A 21st Century Car for a 21st Century theologian

After many years of companionship and loyalty, I had to cut ties and all connections because she was pulling me down with her in destructive ways very fast. Yes, I had to move on from my first car, my 1992 Mercury Sable. We had gone as far together as we possibly could, because I wasn’t really willing to invest into the relationship the monetary demands and expectations that were growing each year. A flat tire here, a coolant tube there… no problem. But when the radiator went bad, I knew at that point, what was once a good thing had turned sour.

(This picture is not actually of my car… but this is what it looked like)

Moment in silence for my 92 Sable ………………………… Ok that’s enough! So you might be wondering what vehicle I am freestylin in now! It is the 2001 Hyundai Elantra. Yes it will hopefully be the perfect car for me… it has a pretty good reputation and it is an affordable car as well. Oh and did I mention that I talked the dealer down from $6,000 to $3,500. Yes it is possible. Freestyle (contrary to popular opinion) is about preparation. I looked up the true market value of the car for the Philly area, as well as other important information that could come in handy, so that when the moment came, I could flo back and forth with the dealer with confidence. It did take about 2 hours for the whole process, but it was definitely worth the time. The key to the negotiation is that you must be willing to walk away. If they know you must have the car, you will pay the must have the car price. Anyway, my car is nothing extravagant, it has some small minor nicks, dents, and scratches. However, with only 59,000 miles left on it, I believe it has several years to go. (Yet there are no guarantees!!!)

Published by Drew G. I. Hart, PhD

Drew G. I. Hart is a theology professor in the Biblical & Religious Studies department at Messiah College with ten years of pastoral experience. Hart majored in Biblical Studies at Messiah College as an undergraduate student, he attained his M.Div. with an urban concentration from Missio Seminary in Philadelphia, and he received his Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia. Drew was born and raised in Norristown, Pa and has lived extensively in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA as well. Dr. Hart’s dissertation research explored how Christian discipleship, as framed by Black theologies and contemporary Anabaptist theologies, gesture the Church towards untangling the forces of white supremacy and the inertia of western Christendom which have plagued its witness in society for too long. As two traditions that emerged from the underside of violent and oppressive western Christian societies, he found Black theology and Anabaptism each repeatedly turning to the particularity of Jesus in the gospel narratives. From that arises an ethic of solidarity with the oppressed and pursuing liberation in Black theology and an ethic of radical peacemaking and ecclesial nonconformity in the Anabaptist tradition. Each challenge the violent and oppressive logics of mainstream western Christianity and salvage the call to follow the way of Christ. Together in dialogue they deepen our analysis of the churches failures and the need for Jesus-shaped repentance. His work beyond teaching and writing has included pastoring in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, working for an inner-city afterschool program for black and brown middle school boys, delivering lectures and leading anti-racism workshops, collaborating with local faith-based organizers and activists in his city, and doing a broad range of public theology. He is also a co-leader for a local Harrisburg faith-based relational network called FREE Together which has collaborated with POWER Interfaith, MILPA, the Shut Down Berks Detention Center movement, and a little with the Poor People’s Campaign. Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart, has received great reviews by Publisher’s Weekly and Englewood Review of Books. Endorsing this resource, Shane Claiborne said, “This book is a gift from the heart of one of the sharpest young theologians in the United States. Hold it carefully, and allow it to transform you--and our blood-stained streets.” As a text, Trouble I’ve Seen utilizes personal and everyday stories, Jesus-shaped theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church’s understanding and social witness. Trouble I’ve Seen focuses on white supremacy as an overarching framework for understanding racism, with careful attention to its systemic and socializing dimensions. However, unlike sociology textbooks on the subject Dr. Hart also considers the subversive vocation of Jesus and the nonviolent yet revolutionary implications his life ought to have for his followers today. His newest book project is entitled Who Will Be a Witness?: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance and will be published September 1, 2020. Who Will Be A Witness? invites the church to liberate its centuries long captivity to supremacist practices, and to expand its restricted political imagination in view of Jesus’ messianic reign. The book guides disciples of Jesus into joining God’s delivering presence through scriptural reasoning, historical reflection, practical theology for congregational life, social change theory, and the Christian call to love our neighbor. It is written for congregations, leaders, and students that understand that pursuing God’s justice goes way beyond waiting around for electoral seasons to come around. It is about the ongoing vocation of the Church right now, at the grassroots level, seeking after the wellbeing of their neighbors through faithful, strategic, and concrete action. Drew recently joined the Inverse Podcast team serving as a cohost along with Australian peace activist Jarrod Mckenna. Together they interview interesting people and explore how scripture can turn our ethical imagination and the violent and unjust systems of our world upside-down, which contrasts with interpreting the Bible as a tool for the status quo. Dr. Drew Hart was the recipient of bcmPEACE’s 2017 Peacemaker Award, a 2019 W.E.B. Dubois Award from a Disciples of Christ congregation, and in October 2019, Dr. Hart was chosen as Elizabethtown College’s 2019 Peace Fellow. Each award recognized him for his local and national justice work and public theology. You can find Drew Hart on Twitter and Facebook, or you can catch him as he travels and speaks regularly across the country to colleges, conferences, and churches. Drew and Renee, and their three boys (Micah, Dietrich, and Vincent) live in Harrisburg, PA and attend Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren.

2 thoughts on “A 21st Century Car for a 21st Century theologian

  1. Congrats on the new car!

    When I read this blog, I missed the days when you would find out that your friend or family member got a new car by them driving by your place or by them offering to give you a ride. In today’s world blog’s with pictures informs us that our friend just bought a new car.

    Reflecting on this, I know I have to change with the times even if my emotions say other wise. I could only imagine those people emotions who were alive when telephones became into be.

    Finally, I pray that the car be free of major repairs and that it will be used for His Kingdom.

  2. I remember back in the day driving from Philly to Willingboro to show my man PT and his wife Wanda our new wheels. Memories …

    I too pray that your ride gives you many miles of trouble free travel. That’s the important thing for me and the lady. Thank God for transportation that is reliable with a minimum of maintenance.

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