Walter Brueggeman was one of the invited speakers at last month’s House of Bishop’s meeting in Kanuga. His presentation starts by observing that the Old Testament intentionally juxtaposes a priestly account of the story of salvation and a prophetic one. Assuming that this was done for a reason, he then asks the Church in this moment what we can learn from this.
In short he believes that this juxtaposition should be seen as a biblical prohibition on allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of cooperating with the forces that have caused the ongoing “Big Sort” in our society. And how the church’s faithful response to this scriptural witness can help to heal our society.
From his presentation:
I understand, of course, that there is no easy interface between the contemporary “Big Sort” and scripture, but will seek to make a useful connection through this thesis: The temptation to exclusionary absolutism is an old and deep and recurring seduction in the community of faith. But one can also detect scriptural strategies—by which I mean interpretive strategies undertaken by those who put the Bible together—that seek to resist off such exclusionary absolutism that is characteristically rooted in anxiety. I will use my time and energy to consider three such interpretive strategies, with the suggestion that these same strategies are now available in our interpretive practices and may be useful in present circumstance for the sustenance and maintenance of church unity and church fidelity.