All posts tagged Walter Brueggemann

  • Brueggemann’s 19 Theses

    Walter Brueggemann is an Old Testament scholar who has spent so much time studying the Old Testament prophets that he seems to have turned into one. He scares me. He’s the Steven King of the authors I read. I remember reading The Prophetic Imagination on a flight from India and writing in the margin, “I wish I hadn’t read this…but I have and I am now responsible.” Walter Brueggemann scares because I think he’s right—that our society is far more distorted than we have supposed. But in this time of economic catastrophe, when Bel bows, Nebo stoops and the false gods of Babylon are shown to be incapable of providing the peace and security they promise, we may be open to a critique of our idols that could lead us to the truly radical alternative of hope in the living God. My prophetic declaration concerning 2009 has been that it is a year of falling idols and rising hope. May it come to pass. So without commentary, other than to say I agree with this prophetic perspective, I offer to you my adaptation and modification of Walter Brueggemann’s 19 Theses..

    1. Everybody lives by a script—whether implicit or explicit.

    2. We get scripted through the process of nurture, formation and socialization, and it happens without our knowing it.

    3. The dominant script in our society is one of technological therapeutic military consumerism.

    4. That script enacted through advertising, propaganda and ideology, especially in the liturgies of television, promises to keep us safe and happy.

    5. That script has failed. The script of technological therapeutic military consumerism cannot make us safe or happy.

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  • Reformation

    Every few centuries Christianity must undergo a new reformation. By which I mean it must re-form itself. Re-formation is necessary to live in the tension of biblical authenticity and contemporary particularity. Re-formation is required if we are to embrace a synthesis of rootedness and relevance. Every few centuries Christianity must undergo a kind of reformational metamorphosis to regain its counterculture character.This is not something that happens often. I’m not referring to the periodic infusions of spiritual vigor or the cultural adaptations that are common to every generation. I’m speaking of something rare and seismic.

    But I will dare to state that we live in such a time. I’m emphatic about this. We are living in a time of real reformation. It will do you little good to think of it as a throwback to some historic revival from the past three hundred years. That is rejuvenation and that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a real reformation. A radical rethinking of the nature of salvation and what it means to be a Christian. A radical reassessment of assumed paradigms leading to a re-formation of Christianity as we have known it.
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  • Lists

    Lists are part of my madness and my madness is a part of who I am.

    So this is a blog of lists.

    (It’s also an answer to several emailers.)

    OK, let’s go…
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