Stanley Hauerwas: A Cross-Shattered Church. Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching.

This is another book in the series ”Hauerwas turn to the Bible” (see Matthew, Cross-Shattered Christ). This book consists of 17 sermons and three appendices, of which the last one is particularly important: In ”Connecting the Dots, or An Attempt to Understand Myself”, Hauerwas kind of does what he has always resisted doing (but we desperatly want him to do), that is, show how all his work fits together. It would be useful as a short introductory text to Hauerwas.

But the book is about the sermons. The sermons here are not much different than those he increasingly has included in his other books during the last 20 years (E.g. Unleashing the Scripture, Sanctify them in Truth, Working with Words), only here there are more of them, and there is no essays to accompany them. This means that the subtitle could be misleading, this is not a book about preaching.

The sermons themselves are on various themes, and obviously reflects Hauerwas’s usual concerns and approach. This makes the sermons that was preached at various weddings and baptisms particularly interesting I think, since these kinds of sermons so often lack a ”theological heart”.

This book could perhaps be a good place to begin exploring Hauerwas in a less academic mode, but then again, Hauerwas is not that difficult to read, so I would say that most ministers and the like would not find his other works difficult. But of course, it is interesting to see the practical application of Hauerwas’s way of thinking about Christianity.

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