Many who become theologians in our time think their task is to try to determine how much of what has passed for Christianity they still need to believe and yet still be able to think of themselves as Christians.
This is from Stanley Hauerwas, writing about the response to his memoir, Hannah’s Child. I have a bit of a love-hate feeling for Hauerwas; on probably 80% of things involving the church and the thought of the church (theology), I greatly agree with and admire him. But that last 20% includes much of what he is most vocal about: particularly on the just war tradition, pacifism, and the “Constantinianism” of the church and/or theology. I find I dislike Hauerwas most when he is being distinctively Hauerwas (probably why I most enjoy his The Cross-Shattered Christ).
Nevertheless, I thought the above quote was a gem. And he is more correct than I care to think about; too much of what passes for theology involves finding a lowest common denominator for the designation “Christian” in order to be culturally or philosophically acceptable. Here’s looking at you, John Shelby Spong. (Feel free to insert your own name of a quasi-theologian here).