Old Testament Lections for Epiphany Harrell F. Beck Freeing God from the Holocaust A.

Roy Eckardt Family Ministries Across Cultures Taylor and June McConnell Distinctive Tasks of the Ordained Andrew Gilman Book Reviews on the Question of God Robert T. Osborn

QUARTERLY REVIEW A Scholarly Journal for Reflection on Ministry A publication of The United Methodist Publishing House John E. Procter, President and Publisher and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry V. Thomas Trotter, General Secretary Editorial Director, Ronald P. Patterson Editor, Charles E. Cole Book Review Editor, Carey J, Gifford Editorial Board F. Thomas Trotter, Chair Fred B. Craddock Candler School of Theology Keith R. Crim Virginia Commonwealth University Leander Keck Yale Divinity School Sallie McFague Vanderbilt Divinity School Lloyd R. Bailey Duke Divinity School Cornish Rogers School of Theology at Claremont Roy I. Sano Pacific School of Religion John L. Topolewski Christ United Methodist Church Mountaintop, Pennsylvania

Quarterly Review (ISSN 0270-9287) provides continuing education resources for professional ministers in The United Methodist Church and other churches. A scholarly journal for reflection on ministry. Quarterly Review seeks to encourage discussion and debate on matters critical to the practice of ministry. Falling within the purview of the journal are articles and reviews on biblical, theological, ethical, and ecclesiastical questions; homiletics, pastoral counseling, church education, sacred music, worship, evangelism, mission, and church management; ecumenical issues; cultural and social issues where their salience to the practice of ministry can be demonstrated; and the general ministry of Christians, as part of the church's understanding of its nature and mission. Articles for consideration are welcome from lay and professional ministers. United Methodists, and others, and should be mailed to the Editor, Quarterly Review, Box 871, Nashville, Tennessee 37202. Manuscripts should be approximately twelve to twenty-five pages in length and should be in English and typed double-spaced, and the original and one duplicate should be submitted. No sermons, poems, or devotional material are accepted. Queries are welcome. A style sheet is available on request. Payment is by fee, depending on edited length. Quarterly Review is published four times a year, in March, June, September, and December, by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and The United Methodist Publishing House. Editorial offices are at Box 871, Nashville, TN 37202. Circulation and business offices are at 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37202. Second-class postage paid at Nashville, Tennessee. Quarterly Review is available at the following rates: $10 a year for members of United Methodist annual conferences subscribing through the all-conference plan; $15 a year for members of United Methodist annual conferences subscribing through the conference leadership plan; institutions and libraries, $15 a year; and individual subscriptions, $20 a year. Subscriptions may be obtained by sending a money order or check to Quarterly Review, Business Manager, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37202. Postmaster: Address changes should be sent to United Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37202. Subscribers wishing to notify publisher of their change of address should notify the secretary of their conference board of ordained ministry, if the subscription has come through a conference plan; or to Business Manager, Quarterly Review, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37202. An index is printed in the winter volume of each year (number 5 for 1981 only; number 4 thereafter). Quarterly Review: A Scholarly Journal for Reflection on Ministry Winter, 1982 Copyright © 1982 by The United Methodist Publishing House and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry

VOL. 2, NO. 4

WINTER 1982

QUARTERLY REVIEW

CONTENTS
Editorial: Quote to What End? Homiletical Resources: Old Testament Lections for Epiphany Harrell F, Beck Ha'Shoah as Christian Revolution: Toward the Liberation of the Divine Righteousness A. Roy Eckardt Response of Sarah S. Miller Response of Robert B. Fortenbaugh 3 7

52 67 69

Researching Family Ministries Through Cross-Cultural Education Taylor and June McConnell 73 Response of Kelly Byron Bender 85 Ordination Tasks: Five Clusters Andrew Oilman Book Reviews Kung and Mitchell on the Question of God Robert T, Osborn Index to Volume 2 87

96 104

EDITORIAL
Q u o t e to W h a t E n d ?

" R a d i a t i o n l e a k s are m a d e b y fools like m e , b u t o n l y G o d c a n m a k e a n u c l e a r reactor that is 9 3 million m i l e s from t h e neighborhood elementary school." W h e n y o u r u n a c r o s s a s t a t e m e n t like that, y o u t e n d to p r e s e r v e it so y o u c a n p a s s it a l o n g to s o m e o n e else. T h e q u o t e is from college graffiti c o l l e c t e d b y R i c h a r d B . H a m m e r s t r o m , w h o h a s p u b l i s h e d several b o o k s o n the subject. Since I a m as intrigued as a n y o n e b y s u c h a p o t h e g m a t i c s t a t e m e n t s , I b e g a n to reflect o n t h e art o f q u o t a t i o n . Luckily a w o n d e r f u l article fell into m y h a n d s , a n article b y a F r e n c h professor o n the u s e of q u o t a t i o n s in art. J e a n W e i s b e r g e r is the professor, a n d h e calls a t t e n t i o n to t h e c o n s t r u c t i v e u s e of q u o t a t i o n s . N o t i n g that a t r e m e n d o u s a m o u n t o f t h e w o r l d ' s art a n d s e r i o u s literature imitates p r e v i o u s w o r k , h e c l a i m s t h a t 9 0 p e r c e n t of the b o o k s p u b l i s h e d are a b o u t o t h e r b o o k s . M . W e i s b e r g e r m u s t b e c l o s e to the m a r k in this claim, w h i c h is p r o b a b l y u n p r o v a b l e . It m a k e s u s w o n d e r if a n y t h i n g c a n really be written without quoting s o m e o n e else. T h e n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s o f q u o t a t i o n are well k n o w n . M a n y q u o t e s are for display p u r p o s e s o n l y , or are m e a n t to entertain, s o m e w h a t like e m b e l l i s h m e n t in m u s i c . T h i s practice is m o r e w i d e s p r e a d in public s p e a k i n g t h a n i n writing, p r o b a b l y . A n d w e are all familiar w i t h t h e plagiarist—the o n e in o u r s e l v e s as well as in o t h e r s . V e r y few writers a n d s p e a k e r s h a v e e s c a p e d t h e feeling t h e y b o r r o w e d a n idea or a r g u m e n t from s o m e o n e else, if only t h e y could r e m e m b e r w h o it w a s . T h e o n l y t h i n g w o r s e t h a n an u n c i t e d s o u r c e is a citation that is o v e r l o n g . W r i t e r s w h o q u o t e e n d l e s s a m o u n t s of material m a k e o n e w o n d e r w h y w e s h o u l d r e a d t h e m — j u s t give u s a bibliography a n d w e c o u l d l o o k u p the material o u r s e l v e s .

QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 A c c u r a c y is a n o t h e r p r o b l e m . Q u o t a t i o n s are a device for c o m m u n i c a t i n g that a n o t h e r p e r s o n h a s said o r written s o m e t h i n g . Y e t n o w a d a y s w e s e e q u o t a t i o n s b e i n g u s e d for w h a t w e h o p e d s o m e o n e m i g h t h a v e said, or w h a t w e i n t e n d t h e m to h a v e said, w h e t h e r t h e y did o r not. T h a t is w h y well-meaning writers have ancient people, or even nineteenthcentury people, speaking with " h e and s h e " and other nonsexist d e v i c e s . T h e w h o l e field o f sexist l a n g u a g e is rife w i t h p r o b l e m s , b u t this m u c h c a n b e said a b o u t q u o t a t i o n s : let t h e original s o u r c e s p e a k w i t h a s m u c h a c c u r a c y as p o s s i b l e . B y referring to a c c u r a c y I really m e a n to call attention to m i s q u o t a t i o n s . W i l l i a m Safire h a s w r i t t e n a b o u t E d m u n d B u r k e ' s f a m o u s s t a t e m e n t , " T h e o n l y t h i n g n e c e s s a r y for t h e t r i u m p h o f evil is for g o o d m e n to d o n o t h i n g . " A p p a r e n t l y B u r k e did n o t s a y it, o r if h e did, n o o n e c a n p r o v e that h e did. Safire r e p o r t s that a p e r s o n c h a l l e n g e d Bartlett's s o u r c e a n d Safire c o u l d n e v e r track it d o w n satisfactorily. ( S e e William Safire on Language, " Q u o t a t i o n D e m o l i s h e r s , I n c . , " for t h e w h o l e a n e c d o t e . ) T h i s i n c i d e n t raises u n p l e a s a n t q u e s t i o n s . If Bart­ lett's c a n b e w r o n g , w h o m c a n w e trust? T h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f translations is a n o t h e r m a t t e r , entirely, b u t I s h o u l d t h i n k a r e s p e c t a b l e s p e a k e r o r writer w o u l d try to a v o i d m a k i n g J e s u s into a n A m e r i c a n o r s o m e t h i n g equally as silly. It surely is w r o n g to h a v e J e s u s s a y i n g , " H a p p y are t h e utterly s i n c e r e , for t h e y will s e e G o d ! " a s J . B . Phillips did. O n c e y o u h a v e g o n e this far y o u m i g h t as w e l l d e s c e n d c o m p l e t e l y into banality a n d h a v e J e s u s s a y i n g that if o n l y y o u b e l i e v e , y o u c a n do a n y t h i n g . T h i s d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n s actual q u o t e d m a t t e r a n d n o t t h e p u n c t u a t i o n d e v i c e k n o w n a s q u o t a t i o n s . A w o r d n e e d s to b e said, h o w e v e r , a b o u t q u o t a t i o n m a r k s . T o d a y t h e y are b e i n g u s e d fairly i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y b y j o u r n a l i s t s , a n d t h e i n t e n t is n o t a l w a y s clear. T h e ironic u s e h a s b e c o m e r a m p a n t . In p o l e m i c s it is n o w c o m m o n to refer to o n e ' s o p p o s i t i o n b y q u o t a t i o n m a r k s . T h u s o n e m i g h t refer to " p r e s i d e n t " R o n a l d R e a g a n . T h e s u g g e s t i o n is that R e a g a n is n o t actually p r e s i d e n t , that h e is o n l y a m o u t h p i e c e for certain i n t e r e s t s , o r that his w a y o f s e r v i n g a s p r e s i d e n t is n o p r e s i d e n t at all. L i k e o t h e r s , I e n j o y t h e
4

EDITORIAL h u m o r o u s u s e o f s u c h q u o t a t i o n s — a 1976 N o v a that o u r family calls a " c a r / ' a w e e d p a t c h that w e refer to as o u r " l a w n , " a n d w h e n m y s o n a n d I c o o k for o u r s e l v e s , s o m e t h i n g undefinable w e call " d i n n e r , " It is o n l y w h e n o n e m o v e s b e y o n d o b v i o u s h u m o r that this u s e o f q u o t a t i o n m a r k s b e c o m e s q u e s t i o n a b l e . W h a t is t h e p o i n t o f substantial q u o t a t i o n s , t h o u g h ? O s t e n s i b l y t h e q u o t a t i o n o f a n y authority l e n d s w e i g h t t o w h a t t h e writer o r s p e a k e r is s a y i n g . T o o m a n y q u o t a t i o n s , t h o u g h , s e e m t o b e c h o s e n w h i m s i c a l l y or superficially w i t h o u t r e g a r d to t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s o u r c e . It really d o e s n o t h e l p to q u o t e W h i t e h e a d if (a) m o s t o f y o u r r e a d e r s or listeners are n o t familiar w i t h W h i t e h e a d , o r (b) m o s t o f t h e m w o u l d d i s a g r e e w i t h W h i t e h e a d if t h e y k n e w w h a t h e s t o o d for. S o w h y q u o t e W h i t e h e a d ? I h a v e d o n e this m y s e l f a n d therefore feel s o m e trepidation at e v e n raising the q u e s t i o n . I s u p p o s e m a n y p e o p l e feel t h e y are d o i n g t h e a u d i e n c e or r e a d e r s h i p a favor b y providing a succinct quote. T h e s e little s a y i n g s a n d m e t a p h o r s are m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e in oral s p e e c h t h a n in w r i t t e n . W h e n writing it is m o r e desirable to u s e q u o t a t i o n s to i n t e r e s t a r e a d e r i n t h e s o u r c e itself. Q u o t a t i o n s h a v e a n e d u c a t i v e p u r p o s e , a n d literature p o i n t s b e y o n d itself to o t h e r t h i n k i n g o n t h e s a m e q u e s t i o n o r t h e m e . W e i s b e r g e r w r o t e : " A s q u o t a t i o n s o p e n out the text into t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d , t h e y m a k e it m o r e accessible to t h e public. If the g e n e r a l r e a d e r is able to pick u p t h e r e f e r e n c e , w h i c h implies t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a n e s t a b l i s h e d tradition, u n d e r s t a n d i n g h a s b e e n a c h i e v e d . O n c e r u n to earth, t h e s o u r c e s e r v e s a s an e x p l a n a t i o n , a c o m p e n s a t i o n for t h e obscurity o f t h e individual message." In s p e a k i n g , in c o n t r a s t , o n e m a y h a v e to q u o t e briefly a n d e v e n r e p e a t a q u o t a t i o n so t h e a u d i e n c e c a n let it s i n k in. H e r e t h e n a r e s o m e s u g g e s t i o n s for q u o t i n g well: G o to a s o u r c e that is as close to t h e original a s p o s s i b l e . M a n y writers q u o t e s o m e o n e q u o t e d in s e c o n d a r y literature. T h i s h a r d l y l e n d s authority to their writing. Q u o t e p e o p l e o n l y w h e n y o u c a n b e s u r e o f w h a t t h e y said. " A s M r . X said s o m e w h e r e , " is a self-defeating p h r a s e . U s e q u o t a t i o n s to build u p to or s u m m a r i z e w h a t y o u are 5

QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982

saying. T h i s m a y offer a n air o f h u b r i s , a s if o n e w e r e saying, " J o h n D e w e y a n d I a g r e e o n t h i s . " Y e t a q u o t a t i o n that is part o f a s e q u e n c e of t h o u g h t is m o r e a u t h e n t i c t h a n o n e that p o p s in w i t h o u t relation to the s u r r o u n d i n g text. C h o o s e t h e amount o f q u o t e d material w i t h care. F o r writers this m e a n s j u s t e n o u g h material to b e fair to s o m e o n e ' s t h o u g h t . F o r s p e a k e r s it m e a n s j u s t e n o u g h to e n a b l e t h e a u d i e n c e to g r a s p w h a t y o u are saying. A v o i d cliche" in q u o t a t i o n s . It is n o l o n g e r a m u s i n g or e n l i g h t e n i n g to q u o t e L i n c o l n o n fooling s o m e o f the people all t h e time a n d so forth. D o n o t q u o t e y o u r s e l f u n l e s s y o u r n a r c i s s i s m is so out of control that y o u are w o r k i n g with y o u r psychiatrist o n the problem. W h e n q u o t i n g esoteric s o u r c e s , do so with care. Y o u will either m a k e o t h e r s w o n d e r w h o the s o u r c e is or y o u will b e forced to s h o w off b y i m p l y i n g y o u are familiar w i t h a r c a n e authorities. But t h e n , I m a y h a v e lost m y credibility b y q u o t i n g s o m e o n e n a m e d J e a n W e i s b e r g e r . I d o so o n l y b e c a u s e , a s s o m e o n e t h o u g h t B u r k e o n c e said, " T h e o n l y t h i n g n e c e s s a r y for t h e t r i u m p h o f a d e a d l i n e is for a n editor to h a v e n o t h i n g to s a y . "
—CHARLES E . COLE

6

HOMILETICAL RESOURCES: OLD TESTAMENT LECTIONS FOR EPIPHANY

HARRELL F. BECK

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2 (EPIPHANY SUNDAY)

Isaiah 60:1-9 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Isa. 60:1). T h e s e s i n g i n g v e r s e s p e a l forth like t h e introit to a n e w era in Israel's life. T h e y s t a n d at t h e h e a d o f c h a p t e r s 6 0 - 6 2 , t h e s o n g s of o n e w h o h a s r e t u r n e d from exile to a r a v a g e d J e r u s a l e m . T h e p u r p o s e o f t h e s e s o n g s is to e n c o u r a g e t h e exiles to r e t u r n a n d rebuild the a n c i e n t c e n t e r . C h a p t e r s 6 0 - 6 2 are in m a n y r e s p e c t s t h e h e a r t o f Isaiah 5 6 - 6 6 a n d are v e r y similar in spirit a n d v o c a b u l a r y to Isaiah 5 0 - 5 5 . T h e central t h e m e o f t h e s e s o n g s is a v i s i o n o f t h e i m p e n d i n g restoration o f t h e w e a l t h a n d glory o f J e r u s a l e m . T h e great h o m e c o m i n g o f the exiles is a b o u t to t a k e p l a c e . S o r r o w is to b e t u r n e d into delight. G o o d n e w s awaits t h e afflicted. T h e b r o k e n h e a r t e d are to b e h e a l e d , c a p t i v e s liberated, t h e b o u n d r e l e a s e d . F o r s a k e n J e r u s a l e m is a b o u t to b e c o m e t h e delight o f t h e L o r d . T h e p r o m i s e s o f Isaiah 5 4 are o n t h e v e r g e of fulfillment. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer (Isa. 54:7-8).
Harrell F. Beck is professor of Old Testament at Boston University School of Theology. Lections in these homiletical resources are taken from Seasons of the Gospel: Resources for the Christian Year (Nashville: Abingdon, 1979).

7

QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 T h e d a n g e r o f t h e exile w a s that, a m i d dislocation a n d suffering, t h e p e o p l e w o u l d l o s e a n y s e n s e o f a m e a n i n g f u l future, a n y g e n u i n e h o p e . It w a s a frightening m o m e n t w h e n t h e exiles cried out, " H o w shall w e s i n g the L o r d ' s s o n g in a foreign l a n d ? " ( P s a l m 137:4). N o t e v e n stragglers w h o r e m a i n e d in J e r u s a l e m w e r e likely to s i n g a m i d t h e ruins o f t e m p l e a n d city. W h e r e t h e r e is n o h o p e p e o p l e p e r i s h , b e c a u s e d e s p a i r a n d meaninglessness do not sustain relationships. Against the background of a time w h e n singers had gone m u t e , t h e artist w h o w r o t e 60:1-6 p r o c l a i m e d a n e w possibility in w h i c h h e a r d e n t l y b e l i e v e d . A p p a r e n t l y h e s a w that h o p e is a psychological necessity without which there can be no mental h e a l t h . H o p e is also a social n e c e s s i t y w i t h o u t w h i c h there c a n b e n o m e a n i n g f u l criticism o r thoughtful r e f o r m a n d rebuilding. It is also a t h e o l o g i c a l h o p e ; e v e n material prosperity c a n n o t e s c a p e d i s a p p o i n t m e n t a n d e m p t i n e s s . P e r s o n s n e e d a hopeful p h i l o s o p h y , a f r a m e w o r k o f v a l u e s , v i s i o n s a n d d r e a m s , as m u c h as t h e y n e e d c a l c i u m , s u n s h i n e , a n d l o v e . For this p o e t , Israel's h o p e is g r o u n d e d in t h e divine will. G o d h a s willed that J e r u s a l e m shall b e r e s t o r e d . H e r s o n s a n d d a u g h t e r s shall return. W e a l t h will c o m e to h e r . A n d in J e r u s a l e m b o t h Israel a n d t h e n a t i o n s shall " p r o c l a i m the praise of the L o r d " (60:6). T h e n a t i o n a l i s m that prevails in this c h a p t e r m u s t simply b e a c k n o w l e d g e d . Y e t t h e r e is h e r e a l s o t h e k e e n d e s i r e that J u d a h s h o u l d p r o s p e r a s o n e a m o n g the n a t i o n s . A s t h e n a t i o n s r e c o g n i z e J u d a h t h e y will h a v e o p p o r t u n i t y to r e c o g n i z e a n d serve the G o d Judah worships, the G o d w h o guarantees Judah's life a n d future. All h e a l t h y religion is future-oriented. T h e p o e t w h o w r o t e t h e s e v e r s e s is a l s o a p r o p h e t . In d r e a m i n g d r e a m s a n d s e e i n g v i s i o n s for o t h e r s , a spirit o f h o p e c a m e into his o w n heart. S u r e l y it r e m a i n s true that r e s p e c t for p e r s o n s is t h e basis o f hope. In Isaiah 6 0 - 6 2 w e h a v e a series o f s o n g s c e l e b r a t i n g t h e glory of the N e w J e r u s a l e m , t h e r e t u r n o f t h e c a p t i v e s , a n d t h e b r i g h t future t h a t lies b e f o r e the p e o p l e o f G o d . M a n y c o n t e m p o r a r y scholars see these three chapters as the nucleus around which 8

