Brueggemann on Faith and Torah

Carolyn Sharp has edited a book that captures the theology of Walter Brueggemann. Regarding Brueggemann’s understanding of Torah as both “Demand and Deliverance,” she writes: “Faithful memory and faithful practice have always been joined to the life of the faithful. Narrative and covenant are inextricably intertwined for us today, just as the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the statutes of the law are woven together in biblical literature. Law can never be understood apart from God’s wondrous giving of grace in the life of the people of God” (Disruptive Grace, 13). She also quotes Brueggemann himself:

The way in which Israel is to become and remain YHWH’s ‘treasured possesion’…is not simply by divine designation, but by vigorous, intense, intentional adherence to YHWH’s commands given in the Torah of Sinai. (Old Testament Theology, 82).

And, a bit later,

Here is God’s covenant with Abraham that is unconditional and unilateral. Here is God’s covenant with Moses and Israel that is bilateral and conditional. They are there together, and that interface of contradiction may offer us the most work to do but also the most honest disclosure of the truth of our life. The full tradition asserts that all of our relationships, including that with the Holy One, are an unsettled mix of unilateral and bilateral, of conditional and unconditional, and it is that unsettled truth of covenant on which I will dwell for these comments. (Brueggemann, Disruptive Grace, 21).


One thought on “Brueggemann on Faith and Torah

  1. I love this quote: “Faithful memory and faithful practice have always been joined to the life of the faithful.” I especially like the idea of Scripture’s narrative as the memory of the faithful. It is a memory passed on through generations. Such a beautiful way to understand our fellowship with the Saints across all times.

    John Walker (

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