Sunday, January 1, 2017

Review of 'Resident Aliens'

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian ColonyResident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony by Stanley Hauerwas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a phenomenal book, and I can't help but marvel at how good and relevant it is even though it was published back in the 80's. I first heard of this book (and bought it) back when I was a sophomore in undergrad. It was an optional supplemental reading for my ethics class. I didn't really read it then, but because it had such high marks, I've had it on my 'to-read' list for quite a while. I REALLY like the concept that the authors take up and that reflects in the title, that we as Christians need to start living as we are meant to. We are resident aliens, living within a 'Christian colony' while here on this earth. In a nutshell, in addition to dealing a little with ethics theory and the like, this book very strongly deals with church and culture relations.

While I took my good 'ole time reading this book (mainly because I got sucked into other books or had to read/study other stuff for ministry), I remember liking and underlining a number of different places to come back and check out later. From the parts that I read just recently to finish up the book, I was able to remember some of the material that came earlier. Overall, what the authors attempt to do with this book, is challenge the 'safe' way of pastoring/ministering by many clergy, while at the same time encouraging laity to step up in their faith. I'd say this is an excellent book to read for any person in ministry. There are times where I didn't think the book was SUPER engaging, yet there were other parts that kept me turning the pages to even get through those times. This book served as an encouragement for me while serving in campus ministry.

I'm hopeful I'll be able to take away some of the challenges and encouragements that the authors issue here, and use them to spur me to be more faithful in my calling as a campus minister and in turn be more effective in mentoring and discipling the students that I engage with on a consistent basis.

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