This post is for the Lived Theology Project team-members that have been meeting at my house on Tuesday evenings to study Resident Aliens.
Steve Ewart suggest posting on my blog some of the ideas shared this week, as several were unable to participate in the discussion.
After about 20 minutes of prayer and reflection, to prepare our minds and hearts, we discussed 3 main themes found in the chapters 3-5 of our book.
1.> The theme of story. We spent most of our time talking about story, and how life in the Christian Colony is life in the ongoing story of God. We talked about Hauerwas’ metaphor of “jumping on a moving train…” when we are baptized into this narrative. For the most part we agreed that we loved the shape and tone of thinking in these terms. For example, we love the idea that God’s story is a story of working through his people throughout history to shape society – to “tell the world how the world is suppose to be.” Another implication would be that we are a people on the move. We have a history that we’ve been “grafted” into, and we have a future that shapes how we behave, what we do, and who we are. Without this “meta narrative” not only would we be lost, but the whole world would be left to it’s own stories, that are not the “true story.”
2.> The theme of salvation. We did highlight a portion from early in chapter three where our beloved authors seemingly redefine Salvation. I you remember from chapter 1, Christianity is not a set of beliefs or doctrines that we must give mental ascent to in order to be saved from hell. Rather Christianity is an adventuresome journey with God, following His Son, being shaped and formed by His Spirit into the likeness of that Son. We wondered if there wasn’t some need at Southwest for a re-defining of “salvation.” However, Mike Leatherwood warned us that we must be careful that our definition must never stray for a Christ-centered and salvific tone and nature. We agreed that the New Testament is “rich” in shaping a full understanding of salvation. So, instead of redefining salvation, we considered, re-visiting a more holistic and biblically-rich view of our salvation. What we all seemed to agree on though, was the Southwest as a whole-entity may perhaps limit salvation to a “fire-insurance” or “saved later from God’s wrath” view, with little understanding of “here-and-now” salvation and deliverance.
3.> The theme of “The Sermon on the Mount.” Finally we visited the strong call of Matthew’s Sermon. We loved a lot of what our author’s wrote in chapter 4 about the Sermon, but especially the acknowledgment that it has little to do with private or individual ethical demands. On the contrary the Sermon makes little sense apart from a community that is committed to being a people faithful to the call of Matthew 5-7. We talked a lot about the implications of being faithful to the vision of a citizenry of the Kingdom of God seen in those chapters – and what might we be capable of were we more cognoscente of this vision and call as a body in SW Jonesboro, AR!!
Thoughts to add??? Remember your homework!!!