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t h e w a r n i n g s a n d p r o m i s e s o f Isaiah 5 6 - 6 6 h a v e b e e n g a t h e r e d . B o t h the spirit a n d v o c a b u l a r y of t h e s e s o n g s r e m i n d u s o f Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 , a fact that l e a d s s o m e s c h o l a r s to t h e c o n c l u s i o n that 4 0 - 5 5 and 5 6 - 6 6 were written by the same author. C h a p t e r s 6 0 - 6 2 w o u l d s e e m to b e t h e w o r k o f o n e a u t h o r w h o h a s a m e s s a g e o f salvation to p r o c l a i m , a m e s s a g e t h a t is r a t h e r c o m p l e t e in itself. T h e lyrical description o f t h e n e w Z i o n w a s p r o b a b l y t h e w o r k of a p r o p h e t w h o w a s active a m o n g the r e t u r n e d exiles. T h e n e w c o m m u n i t y that is d e s c r i b e d in Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 is h e r e s e e n as b e i n g o n t h e v e r g e o f a p p e a r i n g (60). H a v i n g p r o c l a i m e d t h e glory o f t h e n e w Z i o n a n d t h e r e t u r n of t h e exiles, the p r o p h e t i n t r o d u c e s h i m s e l f as the m e s s e n g e r w h o m G o d h a s s e n t t o p r o c l a i m t h e salvation o f Z i o n ( m a y critics w h o a c c e p t a D e u t e r o - I s a i a n a u t h o r s h i p for 5 6 - 6 6 r e g a r d 61:1-3 as t h e fifth S e r v a n t S o n g ) . In 62:1 t h e a u t h o r again s u g g e s t s his o w n role in the restoration. T a k e n t o g e t h e r t h e s e three c h a p t e r s are a p r o c l a m a t i o n o f salvation, a m e s s a g e o f p r o m i s e a n d h o p e w i t h o u t a n y threat o f j u d g m e n t (60:12 is p r o b a b l y a n addition). S i n c e the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y it h a s b e e n a c o m m o n p l a c e a m o n g critical s c h o l a r s that Isaiah 4 0 - 6 6 w a s w r i t t e n b y s o m e o n e o t h e r t h a n Isaiah of J e r u s a l e m . O n t h e basis of differing historical c o n t e x t s , literary characteristics a n d theologi­ cal e m p h a s e s , t h e s e c h a p t e r s w o u l d s e e m to h a v e b e e n written d u r i n g a n d following t h e last days o f t h e B a b y l o n i a n Exile b y an u n k n o w n a u t h o r . In t h e e i g h t h c e n t u r y , Isaiah o f J e r u s a l e m ( a b o u t w h o m w e k n o w a g o o d deal) a d d r e s s e s J u d a h w i t h w o r d s of j u d g m e n t a n d d o o m . T h e a u t h o r o f Isaiah 4 0 ff. ( w h o m w e c a n n o t e v e n n a m e ) b r i n g s w o r d s o f c o n s o l a t i o n a n d h o p e to exiles w h o k n o w that J e r u s a l e m lies in ruins a n d l o n g for its r e c o n s t r u c t i o n (42:26-28; 4 9 : 1 4 - 2 3 ) . T h i s a u t h o r a n n o u n c e s that a majestic a n d caring L o r d will build t h e n e w J e r u s a l e m (42:12-48:22). T h e Exile is t h e historical c o n t e x t for o t h e r theological e m p h a s e s in S e c o n d Isaiah. A s Y a h w e h h a d b r o u g h t j u d g m e n t u p o n a self-indulgent a n d rebellious p e o p l e , n o w t h e U n k n o w n P r o p h e t a n n o u n c e s divine c o n s o l a t i o n for a suffering p e o p l e , a n d t h e p r o m i s e that t h e only true G o d (44:6-8), L o r d o f creation a n d o f history, will i n t e r v e n e as R e d e e m e r . C y r u s , the P e r s i a n
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 e m p e r o r , is called " t h e a n o i n t e d " o f G o d t h r o u g h w h o m Israel's salvation will b e furthered (45). T h e foreign n a t i o n s t h e m s e l v e s will b e b r o u g h t to salvation. T h e i m p e n d i n g restoration ( " B e h o l d y o u r G o d is at h a n d , " 40:9) will c o m e a b o u t t h r o u g h t h e p o w e r o f t h e W o r d o f G o d , a t h e m e that p e r m e a t e s c h a p s . 40-55. "For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isa. 55:10-11). T h e G o d w h o c r e a t e d o r d e r out o f c h a o s in t h e b e g i n n i n g ( G e n . 1:1-2) will b r i n g o r d e r a g a i n into t h e life o f Israel. T h i s r e d e m p t i o n is G o d ' s will for Israel a n d t h e n a t i o n s . I n c l u d e d in Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 are four S o n g s o f t h e Suffering S e r v a n t . T h i s divine, r e d e m p t i v e i n t e n t i o n is to p r o s p e r t h r o u g h t h e S e r v a n t , w h o shall e v e n " t a k e a w a y the sins o f m a n y " (53:12). ( Q u e s t i o n s a b o u t the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the S e r v a n t S o n g s a n d the rest o f S e c o n d Isaiah are i n c l u d e d in t h e n e x t lection, Isa. 42:1-9.) C o n s i d e r a b l e diversity o f j u d g m e n t c o n t i n u e s about t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 a n d 5 6 - 6 6 . C a n w e s p e a k o f a T h i r d Isaiah a s a literary unit w i t h a c o m m o n a u t h o r s h i p ? W h i l e w e r e c o g n i z e the u n i t y o f 6 0 - 6 2 , t h e r e are m a n y o t h e r strands in t h e s e c h a p t e r s . P e r h a p s t h e s e s t r a n d s , a collection o f w a r n i n g s and promises, were gathered around 60-62. This nucleus was w r i t t e n after t h e exiles h a d b e e n given p e r m i s s i o n to return (538 B.C), t h o u g h a p p a r e n t l y o n l y a small n u m b e r did s o . T h e h a r d c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f t h o s e w h o r e t u r n e d (and t h o s e w h o did n o t ) will s o o n turn to b r i g h t n e s s a n d salvation. T h e a u t h o r o f c h a p t e r s 6 0 - 6 2 , familiar w i t h S e c o n d Isaiah, w a s a disciple s c h o o l e d in that t h e o l o g i a n - p o e t ' s t h o u g h t ( c o m p a r e 60 with 4 7 , 4 9 , 5 3 , 5 4 - 5 5 ) . T h e disciple offers a distinctive m e s s a g e but o n e that h a s clear c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h the earlier p r o p h e t . T h e m e s s a g e o f salvation that t h e t e a c h e r h a d
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p r o c l a i m e d m a y h a v e b e e n d i s r e g a r d e d u n d e r t h e stress of e c o n o m i c a n d political h a r d s h i p a n d spiritual a n g u i s h . T h e n e w salvation, w h i c h S e c o n d Isaiah p r o c l a i m e d a s G o d ' s plan, the disciple n o w s e e s as b e g i n n i n g to t a k e p l a c e . W h i l e t h e r e are differences of e m p h a s i s , b o t h anticipate G o d ' s salvation w i t h j o y a n d s i n g i n g . F o r b o t h , G o d ' s p l a n o f r e d e m p t i o n is c o n c e r n e d w i t h life h e r e o n earth. B o t h could h a v e j o i n e d w i t h t h e psalmist: " I b e l i e v e that I shall s e e t h e g o o d n e s s o f t h e LORD in t h e land o f the living!" (Ps. 2 7 : 1 3 ) . Isaiah 6 0 - 6 2 w a s p r o b a b l y w r i t t e n a few y e a r s after C y r u s ' s edict freeing t h e exiles. T h e later strands that w e r e a d d e d are difficult to d a t e , b u t w e m a y a s s u m e t h a t 5 6 - 6 6 h a d b e e n b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r b y the m i d d l e of the fifth c e n t u r y B . C . Isa. 60:1-3. C h a p t e r 6 0 p r o c l a i m s a n d c e l e b r a t e s t h e i m p e n d ­ i n g salvation o f Z i o n . It is the first of t h r e e s o n g s of j o y that are directly p r e c e d e d a n d followed b y l a m e n t s ( 5 9 , 6 3 ) . G o d ' s great act o f salvation in r e d e e m i n g a n d r e s t o r i n g J e r u s a l e m w a r r a n t s the i m p e r a t i v e s that t h e p o e t s i n g s forth (note t h e frequent u s e o f s u c h i m p e r a t i v e s in S e c o n d Isaiah): "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." (60:1). "Lift up your eyes round about, and see . . . " (60:4; quoted verbatim from 49:18). T h e light of t h e L o r d , the glory o f Israel's G o d , is c o m i n g u p o n Z i o n . W h e n it d o e s , t h e n a t i o n s will in turn c o m e to Z i o n . T h e r e is a s t r o n g e x c h a t o l o g i c a l n o t e in t h e s e interrelated m o v e m e n t s . T h e p r e s e n c e o f G o d in J e r u s a l e m , a m o n g t h e p e o p l e , will p r o v e a n illuminating a n d t r a n s f o r m i n g r a d i a n c e . T h e c o m m a n d that t h e p e o p l e s h o u l d " a r i s e " a n d " s h i n e " is b o t h a n anticipation of Y a h w e h ' s c o m i n g a n d a p o p u l a r r e s p o n s e t o it. Z i o n is i n v i t e d to a c c e p t the m e s s a g e o f salvation, " L i g h t " a n d " t h e glory of the L o r d " are h e r e u s e d i n a k i n d of parallelism. T h e c o m i n g of Y a h w e h is the c o m i n g of salvation (cf. 5 6 : 1 ; 5 9 : 1 1 ; 6 2 : 1 1 . ) . T h e glory of the L o r d s u g g e s t s the w e i g h t y d e c i s i v e n e s s of the divine will: t h e w a y of t h e L o r d will prevail. T h i s a d v e n t t h e m e r e m i n d s o n e of Isa. 9:2:
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. T h e c o m i n g o f t h e light a n d t h e t i m e o f its c o m i n g are simply a m a t t e r o f t h e divine p l e a s u r e . F o r T h i r d Isaiah this t r a n s f o r m i n g a d v e n t is n o t tied to a n y historical e v e n t . It is n o t d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e r e t u r n to Z i o n o f t h o s e living in exile b u t rather will m a k e their h o m e c o m i n g p o s s i b l e . T h i s p r o c l a m a t i o n o f salva­ tion a n d its c o n s e q u e n c e s give Z i o n r e a s o n to arise from defeat a n d tiredness a n d let t h e glory o f G o d s h i n e in their faces. Isa. 6 0 : 2 - 3 . T w o s y n o n y m o u s parallelisms are u s e d to contrast t h e d a r k n e s s that c o v e r s t h e n a t i o n s w i t h t h e b r i g h t n e s s that c o m e s to Z i o n . W h e n t h e y s e e the d a r k n e s s that c o v e r s t h e n a t i o n s , n a t i o n s a n d k i n g s will w i s h to " c o m e to t h e l i g h t . " ( A c c o r d i n g to R e v . 2 1 : 2 4 , t h e light o f Z i o n is e x p e c t e d to attract t h e k i n g s to it a n d t h e n a t i o n s will w a l k in that light.) T h e u n i v e r s a l i s m o f this s o n g m a t c h e s that o f S e c o n d Isaiah: t h e c o m i n g o f t h e L o r d o f salvation to Z i o n p o r t e n d s t h e salvation o f the nations. Isa. 60:4-9. "Lift u p y o u r e y e s r o u n d a b o u t , a n d s e e . . . " T h i s i m p e r a t i v e (again cf. 4 9 : 1 8 , 2 2 ) h e r a l d s a m o m e n t o u s e v e n t that n o o n e in Z i o n s h o u l d m i s s . G o d h a s c o m e to Z i o n a n d t h e p e o p l e h a v e s e e n t h e b r i g h t n e s s o f Z i o n ' s future (rising). T h e v e r y sight m a k e s o b s e r v e r s radiant a n d sets h e a r t s to rejoicing (vs. 5 ) . A plan o f u n i v e r s a l salvation h a s b e e n set in m o t i o n , a n d v s s . 4-9 d e s c r i b e t h e trek o f t h e n a t i o n s to Z i o n , t h e place o f salvation. T h i s p l a n is t h e central m e s s a g e o f this w h o l e s o n g . T h e distinctive p o w e r a n d a w e s o m e n e s s o f this m i r a c u l o u s e v e n t c a n b e a p p r e c i a t e d o n l y if w e s e e it in t h e c o n t e x t of the t r a g e d y o f t h e Exile. T h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f Z i o n a n d the T e m p l e , t h e scattering o f p r i e s t h o o d a n d p e o p l e , t h e sufferings o f captivity m u s t h a v e s e e m e d like t h e e n d o f a n y vital c o v e n a n t relationship b e t w e e n Israel a n d Y a h w e h (Jer. 31:31-34 w a r n s that the Sinai c o v e n a n t is f i n i s h e d ) . In exile, Israel h a d to live with t h e
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c o n s e q u e n c e s of sin a n d betrayal a n d t h e h u m i l i a t i o n of s u b j e c t i o n to B a b y l o n i a n rule. T h e exiles a s k e d , " H o w shall w e s i n g the L o r d ' s s o n g in a foreign l a n d ? " ( P s . 137:4). M a n y m u s t also h a v e a s k e d , " C a n w e e v e n w o r s h i p t h e L o r d in Z i o n ? Is t h e r e a n y future t h e r e ? " T h o s e w h o r e m a i n e d faithful in exile e n d u r e d p o v e r t y a n d v i o l e n c e . J e r u s a l e m itself b e c a m e a place of b l o o d s h e d a n d o f despair. F o r d e c a d e s after t h e d e c r e e o f C y r u s it r e m a i n e d a d e s o l a t e place to w h i c h o n l y a small n u m b e r of exiles r e t u r n e d . Isa. 60:4-5a. B u t n o w r e v o l u t i o n a r y c h a n g e s a r e a b o u t to o c c u r . T h e light h a s c o m e u p o n Z i o n ; " t h e glory o f t h e L o r d " h a s r i s e n u p o n it. T h e n a t i o n s h a v e s e e n that light a n d will s o o n b e s t r e a m i n g t o w a r d Z i o n , n o t as a r m i e s or b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e to d o s o , b u t b e c a u s e t h e y w a n t to c o m e . W i t h t h e m t h e y b r i n g Z i o n ' s r i c h e s t treasure, its s o n s a n d d a u g h t e r s in exile (note this s a m e priority in 4 b a n d 9 b ) . T h e G e n t i l e s h a v e a p l a c e in the p l a n of salvation w h i c h e n r i c h e s their lives a n d t h e future o f Z i o n . S e e i n g all this, p r e s e n t r e s i d e n t s o f Z i o n h a v e r e a s o n to b e radiant. W h a t greater thrill or c a u s e for rejoicing c o u l d c o m e to t h e m ? ( V e r s e 5a s u g g e s t s a great deal a b o u t the spirit a n d t h e o l o g y of t h e a u t h o r o f the s o n g . ) Isa. 60:5b. B e y o n d t h e r e t u r n of t h e exiles t h e n a t i o n s shall b r i n g t r e a s u r e s to Z i o n , a k i n d o f freewill offering, p r e s u m a b l y a s a n e x p r e s s i o n of gratitude for the salvation that h a s c o m e to them. Isa. 60:6. C a r a v a n s shall c o m e b y l a n d from M i d i a n a n d E p h a h a n d S h e b a , p l a c e s o f the d e s c e n d a n t s of A b r a h a m ( G e n . 25:1-4). T h e y not o n l y b r i n g gifts but t h e y also participate in t h e w o r s h i p of t h e G o d o f A b r a h a m , t h u s c l a i m i n g a n d fulfilling their o w n h e r i t a g e . (Cf. b o t h 60:3 a n d 6 w i t h t h e m e s in M a t t h e w ' s narrative of J e s u s ' birth, 2:3 a n d 10-11.) C a r a v a n s also c o m e , b r i n g i n g flocks from K e d a r a n d N e b a i o t h in n o r t h e r n Arabia. T h e s e too are d e s c e n d a n t s of A b r a h a m ( G e n . 2 5 : 1 3 ) . T h e s e flocks p r o v i d e suitable offerings for the altar of Y a h w e h . In a c c e p t i n g t h e m as sacrifices G o d b e s t o w s h o n o r a n d g r e a t n e s s u p o n the T e m p l e . Isa. 60:8-9. A s c a r a v a n s a n d flocks c o m e b y l a n d so fleets of s h i p s c o m e b y s e a . F a r distant t h e w h i t e - m a s t e d ships ("that fly
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like a c l o u d " ) c a n b e s e e n c o m i n g t o w a r d Z i o n . T h e first line o f vs. 9 is variously e m e n d e d . T h e basic m e a n i n g is p r o b a b l y that t h e p e o p l e o f t h e c o a s t l a n d s wait for, that is, h a v e their h o p e in, t h e G o d o f Z i o n . (Cf. 51:5b: . . . the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.) T a r s h i s h , a P h o e n i c i a n c o l o n y in s o u t h e r n S p a i n ( J o n a h 1:3), c o m e s first, p e r h a p s to s u g g e s t that the farthest place c o m e s quickly, p e r h a p s b e c a u s e it h a s fast, well-rigged sailing v e s s e l s . T h e s e v e s s e l s b r i n g b o t h the exiles from Z i o n a n d precious wares. This rich s t r e a m o f p e o p l e a n d gifts to Z i o n glorifies the n a m e of the L o r d ( n a m e as the h o n o r a n d glory o f G o d — s e e 5 6 : 6 ; 59:19; 6 0 : 9 ) . T h e n a t i o n s c o m e glorifying t h e G o d w h o h a s glorified Z i o n . In r e d e e m i n g b o t h Z i o n a n d the n a t i o n s t h e L o r d b r i n g s glory u p o n himself, a t h e m e that is p r o m i n e n t in the p r o c l a m a t i o n o f salvation. A c c o r d i n g to T h i r d Isaiah the n e w d a y o f the salvation o f Z i o n is at h a n d . T h e t i m e o f m i r a c u l o u s transformation h a s c o m e . F o r Z i o n exile will turn into h o m e c o m i n g ; d a r k n e s s into light; v i o l e n c e into security; w r a t h into m e r c y ; h u m i l i a t i o n into rejoicing; i m p o v e r i s h m e n t into prosperity; G e n t i l e s into s e r v a n t s o f Y a h w e h . T h i s salvation will h a v e t a n g i b l e , d o w n - t o - e a r t h c o n s e q u e n c e s . But h o w e v e r e a r t h l y t h o s e c o n s e q u e n c e s , the c o m i n g of this p h e n o m e n a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n is n o t tied to a historical e v e n t (here S e c o n d a n d T h i r d Isaiah differ). It will c o m e in G o d ' s o w n g o o d t i m e . F o r t h e a u t h o r o f Isaiah 6 0 , " t h e acceptable y e a r of the L o r d " (61:2) is at h a n d . G o d ' s p l e a s u r e is that salvation s h o u l d c o m e b o t h to Z i o n a n d to the n a t i o n s . T h e a u t h o r ' s e n t h u s i a s m for this p r o c l a m a t i o n is not s i m p l y that o f a n interested m e s s e n g e r . In 61:1 a n d again in 62:1 h e i n t r o d u c e s h i m s e l f as o n e w h o b o t h p r o c l a i m s salvation a n d participates in its w o r k .
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T h i r d I s a i a h ' s p r o c l a m a t i o n o f salvation w a s n o t fulfilled t h o u g h h e m a y h a v e b e e n i n s t r u m e n t a l in k e e p i n g faith a n d h o p e alive in t h e post-exilic c o m m u n i t y . A n d y e t this p o e t holds a significant p l a c e in t h e history o f t h e p e o p l e o f G o d . E l e m e n t s of the p r o c l a m a t i o n of salvation that w e h a v e in c h a p t e r s 6 0 - 6 2 persist in b o t h J u d a i s m a n d Christianity. T h e e x p e r i e n c e b y w h i c h Third Isaiah felt h i m s e l f c o m m i s s i o n e d to proclaim salvation, a n d his s u m m a r y o f that p r o c l a m a t i o n , w e r e u s e d b y J e s u s of N a z a r e t h half a m i l l e n n i u m later a s authorization for his o w n ministry: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19).

