It’s been a month since my last post. Perhaps this makes me a bad blogger.
I have been busying myself with church work, school work (I am taking my final course for my MDiv), thesis-ing, teaching, learning German, and (the far from simple process of) applying to PhD programs. So, that’s my excuse.
I do hope to post some of what I’ve been working on soon. I am beginning the work on my thesis in which I will compare the church’s relationship vis a vie “the political” in the theologies of Jürgen Moltmann, Stanley Hauerwas, and Karl Barth. It is my contention that Barth helpfully reframes the discussion. I’ve submitted the proposal and perhaps I’ll post some of my preliminary thoughts here soon.
The anniversary of 9/11 this past week has turned my attention to how we, as Christians, view the history of the world. I remember Stanley Hauerwas writing something along the lines of, “Christians don’t believe that the world changed forever on 9/11. We believe the world changed forever in AD 33.” He has similar sentiments in an article that he wrote on last year’s 9/11 anniversary in which he tries to convince Christians that they believe that war has already been abolished. All that brought to mind a some what famous Yoder quote that has always been one of my favorites.
“The lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power!” John is here saying, not as an inscrutable paradox but as a meaningful affirmation, that the cross and not the sword, suffering and not brute power determines the meaning of history. The key to the obedience of God’s people is not their effectiveness but their patience (Rev 13:10). The triumph of the right is assured not by the might that comes to the aid of the right, which is of course the justification of the use of violence and other kinds of power in every human conflict. The triumph of the right, although it is assured, is sure because of the power of the resurrection and not because of any calculation of causes and effects, nor because of the inherently greater strength of the good guys. The relationship between the obedience of God’s people and the triumph of God’s cause is not a relationship of cause an effect but one of cross and resurrection.
John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster second edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 232.