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Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy [With CDROM] Paperback – July 19, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Brueggemann's agenda is to listen attentively to all the diverse (and divergent) voices within the Old Testament, seeking truth in the midst of these "disputes," but without attempting to harmonize them or produce a "systematic" theology. This approach is astonishing in its relevance to our current situation: the advent of post-modernism with its emphasis on pluralism and relativized, deconstructed truth; the disestablishment, indeed exile, of the American Church; and the dominant Western "metanarrative" of "military consumerism." Though I disagree with some of the ideas presented, I am far richer and better for having read this book. Brueggemann himself would be the first to invite readers to dispute both his method and his conclusions.
My acid test for ministry books: "Give me something I can use!" This material is far more than useful, it's transformational.Read more ›
Brueggemann concentrates on Yahweh -- there are other formulations of God in the text (Elohim, for example, or El-Shaddai in Job) but these don't tend to be dominant, so Brueggemann doesn't treat them so. As the subtitle suggests -- Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy -- Brueggemann uses an overall framework of a jury trial, with the presentation of evidence, argument, interpretation, and witnesses.
The first and final sections of the book are analytical and place this book in proper context of the history of OT research and writing, and where this is likely to continue, particularly with the idea of interpretation in a pluralistic context, which is fitting considering the plurality of voices present in the scriptures.
The first witness, of course, is Israel. Israel's experience in the scriptures, however, provides it with both a core testimony of God, as well as a counter-testimony of God. Brueggemann is good about maintaining a tension between poles in his writings, and here he has Israel's testimony pitted against itself, looking for Yahweh in the tension between.
Then there are components of unsolicited testimony, those of creation, humanity, the nations.Read more ›
He painstakingly starts with Luther and brings the movement of theology up to present in numerous chapters. He is not afraid to address the issues most have in weakness or inability not addressed. He starts to build upon the foundation that Yahweh is Yahweh in relation and that Israel is the witness of Yahweh. Their witness is recorded in Old Testament Scripture.
Using verbs, adjectives and nouns we can start to see Yahweh in relation, action and his character. He is not afraid to deal with testimony and countertestimony. Nor is he afraid to reveal and deal with tensions between issues where most have avoided or compromised. Neither does he soft stroke the Psalms of complaint in contrast to the high Psalms of faith and praise. Neither is he soft when he mentions Israel's commitment to justice in "alternative to the deathly ideology of technological, military consumerism".
He beautifully reveals Yahweh's relation with Israel and with the world. God's care for the world and the suffering of humanity. And revealing to all including Christians that the "Law" is not the legalistic document portrayed by most as supposed in contrast to "Grace". Israel with joy received Torah and it brought order to chaos.
Although he touches on the Holocaust a few times he never brings a conclusion into his book on the subject. He leaves you wondering what he thinks and why he brought up the subject. I would like to have had his thoughts and some insights from scripture. Just the mention of the Holocaust brings questions and a thirst for more understanding.
Your understanding of theology, Old Testament theology and of the intricate God of the Bible will be profoundly expounded and expanded. A must and a delight!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good view of the new (or better said, modern) thoughts on Theology from a higher critic.Published 7 months ago by Harold King
Now I have a much better understanding of the meaning of "Covenant"Published 15 months ago by Clinton A.Dixon
kindle edition is very useful.
Cheaper than paper book.
As you know, we can save a lot of frees and environment. Read more
Walter Brueggemann’s big Old Testament theology, which I read as a seminarian in 2000, has decidedly stood the test of time. Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by Nathan P. Gilmour
This book gives an excellent understanding of the First Testament. A must for anyone serious about being able to read the Bible.Published on April 4, 2013 by K. K.