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9 (FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY) Isaiah 42:1-9. " B e h o l d M y S e r v a n t " T h e quiet, a l m o s t m e l a n c h o l y S e r v a n t S o n g s o f Isaiah provide a k i n d of " j o b d e s c r i p t i o n , " setting forth t h e finest characteris­ tics o f faithful Israel a n d h e r n o b l e s t leaders. T h e S e r v a n t is " t h e c h o s e n o n e " (like M o s e s , D a v i d , a n d Israel herself) w h o c o m b i n e s t h e roles o f Davidic a n d M e s s i a n i c king w i t h t h e role of the p r o p h e t . T h e o v e r a r c h i n g c o m m i s s i o n of the S e r v a n t is " t o b r i n g forth j u s t i c e to the n a t i o n s " (Isa. 4 2 : 1 , 3, 4 ) , T h u s the task of k i n g s a n d p r o p h e t s falls to the S e r v a n t , w h o s e irenic m e t h o d s p r o v i d e a startling contrast to the w a y s of C y r u s a n d the violent spirit o f exilic times ("a b r u i s e d r e e d h e will n o t b r e a k " ) . T h i s kingly office o f the S e r v a n t is c o m b i n e d w i t h the role of t h e teacher: Israel (and the n a t i o n s ) m u s t b e h e l p e d to r e c o g n i z e their b l i n d n e s s a n d i m p r i s o n m e n t before t h e y c a n b e freed from t h e m (see Isa. 6:9-10). G o d w h o c r e a t e d at the b e g i n n i n g c a n recreate a n e w Israel out o f the tragedy of the Exile. T h e c r e a t o r - r e d e e m e r G o d of
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G e n e s i s 1 a n d 2 c o n t i n u e s to t u r n d a r k n e s s into light. Israel is the first to benefit from this r e d e m p t i v e w o r k o f G o d (42:6a), b u t w i t h privilege c o m e s d e m a n d i n g responsibility (42:6b-7). G o d h a s given Israel as " a c o v e n a n t to t h e p e o p l e , a light to the n a t i o n s " that t h e blind m a y s e e , the i m p r i s o n e d m a y b e freed, a n d t h o s e w h o sit in d a r k n e s s m a y c o m e to t h e light. H e r e is a n e m p h a t i c r e m i n d e r that g r e a t n e s s in the k i n g d o m of G o d is g r o u n d e d in s e r v a n t h o o d . T h i s m a n d a t e takes as its corollary t h e principle o f v o l u n t a r y , v i c a r i o u s suffering: y o u r h u r t in m y heart. G o d ' s w i s h t h a t Israel s h o u l d b e " a light to the n a t i o n s " (42:6) m a y appropriately b e c o u p l e d w i t h 4 9 : 6 . "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." If the faithful s e e k o n l y their o w n salvation t h e y will get e n m e s h e d in self-defeating i n t r o s p e c t i o n , self-centeredness, a n d pride. T h e y will also b e d e n y i n g the universality of G o d ' s love for the w h o l e w o r l d . C o n c e r n for t h e salvation o f t h e n a t i o n s is b o t h a t h e o l o g i c a l m a n d a t e a n d a political a n d economic essential. T h i s i n t e r c e s s o r y office is vitalized n o t b y h u m a n i n g e n u i t y a n d m i g h t , b u t b y the Spirit o f the L o r d w h o c h o o s e s to u p h o l d t h e S e r v a n t . T h e S e r v a n t h a s g l i m p s e d " t h e n e w t h i n g s " that G o d declares a n d that will c o m e to p a s s . C h a n g e is s e e n as t h e grace of G o d m o v i n g in history w i t h p u r p o s i v e n e s s . T h e S e r v a n t d e m o n s t r a t e s the fact that the v e r y h o p e s o f G o d d e p e n d u p o n t h e ability o f a b r e e d of m e n a n d w o m e n to believe in a world that has n o t y e t c o m e . T h e soul o f G o d delights in s u c h p e r s o n s , a n d the Spirit o f G o d e m p o w e r s t h e m (42:1). N e w T e s t a m e n t writers u s e d t h e p o e m s o f t h e Suffering S e r v a n t in S e c o n d Isaiah e x t e n s i v e l y in their a c c o u n t s of J e s u s o f N a z a r e t h , lifting u p t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f v o l u n t a r y or vicarious
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suffering in t h e w a y of life of the faithful. J e s u s h i m s e l f s e e m s to h a v e g i v e n w a r r a n t for s u c h u s e . A n allusion to Isaiah 53 s e e m s o b v i o u s in the s a y i n g , " F o r the S o n of m a n c a m e not to b e s e r v e d b u t to s e r v e , a n d to give his life as a r a n s o m for m a n y " (Mark 10:45). A n d in L u k e 22:37 a direct r e f e r e n c e to Isaiah 5 3 is p u r p o r t e d l y m a d e b y J e s u s : " F o r I tell y o u that this scripture m u s t b e fulfilled in m e , ' A n d h e w a s r e c k o n e d w i t h t r a n s g r e s ­ s o r s ' ; for w h a t is w r i t t e n a b o u t m e h a s its fulfillment." T h e identification o f a suffering M e s s i a h is a c o m b i n a t i o n o f ideas w h i c h is u n k n o w n in earlier or c o n t e m p o r a r y J u d a i c t h o u g h t . W e h a v e n o r e a s o n to d e n y that it w a s central in J e s u s ' s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . It w a s at o n c e a n original a n d productive feature of his life a n d t e a c h i n g . Isa. 42:1 ff. is t h e first o f four S e r v a n t S o n g s w h i c h w e r e first isolated b y D u h m in 1 8 9 2 . H e h e l d that t h e s e p o e m s (42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 5 2 : 1 3 - 5 3 : 1 2 ) w e r e n o t from S e c o n d Isaiah b u t a later a u t h o r (about 4 5 0 B.C). M a n y critics, for e x a m p l e v o n R a d , a r g u e that w e h a v e n o r e a s o n to t h i n k t h e a u t h o r of Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 did n o t write t h e s e s o n g s . T h i s v i e w o f a c o m m o n a u t h o r s h i p d o e s n o t s e e m to deal a d e q u a t e l y w i t h certain facts: (1) the r e m o v a l of t h e s o n g s d o e s not interfere w i t h t h e c o n t i n u i t y a n d flow of the rest of 4 0 - 5 5 ; (2) t h e r e are stylistic differences b e t w e e n the p o e m s a n d the rest of 4 0 - 5 5 ; (3) t h e idea of the S e r v a n t is f o u n d o n l y in t h e s e s o n g s . In light o f t h e s e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a n u m b e r o f m o d e r n critics ( W e s t e r m a n n , J o h n M c K e n z i e ) regard t h e s o n g s a s a special strand within S e c o n d Isaiah a n d later t h a n their c o n t e x t . S u c h s c h o l a r s g e n e r a l l y find that the S e r v a n t S o n g s form a literary unit. H o w e v e r distinctive, t h e s o n g s in s o m e s e n s e o w e their origin to the u n k n o w n S e c o n d Isaiah, o n e or m o r e of t h e m (surely the fourth) b e i n g the w o r k o f a disciple. W e are h e r e c o n f r o n t e d w i t h r a t h e r o v e r w h e l m i n g a n o n y m ­ ity: S e c o n d Isaiah is u n k n o w n ; t h e a u t h o r o f the s o n g s o p e n to q u e s t i o n ; a n d the identity of the Suffering S e r v a n t a m a t t e r of conjecture. T h e r e is n o c o n s e n s u s a b o u t the identification of the S e r v a n t , t h o u g h u n n u m b e r e d s u g g e s t i o n s h a v e b e e n m a d e , especially of p e r s o n a g e s in t h e history o f Israel. S o m e h a v e a r g u e d that it is
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 S e c o n d Isaiah, in w h i c h c a s e it s e e m s u n l i k e l y that h e w o u l d h a v e b e e n t h e a u t h o r o f t h e first t h r e e p o e m s a n d i m p o s s i b l e that h e w o u l d h a v e w r i t t e n t h e fourth, w h i c h portrays t h e m a r t y r d o m o f t h e S e r v a n t . O t h e r s h o l d that t h e S e r v a n t is Israel o r a faithful r e m n a n t t h e r e i n w h o h a v e survived t h e Exile. F o r s u c h critics, r e f e r e n c e s to a n individual allude to a personifica­ tion of t h e c o v e n a n t c o m m u n i t y . C. R. N o r t h h o l d s to a fluid interpretation in w h i c h the S e r v a n t is n o w a n individual acting o n b e h a l f o f t h e c o m m u n i t y , n o w t h e c o m m u n i t y o f t h e faithful. J o h n M c K e n z i e offers a similar a n d v e r y helpful v i e w of t h e S e r v a n t as a historical individual with idealized e l e m e n t s o f future p r o m i s e w o v e n into t h e portrayal. The Servant is considered as an individual figure but he is the figure who recapitulates in himself all the religious gifts and the religious mission of Israel. . . . The Servant belongs to the future, for he is what Israel must become. But he also belongs to the past, for his character is formed by reflection on Israel's history and on the character of her leaders. ("Second Isaiah," Anchor Bible, pp. liii, lv) T h e i m p a c t o f the S e r v a n t p o e m s s h o u l d b e s e e n in light of t h e historical c o n t e x t o f t h e larger d o c u m e n t in w h i c h t h e y stand. Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 is d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the w o r k o f the e i g h t h - c e n ­ tury Isaiah b y m a t t e r s o f style, v o c a b u l a r y , historical c o n t e x t , a n d theological e m p h a s e s . Isaiah o f J e r u s a l e m p r e a c h e s oracles of s t r o n g j u d g m e n t a n d d o o m a g a i n s t J u d a h . R e p e n t a n c e a n d trust in G o d a l o n e c a n s a v e Israel from internal injustice, political a n d religious c o r r u p t i o n , a n d m i s l e a d i n g foreign alliance. ( S u c h r e p e n t a n c e did n o t c o m e , a n d d o o m did.) Isaiah 4 0 - 5 5 , in c o n t r a s t , a d d r e s s e s a p e o p l e w h o h a v e b e e n defeated b y the B a b y l o n i a n s w h o s u b s e q u e n t l y carried the b e s t of t h e d e f e a t e d p o p u l a t i o n into exile (from 5 8 7 B.C). T h e y a r e a p e o p l e w h o d o n o t n e e d to b e w a r n e d a b o u t i m p e n d i n g j u d g m e n t , b u t for w h o m t h e r e s e e m s to b e little h o p e for a n y m e a n i n g f u l future. T h e s e c h a p t e r s w e r e p r o b a b l y written in B a b y l o n at the time w h e n C y r u s the Persian, w h o h a d c o n q u e r e d B a b y l o n , e n c o u r a g e d t h e exiles to r e t u r n h o m e (ca. 539 B.C). T h e t h e m e s of S e c o n d Isaiah form an a m a z i n g credo: the G o d
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w h o c r e a t e d o f old will re-create; o r d e r c a n b e b r o u g h t out of c h a o s . G o d t h e C r e a t o r is also L o r d o f h i s t o r y a n d R e d e e m e r . C o m f o r t is at h a n d . T h e G o d of stern j u d g m e n t is also a G o d of l o v i n g m e r c y . A n e w Israel is a b o u t to c o m e into b e i n g . A n eschatological n o t e p e r v a d e s S e c o n d Isaiah a s w e l l as the Servant poems. P o e t a n d p r o p h e t m e e t in the a u t h o r o f t h e S e r v a n t p o e m s . A s a p r o p h e t the a u t h o r w o u l d lead t h e p e o p l e a w a y from a p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e Exile a n d w i t h their o w n reestablishm e n t . It is too light a t h i n g that t h e y s h o u l d s i m p l y s e e k their o w n salvation. Israel's salvation i n v o l v e s h e r w i l l i n g n e s s to be " a light to t h e n a t i o n s / ' h e r v o l u n t a r y c o n c e r n for o t h e r s e v e n w h e n it i n v o l v e s suffering, a n d h e r r e c o g n i t i o n o f the universality o f G o d ' s love for all p e o p l e s of t h e earth. T h e t e a c h i n g o f t h e p o e t is n o t o n l y theologically a n d spiritually astute; it is also c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a n o t e o f political reality. T h i s p r o p h e t i c m e s s a g e is p u t in a poetic form that is a p p r o p r i a t e to t h e i m p a s s i o n e d spirit o f t h e p r o p h e t . F o r m a n d p u r p o s e are c o m b i n e d to define t h e m i s s i o n o f Israel in a n e w era. A s w i t h S e c o n d Isaiah, so h e r e literary skill is a n integral d i m e n s i o n o f the g o s p e l of salvation w h i c h is m e m o r a b l y proclaimed. T h e p u r p o s e of t h e first of t h e S e r v a n t S o n g s (42:1-9) is to identify the office of t h e servant: " B e h o l d , m y s e r v a n t . " T h e divine a p p o i n t m e n t is e m p h a s i z e d in t h e s y n o n y m o u s parallel­ ism of la: Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. G o d d e s i g n a t e s t h e servant for w h o m e m p o w e r m e n t is p r o m i s e d ("I h a v e put m y Spirit u p o n h i m . . . " ) . T h e w o r k of the servant is u n d e r s c o r e d b y repetition: l b " h e will b r i n g forth j u s t i c e to t h e n a t i o n s " 3 b " h e will faithfully bring forth j u s t i c e " 4 b "till h e h a s e s t a b l i s h e d j u s t i c e in the e a r t h " F r o m t h e very b e g i n n i n g w e m u s t r e c o g n i z e that e x e g e s i s c a n n o t provide data that the poet d o e s n o t include. W e are not
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 told w h o the s e r v a n t is, n o r d o w e h a v e a precise " j o b d e s c r i p t i o n . " W e k n o w s o m e t h i n g of t h e era in w h i c h the p o e m w a s w r i t t e n a n d s o m e t h i n g of t h e p r o b l e m s o f a c o m m u n i t y m o v i n g from t h e scars o f exile t o w a r d restoration. P e r h a p s it is a part of the i n t e n t i o n o f the a u t h o r that his m e a n i n g s s h o u l d b e s o m e w h a t veiled. T h e m o d e l o n w h o m the p o e m s a r e b a s e d is n o t s i m p l y to b e a d m i r e d b u t to b e i m i t a t e d , b y a variety of persons in a variety of circumstances. 1) T h e s e r v a n t is called to b r i n g j u s t i c e to the n a t i o n s , to s e r v e t h e L o r d in e v e r y place o f h u m a n n e e d . W h i l e t h e suffering o f t h e s e r v a n t is n o t a p r o m i n e n t t h e m e in this first s o n g , a thoughtful r e a d i n g c a n n o t p r e c l u d e s u c h a possibility, w h i c h is d r a w n out m o r e fully in t h e s u b s e q u e n t p o e m s . T h u s t h e principle o f v o l u n t a r y suffering (your h u r t in m y heart; y o u r legitimate n e e d a s m y v o c a t i o n ; w h o w o u l d b e great a m o n g y o u shall b e t h e s e r v a n t ) is lifted u p . 2) A reliable s e a r c h for j u s t i c e a m o n g t h e n a t i o n s is a n e x p r e s s i o n o f r e s p e c t a n d love for t h e m (justice a s love activated). In s u c h w o r k the servant will b e e m p o w e r e d b y t h e d y n a m i c r e l a t i o n s h i p w h i c h will e v o l v e a m o n g the L o r d , t h e s e r v a n t , a n d t h o s e to w h o m light a n d j u s t i c e c o m e . Isa. 4 2 : 1 . T h e s e r v a n t p o r t r a y e d in t h e s e s o n g s e m b o d i e s t h e n o b l e s t qualities o f Israel a n d h e r leaders. T h e S e r v a n t is " t h e c h o s e n o n e , " like M o s e s , D a v i d , a n d Israel h e r s e l f (Isa. 4 1 : 8 ) . R e a s o n s for the c h o i c e are n o t p r o v i d e d . It is simply a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e p l e a s u r e o f the L o r d w h o will g u a r a n t e e the s e r v a n t ' s s u c c e s s . V s . 4 2 : l is reflected i n M a r k ' s a c c o u n t (1:11) o f t h e d e s i g n a t i o n o f J e s u s . A c c o r d i n g to M a t t h e w 3:13-17, J e s u s is also e q u i p p e d w i t h t h e spirit, a gift n e c e s s a r y to a n y r e d e m p t i v e m i s s i o n (cf. Isa. 1 1 : 1 ; 61:1). T h e task of the s e r v a n t is to b r i n g forth j u s t i c e across t h e w o r l d . H e r e j u s t i c e or j u d g m e n t m e a n s that t h e S e r v a n t is to proclaim a n d participate in the e x e c u t i o n o f the divine will. In t h e larger c o n t e x t o f S e c o n d Isaiah this c e n t e r s o n the t e n e t that Y a h w e h a l o n e is L o r d a n d Y a h w e h ' s will a l o n e is to prevail (the Gentile gods are as nothing; see 41:1-5, 22-29). Isa. 4 2 : 3 . T h e tactics that t h e s e r v a n t is to e m p l o y are very different from t h e military w a y s o f t h o s e w h o h a v e recently
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ruled o v e r Israel ( a n d from t h o s e w h i c h Israel h a s tried, h o w e v e r u n s u c c e s s f u l l y ) . T h e g e n t l e , quiet w a y s of the s e r v a n t are d e s i g n e d , n o t to force p e o p l e into c o m p l i a n c e , b u t to p r o d u c e a n e n l i g h t e n e d a n d o b e d i e n t h e a r t (cf. J e r . 31:31-34), T h e S e r v a n t " w i l l n o t cry or lift u p his v o i c e " " a b r u i s e d r e e d h e will n o t b r e a k " " a dimly b u r n i n g w i c k h e will n o t q u e n c h . " In oriental style a n e w k i n g often r e e n a c t e d t h e law a n d h a d it l o u d l y p r o c l a i m e d i n t h e streets. N o t s o t h e s e r v a n t . T h e p r o c l a m a t i o n o f divine j u s t i c e is n o t to b e strident or h a r s h . T h o s e w h o are b r o k e n or w h o s e faith is barely alight o r flickering will b e n o t c o n d e m n e d b u t e n c o u r a g e d ( p e r h a p s especially) b y t h e g e n t l e s e r v a n t . W e s t e r m a n n s e e s a limited parallel b e t w e e n t h e s e v e r s e s a n d 4 0 : 6 - 8 . In that p a s s a g e t h e p r o p h e t i c w o r d o f comfort b r i n g s h o p e to a b r u i s e d a n d w e a k e n e d Israel. S o h e r e t h e servant will b r i n g n e w life to a b r o k e n a n d n e e d y p o p u l a c e . Isa. 42:4. N o r shall t h e s e r v a n t h i m s e l f fail (burn d i m l y ) or b e d i s c o u r a g e d (be b r u i s e d or b r o k e n ) until t h e task h a s b e e n a c c o m p l i s h e d . T h i s v e r s e anticipates t h e difficulties that the S e r v a n t will e n c o u n t e r , p e r h a p s e v e n s o m e of t h e suffering ( t h o u g h not t h e m a r t y r d o m ) that is p r o m i n e n t in the fourth s o n g (Isa. 5 2 : 1 3 - 5 3 : 1 2 ) . T h e c o a s t l a n d s , t h e far p l a c e s of t h e G e n t i l e s , a n x i o u s l y await t h e c o m i n g of divine j u s t i c e , w h i c h t h e servant will establish. Israel in exile l o n g e d for n e w life; the s e r v a n t will fulfill their h o p e s a n d t h o s e of t h e G e n t i l e s . Isa. 4 2 : 5 - 9 . F r o m the terse style o f 42:1-4 w e m o v e into a lyrical h y m n of praise (42:5-9). T h e p a s s a g e h a s a n o b v i o u s u n i t y , b u t it raises q u e s t i o n s . In v s . 5 G o d ' s creative p o w e r is c e l e b r a t e d . V s . 6 is a call to s e r v i c e , the i m p l i c a t i o n s of w h i c h a r e s p e l l e d out in vs. 7. Clearly t h e L o r d is the s p e a k e r , b u t w h o is the a d d r e s s e e ? M a n y c o m m e n t a t o r s a s s u m e that the s e r v a n t o f 42:1-4 is still b e i n g a d d r e s s e d in v s . 6, a v i e w that is n o t b o t h e r s o m e but n e i t h e r is the e v i d e n c e for it c o n c l u s i v e . O t h e r c o m m e n t a t o r s h o l d that Israel or p e r h a p s e v e n C y r u s is b e i n g a d d r e s s e d . Isa. 4 2 : 5 . T h e i n t r o d u c t o r y formula i n c l u d e s t h e t e r m " t h e G o d Y a h w e h , " the o n l y u s e o f that term in all o f S e c o n d Isaiah. ( P e r h a p s the t e r m is too closely identified w i t h Israel to suit a
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 universalistic e m p h a s i s . ) T h e r e follow several c l a u s e s that praise the creative p o w e r o f G o d , w h o m a d e h e a v e n a n d earth a n d gave b r e a t h a n d spirit to m a n a n d w o m a n . T h e p h r a s e " h e a v e n a n d e a r t h " is u s e d often in S e c o n d Isaiah (40:22, 4 2 : 5 , 44:23 f . ) , a s in G e n . 1:1 (P). It refers to t h e w h o l e of creation. H e r e b r e a t h ( a n d spirit) is g i v e n n o t s i m p l y to o n e m a n (as in G e n e s i s 1 a n d 2 ) , b u t t o all t h e p e o p l e of t h e e a r t h , t h e w h o l e h u m a n race (cf. 4 5 : 1 2 ) . A g a i n , G o d the c r e a t o r h a s b r o u g h t t h e w h o l e w o r l d i n t o b e i n g , a n d t h e m i s s i o n o f t h e S e r v a n t is t o parallel that i n c l u s i v e n e s s . I n creation Israel a n d t h e n a t i o n s w e r e g i v e n light a n d life; this creative a n d r e d e m p t i v e p o w e r o f G o d is still active. Isa. 4 2 : 6 . A historical n o t e is i n t r o d u c e d ; it refers to Israel's election a n d h a s a parallel in Isa. 4 1 : 9 : you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off . . . " T h e parallel s u g g e s t s that 4 2 : 6 refers to Israel as t h e servant w h o m G o d has elected. Indeed, vss. 5 and 6 taken together effectively link G o d ' s creation o f t h e h e a v e n s a n d the earth a n d t h e creation o f h u m a n k i n d w i t h t h e historic election o f Israel—all the g r e a t w o r k s o f G o d . But v s . 6 is m o r e t h a n a historical n o t e . Israel is n o w a p p o i n t e d to a n e w d i m e n s i o n o f s e r v a n t h o o d , w h i c h is e x p r e s s e d in 6b: t h r o u g h Israel t h e salvation that c o m e s in c o v e n a n t relationship w i t h G o d is e x t e n d e d to h u m a n i t y . T h r o u g h t h e s e r v a n t Israel t h e n a t i o n s are to s e e salvation (light). G o d , w h o h a s p r o v i d e d b r e a t h a n d spirit for all, n o w m a k e s p r o v i s i o n for the salvation of all. Isa. 42:7. H u m a n e x t r e m i t y is G o d ' s o p p o r t u n i t y . T h e nations m u s t a c k n o w l e d g e their b l i n d n e s s a n d servitude before they c a n b e free. G o d , t h r o u g h t h e servant, a n d the servant, e m p o w e r e d b y G o d , will b r i n g light a n d salvation to all. H e r e , as in the familiar Isa. 6:1 ff., t h e description o f the s e r v a n t ' s w o r k m a y b e 22

