20 June 2018

An Update on "Awaiting the King"

Some time ago I posted a series of observations on the most recent book by James K.A. Smith, "Awaiting the King" (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). I concluded by expressing special appreciation for Smith's efforts to bring the work of English political theologian Oliver O'Donovan into the mainstream of American Evangelicalism.

For an insightful piece positioning Smith in relationship not only to O'Donovan but also Stanley Hauerwas and Rod Dreher, you can go here. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Baylor University Associate Professor of Religion Jonathan Tran explains how Smith builds on Hauerwas's focus on the Church as a living body of witnesses that can, if only indirectly, influence the world for the good. Tran goes on to observe that that Smith adds O'Donovan's conclusion that the world has already been sufficiently influenced by the Church to give Christians at least a toehold on which to engage directly on the political process. Finally, Tran contrasts Smith's plug for limited Christian activism with what he takes to be Dreher's call for Christian withdrawal from the world of political activity.

My brief summary of Tran's extended review of "Awaiting the King" does not do it justice. I can only recommend that you read it for yourself.

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