Only when the Church enacts its scandalous Jesus-centered tradition will it truly be the body of Christ and transform the world. Twenty-five years after its first appearance, Resident Aliens remains a prophetic vision of how the Church can regain its vitality, battle its malaise, reclaim its capacity to nourish souls, and stand firmly against the illusions, pretensions, and eroding values of today's world.
Resident Aliens discusses the nature of the church and its relationship to surrounding culture. It argues that churches should focus on developing Christian life and community rather than attempting to reform secular culture. Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon reject the idea that America is a Christian nation; instead, Christians should see themselves as "resident aliens" in a foreign land. According to Hauerwas and Willimon, the role of Christians is not to transform government but to live lives that model the love of Christ. Rather than try to convince others to change their ethics, Christians should model a new set of ethics that are grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
"This book is on my top ten all time must read list. It has deeply influenced my theology and practice of ministry at Ginghamsburg Church. A critical, prophetic read for leaders of missional movements. A clear call to return to the radical message of Jesus!"
--Mike Slaughter, Senior Pastor, Ginghamsburg Church
"It would be hard for me to overstate the influence that Resident Aliens has had on me, and on an entire generation of Christian leaders. My original copy, first read when I was a student at Fuller Seminary, is dog-eared and heavily underlined. There are few books that I've referred to as often in conversations over the past 25 years, and I welcome and celebrate this new edition."
--Tony Jones, Distinguished Lecturer in the Practice of Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
The first edition of this book had a remarkable impact. It sparked vigorous debate in the academy, gave working pastors a keener sense of the meaning and importance of their work, and helped the church to recover its mission and to re-learn its native language of theology. Rarely does a single volume have such breadth of reach, and this welcome edition promises to keep the lively conversation about church and culture this book first provoked twenty-five years ago going for at least another generation.
--Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia