Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Brueggemann offers a way to bring the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) in touch with contemporary Christian life. He suggests that the historical critical methods of interpretation are not sufficient to meet the needs of the community of faith. The Bible is a text that comes to people as the word of God and that speaks imaginatively to the issues and problems of today. The God of the biblical stories confronts people with the truth about themselves and their world. He offers them his power to transform both themselves and the world around them through visualization of a new order of existence.

In his sermons, Brueggemann invites us to reevaluate our values, systems, structures, and relationships in the light of the alternatives that are present in the biblical stories. The cross of Jesus shows us the way of sacrifice for others. It is a way that leads us not to boast of our power, money, talents, and abilities, but rather to seek for steadfast love, justice, righteousness, and peace. The Resurrection of Jesus shows us the possibility of renewal and life. Although evil exists in the world and tragedies happen to all of us, evil is not the end and tragedy is not the end. At the end stands God, who is the source of new beginnings and transformations. God is eternally committed to the cause of his people. Because of the Resurrection, things will not stay as they are; rather, there is hope. Brueggemann says, “God will not stop until the world has been healed and brought to its senses.” This future, which is a gift from God, is certain, but it demands the urgent participation and cooperation of God’s people as agents of his transformation.