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i n t e n t i o n a l l y a m b i g u o u s . T h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f j u s t i c e involves t h e h e a l i n g of b l i n d n e s s a n d r e l e a s e from i m p r i s o n m e n t a s well as the e v e n m o r e f u n d a m e n t a l illumination a n d liberation that c h a r a c t e r i z e c o v e n a n t salvation. H e a l i n g a n d p r o c l a m a t i o n are closely a s s o c i a t e d . W e m a y infer h e r e a relationship that is explicitly s t a t e d in 4 9 : 6 : Israel's salvation is c o n t i n g e n t u p o n h e r c o n c e r n for t h e n a t i o n s . Isa. 4 2 : 8 . T h e authority of t h e L o r d g u a r a n t e e s t h e w o r k of salvation; t h e w o r k o f salvation attests Y a h w e h ' s u n i q u e authority. W h i l e t h e v e r s e is n o t a categorical s t a t e m e n t of m o n o t h e i s m , it r e m i n d s o n e o f s u c h a s t a t e m e n t in Isa. 44:6-8. T h e glory a n d praise o f G o d will n o t b e s h a r e d . T h e L o r d of all c r e a t i o n is also t h e S a v i o r o f all. T h u s v s . 8 r e m i n d s the r e a d e r o f t h e affirmation in v s . 5 , a n d v s s . 5-8 h a v e a n o b v i o u s unity a n d completeness. Isa. 4 2 : 9 . G o d p r o c l a i m s the n e w n e s s , t h e a l m o s t c o s m i c significance, o f w h a t is a b o u t to h a p p e n . P e r h a p s " t h e former t h i n g s " or " t h e earlier t h i n g s " is a r e f e r e n c e to s u c h saving e v e n t s as t h e E x o d u s , p e r h a p s e v e n t h e w h o l e c o v e n a n t relationship b e t w e e n the L o r d a n d pre-exilic Israel. B u t a n e w o r d e r is a b o u t to s p r i n g forth. C. R. N o r t h s u g g e s t s that " n e w t h i n g s " m a y b e a r e f e r e n c e to C y r u s , t h e a n o i n t e d of G o d (45:1), w h o h a s g r a n t e d t h e J e w s f r e e d o m to r e t u r n , to rebuild the T e m p l e , a n d to establish life a g a i n in J e r u s a l e m . B u t all that is h a r d l y p o s s i b l e or w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g u n l e s s Israel r e e s t a b l i s h e s a n effective c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e L o r d . T h e conditions of s u c h a r e l a t i o n s h i p are p r o c l a i m e d in this p o e m a n d c o m p r i s e the vital " n e w n e s s " that is n o w a b o u t to occur. T h e n e w d a y of salvation will " s p r i n g f o r t h , " apparently surprising e v e n t h e faithful. T h e a u t h o r i t y o f G o d is attested b y f o r e k n o w l e d g e o f the e v e n t ; the love o f G o d b y declaration of the e v e n t s before t h e y h a p p e n . T h u s , v s s . 5-9, in w h i c h Israel is clearly t h e servant, e x p a n d t h e t h e m e o f 42:1-4, p r o v i d i n g further description o f the salvation that Israel will b r i n g to the n a t i o n s . S a l v a t i o n is c o m i n g . A n d that is t h e r e a s o n " a n e w s o n g of r e d e m p t i o n " follows in 42:10-17.
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 (THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY) N e h e m i a h 8 : l - 4 a , 5-6, 8-10. E z r a R e a d s t h e L a w in J e r u s a l e m F o l l o w e r s o f C h r i s t are called to b e n o t s i m p l y a N e w T e s t a m e n t p e o p l e , b u t a biblical p e o p l e . T h e denigration of L a w (often b y p e r s o n s w h o e r r o n e o u s l y e q u a t e l a w a n d legalism) s u g g e s t that b o t h G o d a n d Israel e n d u r e d a v e r y l o n g time before getting o n to t h e a u t h e n t i c r e v e l a t i o n w e h a v e i n t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t . S u c h t h i n k i n g , o f c o u r s e , l o s e s sight o f t h e fact that O l d T e s t a m e n t w r i t i n g s provide n o r m s for faith a n d c o n d u c t a n d a s o u r c e o f edification for C h r i s t i a n c o n g r e g a t i o n s a n d individuals, as w e l l as b e i n g a p r i m a r y s o u r c e for t h e origins o f b a s i c d o c t r i n e s in J u d a i s m a n d C h r i s t i a n i t y — m o n o t h e i s m , revelation, i n s p i r e d S c r i p t u r e , r e v e a l e d m o r a l l a w , t h e k i n g d o m of G o d , a t o n e m e n t , salvation, a n d so o n . It is w o r t h n o t i n g that n e i t h e r J e s u s n o r Paul e v e r called for written d o c u m e n t s b e y o n d t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t . A d e e p love for t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t n e e d n o t l e a d us to d i s p a r a g e t h e v e r y d o c u m e n t s to w h i c h t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t a p p e a l s as h a v i n g u n i q u e authority. A p p a r e n t l y it w a s a part of G o d ' s w i s d o m that b o t h L a w a n d G o s p e l s h o u l d b e t a k e n seriously. L a w that is n o t r e v i e w e d b y t h e G o s p e l b e c o m e s legalism; b u t G o s p e l that d o e s n o t lead to m a n d a t e s for faith a n d c o n d u c t is often sentimentality. L e s s o n s like N e h e m i a h 8 h e l p u s to s e e t h e d e v o t i o n to G o d , a n d love for t h e c o m m u n i t y o f t h e faithful, w h i c h m o t i v a t e d t h o s e w h o c o m p i l e d a n d taught T o r a h . H e r e w e h a v e the initial v e r s e s in t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e p r o m u l g a t i o n o f the T o r a h w h i c h , a c c o r d i n g to tradition, E z r a b r o u g h t b a c k from Exile in B a b y l o n . F o r a c e n t u r y a n d a half after 5 8 6 B.C. Priestly writers w o r k e d to p u t this T o r a h in order. In N e h e m i a h 8 w e h a v e an a c c o u n t o f E z r a ' s c o n c e r n that t h e p e o p l e o f J e r u s a l e m s h o u l d h e a r a n d u n d e r s t a n d writings, parts of w h i c h h a d c o n s i d e r a b l e a u t h o r i t y a m o n g t h e m already. T h e b o o k w a s o p e n e d a n d read " i n t h e sight of all t h e p e o p l e . " T h e r e a d i n g , a n act o f w o r s h i p a n d o f e d u c a t i o n , l e d to w e e p i n g ( b e c a u s e t h e y h a d violated t h e L a w ) , a n d of celebration ( b e c a u s e t h e y h a d t h e L a w ) . D e s p i t e t h e severity of t h e L a w t h e p e o p l e
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w e r e a d m o n i s h e d to s t o p w e e p i n g a n d to celebrate for n o w t h e y were "the people of the B o o k . " T h e idea of h o l y w r i t i n g s , or n o r m s , is i m p o r t a n t . A t b e s t G o d ' s w o r d is n o t to b e s e e n simplistically as a m a n d a t e i m p o s e d from o n h i g h , to b e o b e y e d or else. T r u e , G o d ' s w o r d will n o t b e m o c k e d ; b u t t r u e , a l s o , fear is n o t a g o o d t e a c h e r . G o d prefers to b e p e r s u a s i v e , n o t c o e r c i v e . H o w m u c h b e t t e r to s e e the Bible as a gift o f G o d ' s g r a c e , t h e authority o f w h i c h m u s t b e d i s c o v e r e d t h r o u g h s t u d y if it is to b e b e l i e v e d a n d practiced creatively. T h e H o l y Spirit h a s b e e n a n d is t h e g u i d e , t e a c h e r , a n d i n s p i r e r of the faithful, i n c l u d i n g t h o s e from w h o s e h a n d s w e h a v e the S c r i p t u r e s . T h e O l d a n d N e w T e s t a m e n t s are a vital part, b u t only a part, o f the Spirit's t e a c h i n g . G o d ' s gift o f the W o r d , celebrated b y Ezra a n d the faithful in J e r u s a l e m , attests G o d ' s care a n d direction. F o r C h r i s t i a n s t h e c o m i n g o f J e s u s C h r i s t a n d t h e writing o f t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t attest t h e flowering o f G o d ' s love. A n d y e t the revelation of G o d c o n t i n u e s in our o w n time. S e r i o u s , d e v o u t p e o p l e , c o n f r o n t e d w i t h circum­ s t a n c e s that n e i t h e r Israel n o r the early c h u r c h faced, are a s k i n g , " A n y w o r d from t h e L o r d ? " T o d e n y t h e legitimacy of their q u e s t i o n is to d e n y J e s u s ' p r o m i s e that t h e Spirit o f truth will g u i d e u s into all truth ( J o h n 16:12-15). Old and N e w Testament canons provide the foundations and f u n d a m e n t a l s of o u r faith, o u r historic identity. B u t t h e Spirit as C o u n s e l o r a n d T e a c h e r c o n t i n u e s to m a n i f e s t G o d ' s w o r d , s o m e t i m e s w i t h startling n e w n e s s . N e h e m i a h 8 is a l a n d m a r k in Israel's literary history a n d in our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of w a y s in w h i c h t h e J e w s b e c a m e " a p e o p l e of t h e B o o k . " T h i s public r e a d i n g o f w h a t h a s traditionally b e e n r e g a r d e d as t h e L a w o f M o s e s (the P e n t a t e u c h ) in the square before the W a t e r G a t e e v o k e s historical interests in the thoughtful biblical s t u d e n t . Principal a m o n g t h e s e are (1) the r e m a r k a b l e literary c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e B a b y l o n i a n exile; (2) the t h e o l o g y of t h e W o r d as a m e a n s o f divine revelation; a n d (3) the p r o c e s s b y w h i c h t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t w a s c a n o n i z e d , that is, a c c e p t e d b y a c o m m u n i t y as h a v i n g authority for its faith a n d practice.
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T h i s informative if m i s p l a c e d c h a p t e r is a part of t h e story o f t h e w o r k o f E z r a (Ezra 7 - 1 0 ; N e h e m i a h 8 - 1 0 ) w h o , a c c o r d i n g to Ezra 7, l e d a b a n d o f exiles b a c k to J e r u s a l e m (7:6-10). T h e historicity a n d d a t e o f E z r a ' s r e t u r n is a m a t t e r o f c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n j e c t u r e . M a n y s c h o l a r s r e g a r d 3 9 8 B.C. as t h e y e a r of this r e a d i n g in J e r u s a l e m . S i n c e his central c o n c e r n w a s to introduce t h e L a w , w e m a y a s s u m e that t h e e v e n t s r e c o u n t e d i n N e h e m i a h 8 o c c u r r e d shortly after E z r a ' s arrival (Ezra 7:9). T h e b o o k s o f E z r a a n d N e h e m i a h are a single v o l u m e in t h e H e b r e w Bible. W i t h C h r o n i c l e s t h e y a r e a n i m p o r t a n t source o f i n f o r m a t i o n for o u r k n o w l e d g e o f post-exilic Israel. S u p p o s e d l y E z r a w a s t h e a u t h o r o f his o w n m e m o i r s (Ezra 7 - 1 0 ; N e h e m i a h 8 - 1 0 ) . H e is n a m e d a priest a n d a scribe w h o c a m e from B a b y l o n w i t h G o d ' s T o r a h in h a n d . A s the p e r s o n w h o r e e s t a b l i s h e d J u d a i s m h e is r e g a r d e d a s a s e c o n d M o s e s , a characterization w h i c h is a bit p u z z l i n g since w e k n o w a l m o s t n o t h i n g else a b o u t h i m from the Bible. S o m e h a v e e v e n q u e s t i o n e d w h e t h e r h e w a s a historical figure. ( T h e C h r o n i c l e s E z r a - N e h e m i a h literature raises c o m p l i c a t e d q u e s t i o n s o f authorship, dates, and interrelationships which cannot be c o n s i d e r e d in this a r t i c l e . ) M a n y early rabbis a n d c h u r c h fathers r e g a r d e d E z r a as t h e C h r o n i c l e r . A n u m b e r o f m o d e r n critics h o l d t h e C h r o n i c l e r w r o t e s o m e time after the e v e n t s attributed to E z r a , in t h e fourth or p e r h a p s third c e n t u r y B.C. In addition to t h e story o f t h e p r o m u l g a t i o n o f t h e L a w , E z r a ' s m e m o i r s p r o v i d e u s w i t h an a c c o u n t o f his r e t u r n with a b a n d o f exiles to J e r u s a l e m (Ezra 7 : 1 - 8 : 3 1 ) a n d a description of the situation t h e y f o u n d in J e r u s a l e m . Ezra 8 i n c l u d e s a list of t h e r e t u r n i n g exiles a n d o f t h e T e m p l e v e s s e l s a n d treasure w h i c h w e r e carried from B a b y l o n to J e r u s a l e m . Ezra w a s sharply critical o f m i x e d m a r r i a g e s b e t w e e n J e w i s h m e n a n d n o n - J e w i s h w o m e n . F o l l o w i n g E z r a ' s c o n f e s s i o n o f t h e sins of the p e o p l e (Ezra 9:6-15), t h e p e o p l e r e p e n t e d a n d the m i x e d marriages w e r e o r d e r e d to b e d i s s o l v e d (10:1-17). A c c o r d i n g to 10:18-44 m e n w h o h a d m a r r i e d foreign w i v e s w e r e n a m e d a n d s u c h m e n " p u t a w a y " b o t h their foreign w i v e s a n d t h e children o f s u c h marriages. O u r a c c o u n t o f E z r a ' s r e a d i n g o f t h e L a w is set b e t w e e n
1

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N e h e m i a h ' s m a j o r w o r k in J e r u s a l e m ( N e h . 1:1-7:72) a n d his final m i n i s t r y there ( 1 0 : 1 - 1 3 : 3 0 ) . W h a t e v e r t h e critical p r o b l e m s c o n f r o n t e d in this a c c o u n t , the p r o m u l g a t i o n o f the L a w r e m i n d s us o f t h e p h e n o m e n a l literary c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e Exile. T h a t e v e n t w a s the i m p u l s e or catalyst that led priests a n d scribes in Israel to extraordinary m e a s u r e s o f literary activity. T h e l o s s o f h o m e l a n d , T e m p l e a n d cult, a n d t h e scattering of the J u d e a n s m u s t h a v e led m a n y p e r s o n s to w o n d e r h o w a religious identity w a s to b e m a i n t a i n e d . In s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s w h a t did it m e a n to be a Judean? H o w e v e r a n c i e n t a n d authoritative s o m e of t h e traditions a n d legal c o d e s , t h e r e c a m e the n e e d for s o m e i n s t r u m e n t , an a n t h o l o g y , w h i c h w o u l d h e l p t h e faithful to r e m e m b e r their traditions a n d aid t h e m in t e a c h i n g t h e y o u n g . J e w i s h tradition h a s l o n g r e g a r d e d t h e L a w that Ezra read a n d that w a s p r o m u l g a t e d b y the p e o p l e g a t h e r e d in J e r u s a l e m a s t h e L a w of M o s e s , the P e n t a t e u c h , t h e T o r a h , a u n i q u e l y authoritative c o m p e n d i u m o f Israel's l a w s a n d traditions from creation t h r o u g h the time o f M o s e s . Similarly it m a y b e s u p p o s e d that the Exile led to t h e g a t h e r i n g of p r o p h e t i c materials that p e o p l e h a d in great part i g n o r e d . T h e Exile d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e validity o f m a n y o f t h e w a r n i n g s that the prophets had pronounced. O n c e Jerusalem was reestablished t h e r e m u s t h a v e b e e n k e e n interest in h e e d i n g t h o s e prophetic c o u n s e l s lest d i s o b e d i e n c e lead a g a i n to d e s t r u c t i o n a n d exile. (Halford L u c c o c k o n c e styled the p r o p h e t s " t w i c e - s t o n e d m e n . " T h e y w e r e s t o n e d to d e a t h for their j u d g m e n t s ; later t h e y w e r e m e m o r i a l i z e d w i t h m o n u m e n t s o f s t o n e b e c a u s e their w a r n i n g s h a d p r o v e d valid.) O u t of t h o s e m e s s a g e s of j u d g m e n t (and h o p e ) c a m e the post-exilic p h e n o m e n o n of apocalyptic, a specialized form of w r i t t e n p r o p h e c y in w h i c h h o p e w a s e n c o u r a g e d in rich n e w literary a n d t h o u g h t forms ( s e e Ezekiel 3 3 - 4 8 ; Isaiah 2 4 - 2 7 ; D a n i e l 7). C o n c u r r e n t l y a n c i e n t traditions o f p s a l m o d y a n d w i s d o m w o u l d s e e m to h a v e " c o m e into their o w n " in this post-exilic p e r i o d . T h e Psalter, an a n t h o l o g y of a n t h o l o g i e s , w a s a r r a n g e d
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 i n five b o o k s a s t h o u g h in imitation o f t h e five b o o k s o r scrolls o f t h e T o r a h . W i t h u n c o m m o n liturgical insight editors realized that poetic s t a t e m e n t s o f t h e o l o g y , set to c h a n t a n d s o n g , c o u l d b e c o m e t h e p r a y e r s , s o n g s , a n d affirmations of t h e faithful, w h e t h e r literate or not. T h e fact that a third o f the Psalter is m a d e u p o f p s a l m s o f l a m e n t a t i o n , individual a n d c o r p o r a t e , is clue e n o u g h to d e e p h u m a n n e e d in post-exilic J e r u s a l e m . T h e s e p s a l m s , m a n y o f t h e m pre-exilic, are a r e m i n d e r that m e m b e r s o f t h e post-exilic c o m m u n i t y still h a d faith e n o u g h i n G o d t h a t t h e y d a r e d l a m e n t to G o d . Predictably t h e s e p s a l m s o f l a m e n t a t i o n , w h i c h b e g i n with an honest statement of anger, doubt, and disappointment, e n d w i t h a r e n e w e d a n d i n v i g o r a t e d relationship w i t h G o d (a m a t t e r of i m p o r t a n c e for p e r s o n s w h o h a v e a n y interest in Formgeschichte). In a similar m a n n e r t h e a n c i e n t w i s d o m tradition, that a d m i x t u r e o f faith a n d s k e p t i c i s m w h i c h d a r e d a s k h o n e s t q u e s t i o n s , w a s revived a n d f o u n d a place in J u d e a n literature. E c c l e s i a s t e s a n d j o b , for e x a m p l e , reflect J u d e a n d i l e m m a s . W h y d o t h e beautiful w e e p ? W h y m u s t t h e i n n o c e n t suffer? Is t h e r e a n y m e a n i n g in t h e e n e r v a t i n g r o u n d o f h u m a n e x i s t e n c e ? A s o n e l o o k s at h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e is t h e r e a n y w a y to argue that G o d is j u s t ? ( E x p e r i e n c e s w h i c h defy m e a n i n g f u l interpreta­ tion—exiles, i l l n e s s e s , suffering—produce c o n f u s i o n a n d e v e n s e p a r a t i o n , a n u n h a p p y d e v e l o p m e n t for c o v e n a n t faith.) It is a p r o v o c a t i v e fact that t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t c a n o n includes w i s d o m w r i t i n g s that a s k q u e s t i o n s for w h i c h t h e r e a r e n o clear a n s w e r s . P e r h a p s that w a s a part o f t h e i m p u l s e that led t h e w i s d o m tradition to s e e k for s o m e m e d i a t i n g principle so that t h e w a y s o f t h e G o d of t h e h e a v e n s , h o l y , perfect, a n d r e m o t e , c o u l d b e k n o w n a m o n g t h e p e o p l e , sinful, e a r t h - b o u n d , a n d p e r p l e x e d . T h e m o v e m e n t t o w a r d t h e personification or h y p o s t a t i z a t i o n o f W i s d o m / t h e W o r d / S p i r i t in post-exilic J u ­ d a i s m w a s to p r o v e a m a t t e r of theological c o n s e q u e n c e (see P r o v . 8 : 1 - 9 : 6 ; t h e a p o c r y p h a l W i s d o m of S o l o m o n 6 - 9 , especially c h a p . 7 ) . T h e role o f t h e w i s d o m tradition in d e t e r m i n i n g t h e s h a p e o f the canon merits continuing investigation as w e b e c o m e more 28

