Thursday, September 18, 2003


More (see also 3.2 and 1.2 below) on the challenge and opportunity of encountering biblical texts, from a review published last year:

"[Walter] Brueggemann suggests a twofold interpretative strategy in relation to the Bible: making critical use of the tools around us, certainly, but above all allowing ourselves and our world to be challenged by the ‘counter-drama’ of the text itself. This is how we can ‘fund’ post-modern imagination with the fragments of a Gospel which bursts open new possibilities – instead of merely buying into a new ideology, or trying to create another citadel within which everyone is supposed to submit.

"In this ‘re-reading’ process, imagination – the capacity to portray, receive and practice the world in ways different from the ‘common sense’ view generated by dominant orthodoxies – is the vital ingredient. For Brueggemann what lies behind the text is a God who both reveals the basis of life and invites us to join in the redemption (re-construal) of the world. In the final third of the book he helps us to re-enter the biblical counter-drama by sketching, with the aid of specific biblical passages, the shape of a ‘Gospel infrastructure’ for living – in direct contrast to ‘the infrastructure of commodity consumerism’. ...

"... The question for the community that is shaped by its encounter with these texts – as the church must necessarily be – is ‘what authorises us to change or go beyond the received text?’ Here the theological case must be made for a creative interaction between the fruits of the living tradition, the excesses of language, the constraints of reason, and the uncontainable God who lies behind and beyond the world in which it is set."

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