Bruggeman revisited

First, w00t for Windows Live Writer. I’m typing this entry from seat 37B on Delta flight 1601 from Albuquerque to Atlanta. And what I see is exactly what the post will look like when uploaded to WordPress (hopefully later this evening). 

On that note, we’ll have to see what kind of chore it is to get wireless access on Purdue’s campus. I emailed them a few days ago, and they said my “department” needed to request guest logon passes for the network. No idea on what my department is… (Yay for red tape. Just like I never left the office). I really hope they do have something set up though. Lots of caring adults give up a week of work and/or vacation time to come be with all these sr. high students. It’d be nice if we got some accommodation to be able to stay in touch with the office or just be able to check our email in general. Life doesn’t just say,”Oh, you’re volunteering your time. How nice. I think I’ll just stop and wait for you to return! Doesn’t that sound like a neat plan?” You know what I mean…

Continuing to read through Bruggeman’s Prophetic Imagination. In a future post, I should describe the connections he made between Solomon’s regime and our current cultural situation, because it totally made sense to me. But I’m getting into a part of the book where I don’t see much resonance with our current situation. In this particular section, Bruggie is discussing grief. How the royal consciousness doesn’t want to acknowledge grief, doesn’t want to promote grieving, because this particular act it points to something not quite being right, points to a lack of order, points to the death of something, whether an idea or virtue or person or whatever. Grief reminds us that the dominant powers and structures don’t have it all under control.

I agree with Bruggeman in his assessment of our age as one of numbness. And a very legitimate part of the task of God’s messengers should be to bring us back in touch with a full spectrum of honest emotions in response to experiencing God’s reality. Bruggeman’s suggests Jeremiah as the “clearest model for prophetic imagination and ministry. He is a paradigm for those who address the numb and dying posture…” Ok, I get that. I guess where I lose Bruggeman is where he identifies Jeremiah as such because of the prophet’s response to Judah’s death.

Looking at my own context… Is the death of Christendom that came with the dawn of postmodernism the same as Israel’s demise? I keep coming back to the thought that as would-be prophetic voices, we should bring to public expression our “dread of endings,” the things that force us to confront our mortality as the created. Jeremiah’s actions are indeed good, but I have a hard time relating to or being inspired to prophetic ministry by drawing a connection between his and my contexts.

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One response to “Bruggeman revisited

  1. I think your touching on my struggle with the book. I kept trying to figure out if I should mourn for Israel, the church, the world, or something else. My own theology is that we need a church that is engaged in these things before we can begin to ask whether the prophetic imagination should be used on a culture that has no narrative to care about it. At the same time I am not sure WB would agree with me, but I can’t tell. I really like his point on grieving and death though. Without those things we begin to see to believe that someone else is in charge other than God.
    enjoyed the post man, hope your having a good trip.

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