Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Risky Preaching

Every imperial agent wants to reduce what is possible to what is available.

- Walter Brueggemann

This happens all the time, both inside and outside the church. We forget that the very world we live in is an unavailable possibility; that something new happened at the moment of creation that couldn't be explained by appeals to the past. 

I think this is one of the most interesting aspects of Jesus's ministry. He takes us to a place where future possibilities are not hindered by present availability. This is the world created by his miracles and by his stories.

"But the miracles can't be true; those kinds of things just don't happen", some might say. Away from me, you imperial agent! You are reducing what is possible to what is available, and by doing so you are questioning, even denying, your own existence.

For Brueggemann, the job of a pastor or preacher is the job of a poet/prophet. It is perhaps the most difficult job in Christian ministry. It is the job of imagining God's good future and calling people to enter into it. This is why Paul could describe his own preaching as foolishness. He imagined a cruciform future and called people to find life through death. This is risky preaching, but as Mr Beaver rhetorically asked, Who said anything about safe?

No comments:

Post a Comment