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i n t e r e s t e d i n w h a t biblical d o c u m e n t s m e a n t , n o t j u s t at t h e t i m e of writing ( w h a t did this m e a n w h e n A m o s p r e a c h e d it?), but w h e n t h e y w e r e i n c l u d e d in t h e c a n o n ( w h a t did it m e a n five h u n d r e d y e a r s later to t h o s e w h o d e c i d e d to include it in the c a n o n ? ) . It is p e r h a p s m o r e t h a n p o e t i c that M a g i (wise m e n , a n d foreigners at that) w e n t to B e t h l e h e m , that J e s u s w a s called rabbi (teacher) b y his disciples, that h e w a s a wonderfully w i s e storyteller, a n d that s u c h w i s d o m w o r d s as " b l e s s e d " s h o u l d h a v e b e e n p r o m i n e n t in his t e a c h i n g . T h e literary c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e Exile w e r e , t h e n , v e r y great, a n d N e h e m i a h 8 is the record of a m a j o r a n d decisive s t e p in a p r o c e s s that h a d earlier roots (for e x a m p l e , J o s i a h ' s r e a d i n g of t h e B o o k of t h e L a w — I I K i n g s 2 2 - 2 3 ) . T h i s n o t i o n o f c a n o n is g r o u n d e d in the t h e o l o g y of the W o r d , t h e belief that t h e w o r d of G o d ( " A n d G o d said . . . " ) declares a n d effects the divine will a n d act. T h i s t h e o l o g y is richly e l a b o r a t e d in D e u t e r o n o m y , t h e theological t e x t b o o k o f J u d a i s m a n d Christianity; it is funda­ m e n t a l to t h e n o t i o n o f T o r a h a n d t o C h r i s t o l o g y (the W o r d b e c o m e flesh). H o w gracious o f G o d to give u s t h e W o r d , said t h e a n c i e n t rabbis. B u t it w a s e v e n m o r e gracious o f G o d to let u s k n o w w e h a v e it (see D e u t . 3 0 : 1 1 - 1 4 ) . N e h e m i a h 8 r e c o u n t s a historic s t e p in t h e formalization p r o c e s s b y w h i c h s u c h literature w a s c a n o n i z e d , that is, w a s u n d e r s t o o d b y the p e o p l e to b e a gift from G o d w h i c h t h e y a c c e p t a n d to w h i c h t h e y s w e a r o b e d i e n c e . N e h . 8 : 1 - 2 . N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g p r o b l e m s relating to t h e identity a n d d a t e of E z r a , his p r i m e m i s s i o n w a s to i n t r o d u c e t h e L a w to t h e p e o p l e (Ezra 7:14, 2 5 - 2 6 ) . T h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o o k t h e form of a public reading. It is a bit difficult to b e l i e v e that t h e p e o p l e w e r e g a t h e r e d " a s o n e m a n " w i t h o u t s o m e p r e v i o u s signal. T h e a c c o u n t is i n t e n d e d to s h o w t h e a b s o l u t e f r e e d o m o f t h e p e o p l e . T h e y c a n n o t b e e x p e c t e d to b e o b e d i e n t to a b o o k that h a s b e e n a c c e p t e d u n d e r c o e r c i o n . S u c h a spirit w o u l d certainly b e in s h a r p c o n t r a s t to t h e p r o l o n g e d foreign t y r a n n y that h a d p l a g u e d J e r u s a l e m a n d finally s e n t the J u d e a n s into exile. C y r u s ' edict freeing t h e c a p t i v e s (Ezra 1:1-10) g a v e the faithful an o p p o r t u n i t y to establish a religious c o m m o n w e a l t h , b u t w a s b y n o m e a n s a political m a g n a carta. A n y p r o m i s e o f f r e e d o m a n d
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r e d e m p t i o n w o u l d h a v e to b e e x p e r i e n c e d in t h e religious a n d n o t t h e political r e a l m . T h e first d a y o f t h e s e v e n t h m o n t h w a s N e w Y e a r ' s d a y , a special a n d h o l y d a y w h e n life for the e n s u i n g y e a r w a s t h o u g h t to b e set. P e r h a p s t h e p e o p l e w e r e already g a t h e r e d in J e r u s a l e m for that a u t u m n a l c e l e b r a t i o n . W e c a n n o t b e sure w h e t h e r t h e W a t e r G a t e w a s in t h e T e m p l e area (so J o s e p h u s ) or e l s e w h e r e in t h e city. A g a i n , t h e e v e n t is p o r t r a y e d a s a p o p u l a r o n e in the b e s t s e n s e o f that w o r d . M e n , w o m e n , all w h o c a n h e a r (surely this i n c l u d e d m a n y y o u t h s ) are i n c l u d e d in t h e a u d i e n c e . Ezra is called b o t h scribe a n d priest. A s scribe h e w a s c o n c e r n e d in special w a y s w i t h t h e codification a n d p r e s e r v a t i o n o f law (Ezra 7:10, 2 1 ) ; a s priest, w i t h p e o p l e ' s o b e d i e n c e to it. A s t r o n g n o t e o f reformation p e r v a d e s the a c c o u n t . A s typically, r e f o r m a t i o n arises out o f r e a c t i o n , o u t o f a t t e m p t s to r e c a p t u r e t h e r o o t s of a rich h e r i t a g e . T h e p e o p l e ' s call for t h e r e a d i n g t h e L a w w a s g r o u n d e d in a c e n t u r i e s - l o n g tradition o f t e a c h i n g a n d l e a r n i n g , of c o v e n a n t a l loyalty a n d betrayal, o f acknowledgment and repudiation of God's word. V a r i e d a t t e m p t s h a v e b e e n m a d e to identify t h e L a w w h i c h Ezra b r o u g h t into t h e a s s e m b l y ( p r e s u m a b l y from B a b y l o n ; s e e Ezra 7:14, 2 5 ff.). T h e a c c o u n t clearly l e a v e s the r e a d e r with t h e i m p r e s s i o n that t h e L a w a c c o r d i n g to M o s e s , t h e material in the first five b o o k s o f t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t , w a s read a n d a c c e p t e d . N e h . 8:3-4a. T h e r e a d i n g o f t h e L a w lasted from early m o r n i n g ( M a s o r e t i c text, " f r o m t h e l i g h t " ) until n o o n . A c c o r d i n g to v e r s e 3, Ezra did t h e r e a d i n g , w h i l e v e r s e 8 s u g g e s t s that the leaders w h o s t o o d w i t h h i m participated. A g a i n , the e a g e r n e s s o f t h e p e o p l e is reflected in their a t t e n t i v e n e s s . Ezra s t o o d o n a pulpit, a platform t h a t h a d b e e n m a d e for t h e o c c a s i o n . It w a s large e n o u g h for several p e r s o n s to s t a n d w i t h h i m . S i n c e t h e p e o p l e h a d called for t h e r e a d i n g o f t h e L a w w e m a y a s s u m e that the p e r s o n s n a m e d w i t h Ezra o n t h e platform w e r e lay p e r s o n s of s o m e stature o r merit. T h e y are n o t o t h e r w i s e identifiable. T h e r e is g e n e r a l a g r e e m e n t a m o n g t h e M T a n d t h e v e r s i o n s a b o u t t h e n a m e s o f t h e six m e n o n E z r a ' s right; t h e r e is s o m e c o n f u s i o n a b o u t t h o s e o n t h e left. T h e
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a p o c r y p h a l I E s d r a s 9:44 omits M e s h u l l a m ( s o m e interpreters r e g a r d that n a m e as a c o r r u p t i o n of the H e b r e w " o n t h e left hand"). N e h . 8 : 5 - 6 . A k i n d o f liturgy e n s u e s , p e r h a p s o n e generally followed w h e n scripture w a s read. E z r a , visible to t h e a s s e m b l y , u n r o l l e d the scroll " i n t h e sight o f all t h e p e o p l e . " A s h e o p e n e d it all t h e p e o p l e s t o d u p , from sitting or c r o u c h i n g positions c o m m o n in t h e M i d d l e E a s t for c e n t u r i e s . T h e i r s t a n d i n g w a s , of c o u r s e , a sign o f r e s p e c t for t h e L a w . T h e reading is initiated with a blessing of " t h e great G o d " led b y Ezra. T h e u s e of the title " t h e great G o d " (see N e h . 9:32; Deut. 10:17; Jer. 32:18; Ezra 5:8) suggests a Babylonian influence w h e r e M a r d u k is s o m e t i m e s referred to as " t h e great L o r d . " Again, all the people participate b y r e s p o n d i n g " A m e n a n d A m e n , " a n d with lifting u p their h a n d s (see Ezra 9:5). M o v e m e n t , from b o w i n g the h e a d to prostration o n the g r o u n d , is a n act of h u m b l e obedience quite appropriate to the e n s u i n g reading. W e do not k n o w w h y the prayer w a s omitted from this account, p e r h a p s b e c a u s e prayers before reading scripture w e r e traditional (a fact for w h i c h the T a l m u d in turn m a k e s provision). T h e " A m e n , " repeated for e m p h a s i s , a n d the b o w i n g a n d prostration suggest popular e a g e r n e s s to h e a r the L a w . N e h . 8:8. T h e r e a d i n g o f t h e scroll is b e g u n . O u r u n d e r s t a n d ­ i n g o f " t h e y r e a d from the b o o k " d e p e n d s in part o n our interpretation of v s . 7, w h i c h s o m e regard as o u t of p l a c e . V s . 7 refers to the interpretation of the H e b r e w text b y L e v i t e s into A r a m a i c , t h e p o p u l a r l a n g u a g e of t h e p e o p l e . V a r i o u s r e a s o n s h a v e b e e n p r o v i d e d for t h e i n c l u s i o n o f t h e L e v i t e s , w h o w e r e p r o b a b l y r e c o g n i z e d t e a c h e r s of the law. P e r h a p s a later editor t h o u g h t t h e y w o u l d or s h o u l d h a v e b e e n p r e s e n t at so a u s p i c i o u s a n o c c a s i o n . Like the scribes, t h e y w o u l d h a v e b e e n a d e p t in the u s e b o t h of t h e H e b r e w o f t h e text ( w h i c h m a n y in J e r u s a l e m w o u l d h a v e forgotten or b e e n able to u s e in o n l y a limited w a y ) , a n d o f t h e p o p u l a r A r a m a i c . A s vs. 8 n o w stands, " t h e y r e a d " refers to the Levites w h o read from the scroll clearly, that is, translated it at sight a n d gave the s e n s e of it so the people could u n d e r s t a n d . (See clearly as a technical term as u s e d in Ezra 4:18.) If v s . 7 is out o f place,
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t h e n t h e r e a d e r s w o u l d h a v e b e e n E z r a a n d his c o m p a n i o n s o n t h e platform, v s . 8 following directly u p o n v s . 6. N e h . 8:9. H e r e as often w e find similarities b e t w e e n this r e a d i n g o f the l a w a n d the C h r o n i c l e r ' s a c c o u n t o f J o s i a h ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e D e u t e r o n o m i c C o d e to t h e elders o f J e r u s a l e m a n d J u d a h (II C h r o n . 3 4 : 1 - 3 5 : 2 7 ) . J o s i a h rent his c l o t h e s u p o n h e a r i n g t h e r e a d i n g o f t h e c o d e ; h e r e the p e o p l e m o u r n e d a n d w e p t w h e n t h e y h e a r d the L a w . T h e r e a d i n g a p p a r e n t l y p r o d u c e d a m o n g t h e p e o p l e a n a w a r e n e s s of their n e e d for r e p e n t a n c e o f their sins a n d p e r h a p s also a fear of impending judgment. N e h e m i a h , E z r a , a n d the L e v i t e s u r g e t h e p e o p l e to celebrate T o r a h , w h i c h h a s b e e n largely forgotten b u t is n o w k n o w n a m o n g the people. T h e L a w has been reestablished in J e r u s a l e m . A spirit o f j o y a n d c e l e b r a t i o n is in o r d e r a n d is to characterize t h e feast o f B o o t h s , d e s c r i b e d in N e h . 8:13-18. T h e M a s o r e t i c text i n c l u d e s N e h e m i a h h e r e , b u t h e is o n l y n a m e d . It is p r o b a b l y a n i n s e r t i o n b y a n editor w h o p u t s c h a p s . 8 - 1 0 h e r e , t h u s s e e m i n g to m a k e Ezra a n d N e h e m i a h c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . It is h a r d to b e l i e v e that N e h e m i a h w o u l d h a v e h a d n o o t h e r part in t h e service, h a d h e b e e n p r e s e n t . N e h . 8:10. C e l e b r a t i o n is in order. R i c h food a n d s w e e t w i n e , a n d the giving o f gifts o f food are a part o f the o r d e r o f the h o l y d a y . A s G o d h a s b e e n h o s p i t a b l e to his p e o p l e , so t h e y s h o u l d b e to o t h e r s , especially friends a n d relatives w h o h a v e not b e e n able to p r e p a r e for t h e feast, s o m e o f t h e m p e r h a p s from distant p l a c e s . It is a t i m e n o t for grief a b o u t t h e past, b u t for e x p e c t a t i o n a n d faithfulness in the future. T h e j o y o f t h e L o r d is g r o u n d e d in t h e r e n e w e d loyalty o f t h e p e o p l e , a n d that b o n d , reaffirmed, is t h e p e o p l e ' s s t r e n g t h . T h e spirit o f j o y a n d t h a n k s g i v i n g c o m m e n d e d h e r e is v e r y m u c h like that d e s c r i b e d s o often in D e u t e r o n o m y (12:12; 14:26; 16:11; 2 6 : 1 1 ; 27:7). SUNDAY, JANUARY 30 (FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY) J e r e m i a h 1:4-10. T h e Call o f J e r e m i a h T h e t h e m e o f J e r e m i a h 1 is t h e p r o p h e t ' s a c c o u n t o f his call to p r o p h e t i c m i n i s t r y . T h o u g h t h e a c c o u n t s t a n d s at t h e b e g i n n i n g
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of t h e b o o k m a n y s c h o l a r s feel that it w a s revised, p e r h a p s s e v e r a l t i m e s , d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f J e r e m i a h ' s life, a n d r e p r e s e n t s h i s m a t u r e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f a n unforgettable teen-age experience. M a n y of u s , o r d a i n e d a n d laity, h a v e h e a r d u n n u m b e r e d a r g u m e n t s a b o u t t h e n a t u r e of an a u t h e n t i c call to t h e religious life. It is a subject o f s u c h i m p o r t a n c e that s o m e p e o p l e , certain that t h e y k n o w the criteria of a n a u t h e n t i c call, b e c o m e d o g m a t i c a b o u t t h o s e criteria, e v e n u n k i n d l y criticizing p e r s o n s w h o h a v e c o m e to the faith t h r o u g h o t h e r k i n d s o f e x p e r i e n c e s . Still o t h e r s a v o i d t h e s u b j e c t , a s s u m i n g a supercilious c a s u a l n e s s a b o u t t h e i m p o r t a n c e of s u c h " p e r s o n a l " m a t t e r s . B u t o n e c a n n o t avoid t h e fact that t h e heart of biblical faith is a c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G o d (for C h r i s t i a n s , t h r o u g h C h r i s t ) . A s in a n y c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p , our r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G o d is g r o u n d e d in a m a t u r e y e s , an unqualified r e s p o n s e to t h e divine b i d d i n g , " I will b e y o u r G o d ; will y o u s t a n d a m o n g m y p e o p l e ? " S u r e l y the h e a r i n g o f that invitation a n d o u r p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s e to it is the heart of a n y call to faith. P e r h a p s i n s t e a d o f a r g u i n g a b o u t t h e n a t u r e of a n a u t h e n t i c call to belief w e s h o u l d e n c o u r a g e o n e a n o t h e r to p r o v i d e a n a c c o u n t of the e x p e r i e n c e (or e x p e r i e n c e s ) t h r o u g h w h i c h w e h a v e c o m e u n d e r c o n v i c t i o n . J e r e m i a h did that a n d thus p r o v i d e d u s w i t h certain g u i d e l i n e s . 1. H o w e v e r ineffable, a v e r y p e r s o n a l s e n s e o f t h e divine p r e s e n c e characterizes s u c h e x p e r i e n c e s a n d confirms a n e w relationship. (God with me.) 2 . T h e call to c o m m i t m e n t i n c l u d e s a bid to m i n i s t e r to o t h e r s o n G o d ' s behalf. C a n G o d p o s s i b l y u s e u s for saving s o m e o n e else? H o w e v e r m e m o r a b l e a n d glorious, t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f a call is n o t an idolatrous e n d in itself. 3. A n e w f o u n d s e n s e o f v o c a t i o n g i v e s m e a n i n g to o n e ' s w h o l e life, e v e n o n e ' s birth. Far from r e s e n t i n g a n y i m p o s i t i o n o n his f r e e d o m , J e r e m i a h felt that his p r e n a t a l c o n s e c r a t i o n ( " F o r this I w a s b o r n " ) p r o v i d e d a v o c a t i o n in w h i c h freedom c o u l d b e e x e r c i s e d w i t h m e a n i n g a n d c o n s e q u e n c e . H i s life c o u l d m a k e a difference.
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4 . G o d will p r o v i d e the e n e r g y a n d the s p o k e n w o r d n e c e s s a r y to t h e task, e v e n w h e n the o p p o s i t i o n is fierce. 5. Effective s p o k e s p e r s o n s for G o d c o m b i n e w o r d s o f j u d g m e n t (there is sin in the w o r l d ) a n d h o p e ( G o d h a s plans for the w o r l d ) . S u c h w o r d s m u s t b e i n f o r m e d . B e i n g informed is a l m o s t the first m o r a l m a n d a t e for effective w i t n e s s . 6. T h e called b e l i e v e that t h e w o r d a n d will o f G o d will prevail a n d act i n light o f t h a t g u a r a n t e e o f victory. ( W e m a y fail m o m e n t a r i l y , b u t the will o f G o d will prevail eternally.) T h e old e v a n g e l i s t ' s w o r d s still ring true: " I d o n ' t care h o w h i g h y o u j u m p e d t h e n i g h t y o u w e r e c o n v e r t e d . W h a t I w a n t to k n o w is, H o w straight did y o u w a l k after y o u l a n d e d ? " B y their fruits shall y o u k n o w the faithful. T h e d e p t h a n d u r g e n c y of J e r e m i a h ' s call to b e a p r o p h e t to h e n a t i o n s s t a n d s in s h a r p c o n t r a s t to t h e a p o s t a s y of J u d a h . T h e call a n d t h e dialogue that is i n v o l v e d i n t r o d u c e us to a p r o p h e t a b o u t w h o s e life—psychological, d e v o t i o n a l , theological, a n d political—we k n o w m o r e t h a n w e d o for a n y other O l d T e s t a m e n t p r o p h e t . D u r i n g a lifetime that i n v o l v e d b e w i l d e r i n g political a n d social u p h e a v a l s , r e j e c t i o n b y family a n d friends, arrest a n d p e r s e c u t i o n , a n d periods o f l o n e l i n e s s a n d despair, t h e vitality o f this call m u s t h a v e c o n f i r m e d J e r e m i a h ' s faith b o t h in his v o c a t i o n a n d , o c c a s i o n a l l y , in his sanity. U n d o u b t e d l y t h e call b e c a m e i n c r e a s i n g l y m e a n i n g f u l a n d e m p o w e r i n g as t h e p r o p h e t ' s life b e c a m e m o r e d e m a n d i n g a n d J u d a h ' s exile m o r e i m m i n e n t . W e h a v e s o m e literary r e a s o n to a s s u m e that t h e e v e n t w a s often r e c o u n t e d a n d t h a t it m a y h a v e b e e n put in its p r e s e n t form t o w a r d t h e e n d o f his life. J e r e m i a h ' s t i m e s . T h e call to b e " a p r o p h e t to t h e n a t i o n s " w a s r e c e i v e d in t h e t u r b u l e n t c o n t e x t of t h e fall o f t h e A s s y r i a n e m p i r e a n d t h e rise o f t h e B a b y l o n i a n . J u d a h , ruled b y k i n g s m o s t o f w h o m w e r e i n c o m p e t e n t a n d p a w n s in t h e international s c e n e , suffered defeat a n d exile b y resisting the vastly superior forces o f N e b u c h a d n e z z a r . J e r e m i a h p o r t r a y e d the B a b y l o n i a n a s the i n s t r u m e n t o f G o d ' s j u d g m e n t u p o n a d e c a d e n t J u d a h . G r o s s m o r a l a n d religious d e c a d e n c e h a d c h a r a c t e r i z e d J u d a h ' s life d u r i n g t h e s e v e n t h c e n t u r y into w h i c h J e r e m i a h w a s b o r n . U n d e r M a n a s s e h ( 6 8 7 - 6 4 5 B.C.) J u d a h h a d b e e n a vassal o f
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A s s y r i a . Idolatry a n d a p o s t a s y , especially in t h e form of M e s o p o t a m i a n astral cults a n d C a n a a n i t e fertility practices, flourished in t h e T e m p l e precincts. E v e n child sacrifice w a s practiced. T h e s e practices c o n t i n u e d for a time u n d e r J o s i a h ( 6 4 0 - 6 0 9 B.C), M a n a s s e h ' s s o n . In 621 J o s i a h led a reform in J u d a h b a s e d o n t h e B o o k of the L a w w h i c h h a d b e e n d i s c o v e r e d in the T e m p l e (II K i n g s 2 2 - 2 3 ) . D e c l i n i n g A s s y r i a n p o w e r a n d the s u p p o r t of a J u d e a n party w h i c h h a d r e m a i n e d faithful to Y a h w i s m m a d e reform u n d e r J o s i a h p o s s i b l e . T h e reform a i m e d t o w a r d religious purification a n d political i n d e p e n d e n c e . T h e s e so-called D e u t e r o n o m i c reforms ( b a s e d o n the n e w l y d i s c o v e r e d B o o k of the L a w ) led to t h e r e m o v a l or destruction o f the idolatrous s h r i n e s . J e r u s a l e m w a s e s t a b l i s h e d as t h e only legitimate p l a c e for sacrifice. A p p a r e n t l y the reforms w e r e effective for a time. But Josiah w a s killed at M e g i d d o in 609 as h e s o u g h t to halt the n o r t h w a r d a d v a n c e of t h e E g y p t i a n p h a r a o h , w h o w a s o n his w a y to H a r a n to j o i n forces w i t h t h e A s s y r i a n k i n g a n d s a v e that e m p i r e from total defeat (the capital of A s s y r i a h a d fallen in 6 1 2 ) . T h a t defeat c a m e at H a r a n in 6 0 5 , a n d the B a b y l o n i a n e m p i r e r o s e to a position of d o m i n a n c e in the M i d d l e East, J e r e m i a h ' s silence a b o u t the J o s i a n i c reforms r e m a i n s a p u z z l e , especially for t h o s e w h o date t h e b e g i n n i n g o f his m i n i s t r y in 6 2 7 - 6 2 6 , t h e e i g h t e e n t h y e a r o f his life. A small m i n o r i t y o f s c h o l a r s , for e x a m p l e H y a t t a n d H o l l a d a y , date J e r m i a h ' s birth i n that y e a r (called before b i r t h ) , a n d the further call to ministry in 6 0 9 , t h u s obviating J e r e m i a h ' s n e e d to say m u c h a b o u t a g o o d reform that h a d d i e d w i t h the d e a t h o f its royal p a t r o n . A deplorable s u c c e s s i o n o f vassal J u d e a n k i n g s w a s to b e t h e b u r d e n a n d b a n e of J e r e m i a h ' s ministry. 1. T h e E g y p t i a n s r e m o v e d J e h o a h a z , J o s i a h ' s s u c c e s s o r , a n d p u t J e h o i a k i m ( 6 0 9 - 5 9 8 ) o n the t h r o n e . U n d e r h i m J u d a h r e t u r n e d to m a n y of t h e idolatrous religious practices that J o s i a h h a d o u t l a w e d . J e h o i a k i m w a s s u c c e e d e d b y J e h o i a c h i n w h o , like his father, w a s s u b j e c t to E g y p t i a n authority. I n s t e a d of
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 i n d e p e n d e n c e , J e h o i a c h i n ' s r e s i s t a n c e to t h e rising B a b y l o n i a n empire brought subjection. 2. In 597 Jerusalem submitted to Nebuchadnezzar, and m a n y J u d e a n s , i n c l u d i n g t h e d e p o s e d J e h o i a c h i n , w e r e exiled to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar put Zedekiah (597-587) on the Judean throne. 3. Z e d e k i a h w a s w e a k a n d vacillated b e t w e e n t h o s e w h o , like J e r e m i a h , u r g e d s u b m i s s i o n to t h e s u p e r i o r B a b y l o n i a n forces, a n d t h o s e w h o u r g e d alliance w i t h E g y p t a n d w i t h small, rebellious n e i g h b o r i n g k i n g d o m s as a p r e l u d e to military r e s i s t a n c e a g a i n s t t h e B a b y l o n i a n overlord. Z e d e k i a h finally c h o s e to resist N e b u c h a d n e z z a r , a n d in 5 8 8 - 5 8 7 J e r u s a l e m w a s d e f e a t e d a n d r a z e d . Z e d e k i a h a n d m a n y o f his p e o p l e , especially t h e ruling c l a s s e s , l a n d h o l d e r s , a n d artisans, w e r e carried into exile. 4 . N e b u c h a d n e z z a r n o w e s t a b l i s h e d J u d a h as a p r o v i n c e in t h e B a b y l o n i a n e m p i r e (prior t o this J u d a h h a d b e e n a tributary). G e d a l i a h , a J u d e a n , w a s a p p o i n t e d g o v e r n o r w i t h the n e w a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c e n t e r in M i z p a h . W i t h i n t w o m o n t h s G e d a l i a h w a s a s s a s s i n a t e d . A b a n d o f J u d e a n s , fearful o f B a b y l o n i a n r e v e n g e , fled to E g y p t , t a k i n g J e r e m i a h w i t h t h e m quite against his will. J e r e m i a h ' s m i n i s t r y . T h r e e c o n t r i b u t i o n s s t a n d o u t in t h e memorable and consequential ministry of Jeremiah: 1. F o l l o w i n g H o s e a , J e r e m i a h p e r c e i v e d a n d p r o c l a i m e d t h e d e p t h a n d b r e a d t h o f Y a h w e h ' s love for t h e p e o p l e a n d t h e r e s p o n s e that s u c h love c o u l d rightly e x p e c t from a p e o p l e b o u n d to Y a h w e h in c o v e n a n t . J e r e m i a h ' s sensitivity at this p o i n t l e d to a n u m b e r o f oracles a b o u t true religion. T h e G o d w h o m J e r e m i a h k n o w s is a G o d o f steadfast l o v e , j u s t i c e , a n d r i g h t e o u s n e s s (9:24-25). D e v i a t i o n s from true religion—rebel­ lion, m o r a l c o r r u p t i o n , idolatry, mistrust—are c a u s e for p r o p h e t i c d e n u n c i a t i o n a n d divine p u n i s h m e n t . Y a h w e h h a s a lawsuit a g a i n s t J u d a h ( c h a p . 2) b e c a u s e o f divine love for t h e p e o p l e . In t h e face o f t h e m a s s i v e sinfulness of J u d a h , J e r e m i a h finally c o n c l u d e s that t h e p e o p l e c a n n o t c h a n g e ; Y a h w e h m u s t c h a n g e their h e a r t s , their wills. A N e w C o v e n a n t , a c o v e n a n t o f
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love, w r i t t e n u p o n their h e a r t s , will b i n d t h e p e o p l e a n d their G o d forever (31:31-34). 2. T h i s love of Y a h w e h for J u d a h i n c l u d e s j u d g m e n t , w a r , a n d exile at t h e h a n d o f B a b y l o n , w h o s e r v e s t h e p u r p o s e s of Y a h w e h . T h u s J e r e m i a h finds m e a n i n g in t h e m i d s t o f political u p h e a v a l a n d c o u n s e l s s u r r e n d e r . D e f e a t a n d exile will purify t h e p e o p l e from their sins a n d b r i n g t h e b r i g h t n e w d a y o f a N e w C o v e n a n t , a loyal r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G o d . 3. O f t e n in t h e b o o k o f J e r e m i a h , a n d especially in s u c h s e c t i o n s as 1 5 : 1 0 - 2 0 : 1 8 , t h e l a m e n t a t i o n s or m e d i t a t i o n s of J e r e m i a h , w e h a v e u n u s u a l a n d detailed e v i d e n c e s o f t h e p r o p h e t ' s w e a r i n e s s as h e w r e s t l e d w i t h t h e office to w h i c h h e h a d b e e n called, his a n g u i s h at p r e a c h i n g c o n d e m n a t i o n to a p e o p l e w h o m h e l o v e d dearly, his r e s p o n s e to plots a g a i n s t his life, his isolation from family a n d friends, e v e n his a n g e r w i t h t h e L o r d a n d t h e c u r s i n g o f t h e d a y of his o w n birth. B u t w e also s e e that h e c o u l d n o t t u r n a w a y from t h e p r o p h e t i c office (20:9). T h e h o n e s t details o f J e r e m i a h ' s spiritual a u t o b i o g r a p h y h a s p r o v i d e d solace a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t , a s u s t a i n i n g s e n s e of spiritual c o m p a n i o n s h i p , to c o u n t l e s s o t h e r b e l i e v e r s . S u c h p a s s a g e s , like m a n y of the P s a l m s , h e l p u s to e x p l o r e " t h e a n a t o m y " o f o u r o w n souls a n d to carry o n . T h e Call. T h e call to J e r e m i a h (1:4-19) s t a n d s at the b e g i n n i n g of a collection o f oracles o f divine j u d g m e n t u p o n J u d a h a n d J e r u s a l e m . ( C h a p s . 1-25 are s o m e t i m e s titled " t h e w o r d s of J e r e m i a h , " a n d 2 6 - 4 5 , " t h e life o f J e r e m i a h . " ) T h e call t a k e s the form o f a dialogue b e t w e e n Y a h w e h a n d t h e b u d d i n g p r o p h e t ( 4 - 1 0 , 1 7 - 1 9 ) . T h a t dialogue c e n t e r s o n t h e c o m m i s s i o n i n g a n d e m p o w e r i n g o f J e r e m i a h . ( V s s . 11-16, a n a c c o u n t o f t w o visions t h e p r o p h e t h a s , h a v e b e e n i n s e r t e d into t h e dialogue a n d deal quite specifically w i t h e v e n t s in w h i c h t h e p r o p h e t is shortly to be involved.) Jer. 1:4. T h e H e b r e w t e r m for w o r d also m e a n s a c t i o n or event. T h e c o m i n g o f t h e W o r d of t h e L o r d is itself a n e v e n t that p r e s a g e s significant historical a c t i o n s , in this c a s e in t h e c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n Y a h w e h a n d J u d a h (cf. Isa, 61:1 f f . ) . Jer. 1:5.1 f o r m e d y o u . T h e p r i m a r y u s e o f t h e H e b r e w w o r d is
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c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e s h a p i n g o f pottery. In p a s s a g e s like A m o s 4:13, Isa. 4 5 : 1 8 a n d P s . 95:5 it is a t e c h n i c a l (theological) t e r m m e a n i n g " t o c r e a t e . " S u b s e q u e n t u s e s of t h e t e r m in J e r e m i a h (18:1-12) u n d e r s c o r e the f r e e d o m o f the p o t t e r to s h a p e a n d r e s h a p e t h e clay a s h e p l e a s e s , t h e clay c o n f o r m i n g to t h e p o t t e r ' s will a n d p l e a s u r e . T h e p h r a s e in the womb m u s t h a v e b e e n startling for s o m e r e a d e r s a n d h e a r e r s w h o , t h e n as n o w , h a d trouble regarding bodily p r o c e s s e s , p e r h a p s especially o f w o m e n , a s divinely o r d a i n e d a n d p u r e . ( T h e idea that t h e y are so o r d a i n e d is e x p r e s s e d , dramatically a n d beautifully, in P s . 139:13-16.) A s a u t h o r o f life from its v e r y b e g i n n i n g , G o d h a s unqualified authority o v e r it. I k n e w y o u . O u t o f origins that all m e n a n d w o m e n h a v e in c o m m o n (from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g G o d k n o w s u s ) , w e here get a s e n s e of a n u n c o m m o n l y intimate relationship b e t w e e n the C r e a t o r a n d J e r e m i a h . T h e v e r b to k n o w is c o m m o n l y u s e d in the O l d T e s t a m e n t to s u g g e s t sexual i n t i m a c y b e t w e e n a m a n a n d a w o m a n . T h e i n t i m a c y o f G o d ' s relationship w i t h J e r e m i a h p o i n t s t o w a r d a particular v o c a t i o n . Before y o u w e r e b o r n I c o n s e c r a t e d y o u . A superficial reading m i g h t s e e m to s u g g e s t t h a t 5 a a n d 5 b a r e a parallelism, b u t t h e r e is a p r o g r e s s i o n . T h e v e r b m e a n i n g to b e c o n s e c r a t e d or d e d i c a t e d s u g g e s t s that J e r e m i a h is to b e s e p a r a t e d or singled o u t for a special service or m i s s i o n o n b e h a l f of G o d . T h e act of c o n s e c r a t i o n s u g g e s t s n o t o n l y t h e n o t i o n of selection b u t (as v s . 9 indicates) a gift of p o w e r for the fulfillment of the office. T h e v e r b root u s e d h e r e is a d e n o m i n a t i v e from the n o u n m e a n i n g a p a r t n e s s , s a c r e d n e s s ; the adjective m e a n s sacred o r h o l y (as o f G o d , i n I s a . 6:1 f f . ) . T h e state o f c o n s e c r a t i o n or h o l i n e s s is t h e state o f b e i n g or d o i n g w h a t o n e a g r e e s , with c o v e n a n t p a r t n e r s , o n e will b e or do. In this s e n s e J e r e m i a h is t h u s c o m m i t t e d to " h o l y o r d e r s . " J e r e m i a h is a p p o i n t e d to b e a p r o p h e t to the n a t i o n s , a s p o k e s p e r s o n for G o d to n a t i o n s a n d a b o u t n a t i o n s . In a time of u n u s u a l l y t u r b u l e n t international relationships this far-reaching commission was important and very demanding. But Jeremiah w a s not t h e first p r o p h e t to b e c o n c e r n e d with the s u r r o u n d i n g
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n a t i o n s . Israel a n d J u d a h ' s histories h a d l o n g b e e n i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h d e v e l o p m e n t s in other c o u n t r i e s . B u t t h e r e is a distinctive a s p e c t to this i n c l u s i v e n e s s in the a p p o i n t m e n t o f J e r e m i a h as a p r o p h e t to the n a t i o n s : Y a h w e h is the G o d of all history a n d L o r d o f the u n i v e r s e . E v e n B a b y l o n is s u b j e c t to G o d ' s will a n d u s e ; that e m p i r e will s e r v e as a n i n s t r u m e n t o f divine j u d g m e n t upon Judah. P e r h a p s t h e m o s t distinctive a s p e c t o f t h e call of J e r e m i a h is t h e p r e d e s t i n a t i o n o f the p r o p h e t to his vocation; that p r e d e s t i n a t i o n is a part of Y a h w e h ' s p l a n for the c o v e n a n t p e o p l e (cf. t h e S e r v a n t in Isa. 49:1-2 a n d Paul in G a l . 1:15-16). W h a t e v e r p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n s t h i s distinctive idea m a y raise w i t h regard to the p r o p h e t ' s f r e e d o m , the n o t i o n of predestina­ tion is clearly affirmed. P e r h a p s it could b e a r g u e d that the p r o p h e t felt h e h a d b e e n i m p e l l e d b u t n o t c o m p e l l e d to take u p his v o c a t i o n . If, in fact, this a c c o u n t of t h e call c a m e into its p r e s e n t form in the m a t u r e y e a r s of J e r e m i a h ' s life t h e n the n o t i o n of p r e d e s t i n a t i o n m a y n o t o n l y reflect the m a n d a t e of G o d b u t also the unqualified r e s p o n s e o f the p r o p h e t : " F o r this I was born." Jer. 1:6-8. Like M o s e s (a priestly a n c e s t o r ? ) J e r e m i a h initially p r o t e s t e d y o u t h f u l n e s s , w h i c h left h i m unqualified t o b e a r t h e w o r d o f G o d to t h e p e o p l e (a r e m i n d e r o f M o s e s in E x o d . 4:10-15, 7:1 ff., t h o u g h J e r e m i a h did n o t h a v e a s p e e c h difficulty). H o w c a n h e k n o w e n o u g h to s p e a k t h e W o r d o f G o d to t h e elders of J u d a h a n d J e r u s a l e m ? W h a t authority h a s a y o u t h from A n a t h o t h in s u c h m a t t e r s ? In r e s p o n s e Y a h w e h rejects all e x c u s e s . Y a h w e h is to b e the a u t h o r of t h e m e s s a g e a n d of e v e r y m i s s i o n . T h e a m a z i n g i n t i m a c y of the L o r d a n d the p r o p h e t at c o n c e p t i o n a n d birth c o n t i n u e s n o w in full force. T h e p r o p h e t g o e s forth u n d e r orders from G o d . T h e m e s s a g e will b e p r o v i d e d . T h e m e s s e n g e r will be s u s t a i n e d . T h e r e is n o r e a s o n to b e frightened: t h e Provider will also act as P r o t e c t o r . T h i s is G o d ' s c o m m i t m e n t to t h e c o m m i t t e d s e r v a n t . G o d ' s w o r d a n d h o n o r w i t h the p r o p h e t . Jer. 1:9. H e r e is the pivotal transaction: called to b e a m e s s e n g e r of t h e W o r d , J e r e m i a h n o w r e c e i v e s the W o r d . T h e heart o f the p r o m i s e m a d e in v s . 7 is i m m e d i a t e l y fulfilled. T h e
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s y m b o l i c a c t i o n o f t h e L o r d in t o u c h i n g the m o u t h o f the y o u n g p r o p h e t is i m m e d i a t e l y e x p l a i n e d : " B e h o l d , I h a v e put m y w o r d s in y o u r m o u t h " (cf. Isa. 6:7; E z e k . 2:8 f.; D a n . 10:16). Jer. 1:10. J e r e m i a h ' s office a s s p o k e s p e r s o n for Y a h w e h t o t h e n a t i o n s is further defined. S o m e s c h o l a r s o m i t " t o d e s t r o y a n d to o v e r t h r o w , " t h u s p r o v i d i n g greater b a l a n c e : to pluck up and break down, . . . to build and to plant. T h e s e pairs o f o p p o s i t e v e r b s s u m m a r i z e basic a s p e c t s o f t h e p r o p h e t i c m i n i s t r y . J e r e m i a h is to u p r o o t a n d raze corrupted w a y s in J u d a h ad J e r u s a l e m ; this will involve s h a r p d e n u n c i a ­ tion a n d s t e r n j u d g m e n t . B u t t h e p r o p h e t is also to s t r e n g t h e n a n d build o n t h e f o u n d a t i o n s o f faith a n d g o o d n e s s w h i c h are a l r e a d y t h e r e a n d to b r i n g n e w life—a v o c a t i o n o f r e n e w a l a n d o f n e w possibilities. T h e W o r d o f G o d is filled w i t h divine e n e r g y a n d will a c c o m p l i s h t h e p u r p o s e s for w h i c h it is s e n t (cf. Isa. 55:10-11). It can d e s t r o y (5:14, 2 3 : 2 9 ) , b u t it c a n also r e s t o r e a n d r e d e e m . In v s s . 17-19, J e r e m i a h is e n c o u r a g e d to take u p his v o c a t i o n w i t h o u t fear. T h e s e v e r s e s c o n t i n u e t h e t h o u g h t in v s s . 4-10 a n d p r o v i d e b o t h a w a r n i n g a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t to t h e p r o p h e t (both w o u l d s e e m to b e in o r d e r in light of the v i s i o n s t h e p r o p h e t h a s i n v s s . 11-16). W i t h t h e s e v e r s e s t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e call of J e r e m i a h is b r o u g h t to a m a t c h l e s s series of p r o m i s e s . T h e p r o p h e t is g i v e n fair w a r n i n g o f t h e o p p o s i t i o n h e will e n c o u n t e r a s m e s s e n g e r o f G o d . K i n g s , p r i n c e s , p r i e s t s , a n d people—all will c o n t e n d a g a i n s t h i m . B u t t h e y shall n o t prevail. If J e r e m i a h will d o his part, so will the L o r d . T h e p r o p h e t is to gird u p his loins, that is, h e is to prepare for battle a n d get to t h e battleline, belts a n d g a r m e n t s t i g h t e n e d for action. P r o m p t n e s s a n d r e a d i n e s s are e x p e c t e d . S u c h prepara­ tion a n d c o n f r o n t a t i o n are a m a t t e r o f acting in faith. If t h e p r o p h e t h a s s u c h faith a n d s p e a k s the full w o r d o f t h e L o r d to t h e p e o p l e , h e will d i s c o v e r the steadfast s t r e n g t h a n d p r o t e c t i o n t h a t faith affords a n d will b e c o m e a fortified city, a n iron pillar, like b r o n z e w a l l s — h e will s t a n d fast (cf. E z e k . 3:8 f . ) .
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Critics a n d e n e m i e s will c o n t e n d ; J e r e m i a h will prevail; a n d the L o r d will s a v e t h e p r o p h e t . J e r e m i a h ' s call a n d c o m m i s s i o n i n g h a v e m u c h in c o m m o n w i t h t h e m e m o r a b l e calls of o t h e r s e r v a n t s of G o d , especially o t h e r O l d T e s t a m e n t p r o p h e t s . Y e t t h e r e are distinctive a s p e c t s in this a c c o u n t : 1. T h e p r e d e s t i n a t i o n o f J e r e m i a h to t h e p r o p h e t i c office even before h e h a d b e e n f o r m e d in the w o m b o f his m o t h e r is striking a n d b e c a m e influential in s u c h a c c o u n t s as t h e c o m m i s s i o n i n g of t h e S e r v a n t in Isa. 49:1 f. H e r e t h e u n u s u a l birth story is m o r e a spiritual t h a n p h y s i c a l p h e n o m e n o n . 2. T h e fact that this call is e x p e r i e n c e d a n d e x p r e s s e d in the f o r m o f a d i a l o g u e s u g g e s t s a n u n u s u a l quality o f i n t i m a c y . T h i s characterized the relationship between Y a h w e h and the prophet right across J e r e m i a h ' s career. S u c h d i a l o g u e is f u n d a m e n t a l to c o v e n a n t religion: t h e w o r d s o f G o d to m e n a n d w o m e n , that is revelation; t h e w o r d s o f w o m e n a n d m e n to G o d , that is prayer. A s n o t e d a b o v e , b o t h the praise a n d t h e h o n e s t l a m e n t a t i o n of J e r e m i a h r e m i n d u s o f the P s a l m s , a n d w e realize that t h e w o r d s of m e n a n d w o m e n to G o d also h a v e a p l a c e in the Bible. P e r h a p s a m a j o r m e a n i n g o f t h e n o t i o n in G e n e s i s t h a t w e a r e c r e a t e d " i n t h e i m a g e o f G o d " (1:26-27) is that c o m m u n i c a t i o n is possible; revelation, m e d i t a t i o n , a n d p r a y e r are all spiritual realities. T h e fact that J e r e m i a h can b e a n g r y w i t h G o d a n d l a m e n t b o l d l y a n d loudly (see 2 0 : 7 - 1 8 , for e x a m p l e ) , attests t h e d e p t h of his trust a n d the creativity o f s u c h i n t i m a c y . A t several p o i n t s in his career, isolated a n d p e r s e c u t e d , r e j e c t e d b y friends a n d family, d u b i o u s a b o u t his v o c a t i o n , J e r e m i a h w o u l d s e e m t o h a v e s u r v i v e d a n d r e m a i n e d s a n e b e c a u s e o f this intimate relationship. 3. Finally, t h e e x p e r i e n c e of J e r e m i a h r e m i n d s u s that r e s p o n s e to the call o f G o d is e s s e n t i a l to m e a n i n g f u l faith a n d g r o w t h . Call a n d r e s p o n s e m a y b e e x p e r i e n c e d in a variety of m o d e s but n o c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p , w h e t h e r m a r r i a g e , ministry, or friendship, is likely to h a v e integrity o r p r o m i s e until c o v e n a n t p a r t n e r s m a k e a serious c o m m i t m e n t , a r e s p o n s e to o n e a n o t h e r . J e r e m i a h ' s y e s to t h e call o f G o d w a s t h e
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b e g i n n i n g of a p r o f o u n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the will of G o d . J e r e m i a h ' s b i o g r a p h y r e m i n d s u s that in religion, k n o w l e d g e ( u n d e r s t a n d i n g ) c a n n e v e r b e d i v o r c e d from a c k n o w l e d g m e n t .

