Friday, March 21, 2014

Faith: a difficult scandal

Came across these words by Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann, whilst reading around Genesis this morning. Faith is not easy. It is, in fact, impossible - for us alone. But we're not alone...

[The story of Abraham and Sarah] shows what a scandal and difficulty faith is. Faith is not a reasonable act which fits into the normal scheme of life and perception. The promise of the gospel is not a conventional piece of wisdom that is easily accommodated to everything else. Embrace of this radical gospel requires shattering and discontinuity. Abraham and Sarah have by this time become accustomed to their barrenness. They are resigned to their closed future. They have accepted that hopelessness is 'normal'. The gospel promise does not meet them in receptive hopefulness but in resistant hopelessness...
The total Abraham/Sarah story is about a call embraced. But in this central narrative the call is not embraced. It is rejected as nonsensical. And indeed, if no new thing can intrude, if newness must be conjured from present resources, the promise announced here truly is nonsensical. But our interpretation must focus on the overwhelming question of God: 'Is anything impossible for the Lord?'
~ Walter Brueggemann, commenting on Genesis 16

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