Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Quote

When it comes to Old Testament studies, Walter Bruggemann is the man. His prose can be dense and therefore difficult, but it is also rich and quotable. Ponder this paragraph from Bruggemann's book An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress Press, 2009, p. 171).

At the root of reality is a limitless generosity that intends an extravagant abundance. This claim is exposited in Israel's creation texts, sapiential traditions, and hymnic exuberances. This insistence flies in the face of the theory of scarcity on which the modern world is built. An ideology of scarcity produces a competitiveness that issues in brutality, justifies policies of wars and aggression, authorizes an acute individualism, and provides endless anxiety about money, sexuality, physical fitness, beauty, work achievements, and finally mortality. It seems to me that, in the end, all of these anxieties are rooted in an ideology that resists a notion of limitless generosity and extravagant abundance.

This, I think, is a great insight: Faith is the trust that the center of reality, God, is generous. Much suffering is rooted in faithlessness.

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