Friday, September 11, 2009

Yoder- Living as signs of another world

“The church can be a foretaste of the peace for which the world was made. It is the function of minority communities to remember and to create utopian visions. There is no hope for society without an awareness of transcendence. Transcendence is kept alive not on the grounds of logical proof to the effect that there is a cosmos with a hereafter, but by the vitality of communities in which a different way of being keeps breaking in here and now. That we can really be led on a different way is real proof of the transcendent power which offers hope of peace to the world as well. Nonconformity is the warrant for the promise of another world. Although immersed in this world, the church by her way of being represents the promise of another world, which is not somewhere else but which is to come here. That promissory quality of the church’s present distinctiveness is the making of peace, as the refusal to make war is her indispensable negative transcendence.”

– John Howard Yoder, The Priestly Kingdom: Social Ethics as Gospel (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984), 94.

H/T Halden

I like this gear from Yoder, but has anyone found anything in Yoder about church discipline? If the church is to be a sacrament of peace for the rest of the world, how do we deal with the evil among us?


Seumas Macdonald said...

not sure I can point you anywhere, but as a mennonite, Yoder was 'into' church discipline, not least evidenced in his own undergoing a process of church discipline later in his life.

Mike W said...

Thanks Seamus. Yeah I read about that.
It seems he is up for communal discernment on all sorts of matters, that then prepares the community to do discipline. I'd be interested to see how he works out the analogy to the wider society. I have a hunch that the processes he puts up are driven by a faith in the Spirit's work among the community, so the wider society is going to find them difficult.

Hey speaking of Yoder, did you ever sign off on the Anglican 39? I'm having real difficulty with the death penalty and war after reading Yoder.