William Stringfellow

July 16, 2010

To retrace my path to Stringfellow is to try to follow a rather tangled thread (or string).

Alas, I have completely forgotten how I came to take an interest in Stanley Hauerwas, who really helped me out when he wrote, “I am still mad as hell at Christians, which certainly includes myself, for making the practice of the Christian faith so uninteresting.” Read the rest of this entry »


When I was in college, there were a few books I had acquired that I found comforting, somehow, in my turmoil over Xianity. One was a book about this woman named Peace Pilgrim, who basically carried out the mission on which Jesus had once sent out his disciples – namely, to live without resources of any kind, relying on the hospitality of other people and of God. I’ll have to catch up with her later. The other was a book called Sometimes God Has a Kid’s Face by a priest named Bruce Ritter. Read the rest of this entry »

PSPC Fall Retreat 2005

February 6, 2006

The Way of Our Flesh

The Gospel is addressed not only to individuals, but also to the communities to which these individuals belong, because these individuals are what they are largely because of their life in their communities. Communities have a corporate identity. They can think and act together. If you take an individual right out of his community he becomes a different person.

Lesslie Newbigin, British missionary to India

In 1970 or thereabouts, Newbigin was invited to join a group of clergy in the Church of South India, and teach them from the Scriptures before the serving of Communion at their monthly worship services.  These talks were collected into a book, The Good Shepherd (Oxford: Mowbray, 1977), where I read the comment quoted above.  As it happens, Newbigin was talking about the Christian mission to industry in the city of Madras, but his words would have been equally at home in the middle of Park Slope Presbyterian’s first retreat.  This past fall, a few dozen of us gathered to sing songs, eat and drink, taste wines and pick apples, in the hope that God would be molding PSPC’s corporate identity as we thought and acted together. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fifth Vow

January 9, 2005

Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the church, promising to promote its purity and peace? Read the rest of this entry »

The Fourth Vow

January 9, 2005

Do you promise to support the church in its worship and work to the best of your ability? Read the rest of this entry »

The Third Vow

January 8, 2005

Do you resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes a follower of Christ? Read the rest of this entry »

The Second Vow

January 8, 2005

Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon him alone for salvation as he is offered in the gospel? Read the rest of this entry »