Stanley Hauerwas’ Prayer Before Debate w/ Paige Patterson

Contentious Lord, God know you must love a good argument. How else are we to explain the people of your promise, the Jews? Moreover, you have told us that our salvation come from those argumentative people, a people threatened by the world, yet refusing to be distracted from their arguments with you and one another concerning the faithful living of your law. Teach us, the grateful people, to love your Word, that we, like the Jews, may argue our way into loving you and one another. Argument, it seems, is your salvation–an alternative to the violence of the world.

But, we we contend together, save us from pride and the vanity pride nourishes. Remind us that it is not a matter of winning, but rather of the up-building of your church, the body of Christ. Too long divided, help us glimpse as we contend with one another the unity of your church. Indeed, make us your witness so that the world, observing how we argue, will say, “See how they love one another; they would rather argue than kill.”

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