Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On Hearing a Sermon With Nary a Reference to God, Jesus, Church, or Kingdom, But Which Instead Evaluated the State of Race Relations in America

Stanley Hauerwas castigates liberalism with the reminder that the subject of Christian ethics is not America, but the church. In this way, mainline Protestant thinking is simply an inverse mirror of conservative evangelicalism, for both assume that the point, the real business, the actually important stuff is found most of all in that shining city on a hill, the United States of America and its political swirl, rather than in irrelevant parochial opinions or in dogmatic but powerless personal convictions.

The critique applies no less to preaching: The subject of Christian proclamation is neither the church nor America, but the triune God. A sermon which did not make God its subject could scarcely be called "Christian" in any meaningful sense of the term.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Sorry, Anon, you're going to have to self-identify as well as write a bit clearer.

  3. I heard a sermon much like this the other day at an evangelical church. As my wife and I were on our way home, I commented: "It wasn't bad except that the preacher forgot to mention God."