Stanley Hauerwas, Gilber T. Rowe professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and communicant at Holy Family Episcopal Church in North Carolina, gave this lecture on America’s God recently at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. This is an excerpt:
…the church believes that we are creatures of a good God who has storied us through engrafting us to the people of Israel through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians do not believe we get to choose our story, but rather we discover that God has called us to participate in a story not of our own making. That is why we are called into the church, as well as why we are called “Christian.” A church so formed cannot help but be a challenge to a social order built on the contrary presumption that I get to make my life up…
…I love America and I love being an American. The energy of Americans, the ability to hew out lives often in unforgiving land, the natural generosity of Americans, I cherish. But I am a Christian. I cannot avoid the reality that American Christianity has been less than it should have been just to the extent that the church has failed to make clear that America’s god is not the God we worship as Christians. If I am right that we are now facing the end of Protestantism, hopefully that will leave the church in America in a position with nothing to lose. When you have nothing to lose all you have left is the truth. So I am hopeful that God may yet make the Church faithful even in America.
Read it all here.