Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching
In this work, eminent theologian Stanley Hauerwas shows how the sermon is the best context for doing good theology. He writes, "I am convinced that the recovery of the sermon as the context for theological reflection is crucial if Christians are to negotiate the world in which we find ourselves." The book includes seventeen sermons preached by Hauerwas, which he considers his best theological work and hopes exemplify the work of theology. The sermons are divided into four sections: seeing, saying, living, and events. Titles range from Believing Is Seeing and Was It Fitting for Jesus to Die on the Cross? to Only Fear Can Drive Out Fear and To Be Made Human. Each sermon includes where and when it was preached and references relevant Scripture passages.
I have increasingly come to the recognition that one of the most satisfying contexts for doing the work of theology is in sermons. That should not be surprising because throughout Christian history, at least until recently, the sermon was one of the primary places in which the work of theology was done. For the work of theology is first and foremost to exposit scripture. That modern theology has become less and less scriptural, that modern theology has often tried to appear as a form of philosophy, is but an indication of its alienation from its proper work. I am, therefore, making these sermons available because I think they are not only my best theological work, but because I hope they exemplify the work of theology.