic after checking my voice mail. I had only been on the job as a pastor for a couple months, and I received the offending phone message from the most unlikely source: the mom who was putting on the Cub Scout banquet. That’s right, from the seemingly innocuous mouth of a Den Mother came the Siren’s Call of collaboration with the militaristic state: she wanted me to say the opening prayer at the annual banquet.

In catatonia, I searched my soul. What would I be doing there, if I did accept? Surely, I would be granting the imprimatur of the Deity on the purely secular proceedings that would follow. I had been told in no uncertain terms by the HM that accepting invitations just like these and lending the gloss of religiosity to secular occasions is exactly what has led to the impotency of the American church. The HM angel on my shoulder told me to call the Den Mom back and respectfully decline on the grounds that God wasn’t for sale (or, in this case, for rent along with the church’s Great Hall).

But how could I turn down the Den Mom and several dozen little boys in kerchiefs? Maybe it would be great outreach opportunity, said the devil on my other shoulder. Maybe it would be a sign of hospitality and grace that would entice one of the little Cubs and his family to visit the church for worship. Maybe I’d have a good conversation over dinner with a spiritual “seeker.”

Like Tony, my pragmatic side has nearly always won out over my Hauerwasian bent. So go ahead, get over to Tony’s blog and check out his thoughts.

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