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Apr 10, 2012

Quotidian Quotations - April 10, 2012

Image from www.brazospress.com
Today's quotation comes from the excellent Brazos Theological Commentary series, which is so good that I'm reading through the books like novels in my study time. Not your average commentary line!

This quote is from Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on the book of Matthew.

"There is no place one might go to know with certainty that Jesus is who he says he is. To know that Jesus is the Son of God requires that we take up his cross and follow him. Having taken up the cross, Christians discover they have no fear of the truth, no matter from where it might come."


  1. I am always inspired by these quotes and insights that you share! Thanks.

  2. The "taking up the cross" part is what confuses lots of people, I think, as they equate all sorts of strange religious activity within sectarian systems and violent history with this instead of allowing for a changed way of seeing, thinking, and being in this present world with all of its inhumanity, brokenness, injustices, prejudices, et cetera. I'm also sadly reminded today of the damage that "forms of godliness" have done in the larger world as I was reading the following shared by a friend on Facebook as I realize that the choice of atheism is often the only choice that some people think that they have when they enumerate the things that religion represents to them:

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this...Love seeing your pics and updates.

  3. Thanks for your comment. I don't know your friend, so I don't want to assume to comment on his very particular and personal situation.

    What I can say, though, is that the overarching thought he presents on his blog is unfortunately shared by many who have left the church - i.e., that the people of the Christian community have disappointed them. For that, all of us who call ourselves Christians must ask both God's forgiveness and that of those who, like your friend, have been hurt by our lack of looking like the God we know, love and serve. Shame on us for our failure, and for our lack of humility as we've often refused to both own up to said failure and ask forgiveness of those we've wronged.

    Which brings me to Jesus, our source of forgiveness, and "taking up the cross." It puzzles me how we Christians have, over the centuries, somehow turned this self-giving, self-sacrificing and absolutely vulnerable time of Christ's life - literally picking up his cross, to carry it to the place where he would submit to violence rather than in any way perpetuate it - into any sort of justification of our participation in violence, physical or emotional, as his followers. It seems to me that if we take up the cross, we will, like Jesus whom we follow, risk being taken advantage of rather than doing harm.

    I can see why people who are not Christians may not be able to understand the "logic" in Jesus' submitting to the cross or asking us to do the same, as they perhaps find it ineffective in fighting against the violence in the world. It's certainly a completely different way of living, and it's not in the least secure. But it's clear that this approach should be, at the very least, non-violent and self-giving on our part.

    I hope some of this might be useful to you.