I recently read and reviewed Stanley Hauerwas’ new book, Hannah’s Child, and I have to say I am impressed. I have read some of Hauerwas’ work before, but his is a completely different genre for him. In this memoir, Hauerwas speaks about his life, love, and becoming a Christian. Although this is an autobiography in the technical sense, this work is just as theologically heavy as any other work he has done.
When writing my review of Hannah’s Child, I came up with this analogy about witnessing to our lives. I hope it is helpful and brings some perspective.
Unity is an interesting topic in today’s culture because of their disinterest with togetherness. Take a look into the world around and it is easy to see, if not explicit, that the earth and its inhabitants are moving full speed ahead. Unfortunately, they are doing so alone. The automobile is a suitable analogy. The consumer who buys a car is most concerned with one thing: getting from point a to point b. No thought is spent by the buyer of the machine on what it took for their transportation to even be possible, or how they can utilize this vehicle to enrich the lives of others. Instead of asking who made this car, or the details of its wonderful creation, the buyer simply wants to become the driver, and the role of witness to the car is simply neglected. The car is a means to an end for the buyer—a means in which one travels as fast as possible with as few distractions as possible, and an end to which they arrive to just move on to another destination. In the same way, society is often more concerned with getting to the destination that reflecting on what it entailed for them to actually “get there.” Wrapped up in this journey is a unity that is often forgotten.