Monday, April 04, 2011

Living Without Answers

This is from Hannah's Child by Stanley Hauerwas. He's reflecting on the course of his life, and here in particular his first wife's mental illness, and the expectation that as a theologian he'd be able to explain it.
"I have learned over the years as a Christian theologian that none of us should try to answer such questions. Our humanity demands that we ask them, but if we are wise we should then remain silent. ..When Christianity is assumed to be an "answer" that makes the world intelligible, it reflects an accommodated church committed to assuring Christians that the way things are is the way they have to be.

Such answers cannot help but turn Christianity into an explanation. For me, learning to be a Christian has meant learning to live without answers. Indeed, to learn to live in this way is what makes being a Christian so wonderful. Faith is but a name for learning how to go on without knowing the answers. That is to put the matter too simply, but at least such a claim might suggest why I find that being a Christian makes life so damned interesting" Hannah's Child, pp. 207-8.

1 comment:

alison said...

This is very helpful. I feel like I don;t hear this kind of thing enough from Christian people.