Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Bible and the Postmodern Imagination

Having read Brueggemann's book recently - Texts Under Negotiation: The Bible and the Postmodern Imagination - I just want to say that I think it is outstanding. Brueggemann is a brilliant writer and thinker and I think in this book he hits the nail on the head in terms of the direction the church should take and the role of the Bible in the postmodern world. What I like about it is:

  • He understands the power of the 'story' (or 'propaganda', depending which word you want to use). Advertisers wouldn't spend so much on telling us their story if it didn't matter.

  • He understands the key role of the Bible in countering that story. If a biblical counter-imagination is not employed, "the Christian congregation will rely on the dominant infrastructure of consumerism." For me, this is why the Bible really matters - the insfrustructure of consumerism is debilitating and dehumanising.

  • He makes the Bible utterly relevant to our age, without being under the thumb of postmodern preoccupations.

  • He demonstrates brilliantly the signifance of the Bible as story, rather than a set of propositions.
  • It is hopeful, yet academically rigerous. So often academia can lead to cynicism and can get caught up in concerns about modernist truth claims. Somehow he remains utterly postmodern, academic, yet faithful and hopeful.

Nothing I have read in ages has inspired me so much. Read it and enjoy.

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