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Archon in any overt way.

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Certainly she never confronted him. She could hardly take him on and stay in that church or that town. Still, it seemed that every time Mr. Archon taught us those terribly racist things, Miss Buehl countered that teaching. And I don't know how she did it even to this day, at least not completely. I don't remember her ever saying anything explicit as a rebuttal, again, a risky move in that world.

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  • Rather, she had us sing "Yes, Jesus loves me" which she taught us in Korean. I can still sing the song in Korean after all these years, though my pronunciation has a distinctly Southern [U. But she also taught us the song Somehow I know that the connection between the two songs is basic to Jesus' love. You don't have one without the other. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.

    Jesus loves the little children of the world. Miss Buehl also took us to her house and showed us art and artifacts from Korea. There were toy houses, beautiful dolls, intricate paintings of landscapes and people, wall hangings, and much more. It was my first experience of anything I remember outside my own culture, and Miss Buehl placed all of these things in the story of Jesus' love. Archon was wrong about "colored people. You see, Mr.

    Archon took God's story and put it in the racist story. Miss Buehl took the racist story and put it in God's story and called it fundamentally into question.

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    I understand this to be the narrative work of the church. Without Miss Buehl's teaching and witness I have no idea what direction my life would have taken. There may be nothing more basic than getting our stories right. Stanley Hauerwas sees as clearly as anyone how much our lives are shaped by the operative story or stories that work on us and through us.

    The individualism in our culture often obscures how much we are shaped by the story, the history of our lives. We often see ourselves in this culture as free autonomous individuals. We fail to see that this is a story, and a false one. It conceals how profoundly we are shaped by such fictions.

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    In the very act of seeing ourselves as free individuals, we cover up all the ways we are formed that we do not choose, including some in which we are not free at all. For example, we do not choose the times in which we live or the culture in which we are raised. We do not choose our mother tongue with the profound, inerasable imprint it has upon our thought, our feeling, and our orientation to "reality.

    One of the ways we, as the church, struggle against this kind of captivity is to gain greater clarity about the unfaithful stories that shape our lives and by a more self-conscious participation in God's alternative story as a different form of life. It is crucial that God's story be the formative story of the church if the church is to be the church. In this connection Karl Barth argues that we must not locate the Christian faith in a presumed larger set of categories or some presumed more encompassing story.

    Basic to what follows here is an attempt to keep faith with this claim. The most unfaithful and sinful betrayals of God occur precisely in those times when we place God's story in another story and attempt to make God's story serve that idol. I think here of the ways in which God's story has been placed in the narrative of slavery, or of patriarchy, or of heterosexism, or the stories of economic and political orders.

    In a book concerned with rhetoric it seems especially important to be on guard against the temptation to find out what is persuasive and then bend or "translate" God's story to fit it. The notion of translation is a dangerous one. In his book Two Hundred Years of Theology Hendrikus Berkhof surveys the attempt by the church to translate the Christian faith into the language of the modern world, a language that becomes increasingly secular. He uses the analogy of the church as a boat navigating the river of time. But as the boat comes upon the sand banks and shallows of modernity, it has to throw out cargo in order to sail through.

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    Such a strategy leads finally to an emptying of the vessel just to manage the obstructions of the modern, secular world and to stay afloat! It is not my intent to engage in this translation strategy, for at least two reasons. One is that the secular world is in so much trouble of its own. The second is that the church needs no such strategy, and I suggest another later in this chapter. But I hope to reverse the pattern of placing God's story in the "requirements" of rhetoric and to propose the ways that rhetoric can serve the faith intrinsically.

    As important as it is to get our story right, it is also critical that the concrete, material practices of our lives be intrinsic to that story. Peggy and I were at a party at a friend's house. They have a large living room, and I am tucked away in one corner talking to a man who works in government service. Having served in many places over the past twenty-five years he has rich experience and great stories. I love a good story, and he is plying me with one after another. He is a good storyteller, and I am having a fine time.

    Suddenly his spouse starts coming in our direction. Upon noticing that she is about to join us, he enters into a practice I experience over and over again. In fact, I experience this practice so often I call it a ritual and give it a name.

    In addition, he pastored churches for eight years and served three years as the Director of Social Relations of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. In this last capacity he was the lobbyist for the Council and worked actively in the civil rights and peace movements. Academically, Sample works and teaches in the areas of U. He is a specialist in the study of blue collar and poor people.


    In Sample married Peggy Jo Sanford. Sample is a landscape artist and works in acrylics and watercolor. A retired soprano she sang professionally in churches in Kansas City and Boston. View Larger Image. Ask Seller a Question. Title: Powerful Persuasion: Multimedia Witness in When it comes to communicating the gospel through new media and technologies, churches are often faced with one of two bad options. Either they can reject these new vehicles for sharing the faith as "not the way we've always done it"; or they can uncritically embrace them, failing to see that when not understood properly these media can obscure the gospel message just as much as they can communicate it.

    If they are going to reach the generations formed by electronic culture, churches must engage in a new evangelism, one that makes use of new technologies and cultural expressions. Sample explains how the electronic generations receive and process the information communicated by new media, and how the ways in which our consumerist culture makes use of those media are not good models for how the church can employ them to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

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    Tex Sample is a specialist in church and society, a much sought-after lecturer, storyteller, workshop leader and consultant.