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“The Theology of the Hammer”

By: Matthew Whittle, SAVED News Guest Editorialist
When I wrote for Saved News over the summer, I attempted to explain what Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro-Wayne does and why it’s so important in this community where nearly a quarter live in poverty and many others are in some sort of housing need. That’s why we build houses. But more than that, that’s why we build homes – homes in which we, as a Christian-based organization, pray will keep God at their centers.
When we build a home, we believe that God is active in that process even before the homeowners move in. We believe that regardless of who is out on a job site, God is among them. And that is the basis for what Habitat calls “The Theology of the Hammer.”
This idea, first put forward by Habitat founder Milton Fuller, is based on the idea that Habitat provides a common ground for bridging differences by putting love into action – by using hammers as instruments of God’s love.
“We may disagree on all sorts of other things, but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God’s people in need,” Fuller said. “The Bible teaches that God is the God of the whole crowd. God’s love leaves nobody out, and my love should not either. This understanding drives ‘the theology of the hammer’ around the world.”
Just think about that for a minute – especially as we all recover from one of the most divisive and contentious elections in history. If we can come together as a community, what better way to do that than to find common ground? And what more common ground can we find than the ability to give somebody an opportunity for a better future. That’s what we do. We don’t give houses away. We give opportunities to families willing to work and pay for them – opportunities to build a stronger, more stable and more self-reliant foundation through affordable housing.
And let me tell you, there is nothing like spending a day swinging a hammer and lifting a wall into place – at least for a few hours on a job site while working toward a common good.
If that’s something that interests you, please let me know. Contact me at 919-736-9592 x 5 or email executive@habitatgoldsboro.org, or visit www.habitatgoldsboro.org. or visit

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