Brueggemann on Rethinking Church Models

Here is an article I found today that was written by Walter Brueggemann sixteen years ago for Theology Today. Basically, he challenges the church’s traditional view on church models and counteracts our stereotypes by exposing other “models” found in the Old Testament that can serve as a guide for our present situation. There are some key insights here into the areas of imagination, memory, hope, and being formed by the biblical text. Take a look and tell me what you think…



Filed under For the Kingdom..., Story

2 responses to “Brueggemann on Rethinking Church Models

  1. Man, I really enjoyed that article. The similarities of the “church” of the OT to the journey of the church as we know it are remarkable.

    I’m going to have to read it a couple more times and continue to let it impact me, but right away here is a thought and quote.

    The thought is how we use the text to fit what we want, and overlook, skip, or be moved by our own prejudice to ignore what the text actually says. I wonder if we can ever get to the place where our own cultural and denominational prejudices can be set aside in a way that looks for real truth.

    This quote from the article goes along with that thought:

    “So it has always been; the story offered by the dominant empire turns out to be no story at all. These besieged Jews knew that. They not only knew that to keep their young they had to engage the text on its own terms, they also dared to imagine that their particular text was the voice of God among them and the voice of a true story that would persist in the face of empire and cultural hegemony. This community developed a deep and vibrant confidence in its text, which is what the process of canonization is all about.

    Circumstance, therefore, required a shift from a temple-royal-prophetic community to a textual community, which struggled with the text in all its truth and in all its dangerous subversiveness, continually witnessing to another mode of reality. ”

    I look forward to getting back into this article, and reading what others think.

  2. anglopressy

    I’ve had a difficult time with the idea that there are things in scripture that show us what it looks like when the people of God are co-opted by the king or emperor. I was raised with the assumption that scripture shows us how to live, but we also see how not to live.

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