Thursday, 27 October 2016
The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, Second Ed.,
Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2015, page 93-94
Brueggemann now attempts to sum up his thoughts about new truth.
We have seen that the first part of the canon, the Torah articulates the ethos of Israel and is characterised by solidity, certitude, consensus and consolidation. Torah is a statement about belonging to Israel. It is not in doubt or in dispute. The second part of the canon the Prophets moves away from such solidity of ethos to speak about the sharpness and wounded quality of pathos. The shatteredness of the prophets is reflective of G-d's own shatteredness. Or said another way, new truth comes in the reality of suffering which engages with the suffering of G-d. New hope arises only out of the reality of such suffering to nullification. This is the only way new truth can come.
Brueggemann attempts to paint a significantly anthropological G-d.
Thus the intrinsic authority of these poetic statements is not that they confirm the same old conventional view of G-d, or that they echo the set answers adults give to childre. Now they confront Israel with a new discernment of G-d. Here we have to do with a G-d who suffers and hurts, who aches and changes, who can be impinged upon. It is proper for kings to banish pathos, to shun suffering, to be immune to hurt, to deny those sensitivities. So the issue is joined - a conflict between old truth, which is removed from passion, and new truth with all the authority of weakness, hurt and cry.
That requires a little thought to be certain where one stands. Chew on before the final component.