This past weekend I had the opportunity to teach a couple of seminars at a conference called, “The Evolving Church: Amidst the Powers”. It was a pretty intense experience with some theological heavy-weights as keynote speakers. Stanley Hauerwas’ paper on “The Power of War” is something I’m still chewing on ….. and wish I could get my hands on the transcript (Dan – c’mon – give it up).
I had the opportunity to be a panelist in response to Marva Dawn who spoke on “Hope in a Crisis Time against and with the Powers”. As you might imagine, I asked Dr. Dawn about the divided realities within the Christian community. We don’t agree on what the powers are – so how can we stand together against them or with them? What do we do with the reality of “disputable matters” within the Body of Christ? Dr. Dawn responded with a reference to one of the texts I most often use when preaching on behalf of New Direction:
II Corinthians 5: 18 – 21 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Dr. Dawn’s response to the reality of division is to be an agent of reconciliation.
Now that is a word of hope.