Tuesday, June 05, 2007


"Every time Christians make a fetish of the family you can be sure they don't believe in God anymore. Because they don't want to witness to anyone about the truth of the Gospel they just want to make sure their kids grow up thinking they don't have an alternative but to go to[...]church."
Stanley Hauerwas, Lecture on the Sermon on the Mount at Wheaton College


Kevin K. Wright said...

HA! Yes, I love this lecture. When I heard it the first time I kept going back and listening to this section all over again because if I remember correctly, it's yet another one of Hauerwas' tangents that doesn't quite fit with the main point of his argument but is worth your time to listen to.

This is dangerous ground Hauerwas is treading on because Dobson and his crew will no doubt be ready to jump on such an inflamatory statement as this one.. However, Hauerwas is absolutely correct that the church doesn't grow by Christians having babies. I spent a long time thinking about this quote and while it is not applicable to everyone who has a fetish on the family, it probably cuts to the core of many people who do.

Scott Hendricks said...

Yikes! I can only imagine what [. . .] is. Kevin's comment helped me understand Hauerwas's point, whereas before I was going to ask you what he was getting at. Now I see: it's easier to make babies in order to 'grow the church' than to preach the Gospel. Ouch.

Michael R. Cline said...

This reminds me of one of Kevin's most infamous posts on placing the Church before one's family. It created quite a stir in our little corner of the blogosphere.

At times, Hauerwas can get a little tiring with some of his rants. I agree with most of what he says, but I sometimes wonder why he puts them in the places he does. I agree that they are valuable, but I wonder how this particular paragraph "witnesses to anyone about the truth of the Gospel" anymore than having fetish families? At times, the kingdom grows through men like Hauerwas. And at times, I wonder if we are too busy pointing out every little flaw of the Church rather than just getting in one and helping out.

I don't know...just on mind my mind as I read this I guess.

Michael R. Cline said...

But at any rate, I love how Hauerwas always links what we "do" with what we "believe." In his mind, you can't "believe in God" if you are too busy huddling with your safe family to preach the hard parts of the gospel. He never divorces belief and action--in fact, he always seems to say that if you "don't do this..." you don't really "believe in God!" Hard to swallow, but true.