Monday, 5 September 2016
The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, Second Ed.,
Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2015, page 22
Having explained the first part of how the Bible uses 'secret' and the longing to belong as a teaching tool, Brueggeman explains what happens next.
The adult response to the yearning of the children is the articulation of the creed, or if not the creed, at least classical, highly stylised testimonies to faith. The answer is given as a set recital, not an answer made up on the spot. The baseline of identity for the community is known. Adults are capable of articulating it. These stable, known answers announce what is normative for both generations. It is not asked if the hearing children will find the answer convincing or bnding; or if they will find it too heavy or complicated or parochial or embarrassing. And it is not asked if the adult who speaks it has misgivings or reservations. The elemental educational moment is uncomplicated, unencumbered and unembarrassed. Undoubtedly such responses can be asserted in such unequivocal ways because the answering adults themselves have a passion abd nerve for what is being said. The answering adults live in a world that has not yet faced questions of self-doubt. Torah, the "Torah of the priest," could not have been formed by people with misgivings. Nor could it have been used by people who had misgivings. Thus Torah, the first element of Israel's canon, education process and faith, lives and works in a "pre-doubt world."