Friday, June 8, 2007

More FOH: Walter Brueggemann

The Hard Work After the Celebrity Prophets

Walter Brueggemann gave an excellent presentation on Prophetic Preaching. The whole day at the Festival of Homiletics was sponsored by the Lilly Foundation and was on Prophetic Preaching.

At the FOH, I was not really all that interested in getting CD’s of the presentations. But since coming home I have regretted that mistake, particularly on the Brueggemann lecture. It was dense, but fantastic. Let me make a few observations, but many of my notes are incomplete. I may actually break down & see if I can order the tape.

Brueggemann began with Jurgen Moltmann’s dialectic of Christ's death and resurrection and compared it to the Destruction of Jerusalem and the restoration.

There were three parts: (This is hard to depict on Blogger.)

The three categories are

  • Vulnerability
  • Dread/Discontinuity
  • Surprise


  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday


  • Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Captivity
  • Restoration

Denial is a major pathology in our society ("Don't ask, don't tell")

It was the same in ancient Israel:

  • Jer 6:13-15
  • Jer 8:10-12
  • Jer 28:2-17
  • Denial of the coming abyss (Ezek. 13 -religious leaders whitewashed)

Resistance to the hope of restoration = despair

Lamentations-why have you forsaken us

  • Lamentations 5:20, 22
  • Isaiah 40:27
  • Isaiah 49:14
  • Isaiah 50:2
  • Isaiah 59:1

Despair fends off surprise & resurrection

The pastor’s role in prophetic ministry is to tell the truth. To remind people that we usually live in Saturday.

The wonder of preaching is that the talk sometimes emboldens the walk

Prophetic ministry is to talk into ways that move the people of God beyond denial and despair to vulnerability and surprise.

God is in the world

1. The prophetic antidote to denial is truth telling

2. (didn’t get point 2)

We live in a morally coherent creation where actions lead to consequences.

  • Isaiah 5.20-euphamisms ( Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.)
  • Amos 6:4-7
  • Hosea 4:1-3
  • Micah 2:1-4
  • Jeremiah 5:23-29
  • Jeremiah 9:17

The truth must be told sideways, by those who live alongside ("Do you see what I see?")

Prophetic ministry does not equal future telling

Prophetic ministry does not equal social action

The prophetic antidote to despair is HOPE telling

The hope to be told =the abyss will not overwhelm the promises

The dream keeps the abyss from becoming permanent

  • Amos 5:14-15
  • Hosea 2:18-23
  • Micah 4:1-3
  • Jeremiah 31:31

God's future rests on the lips of the hope-tellers

  • Jeremiah 33:10-11
  • Isaiah 43:1-5

2 Reasons Not to Fear:

  1. I am with you
  2. You are mine

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