Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon return with spirited offensive strategies for feisty resident aliens. A resident alien knows who the enemy is, and here is a guide to the Christian initiation, practice, and discipline that is required for
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Christian Practice or Legalism5 Jun. 2005
Philip S Roeda
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Each man is accountable to God. Because of his disobedience to the Almighty, Man brings condemnation upon himself and God does deliver it. Only through faith in Jesus as Savior may a sinner receive imputed righteousness. One is recognized as righteous because of the One who died on the cross. Where Resident Aliens Live does not contain an argument that man's good works or good behavior is needed to keep one's salvation, nor does it state purgatory exists. The thesis in this book is not about good behavior and working for God's Kingdom so one may acquire or keep one's salvation, but as a proper loving response to receiving God's grace. The authors do encourage the believer to become more obedient to God. The argument is made that the local church has the obligation to demand that members obey God's word. This argument is consistent with scripture up to a point. Paul does tell the Church to excommunicate with those who profess Christ and whose practice is to behave certain types of unrepentant sin. I do concur that members who practice sexual sin (physical fornication & homosexuality), cheating one financially, stealing, physical violence, or worship another God should be thrown out of the local church and Christian believers should withhold fellowship until one seeks forgiveness from God. The authors do not stop here. Yes I believe a Christian should serve God by working inside a local church, I do not believe not doing so is grounds for excommunication. And yes I do believe a Christian should serve his fellow man ( the believer and the nonbeliever),but I do not believe a Christian for his lack of service should be excommunicated. I do agree with the authors encouragement of the believer to seek God's Will. I certainly should practice a more God loving life style. The Christian walk should not be altered because of outside pressures nor be conformed to the current Culture.
The writers of this book are Methodist Pastors. Their teachings come closer to the founder of the Methodist movement John Wesley. The authors of this book do distance themselves from certain church practices in today's Methodist church. The word Alien comes from First Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beseech you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.
The home for a Christian is in heaven. The nonbelievers home is here on earth. The Christian therefore should live differently that then those that do not have hope of salvation. The word practice is used to describe the habits, choice of activity, what he participates in, and how one engage with other human beings. There should be some reflection of ones behavior and one's fellowship with God. To this I agree.