Advent Apologetics Day #14 – The Apologetic of Prayer

Praying-TogetherIn an article titled; “Discipleship as a Craft, Church as a Disciplined Community,” Stanley Hauerwas says; 

“After many years of vain attempts to “explain” God as trinity, I now say, “Well, to begin with we Christians have been taught to pray, ‘Our father, who art in heaven. . .’” I then suggest that a good place to begin to understand what we Christians are about is to join me in that prayer.

For to learn to pray is no easy matter but requires much training, not unlike learning to lay brick. It does no one any good to believe in God, at least the God we find in Jesus of Nazareth, if they have not learned to pray. To learn to pray means we must acquire humility not as something we try to do, but as commensurate with the practice of prayer. In short, we do not believe in God, become humble and then learn to pray, but in learning to pray we humbly discover we cannot do other than believe in God.”

Ultimately, the purpose of apologetics is not to “defend our beliefs,” but to give a reasonable hope of why we hold to them.  This quote by Hauerwas is genius in that in learning how to pray becomes the path to that hope.  Imagine the power of tossing out “the sinner’s prayer,” in favor of teaching people how to pray correctly and continually.  This simple apologetics hack could change how the outside world perceives the defense of the faith. It might authenticate real opportunities for communal hope and discovery rather than entangling people as projects or programs. 

You can read the entire Hauerwas article here.

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0 thoughts on “Advent Apologetics Day #14 – The Apologetic of Prayer

  1. Carol Stoner says:

    Merry Christmas, Miguel. I was fortunate to see Stanley Hauerwas speak at the university in our town. He spoke of his growing up days and how his faith developed within that backdrop. (His father was a bricklayer.) Anyway, we always teach the kids in our Monday morning Breakfast Club (before school) the Lord’s Prayer. Since “who art in heaven” seems to me to encourage kids to think of God as “up there” or “somewhere far away” (given the typical thinking of heaven), I wondered aloud with the kids if “art” could be thought of as a verb….that our creator, God, created and continues to create or do his works of “art” to this day. Anyway, thanks for your online presence. Enjoy reading your stuff.

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