After reading Derek’s post, I got interested in some Hauerwas elaborations. A Google search on Hauerwas, relevance, Caesar yielded a paper by Samuel Martin Bailey Wells at Durham U.: “How the Church performs Jesusâ€™ story : improvising on the theological ethics of Stanley Hauerwas”.
Here’s a juicy (and “fruity” – and fruit as in robust, healthy truth, rather than “carzy off the wall, although one could argue that such is the case as seen through the lenses of the world)) quote from it:
Christian ethics are therefore done by powerless people who recognise that their faithfulness will inevitably result in their being a minority community. It is not so much that they have renounced control as that the forms of life they have adopted mean that control is unlikely to come their way. They do not believe that the forces that determine the march of history are controlled by the leaders of the armies and markets, so it is not inevitable that Christians must become lords of the state and the economy so as to use that power towards the ends they consider desirable.
People try to straddle the chasm between the Kingdom ethic and “the economy” (perhaps the word “economy should be capitalized in this context, since this is THE ECONOMY to which many strive to REMAIN compliant). The challenges set forth by the church to this economy as the one that operates as the THE are rare. Sadly, the church has been very little help in this matter. The attempts to be “relevant” , conversant, and therefore “successful” and “prsoperous” or at a level of “minimal prospering” are the subject of long conversation, and often painful experimentation. I am pissed at the church for how timid it has been in this field. In proportion to how often Jesus invokes the issue of money vs EVERYTHING else, the church has been criminally negligent; or “heretically negligent” in this case. I mentioned the other day in a previous post that The Church of the Saviour in DC is the only church of which I have ever been aware of an intentional focus on the problem of money. (I believe their “Ministry of Money” is an outgrowth of one of their mission groups).