News, Reading Guides, VOLUME 12

Becoming People of the Truth [A Reading List]

It’s becoming abundantly clear that in the coming electoral season in the United States, Christians regardless of their political inclinations will have to double down on our commitment as people of the Truth. And yet at the same time, I am being reminded at every turn that truth is always more complicated than we want it to be, not fitting neatly into a soundbite or political platform. 

I once heard Stanley Hauerwas say that all of Christian ethics can be boiled down to two words: “Don’t lie.” And yet certainty evades us, and the best we can do is to bear witness with our lives to the one who called himself Truth, despite our struggles to understand what he was about.

I’ve been wrestling with these questions recently, and offer here the stack of books that are serving as guides on this journey.

Sanctify them in the Truth:
Holiness Exemplified

Stanley Hauerwas

In Sanctify them in the Truth, Stanley Hauerwas provides an overview of the development of theology and ethics. He considers how the two disciplines interrelate, discusses the nature of sin, how any account of sin requires a more determinative account of moral law, the nature of sanctification, the body as a subject for Christian holiness, and the relationship between sanctification and truthfulness. The volume ends with sermons – Hauerwas emphasizes the freedom the sermons create, as they remind us that the words we use are not our words. The inclusion of sermons also underlines Hauerwas’ point that the truth of the gospel cannot be discovered apart from its embodiment in specific communities of faith. The Christian life, he argues, is not about being in possession of “the truth,” defined as a set of timeless and universal principles of belief and action. Rather, it is about learning and living the life of truthfulness toward God and one another.



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