Water Is Thicker Than Blood: An Augustinian Theology of Marriage and Singleness

By Jana Marguerite Bennett | Go to book overview

2
Seeing the World
with Augustine

Word, Story, and Worship

How are the quotidian, ordinary households in which we live interrelated with the Household of God, the church? As suggested in chapter 1, the answer to this question lies deeper than relating theological views to contemporary cultural concerns about marriage, family, or life as a single person. The answer to this question must come from considering the church’s own life, and what the church has to offer to daily households. To make this move, however, requires envisioning the world in a different way than much of the contemporary scene allows. To say that the church is determinative is also to make claims about Christ, scripture, and liturgy as determinative, because Christ is the head of the church, because the scriptural canon and uses of scripture in theology depend on ecclesial community, and because liturgy (in the sense of its being “work of the people”) is the unique form of praise that Christians offer to the triune God. Stanley Hauerwas and Samuel Wells have said that “God gives his people everything they need to follow him.”1

In the church, Christians are drawn into a particular way of life that offers a different story than other ways of life that we might encounter in contemporary culture. For example, “religious studies” offers a different worldview in which the Bible and Christianity are seen as objects in what is often a social-scientific description of the way things are. On this social-scientific account, patterns in group behavior, surveys, population counts, and graphs serve as the lens through which to view the world, while Christian narratives of the

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