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13 (LAST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY) D e u t e r o n o m y 34:1-12. T h e D e a t h o f M o s e s a n d the C o m m i s s i o n i n g o f J o s h u a A h a u n t i n g solitude p e r v a d e s this a c c o u n t of the d e a t h of M o s e s . H i s l e a d e r s h i p ("all the great a n d terrible d e e d s w h i c h M o s e s w r o u g h t " ) h a d b e e n e x e r c i s e d " i n t h e sight o f all I s r a e l . " H e h a d l e d a very public life. But h e r e at t h e e n d h e is a l o n e o n t h e m o u n t a i n w i t h the L o r d . W e are r e m i n d e d o f the solitude o f his first e n c o u n t e r w i t h the D i v i n e P r e s e n c e in the e x p e r i e n c e of t h e b u r n i n g b u s h at S i n a i ( E x o d u s 3 ) . A n d y e t e v e n t h e s e t i m e s o f solitude h a v e a v e r y c o r p o r a t e d i m e n s i o n . In b o t h E x o d u s 3 a n d D e u t e r o n o m y 3 4 the Lord r e m i n d s M o s e s that h e is b e i n g a d d r e s s e d b y the G o d o f A b r a h a m a n d Isaac a n d J a c o b , s u g g e s t i n g that the past h a s a future a n d that t h e p r e s e n t a n d t h e future are r o o t e d in the past. T o b e religious is to r e m e m b e r . A n a w a r e n e s s of w h e r e w e h a v e b e e n (our roots) informs t h e directions in w h i c h w e are e x p e c t e d to g o (our fruits). T h e m y s t e r i o u s c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f t h e d e a t h o f M o s e s h a v e led to an e x t e n s i v e literature a b o u t his fate, t h e n a t u r e a n d place o f his burial, the m a n n e r in w h i c h d e a t h c a m e to o n e w h o s e natural force w a s u n a b a t e d , a n d so forth. C o n s i d e r a b l e attention could b e given to t h e fact that M o s e s , like a l m o s t all O l d T e s t a m e n t h e r o e s , h a d a flaw, an imperfection ( n o n e is g o o d s a v e G o d ) . O r to the fact that M o s e s w i s e l y s e l e c t e d a n d b l e s s e d a s u c c e s s o r , an e v i d e n c e o f his o b e d i e n c e to G o d a n d his d e v o t i o n to Israel. But the final v e r s e o f this last c h a p t e r o f the P e n t a t e u c h is a k e y to our a p p r e c i a t i o n of the u n i q u e c o n t r i b u t i o n M o s e s m a d e to Israel. T a k e n t o g e t h e r t h e great a n d terrible d e e d s h e w r o u g h t w e r e , a n d r e m a i n , a " d r a m a o f l i b e r a t i o n " for o p p r e s s e d p e o p l e . Liberation t h e o l o g y (actually a r e d u n d a n t t e r m since all biblical
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RESOURCES

