If you have not put The Peaceable Kingdom on your bookshelf yet then you need to stop reading this post immediately and go to Amazon and order it (or your book seller of preference, of course). It is a must read for all Christians, especially those interested in Christian living and ethics.
Here’s another very important excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas’s The Peaceable Kingdom:
“The nature of Christian ethics is determined by the fact that Christian convictions take the form of a story, or perhaps better, a series of stories that constitutes a tradition, which in turn creates and forms a community. Christian ethics does not begin by emphasizing rules or principles, but by calling our attention to a narrative that tells of God’s dealing with creation. To be sure, it is a complex story with many different subplots and digressions, but it is crucial for us at this point in the book to see that it is not accidentally narrative” (25).
The story of God’s redemptive love for humanity is the crux of Christian life and living. A Christian life is a life lived in God’s incredible story. We are not called peripheral friends; we are not existing somewhere outside of the holy, main quarters. No, we are actually real-time participants in God’s story, thanks to the triumph that is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! This life-changing experience is revealed and lived in narrative. Hauerwas is beyond right - it is not accidentally narrative.
Hauerwas, Stanley. “The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics.” Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1983.