- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Wipf and Stock (1 Feb. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159752557X
- ISBN-13: 978-1597525572
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,223,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
In Man We Trust: The Neglected Side of Biblical Faith Paperback – 1 Feb 2006
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About the Author
Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. His is one of the most highly acclaimed interpreters of the biblical text in this generation. Among his many works are 'Theology of the Old Testament' 'The 19Prophetic Imagination' (2d ed.), 'David's Truth' (2d ed.), 'The Land' (2d ed.), and 'Inscribing the Text'
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
stop with the word requirements!
The Renewed Challenge:
The idea of changing the language of faith does not strike us as strange - there is a 200-year experiment, which has done just that in the name of history or science or spirituality.
Biblical Wisdom takes on new forms in order to express the received faith. In a new postmodern environment where the received faith has all but collapsed, a new vehicle recounts the ancient story in the form of Wisdom; Brueggemann prompts a renewed contemporary encounter with what the ancient narratives tell. The thesis reiterated an attempt of retelling by way of human story, what his predecessors tried to unfold.
Beginning with the human:
Schleiermacher (d. 1834) turned to the human, which seeks to be theological, drawing quite specifically on the historical resources of the past account of faith within his own lived experience of the Christian community. Roughly speaking, says Wes Campbell, I understand von Rad's thesis to be in general human-oriented writings. "In narratives, human agency moves events along. In poetry and proverb the primary question concerns fulfilled and successful life - with an awareness of its obverse, foolishness and despair." Karl Barth in "Otherness of God" emphasis on the wholly Humanity, was able to present Jesus as God's Wisdom who has joined us in the distance from God, and is our way back to the waiting Father. Dietrich Bonhoeffer emphasized, from his prison cell, that only a suffering God can help. While, Jürgen Moltmann defines "God's Wisdom in Jesus death on the cross," as a radical hope in God's beginning of a new talk.
Wisdom's new Community
Our present economic upheaval is categorized in Georgetown university debate as a consequence of Greed, a human moral hazard, motivated me to retrieve "In man we trust." Walter Brueggemann, is a very thoughtful Biblical exegesist and an articulate Old Testament theologian, who engages his reader, enriching his concepts. In the first chapter, the able author has articulated the five pillars of wisdom in Old Testament books. He supported the Semi-Pelagian teaching of the Church of Alexandria, and the Eastern Orthodox concept of 'Synergy', man's collaboration in his salvation. He wrote, pp. 20, "Third, wisdom affirms that man has primary responsibility for his destiny." In explaining the diversion of Western dogma, he wrote, "The theology that has emerged from the Paul-Augustine-Luther line has spoken primarily of fallen man, one who has had all his powers and abilities crippled so that he is unable to act in his humanness."
A Compelling Review:
And yet, as Brueggemann's subtitle suggests, we too often neglect this 'human dimension' of Scripture. ... As a result, we have not trusted human beings to understand very much about God, let alone allow human wisdom, no matter how God inspired, to become part of God's word to us. So we wait for the prophetic word, or the authority of the preacher, or official doctrine and law, not realizing that embedded within all of life there is truth about God that we can grasp as God's people if we are willing to see with the eyes of Faith." Dennis Bratcher, Biblical Realism as Faith: The Wisdom and Psalms Traditions
Particularly for those of us within the theological and ecclesiastical traditions of the Reformation who tend to run with a Paul - Augustine - Luther theological focus and a Heilsgeschichte theological perspective, a strong emphasis on human freedom, responsibility, capability, and competence doesn't quite ring true. Wisdom literature? For sure I'm neither the first nor the last to believe on some level that Proverbs and Ecclesiastes don't really belong in the biblical canon--or in a third or a fourth canon, either. Although Brueggemann discusses Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes to some extent, more than anything he reminds us we discover the same ethos along with material from similar sources in the "J" or Yahwist Pentateuch source--supremely in the life and style of King David, to a more limited degree in the social, religious, and economic styles of United Monarchy bookends Kings Saul and Solomon. Beyond that, the author points out the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth (particularly in Matthew's gospel account) reveals Jesus as Son of David, as a King like unto David, and in human wholeness, freedom, and a rare ability to seize the day - including the day of resurrection - very much as the New David, dancing in the face of death.
We confess we follow the Way of the crucified and risen One. What does it mean to take his name upon us? An arduous journey to the cross? Possibly for a literally select few. What about assuming the fullness of responsible, responsive, humanity? Everyone in the Western world does not spend their days hung up with sin and guilt; in fact, even most protestants aren't mini-Luthers. This viewpoint isn't necessarily one to assume in place of Paul - Augustine - Luther; it's complementary to it in the sense of completing or rounding out, as a way to balance our days. At least since the late twentieth century, fewer and fewer have been walking that walk. Between a little too much, "God, be merciful to me, a miserable sinner, I'm here to claim forgiveness again" amongst church-going adults, and too many parents coddling their kids, absolving their offspring of taking charge of their own lives, every one of us could benefit from the wisdom literature's exploration of wise, fruitful living. You could call this celebration of human freedom, responsibility, capability, and competence a kind of "possibility thinking," and why not?
"They cut me down, and I leapt on high; I am the life that'll never, ever die. I am the Lord of the dance, said he."