Legacy of Stanley Hauerwas

referenced by Rick Mckinley at Imago Dei.

Stanley Hauerwas is considered by many to be a leading theologian in America and says of his legacy (here) that he wants students to care about what he cares about…truthfulness of Christian speech. He wants students to engage in questions about faith and God without the feeling that they need to protect God, because the moment you feel you need to protect God then you can be sure that you’re worshiping an idol. He wants the intellectuals to be engaged in such a way that no question is thought to be avoided…to care deeply about the Gospel in a way that is compelling for how we understand our lives in this world that is destined to death.

The Denial of Death – Earnest Becker

This book has been referenced a lot on Richard Beck’s blog and on Beyondtheboxpodcast.com. Some quotes and ideas from the book below:

“The man of knowledge in our time is bowed down under a burden he never imagined he would ever have: the overproduction of truth that cannot be consumed. For centuries man lived in the belief that truth was slim and elusive and that once he found it the troubles of mankind would be over. And here we are in the closing decades of the 20th century, choking on truth. There has been so much brilliant writing, so many genial discoveries, so vast an extension and elaboration of these discoveries – yet the mind is silent as the world spins on its age-old demonic career. (this is then contrasted by the proof of our priorities)…This year the order of priority was again graphically shown by a world arms budget of 204 billion dollars, at a time when human living conditions on the planet were worse than ever.”

“…for the time being I gave up writing – there is already too much truth in the world – an overproduction which apparently cannot be consumed!” – Otto Rank (disciple of Freud)

Becker tries through this book to unify or harmonize the plethora of views on man and the human condition. He attempts to strip away the exaggeration and distill the arguments to the core truths they contain. It is his bid for the peace of his scholarly soul that has struggled for many years to successfully harmonize valid truths from disparate philosophies. He calls it his first mature work. He argues for a merger of phsychology and mythico-religious perspective, holding Kierkegaard in high esteem as representing the development of psychology following Freud. He heavily follow’s Otto Rank’s work in this attempt at a merger.

He refers to a book of Otto Rank’s “Art and Artist” that Frederick Perls referred to as “beyond praise” and agrees with him.

the eastern tendency toward amalgamation

This is an interesting observation about Clean and Unclean laws of the Old Testament and possible look into God’s reasoning. Excerpted link below…


In commanding complete destruction of the Canaanites, the Lord says,
“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their
sons, or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away
your sons from following me, to serve other gods” (Deut 7.3-4).
This command is part and parcel of the whole fabric of complex Jewish
ritual law distinguishing clean and unclean practices.  To the
contemporary Western mind many of the regulations in Old Testament law
seem absolutely bizarre and pointless:  not to mix linen with wool, not
to use the same vessels for meat and for milk products, etc.
The overriding thrust of these regulations is to prohibit various kinds
of mixing.  Clear lines of distinction are being drawn: this and not that.  These serve as daily, tangible reminders that Israel is a special people set apart for God Himself.

I spoke once with an Indian missionary who told me that the Eastern mind
has an inveterate tendency toward amalgamation.  He said Hindus upon
hearing the Gospel would smile and say, “Sub ehki eh, sahib, sub ehki eh!”
(“All is One, sahib, All is One!” [Hindustani speakers forgive my
transliteration!]).  It made it almost impossible to reach them because
even logical contradictions were subsumed in the whole.  He said that he
thought the reason God gave Israel so many arbitrary commands about
clean and unclean was to teach them the Law of Contradiction!

By setting such strong, harsh dichotomies God taught Israel that any
assimilation to pagan idolatry is intolerable.  It was His way of
preserving Israel’s spiritual health and posterity.  God knew that if
these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the
undoing of Israel.  The killing of the Canaanite children not only
served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a
shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively
apart for God.

No one “saw” God except Jesus

Copied comment by Tim Cooper on a blog post by Steve Sensenick at beyondthebox that discusses our view of inerrancy of scripture. Link here


John the Baptist boldly heralds the arrival of Jesus with an earth
shattering statement. In the face of all the great scholars of his time,
In the face of the Sadducee’s and Pharisees unsurpassed knowledge of
scripture the Baptist rips apart their theology in one sentence…

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Have we overlooked the significance of this proclamation? The Greek
word for “seen” in the above verse means; (to know by experience, to
perceive or to be acquainted with). John the Baptist just dropped an
atom bomb! He flat out told those that memorized the first five books of
the Bible that they did NOT know God!