t h e o l o g y is i n t e n d e d to m a k e p e r s o n s free) finds its p a r a d i g m in Moses and the Exodus. 1. M o s e s r e c o g n i z e d a n d refused to a c c e p t t h e suffering a n d b o n d a g e of his p e o p l e . 2. H e p r o v i d e d l e a d e r s h i p for an e x o d u s from the place of bondage. 3. A t Sinai h e r e c e i v e d a n d p r o c l a i m e d t h e n e w l a w for a p e o p l e o n their w a y to f r e e d o m . 4 . In the w i l d e r n e s s t h e d r e a m w a s k e p t alive as Israel m o v e d from t h e c l u t c h e s o f t h e past into a p r o m i s e d b u t precarious future. 5. M o s e s led his p e o p l e to the e d g e o f the p r o m i s e d land, s u r v e y e d it from M o u n t N e b o (a k i n d o f claim to it), a n d p r o v i d e d l e a d e r s h i p for the n e w day. W e m a y b e critical of a s p e c t s o f t h e m e t h o d s that M o s e s u s e d ( s u c h as killing t h e E g y p t i a n o v e r s e e r , i n v a d i n g C a n a a n ) . B u t in t h e a c c o u n t of his d e a t h w e are r e m i n d e d o f the w a y s in w h i c h h e gave life to his p e o p l e . In our o w n day w e c a n n o t a v o i d t h e fact that liberation o f t h e o p p r e s s e d is a n e c e s s a r y prelude to the reconciliation o f the family of G o d . D e u t e r o n o m y 34 is the c o n c l u d i n g narrative of D e u t e r o n o m y a n d o f the P e n t a t e u c h . It tells u s of the d e a t h of M o s e s a n d p r o v i d e s an a u t h e n t i c a t i n g link to t h e c h a r i s m a t i c l e a d e r s h i p of J o s h u a as s u c c e s s o r to M o s e s . T h e narrative a b o u t t h e d e a t h of M o s e s is a c o n t i n u a t i o n of 32:48-52. M a n y scholars regard parts of this narrative as t h e w o r k o f P (vss. 1, 7-9), t h e Priestly editors' v e r s i o n o f J E , t h e old historical s o u r c e s that are basic to G e n e s i s - N u m b e r s . O n e m i g h t expect that t h e J E a c c o u n t o f the d e a t h o f M o s e s w o u l d c o m e at t h e e n d of N u m b e r s , a n a p p r o p r i a t e a n d p e r h a p s t h e original context. But t h e Priestly editors h a v e put it h e r e at the e n d of M o s e s ' final, l e n g t h y a d d r e s s e s to Israel. V s s . 11-12 are t h o u g h t b y m a n y to b e the w o r k of the D e u t e r o n o m i s t (stylistic differences b e t w e e n v s . 10 a n d v s s . 11-12 are o b v i o u s ) . T h e b a n against M o s e s ' e n t r y into t h e p r o m i s e d l a n d a n d the e m p h a s i s o n the charismatic s u c c e s s i o n o f J o s h u a are i m p o r t a n t t h e m e s in the D e u t e r o n o m i c history (1:37-38; 3:21-22, 25-29; 32:48-52; 34:9).
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Parts of D e u t e r o n o m y h a v e b e e n identified w i t h " t h e B o o k o f t h e L a w " f o u n d in t h e T e m p l e b y Hilkiah d u r i n g t h e reign o f J o s i a h ( 6 4 0 - 6 0 9 ) , materials that b e c a m e t h e basis for J o s i a h ' s s w e e p i n g m o v e m e n t t o w a r d religious reform a n d political i n d e p e n d e n c e from 6 2 1 . C o n c l u s i o n s a b o u t the dating o f D e u t e r o n o m y h a v e varied widely. E v e n if it is s e e n as a p r o g r a m for s e v e n t h - c e n t u r y a t t e m p t s at reform u n d e r H e z e k i a h o r M a n a s s e h , D e u t e r o n o m y w o u l d s e e m to i n c l u d e materials from m u c h earlier p e r i o d s , p o s s i b l y e v e n from t h e a g e o f t h e J u d g e s a n d t h e t i m e o f t h e early m o n a r c h y . It is p r o b a b l y close to t h e truth if the v a r i e t y o f legal a n d narrative materials in D e u t e r o n o m y are s e e n as the result o f a l e n g t h y p r o c e s s of formation lasting from early t i m e s to t h e p e r i o d after the Exile w h e n the materials in the P e n t a t e u c h u n d e r w e n t e x t e n s i v e editing. S o m e s c h o l a r s , for e x a m p l e v o n R a d , u n d e r s t a n d D e u t e r o n o m y as a part o f a p r e d o m i n a n t l y n o r t h e r n tradition, d e v e l o p e d a c r o s s several c e n t u r i e s , a n d edited for u s e in J u d a h after the fall o f S a m a r i a i n 7 2 1 . S u c c e s s i v e editings o f D e u t e r o n o m y t h u s reflect t h e further influences o f t h e p r o p h e t s a n d Israel's great e m p h a s i s o n w r i t t e n l a w . For m a n y r e a s o n s D e u t e r o n o m y m a y b e entitled " t h e theological t e x t b o o k o f J u d a i s m a n d C h r i s t i a n i t y . " T h e u n d e r ­ s t a n d i n g o f history found in D e u t e r o n o m y p r o v i d e d the basis o r o u t l o o k from w h i c h t h e historical b o o k s (the F o r m e r P r o p h e t s ) w e r e e d i t e d . W i s d o m b o o k s like J o b a n d Ecclesiastes are, to s o m e d e g r e e , p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t that o u t l o o k . B u t for our p r e s e n t interests a t h e o l o g y of the W o r d o f G o d is p e r h a p s the central interest o f t h e D e u t e r o n o m i c material. "For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" (Deut. 30:11-14). A c c o r d i n g to this D e u t e r o n o m i c u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f revelation t h e W o r d o f G o d is at h a n d a n d is e p i t o m i z e d in L a w , o f w h i c h
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D e u t e r o n o m y is a homiletical, h o r t a t o r y e x p a n s i o n ( D e u t e r o n ­ o m y is p r e s e n t e d as t h r e e a d d r e s s e s b y M o s e s ) . T h e p u r p o s e of t h e W o r d is to portray, r e n e w , a n d e m p o w e r t h e c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n Y a h w e h a n d Israel (4:32-40; 6:1-19; 10:1-22; 11:1-32). Structurally D e u t e r o n o m y (from S i n a i to M o a b ) follows the p a t t e r n of E x o d u s (from E g y p t to Sinai); b o t h are c o n c e r n e d with c o v e n a n t e x p e c t a t i o n s a n d w i t h liturgical r e n e w a l o f the covenant relationship. In D e u t e r o n o m y t h e W o r d a d d r e s s e s t h e c o m m u n i t y in its liturgical (12:1-14, t h e p l a c e of w o r s h i p ; 6:20-25, e t c . , the m e a n i n g of P a s s o v e r ) a n d m o r a l life (5:1-22, t h e " T e n W o r d s " ) . Y a h w e h ' s self-revelation e s t a b l i s h e s Israel's u n i q u e v o c a t i o n as r e s p o n s e . T h a t d e m a n d i n g r e s p o n s e is defined in the s h e m a ' (6:4-9, " H e a r , O I s r a e l " ) . T h e u s e of D e u t e r o n o m y in the N e w T e s t a m e n t , especially in M a t t h e w a n d H e b r e w s , is well k n o w n . T h e s h e m a ' is q u o t e d b y J e s u s as t h e first a n d g r e a t e s t of all t h e c o m m a n d m e n t s (Matt. 22:37-38). E a c h of J e s u s ' r e s p o n s e s in t h e t e m p t a t i o n s c e n e (Matt. 4:4-10) is a q u o t a t i o n from D e u t e r o n o m y (8:3; 6:16; 6:13). Parallels b e t w e e n M o s e s a n d J e s u s (as t h e n e w M o s e s , a n d as the p r o p h e t w h o m G o d h a d p r o m i s e d — D e u t . 18:15-18) are often d r a w n (Matt. 11:3; 2 1 : 1 1 ; L u k e 2:25-34; J o h n 4:19, 2 5 ; 6:14; A c t s 3:22; H e b . 3:1-11). T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e S e r m o n o n the M o u n t n e a r t h e b e g i n n i n g of M a t t h e w is significant in this regard. D e u t . 3 4 : 1 . E x o d u s details t h e m o v e m e n t of Israel u n d e r M o s e s from E g y p t to Sinai a n d t h e e v e n t s t h e r e ( 1 - 1 8 ) . D e u t e r o n o m y details Israel's m o v e m e n t s from S i n a i to the e n c a m p m e n t o n t h e plains o f M o a b w h e n c e Israel is to b e led into t h e p r o m i s e d land ( 1 : 1 - 4 : 4 3 ) . In b o t h , t h e c o v e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d t h e ten c o m m a n d m e n t s (Exod. 1 9 : 1 - 2 0 : 2 1 , D e u t . 4:44—5:22) a r e followed b y m a j o r legal collections (Exod. 2 0 : 2 2 - 2 3 : 3 3 , t h e B o o k o f the C o v e n a n t ; D e u t e r o n o m y 1 2 - 2 6 , the D e u t e r o n o m i c C o d e ) , In b o t h , M o s e s is the p r o p h e t i c leader a n d priestly i n t e r c e s s o r t h r o u g h w h o m G o d ' s will for the c o v e n a n t p e o p l e is m a d e k n o w n . D e u t e r o n o m y 3 4 is a k i n d o f j o u r n e y ' s e n d for M o s e s . In
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b r i n g i n g Israel to t h e plain o f M o a b h e h a s fulfilled his c o m m i s s i o n . It is to b e t h e p l a c e o f his d e a t h a n d burial. T h e p l a i n s o f M o a b lie i m m e d i a t e l y n o r t h o f t h e D e a d S e a o n t h e e a s t e r n side o f the J o r d a n valley. N e b o a n d P i s g a h m a y b e t a k e n a s t w o n a m e s for the s a m e m o u n t a i n , east o f t h e J o r d a n plain (see D e u t . 3:27). S o m e interpreters attribute N e b o to P , P i s g a h to E . F r o m t h e top of M t . N e b o , s o m e t w e n t y - s i x h u n d r e d feet a b o v e s e a level, M o s e s c o u l d l o o k a c r o s s t h e J o r d a n a n d s e e a b r o a d s u r v e y o f t h e l a n d of C a n a a n , t o w a r d the M e d i t e r r a n e a n to the w e s t ; n o r t h t o w a r d D a n , the n o r t h e r n m o s t part of the l a n d ; s o u t h to t h e N e g e b w h e r e t h e p r o m i s e d land b l e n d s off into desert; a n d in front o f h i m , t h e plain o n either side of t h e J o r d a n . T h e detailed description p r o v i d e s a k i n d o f visual s u r v e y a n d legal claim to t h e territory (on w h i c h M o s e s w a s forbidden to set foot; cf. G e n . 13:14 f. for a n interesting parallel). T h e m e n t i o n of A b r a h a m recalls G e n e s i s 2 3 , a classic e x a m p l e o f a s t u t e a n d g r a c i o u s b a r g a i n i n g , in w h i c h P r e c o r d s A b r a h a m ' s clear title to a plot o f land in C a n a a n , a n d E x o d . 3 3 : 1 , in w h i c h G o d ' s p r o m i s e to give C a n a a n to A b r a h a m a n d his d e s c e n d a n t s is recalled. T h e r e is p a t h o s i n t h e fact t h a t M o s e s is forbidden t o e n t e r t h e p r o m i s e d l a n d . His u n i q u e l e a d e r s h i p h a d b r o u g h t t h e children of Israel to this climactic point. T h e d i s a p p o i n t m e n t is anticipated in D e u t . 1:37; 3:25-27; 4:21-22; a n d 32:48-52 (note that this last p a s s a g e leads directly into 34:1 ff.). M o s e s ' s i n at M e r i b a h ( N u m . 2 0 : 2 - 1 3 ) , t h e p u n i s h m e n t for w h i c h e x c l u d e d h i m from e n t r y into the p r o m i s e d l a n d , is said in N u m . 20:12 to h a v e b e e n a lack of faith a n d in 20:24 to h a v e b e e n rebellion a g a i n s t t h e c o m m a n d o f G o d (the parallel story in E x o d , 17:1-7 d o e s n o t m e n t i o n s u c h p u n i s h m e n t ) . T h e text in N u m b e r s s i m p l y d o e s not p r o v i d e clear information a b o u t either c h a r g e . W e are left to s p e c u l a t e a b o u t t h e specific sin w h i c h is said to h a v e led to so serious a proscription. (Both D e u t . 1:37 a n d 4:21 s u g g e s t that M o s e s w a s d e n i e d e n t r y b e c a u s e o f the sins o f the people.) N e v e r t h e l e s s t h e r u m o r o f sin a n d t h e p e n a l t y r e m i n d us that e v e n leaders w h o are a p p o i n t e d a n d o r d a i n e d to high office m a y
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b e t e m p t e d to error. S o m a n y o f t h e stalwart leaders in Israel's history, tall as t h e y s t a n d , are s h o w n s o o n e r or later to h a v e clay feet, s o m e tragic flaw w h i c h , b y contrast, h e i g h t e n s our a w a r e n e s s of t h e h o l i n e s s o f G o d a n d e v e r y o n e ' s d e p e n d e n c e o n divine g r a c e . P e r h a p s t h e d e p t h o f M o s e s ' o b e d i e n c e a n d d e v o t i o n to Y a h w e h is m a d e e v e n m o r e e v i d e n t b y t h e fact that t h e story d o e s n o t h a v e a h a p p y e n d i n g in w h i c h M o s e s leads the p e o p l e t r i u m p h a n t l y a c r o s s t h e J o r d a n . F o r e v e n after the painful verdict at M e r i b a h , M o s e s c o n t i n u e s to lead t h e p e o p l e a n d to serve G o d . His d i s a p p o i n t m e n t did n o t w e a k e n his commitment. D e u t . 34:5-6. T h e d e a t h a n d burial of a p r i n c e o f t h e faith in an arid place like M o a b is s o m e h o w extraordinarily woeful. B o r n a n d r e a r e d in E g y p t , trained in court s c h o o l s , M o s e s w a s a child o f o n e o f the great civilizations o f his t i m e , a place o f r e n o w n e d culture. In d u e c o u r s e his life w a s c o m m i t t e d to leading a w a n d e r i n g a n d o p p r e s s e d p e o p l e into a land o f milk a n d h o n e y , p r o m i s e d o f G o d to b e a place o f c o v e n a n t a n d security for the d e s c e n d a n t s of A b r a h a m . A n d n o w h e is to b e b u r i e d in a r e m o t e a n d u n p r o m i s i n g place a n d in a n u n m a r k e d grave. B u t n e i t h e r M o s e s ' e x c l u s i o n from C a n a a n n o r the fact that his burial place w a s u n k n o w n d e t r a c t e d from t h e i m p o r t a n c e of his l e a d e r s h i p or the d e v o t i o n a n d gratitude w i t h w h i c h h e is r e m e m b e r e d in J u d a i s m , Christianity, a n d I s l a m . And he buried him. A strictly g r a m m a t i c a l r e a d i n g o f t h e text s u g g e s t s that G o d b u r i e d M o s e s (as s o m e rabbis s a y ) . It h a s also b e e n a r g u e d that M o s e s buried himself! (Rashi). S o m e v e r s i o n s read " h e w a s b u r i e d " ( A m e r i c a n S t a n d a r d ) . A c c o r d i n g to rabbinic tradition t h e grave o f M o s e s w a s in r e a d i n e s s for h i m from creation. S u r e l y the d e a t h o f M o s e s w o u l d h a v e b e e n a t t e n d e d as m u c h b y the p r e s e n c e of G o d as w e r e t h o s e o f E n o c h and Elijah. M o s e s w a s buried in the valley n e a r B e t h - p e o r w h e r e he h a d delivered his final a d d r e s s to t h e p e o p l e . T h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s of M o s e s ' death a n d burial i n c r e a s e d a s e n s e of m y s t e r y a b o u t it w h i c h led to an e x t e n s i v e literature ( s e e , for example, Jude 9). D e u t . 3 4 : 7 . V s . 7 s u g g e s t s a n o t e w o r t h y r h y t h m , e n e r g y , and
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 c o m p l e t e n e s s in t h e 120 y e a r s o f M o s e s ' life, a k i n d o f b i o g r a p h y in three a c t s . (1) A c c o r d i n g to A c t s 7:23 M o s e s w a s forty y e a r s old w h e n h e left t h e E g y p t i a n court to visit his fellow Israelites ( E x o d . 2:11 d o e s n o t s u g g e s t his a g e ) . (2) A t e i g h t y his l e a d e r s h i p of the E x o d u s from E g y p t is u n d e r w a y ( E x o d . 7:7). (3) A t 1 2 0 his m i s s i o n h a s b e e n a c c o m p l i s h e d — h e h a d b r o u g h t his p e o p l e to t h e p r o m i s e d l a n d ( D e u t . 34:7). T h e fullness of t h e p r o p h e t ' s life is further a t t e s t e d b y c o m m e n t s a b o u t the state o f his health: his v i s i o n w a s u n i m p a i r e d , his " n a t u r a l f o r c e " u n a b a t e d . T h e H e b r e w n o u n for natural force is n o t e l s e w h e r e u s e d in the O l d T e s t a m e n t . A c o g n a t e is u s e d i n Ugaritic p a s s a g e s w h e r e A l b r i g h t s u g g e s t s the m e a n i n g "life-force" as o p p o s e d to p h y s i c a l w e a k n e s s in old a g e . T h e related H e b r e w adjective m e a n s moist, fresh, in d e s c r i b i n g fruit a n d trees ( G e n . 30:37, E z e k . 1 7 : 2 4 , 2 1 : 3 , N u m b . 6:3), a n d new w h e n writing o f the cords ( p e r h a p s a n i m a l s i n e w s ) with w h i c h S a m s o n w a s b o u n d (Judges 16:7-8). T h e t e r m s u g g e s t s that M o s e s w a s still m e n t a l l y a n d physically v i g o r o u s a n d carries the possible s u g g e s t i o n of virility. T h e p e o p l e o f Israel m o u r n e d t h e d e a t h o f M o s e s for thirty d a y s — t h a t l o n g a n d n o l o n g e r . W e s e e m o r e a n d m o r e the value o f s u c h c o u n s e l s a n d practices in t h e l a w o f a n c i e n t Israel. C o m m u n i t y a n d individual m o u r n i n g at a time o f loss is e s s e n t i a l b o t h to a s e n s e o f integrity a n d to e m o t i o n a l h e a l t h . B u t m o u r n i n g that g o e s o n a n d o n m a y allow grief to t u r n into b i t t e r n e s s . T h e f o r m e r is legitimate, t h e latter destructive. D e u t . 3 4 : 9 . T h e r e f e r e n c e to J o s h u a ' s c h a r i s m a a n d his office r e m i n d s u s o f N u m b . 27:18-23, in w h i c h M o s e s is directed b y t h e L o r d to c o m m i s s i o n his s u c c e s s o r . J o s h u a h a d already b e e n o r d a i n e d to t h e office b y t h e laying o n of M o s e s ' h a n d s . A c c o r d i n g to D e u t . 3:27 M o s e s h a d " e n c o u r a g e d a n d strength­ e n e d " J o s h u a to carry o n t h e t a s k w h i c h M o s e s h i m s e l f w a s n o t a l l o w e d to c o m p l e t e . ( H o w ironic o b e d i e n c e c a n be!) T h e spirit o f w i s d o m w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e d J o s h u a h a d b e e n d e m o n s t r a t e d to a large d e g r e e in the e x e m p l a r y l e a d e r s h i p o f M o s e s . It i n c l u d e d a s e n s e o f t h e divine p r e s e n c e , the ability to h e a r a n d s p e a k t h e w o r d o f G o d , a n d to s e r v e as administrator of
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t h e c o m m u n i t y ' s life. S u c h w i s d o m is clearly a gift of G o d a n d e s s e n t i a l to t h e l e a d e r s h i p J o s h u a w a s to provide. T h u s the c l o s i n g c h a p t e r of the w h o l e P e n t a t e u c h provides e v i d e n c e of G o d ' s c o n t i n u i n g c o n c e r n for Israel: T h e leader is dead; l o n g live t h e leader. T h e p e o p l e m o u r n e d for M o s e s , a n d t h e y s u b m i t t e d to the l e a d e r s h i p of J o s h u a . D e u t . 34:10-12. W h e t h e r or n o t t h e title p r o p h e t w o u l d h a v e b e e n u s e d for or a p p r e c i a t e d b y M o s e s in his o w n t i m e , the D e u t e r o n o m i s t did n o t find it i n a p p r o p r i a t e to u s e a t e r m that h a d b e e n d e f i n e d b y t h e lives a n d t e a c h i n g s o f t h e e i g h t h - to sixth-century p r o p h e t s . B y t h e D e u t e r o n o m i s t ' s t i m e , p r o p h e c y w a s s e e n as a m a j o r m o d e of revelation from deity to the p e o p l e . T h e s e v e r s e s s u g g e s t the u n i q u e g r e a t n e s s of M o s e s : t h e L o r d a n d M o s e s m e t face to face (see E x o d . 3 3 - 3 4 ; also D e u t . 5:4-5). O n e rabbinic tradition s u g g e s t s that M o s e s s p o k e w i t h G o d whenever he wished. T h e D e u t e r o n o m i s t ' s addition o f v e r s e s 11 a n d 12 s e r v e d to r e m i n d Israel o f t h e great liberation that G o d t h e R e d e e m e r h a d effected t h r o u g h M o s e s . F o r exilic Israel t h e r e m u s t h a v e b e e n a parallel b e t w e e n D e u t . 34:11-12, w i t h w h i c h T o r a h c l o s e s , a n d G e n e s i s 1, w h i c h s t a n d s at its b e g i n n i n g . T h e G e n e s i s story r e m i n d e d Israel that a G o d w h o h a d b r o u g h t o r d e r out o f c h a o s o n c e (at c r e a t i o n ) c o u l d d o it a g a i n i n t i m e s o f exile a n d d i s p e r s i o n . N o t o n l y c a n a G o d w h o h a s c r e a t e d re-create, but t h e L o r d o f t h e b e g i n n i n g - t i m e will also b e the L o r d of the e n d - t i m e . A n d l e a d e r s h i p will b e p r o v i d e d b e t w e e n t h e t w o t i m e s . S o h e r e the r e d e m p t i v e e v e n t that G o d a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h his s e r v a n t in the E x o d u s b e s p e a k s similar possibilities to exilic a n d post-exilic Israel. G r e a t acts are r e m e m b e r e d ; great acts m a y be anticipated. M o s e s is m e n t i o n e d in m a n y O l d T e s t a m e n t b o o k s a n d in t w e l v e b o o k s o f t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t . In a thoughtful appraisal of his g r e a t n e s s a n u m b e r o f characteristics c o m e to t h e fore. C h i e f a m o n g t h e s e w a s M o s e s ' ability to perceive (receive) a n d interpret the will o f G o d , a n d t h e n to act u p o n it w i t h c o u r a g e . A p p a r e n t l y it w a s this quality w h i c h l e d D e u t e r o n o m y to n a m e h i m the greatest of t h e p r o p h e t s . (18:15-22; N u m .
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12:6-8). L a t e r the writing p r o p h e t s w e r e to regard h i m as t h e f o u n t a i n h e a d o f their office. R e f o r m e r s t h o u g h t h e y w e r e , t h e great p r o p h e t s w e r e also " r e a c t i o n a r i e s / ' calling Israel b a c k (return, c o m e b a c k ) to definitions o f c o v e n a n t life l o n g since p r o c l a i m e d , a n c i e n t t e a c h i n g s that the i n f o r m e d tradition found it a p p r o p r i a t e to attribute to M o s e s , f o u n t a i n h e a d of T o r a h . U n d e r l y i n g all this w a s the s e n s e that M o s e s ' relationship w i t h G o d i n f o r m e d h i m a n d e m p o w e r e d his great d e e d s . T h i s s e n s e o f the divine p r e s e n c e w a s c o m b i n e d w i t h u n c o m m o n natural talents. T h e traditional r e c o g n i t i o n o f M o s e s as p r o p h e t , priest, j u d g e , a n d c o m m u n i t y leader, a m o d e l for t h e k e y offices o f the c o v e n a n t c o m m u n i t y , is in part b a s e d u p o n accruing l e g e n d . B u t t h e historic fact of his l e a d e r s h i p stands: h e t o o k a willful p e o p l e w h o h a d b e e n in s u b s e r v i e n c e for four h u n d r e d y e a r s a n d , despite t h e h a r s h n e s s o f desert life a n d survival, b r o u g h t a n a t i o n into v i g o r o u s b e i n g . T h e m e m o r y o f that a c c o m p l i s h m e n t r e m a i n s vital in the theological a n d liturgical life of J u d a i s m . All this attests u n u s u a l qualities o f c h a r a c t e r s u c h as m e e k n e s s ( " m o r e t h a n all m e n that w e r e o n the face of the e a r t h " — N u m . 12:3), a n d a p a s s i o n a t e , s o m e t i m e s s e l f - c o n s u m i n g love for t h e p e o p l e a n d for G o d (a p e r s u a s i v e e x a m p l e o f the love w h i t h t h e s h e m a ' extols). H e could p l e a d a n d a r g u e for t h e p e o p l e before G o d , a n d h e could b u r s t into rage a n d w o r d s o f s h a r p criticism to t h e p e o p l e w h e n t h e y fell s h o r t of d u t y a n d possibility. His w e r e the c o n t r i b u t i o n s m a d e b y p e r s o n s of d e e p c o m m i t m e n t , u n u s u a l skills, s i m p l e virtue, a n d h i g h e x p e c t a t i o n . T a k e n t o g e t h e r the life a n d w o r k of M o s e s c o n t i n u e to provide a part o f t h e f o u n d a t i o n o n w h i c h J e w s a n d C h r i s t i a n s stand, as w e w o r k out o u r o w n salvation a n d struggle t o p e r c e i v e t h e divine will for our o w n t i m e s . At the Transfiguration, a k i n d o f p r e v i e w of the k i n g d o m of G o d a l r e a d y c o m e in p o w e r ( M a r k 9:1 ff.), M o s e s w a s o n e o f t h o s e w h o m the three disciples s a w in association w i t h J e s u s . T h e i r v i s i o n w a s historically i n f o r m e d . T h e fulfillment that J e s u s p r o c l a i m e d w a s s u r e l y g r o u n d e d in t h e w o r k o f G o d ' s ancient spokesman.
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NOTES
1. For further study see J. M. Myers, Ezra-Nehemiah (Anchor), 1965; S. Talmon, ''Ezra and Nehemiah/' in Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, V, 317-28. Scripture quotations unless otherwise noted are from the Revised Standard Version Common Bible, copyrighted © 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and are used by permission.

