Brueggemann on Using Yahweh

Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy

Though one might not always agree with Walter Brueggemann, he is well worth the read.  Check out this section from Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), 184-5.  It has to do with “using” God for our ends/purposes.

“…The possibility of a viable alternative to Egyptian slavery requires a Holy God who, as a critical principle, deabsolutizes every other claimant to ultimate power.  Thus the first three commands (Exod 20:2-7) assert the oddity of Yahweh, who has no utilitarian value and who cannot be recruited or used for any social or human agenda.  The God who commands Israel is an end to be honored and obeyed, and not as a means to be used and exploited…. We may see in the prohibition of images an assertion of the unfettered character of Yahweh, who will not be captured, contained, assigned, or managed by anyone or anything, for any purpose” (emphasis his).

Finding Hope in a World of Hype

Michael Horton also deals with “using” God in various places of his little book, Too Good to be True (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006).


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