Tuesday, 25 October 2016
How do we receive New Truth?
The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, Second Ed.,
Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2015, page 92
If new truth is as disruptive as Brueggemann suggests true revelation from G-d will always be, how is it ever to be recognised and received?
First of all, in the Old Testament there are standard appeals to formal credentials. That is, presentations of new truth make the best case they can for what they say. Yhis may appeal to agreement with the Torah. Or there may be a formal appeal to a structure like "the divine council". Or, most frequently, there is appeal to an authorising formula: Thus says the L-rd.
We've all been there and heard that! No, says Brueggemann, that is not enough. We have to be drawn beyond such claims for what is said.
One has a sense about such speech. It carries its own conviction and testimony as the voice of G-d. But notice what is being claimed in such an assertion, both by its claimants and by those who accept the claim. If the new truth is from below, from the powerless ones or on behalf of the powerless ones, then it is implied that it is from G-d. The cry of the weak ons is from G-d.
But is this really so? Can not a confident orator speaking of behalf of a group whose choices place them in a minority or disadvantaged position, thereby gain assumed divine authority for their human choice?