Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Hospitality & the Grammar of Holiness" - New Item at The Writing of John Drury

A new item has been posted on The Writing of John Drury.

"Hospitality and the Grammar of Holiness"

It is a draft of a paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society in Kansas City this March. Feel free to check it out and provide any feedback here at this post.

Also, if anyone is thinking of going to WTS and needs a roommate, let me know here or via e-mail.


Glen Robinson said...

This essay gives me hope for our own holiness denomination. Growing up in a legalistic environment, I was taught "Holiness as Performance." "Holiness as Hospitality" seems to sum up the Person and teachings of Christ. Thank you.

Brian Russell said...

I like your essay and your proposal. I think that you have moved the discussion forward in a helpful way because 1) you have not offered caricatures of other proposals but have noted substantive shortcomings and 2) you have articulated briefly a possible move forward that actually "raises the bar."

We have discussed some on the Bible forum the importance of linking mission with holiness. I would be curious why you did not go this route rather than the "hospitality" route. I do like your proposal but "hospitality" brings to mind images of inviting persons to "come" rather than the Church (meaning followers of Jesus) going into the world.

I am grateful for your work in helping us think through the meaning of holiness for the 21st century. Please take my "criticism" as very interested and friendly.

JohnLDrury said...


Great point about mission. Clearly, I am still working out the kinks. I do believe hospitality and mission are two sides of the same coin, but I am still developing them in tandem right now. Hospitality is the centripedal motion, whereas Mission in the centrifugal motion. I think the bible offers models for both. If one is prior to the other, I am not yet sure (thought I am inclined to favor mission, as it teaches us hospitality). Soon I must bring them into a more unified whole. Thanks pointing out this wrinkle!


Brian Russell said...

Hi John,
I really appreciate your writing and thinking. Thank you for the conversation.

Ken Richmond said...

I just read the Barna report regarding holiness, which led to googling and then finding your paper. I have had a fasination with hospitality for a number of years. I have a daughter who has been in the Middle-East for a number of years. I've talked with Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey and Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel about hospitality. Maybe the concept of Biblical hospitality is too Middle Eastern for us to grasp readily. I don't know. I read Practicing our Faith (Dorothy C. Bass -editor), Patrick R. Keifert's Welcoming the Stranger, and Michele Hershberger's Hospitality. All these writers make different points but they all establish hospitality as the behavioral platform for Christian expression, verbal or otherwise. Sadly, we consider hospitality a "gift of the spirit for a few selected ones" when in fact it defines our Christian behavior and right to articulate our hope and faith.
Thanks for your article. It was very helpful to me.
Chaplain Ken Richmond (Ret)

Solly said...

A good essay, pregnant of further thought. I have posted a link to your essay from my blog, and mentioned it in connection with a book I am working through, Douglas Knight's The Eschatological Economy, subtitled 'Time and the Hospitality of God'.