The Church and Postmodern Culture website is hosting a three-part online symposium on Graham Ward's new book The Politics of Discipleship. The first contribution was from Ronald Kuipers, Senior Member in Philosophy of Religion at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario. His reflection can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. Here's a brief abstract:
In the best Christian tradition, Graham Ward has, in The Politics of Discipleship, performed a true service—particularly for his Christian readers. While I think it is fair to say that one of the book’s primary messages is directed at a Christian audience (which is not to say that this is its only intended audience), at the same time the book does much more here than merely preach to the converted. The book instead calls for the conversion of the converted. That is to say, this book succeeds, in rather arresting fashion, to show Christians, especially those living in affluent Western societies, how deaf they have become to their faith’s true calling. The book severely criticizes what Ward calls “Christian accommodationism” to the powers that be, and with that dares Christians to be “impolite”—to turn from this accommodating stance and instead respond redemptively to the chasm that yawns between the world Scripture promises will one day come into reality, a world of justice and shalom, and the one human beings are now busily setting up, one in which “[t]he forces of dehumanization, dematerialization, and depoliticization are strong and hegemonic; new poverties and new slaveries proliferate; and we are sleepwalking into a future that threatens to overwhelm if grace and transcendent goodness cannot prevail" (Ward, p. 300).