***** (of 5)
The bottom line: A revolutionary work of theological insight that inspires and transforms perceptions of reality.
The Prophetic Imagination simultaneously challenges the reader to rethink their current discernment of reality while illuminating an alternative consciousness that the Biblical prophets so vigorously championed. Brueggemann accomplishes this task by highlighting the initial paradigm-shifting, radical vision of Moses, and then extends his analysis through David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and finally to the ultimate prophetic expression in Christ. The author calls attention to the fact that in contemporary society we have drifted away from the ideal and instead adopted a mixture of ideologies that serves to oppress rather then to liberate: “[T]he church is so largely enculturated to the American ethos of consumerism that is has little power to believe or to act.” He continues by saying, “Our consciousness has been claimed by false fields of perception and idolatrous systems of language and rhetoric.” Certainly, this should not lead one to despair, because Brueggemann affirms that the prophet’s ultimate calling is to energize, invigorate, and point the people in a new direction where hope is fulfilled and opportunities abound based upon God’s intention for all creation.
The author dynamically illustrates a view of Moses and other OT prophets in a light that most people have failed to imagine, and highlights a profound contrast between the kingships of David and Solomon that will undoubtedly revolutionize they way Christians are to think of the interaction between Christian stewardship, the community of faith, and the power dynamics involved in the institutions of politics and governmental power.
Like the prophets, Brueggemann challenges the reader to consider that they way things have been done is not, in fact, the way God intends his people to live. He calls for the prophetic ministry to evoke an alternative community that penetrates numbness and despair in order to dismantle the current paradigm so that a brand new human beginning can commence with the freedom that God intended. This book is a mind-changing, awe-inspiring text from a well-renowned theologian, and I believe anyone involved in ministry absolutely must read this book—it will change the way you perceive and interact with the world, reveal tremendous theological insight, and inspire spiritual leaders to face up to the challenges in the modern world.
Simply put: a highly valuable, game-changing book.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal