I thought the stronger understanding was where he turned his attention to the Incarnation. This is the critical issue on this word for me. Lesser so for Hauerwas. I think we who call ourselves Christian are comfortable talking about the deity of Christ - the Son expression of the trinity. It seems to be less comfortable when we talk about the humanity of Christ. I think of the "I Thirst" word as an expression of the humanity of Jesus crying out in the agony of the cross. Thist is a human response to a human need by One who is completely human and completely divine. It is a response in the midst of an unbearable moment when Christ - the One- carried the weight and pain of sin for all of humanity.
There is real power in Hauerwas' view of Incarnation. "When 'Incarnation" names a mere set of beliefs, we are tempted, for example, to think 'I Thirst' must be said by the 'very man' of the One who is 'very God and very man.' It is as if we think that what is means for Jesus to be very God and very man is that he was fifty percent God and fifty percent man. That is, Jesus must be half God and half man. Bu by the 'Incarnation' the church refuses such a division insisting that Jesus in one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. The One who is the one God, very God and very man, is the One who thirsts." (p76)
May we who follow the One stand at the foot of the cross and hear.
Grace and Peace, Tom