For the first seventeen verses of Chapter One the apostle John gives
us a history lesson, a mini Bible as he sees it. Then he finishes with a
quote from John the Baptist, “No man has seen (to know by experience,
to perceive or to be acquainted with) God”. John is telling us that up
until this point in history no one really knew God. Jesus His Son had
arrived to declare and reveal the Father’s true nature to mankind. When
John the Baptist said NO ONE knew God, did he mean it? Was John
“inspired” by God when he said it? When John said NO ONE had a clear
picture of who God was, wouldn’t that include the Old Testament writers?
If this were just one isolated verse we could possibly explain it away
or symbolize it but the problem is it’s not an isolated verse, it is
repeated over and over by Jesus himself.

John 5:37
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.
Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

John the Baptist proclaims to the world that NO ONE knew God before
Jesus and here we see Jesus confirming John’s message. NO ONE had fully
and completely heard or seen God before Jesus Christ

John 17:25
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known
thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have
declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love
wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Whenever the word “name” is used in Hebrew it simply means nature or
character. So when Jesus says; I will declare your name, He is saying I
will declare (who you are). The fall had so blinded us and so twisted
our nature that it was impossible to see God clearly. Jesus is the light
that came to help us see God for who He truly is. “The world has not
known you, but I have and I will declare to them who you are!”

John 8:19
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered; Ye
neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known
my Father also.

If you know Me, you would know the Father. Or we could flip this
around and say if you don’t know Jesus you don’t really know the Father.
Did the Old Testament writers know Jesus as well as a born again
believer? Jesus Himself said that the least in the Kingdom of God is
greater than the greatest Old Testament prophet. – Selah

Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

Was Jesus actually saying that they didn’t know the scriptures? Most
scholars agree and Jesus knew that this group of people did know the
scriptures from mans point of view. But once again He was telling them
they didn’t really see, they still believed the lie and thus remained
behind a veil.

John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

What will it take before Christians agree with Jesus and simply say
that NO ONE really knew God before He showed up? Is it possible we have
let the writers of the Old Testament actually trump what Jesus said?

John 5:39
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and
they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that
ye might have life

Have we as New Testament believers become like the Pharisees and
Sadducees? Will we remain behind a veil that Christ Himself removed?
Will we give as much weight to the Old Testament writers as we do to
Jesus Himself?

Over and over we are told no one really knew God, no one saw Gods
true nature. Jesus was here to clear that up, the express image telling
us that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jesus was here to
tell us He didn’t do or say anything He didn’t see the Father do. The
Word, God in flesh was here to say; look at Me, I’m it. I am what you
have been looking for in the scriptures. I am here in bodily form to
show you exactly what I am like. All things written before, all things
seen before are just shadows; you did not see me clearly. Here, I AM.

Lynn prays for Tallie and Caleb

It was a real treat to have Lynn Strietzel stop in for lunch on Monday. We had Caleb and Tallie join in while she was telling some stories about healing God has done as well as how God gave her some keys to describe the kingdom story to some Chinese who were invited to a house party to explore what westerners do to celebrate Halloween. She explained the story of the 1st Adam, receiving keys to rule the world, losing them to Satan through deception, and receiving them back through Jesus Christ (the second Adam)

then she invited them to come stand in front of her and she wanted to give them a gift through prayer. she asked them which story they each like best that she had told. Caleb liked the story about the keys and Tallie liked the story about sick people getting better. Lynn said that she was going to ask God to give those gifts to each of them and all they needed to do was be willing to step out in some simple way…pray for Spider on the phone for his ear and tell it to get better, and share the story about the keys with someone else in the next week or so. They agreed. It was very sweet of her to engage with them and warms my heart to see how responsive they are to invitation. They were a little perplexed after about what this all means and whether they were comfortable sorting out how to follow through but we’ll encourage them to keep it simple but take a step to trust God.