Resident Aliens in Suburbia
I’ve been reading Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon over the break. Chapter four is brilliant. This year I have done a lot of thinking about the Church as a counter-cultural community. I think this is always necessary and I’m certain there is a desperate need for those of us in a suburban context to be intentional about re-imagining a life together that is in fact counter-cultural (in the way of Jesus). Of course, we don’t have to re-imagine out of nothing, without any direction. We have the witness of Isreal, Jesus, the disciples, the church and a hope of a New Heavens and New Earth to guide this process (you know, all the stuff found in the Scriptures).
I’ve spoken about this idea using the concept of a mob in a post after I returned from Zambia in July.
Here Willimon and Hauerwas say it as well as I’ve heard it articulated:
Here [in the sermon on the Mount] is an invitation to a way that strikes hard against what the world already knows, what the world defines as good behavior, what makes sense to everybody. The Sermon, by its announcement and its demands, makes necessary the formation of a colony, not because disciples are those who have a ned to be different, but because the Sermon, if believed and lived, makes us different, shows us the world to be alien, and odd place where what makes sense to everybody else is revealed to be opposed to what God is doing among us. jesus was not crucified for saying or doing what made sense to everyone. People are crucified for following a way that runs counter to the prevailing direction of the culture…
See, I told you they were smart.