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An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land
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An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Identifying America as a fallen nation with the parable of Babylon in the Book of Revelation — not with Jerusalem the holy nation, as Americans are naively and vainly wont to do — Dr. Stringfellow issues a trenchant indictment of our society.

Shockingly prophetic, dismaying, and sobering, William Stringfellow's rigorous biblical theology will surely offend the self-righteou
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Wipf & Stock Publishers (first published May 1976)
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Alex Stroshine
3.5/5. William Stringfellow published this book in 1973, in the aftermath of the "Long Sixties," during the presidency of Richard Nixon, and the morass of the Vietnam War, yet much of it is extremely germane to today as the USA, under the "America First" banner of Donald J. Trump, slouches towards Babylon.

Stringfellow exposes the perversions and distortions wrought by the powers and principalities (who, even in evangelical circles, tend to be downplayed as pivotal beings) Stringfellow chides:

Wow! Stringfellow...what an incredibly prophetic, still-relevant book.

"How to live humanly in the Fall" is the ethical issue that Stringfellow takes up. He exposes and confronts as lucidly as anyone I've read the identity and idolatrous nature of principalities and powers in our culture... those whom we are warned that our struggle is with..those that seek to steal, kill, and destroy the life and freedom Jesus longs to impart.

The book was written in 1974 so some of his examples (Watergate, Vie
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: powers, justice
Very insightful book into how 'the powers' are at work within society. Stringfellow writes in the context of civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam war but his social insight remains applicable in the contemporary context.Stringfellow uses the metaphor of Babylon (as used in the book of Revelations) to discuss how the Powers working in society are aligned against humanity and God. He also uses the metaphor of Jerusalem breaking through and speaking life and hope into society.

Some thought pr
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, spirit
Most clear-thinking theologian I've read (despite his Harvard-esque style); to be a Christian = being human for Stringfellow; he's a non-literalist, serious student of the Bible. A taste of his exegesis: the charismatic gifts of the church can include burning yr draft card.
Leroy Seat
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book, which I have just read for maybe just the second time since the 1970s. It is perhaps the best book there is for describing and opposing the "principalities and powers" written about in the Bible.

Stringfellow asserts that the principalities and powers include "all authorities, corporations, institutions, traditions, processes, structures, bureaucracies, ideologies, systems, sciences, and the like" (p. 27). He further identifies them on page 78.

Here are some other signif
Michael Miller
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book. The Christian as sojourner and alien is a topic dear to my heart. However, the book is so concerned with then-contemporary issues (Vietnam in particular) that it loses some of its power to mold our times and is hard to translate in a useful way for the 21st century. It's time-bound truths have more the feel of a quaint curiosity from bygone days. Worse, the prose is at times unreadable. I was reminded a what Denis Dutton said of Judith Butler, "To ask what this means ...more
A consistent and challenging vision of the principalities and power, demons and (the) Satan, through the lens of Revelation's vision of the conflict between humans/death and God as the battle between two cities, Babylon and Jerusalem, and how most of the supernatural language in the bible is about politics and what we might all institutional evil. A relentlessly materialistic reading of supernatural language in the Bible. I do wonder how his reading of the principalities and powers as embodied, ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How to begin to live a fully human life in the midst of a fallen nation and world. This is a remarkably relevant book in spite of its first being published in 1973. A penetrating analysis towards understanding America biblically and not, in the words of the author, "to construe the Bible Americanly." Stringfellow believes that to understand America in this way necessitates an understanding of the "powers and principalities." This book is by no means an easy read. By today's standards, which seek ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is challenging, but not, I think, because its arguments are dated (dealing with the political and social situations of the early 70s); rather, I think its challenging because its arguments are uncomfortably relevant. The Fall is still the Fall, and we are still called to determine how to live humanly in it, be it 1970, 1940, 1530, or now. It's unsettling because it unmasks something that I think I might prefer to keep hidden. Everything is subject to falleness...everything. There is a ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shockingly blunt appraisal of America and its reality within a Christian worldview from 1973 which is even more apt today. Every Christian should read to open the mind to more possibilities of our ethical response to others.
Caleb Roberts
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had a few quibbles over some of his distinctions, but I'm inclined to give them a pass given the popular nature of the book. Overall, a timely and riveting reflection on the "powers and principalities" that enslave us all. It would be well-read as an accompaniment to Augustine's City of God.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most life-changing books in my life. Deeply influenced me, radically altering my worldview with a biblical one.
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book. I expect that Stringfellow will become one of my guides on the way.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Like being unplugged from the Matrix.
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Frank William Stringfellow (April 26, 1928 – March 2, 1985) was an American lay theologian. He was active mostly during the 1960s and 1970s.
More about William Stringfellow...
“The Fall is where the nation is. The Fall is the locus of America.” 1 likes
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