Article: Between Sojourners and the Simple Way

Highly recommend this long but very impressive article, take the time to read it if you can. He’s basically arguing for a Christian way of living that finds a path between the pragmatism of Sojourners and the idealism of Simple Way…can’t say I agree with absolutely everything he’s said here, particularly with regard to Yoder (who doesn’t speak with one voice any more than the next person), but it outlines the tensions really well and proposes some excellent ways forward.

There will always be tensions between the local practices of the faith community and wider movements for social change, prophetic actions and pragmatic policy-pushing, the primacy of faith language and the necessity of public language. The challenge is to avoid setting up false alternatives for ourselves, to avoid thinking that our particular piece of the puzzle is the only one that matters. Instead of dismissing either prophetic signs and alternative experiments or advocacy and civic participation, we need to find ways to deepen the connections between them, because the possibilities for authentic cultural transformation just might lie at their intersection.

(thanks to AAANZ for the heads up)

the temptation of the Sadducees

“There has been a degree of success in avoiding the temptations of the Pharisees… But one cannot be so sure that there has been equal success in discerning and avoiding the temptation of the Sadducees, which is also a form of servitude to the Powers. By this we mean the assumption that the forces which really determine the march of history are in the hands of the leaders of the armies and the markets, in such measure that if Christians are to contribute to the renewal of society they will need to seek, like everyone else – in fact in competition with everyone else – to become in their turn the lords of the state and the economy, so as to use that power toward the ends they consider desirable.” — John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, p. 156.