An unsettling God : the heart of the Hebrew Bible by Walter Brueggemann

By Walter Brueggemann

Within the pages of the Hebrew Bible, historic Israel gave witness to its stumble upon with a profound and uncontrollable truth skilled via courting. This booklet, drawn from the guts of most popular previous testomony theologian Walter Brueggemann's Theology of the outdated testomony, distills a career's worthy of insights into the center message of the Hebrew Bible. God is defined there, Brueggemann observes, as attractive 4 "partners" - Israel, the international locations, construction, and the individual - within the divine goal. This quantity offers Brueggemann at his most attractive, supplying profound insights adapted in particular for the start pupil of the Hebrew Bible

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34 It is clear that such doxological utterance is designed to enhance and magnify YHWH at the expense of other gods; it is also clear that such utterance, offered in unqualified loyalty, is a performative act whereby the rule of God is enacted and embraced. The response to YHWH in such praise runs all the way from stately enthronement psalms (Psalms 96–99) to the pastoral mood of Psalm 103 that concerns YHWH’s reliable readiness to forgive (vv. 9–14) and YHWH’s attentiveness to the reality of limit and fragility (vv.

15 Whereas a recurring Christian propensity is to give closure to our readings and interpretations, it is recurringly Jewish to recognize that our readings are always provisional, because there is always another text, always another commentary, always another rabbinic midrash that moves beyond any particular reading. ” Reading in ways that refuse finality causes our dialogic way with the text to be commensurate with the substance of the text, namely, YHWH’s dialogic transaction with YHWH’s several partners.

But of course the Old Testament is unwilling to leave any part of life—including international life—outside the scope of God’s dialogic engagement. The great temptation of modern national states is to imagine independent autonomy without answering to anyone. There is, moreover, no more blatant example of such arrogant autonomy than the recent unilateralism of the United States that has conducted policy on the assumption that it could do anything it wanted, that it owed nothing to the other nations, and that there was no compelling moral limit to aggressive acquisitiveness.

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