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Ha'Shoah AS CHRISTIAN REVOLUTION: TOWARD THE LIBERATION OF THE DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS

A. ROY E C K A R D T

T h e r a v a g e d face, covered w i t h a s h e s , w a s no longer his o w n . T h e r e w a s a t i m e , in E u r o p e , w h e n J e w s w e r e forbidden to possess a b o d y . — E l i e W i e s e l , The Gates of the Forest T h e f r e e d o m t o w a r d s G o d of the h u m a n b e i n g w h o m G o d desires a n d loves is as u n b o u n d e d as God's capacity for p a s s i o n and for patience. — J t i r g e n M o l t m a n n , The Trinity and the Kingdom MARIA L o n g live theater . . . W h a t ' s theater? BERISH W h e n y o u do s o m e t h i n g w i t h o u t doing it, w h e n y o u say s o m e t h i n g w i t h o u t saying it, w h i l e thinking that y o u did s a y , and y o u did do s o m e t h i n g — a n y ­ thing—that's theater. — E l i e W i e s e l , The Trial of God (a play)

I

A c c o r d i n g to a survivor of A u s c h w i t z , a certain story was told in that c a m p of death about a Hasidic rebbe w h o a r g u e d with a disciple in this wise: "You k n o w , it is possible that the rebbono
A. Roy Eckardt, a United Methodist ordained minister, is professor emeritus of religion studies at Lehigh University, formerly editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 52

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shel olam [ M a s t e r o f t h e U n i v e r s e ] is a l i a r . " " H o w c a n that b e p o s s i b l e ? " a s k e d t h e disciple in d i s m a y . " B e c a u s e / ' t h e rebbe a n s w e r e d , " i f t h e rebbono shel olam s h o u l d o p e n his w i n d o w n o w and look d o w n here and see Auschwitz, he would close the w i n d o w again a n d say, T did n o t do t h i s . ' A n d that w o u l d b e a lie."
1

B u t w h y w o u l d it b e a lie? D o e s n o t t h e b l a m e for A u s c h w i t z fall u p o n h u m a n b e i n g s ? R a b b i Eliezer B e r k o v i t s o f t o d a y ' s J e r u s a l e m s u p p l i e s a different a n s w e r , in a single s e n t e n c e : " G o d is r e s p o n s i b l e for h a v i n g created a world in w h i c h m a n is free to m a k e h i s t o r y . " T h i s a n s w e r is u n a n s w e r a b l e , is it not? F o r n o h u m a n b e i n g e v e r a s k e d to b e b o r n . T h e rabbi's j u d g m e n t is t h u s a strictly ontological o n e . B u t that fact cuts in m o r e t h a n o n e w a y . F o r c o u l d n o t this s a m e declaration h a v e b e e n m a d e before the H o l o c a u s t (Ha'Shoah), a n d therefore i n d e p e n d e n t of t h e H o l o c a u s t , precisely b e c a u s e it is a n ontological j u d g m e n t (rather t h a n a m e r e l y historical o n e ) ? I shall try to grapple with t h e latter q u e s t i o n ; the s u b s t a n c e of the p r e s e n t e s s a y is n o m o r e t h a n a p o o r m i d r a s h u p o n R a b b i B e r k o v i t s ' s searing affirmation.
2 3

If sin r e m a i n s a primordial factor w i t h i n h u m a n suffering (of c o u r s e , n o t the sole factor), m u s t n o t a like state o f affairs b e a p p l i e d to t h e suffering o f G o d ? Y e t w e h a v e to r e m e m b e r that this q u e s t i o n w a s raised m u c h before t h e H o l o c a u s t . D i d n o t the Hasidic rabbis o f earlier c e n t u r i e s s o m e t i m e s bring G o d to trial for permitting unjustified a n g u i s h to afflict his p e o p l e ? Often t h e y ruled that G o d stood guilty. S u c h u n u s u a l b e h a v i o r h a d biblical p r e c e d e n t s . T h u s A b r a h a m d a r e d p u t t h e q u e s t i o n to G o d : " S h a l l n o t the j u d g e of all t h e earth do r i g h t ? " O u r patriarch p e r c e i v e d that it w o u l d b e i m m o r a l for G o d to slay the r i g h t e o u s indiscriminately with the w i c k e d ( G e n . 18:22-25). I a m going to submit five c o m m e n t s . E a c h of t h e m a s s u m e s t h e s t a n d p o i n t of h u m a n r i g h t e o u s n e s s in t h e p r e s e n c e of kiveyakhol, the divine sin. (In s o m e J e w i s h t h i n k i n g the qualification kiveyakhol, " s o to s p e a k , " is i n c l u d e d w h e n e v e r the i s s u e of the divine attributes is i n t r o d u c e d . H e r e is a linguistic barrier to the idolatries o f t h e o l o g y . T h e e x p r e s s i o n m a y also s u g g e s t o n e theological origin of J e w i s h h u m o r . )
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II (1) T h e p h i l o s o p h e r E m i l L . F a c k e n h e i m m a k e s t h e s o m e w h a t cynical b u t truthful o b s e r v a t i o n , " R a t h e r t h a n face A u s c h w i t z , m e n e v e r y w h e r e s e e k refuge in g e n e r a l i t i e s . " I take this j u d g m e n t to m e a n that the H o l o c a u s t o u g h t to b e faced as the Holocaust, from w i t h i n itself a n d its o w n horrible d i m e n s i o n a n d e x t r e m i t y , a n d n o t t h r o u g h s o m e abstract o r g e n e r a l t r e a t m e n t of the q u e s t i o n o f evil.
5

(2) T h e r e is n o c o n s o l a t i o n for t h e H o l o c a u s t . It is to n o avail to a r g u e that n o t all t h e p e o p l e o f G o d w e r e d e s t r o y e d in t h e Shoah a n d that Israel still lives. A g a i n I cite P r o f e s s o r F a c k e n h e i m : The pious men . . . in the Lodz Ghetto spent a whole day fasting, praying, saying psalms, and then, having opened the holy ark, convoked a solemn din Torah [legal hearing], and forbade God to punish his people any further. (Elsewhere God was put on trial—and found guilty.) And in the Warsaw Ghetto a handful of Jews, ragged, alone, poorly armed, carried out the first uprising against the Holocaust Kingdom in all of Europe. The rabbis showed religious piety when, rather than excuse God or curse him, they cited his own promises against him. The fighters showed secular piety when, rather than surrender to the Satanic Kingdom, they took up arms against it. The common element in these two responses was not hope but rather despair. To the rabbis who found him guilty, the God who had broken his promises in the Holocaust could no longer be trusted to keep any promise, the messianic included. And precisely when hope had come to an end, the fighters took to arms—in a rebellion that had no hope of succeeding. F a c k e n h e i m t h e n p r o p o s e s w h a t I t h i n k is the only c o n c l u s i o n possible: " E v e r y e x p l a n a t o r y c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n the H o l o c a u s t a n d the state o f Israel h a s b r o k e n d o w n , t h e causal historical k i n d in part, the teleological religious k i n d entirely, a n d e v e n the h o p e c o n n e c t i n g the o n e w i t h t h e o t h e r c o m p e t e s with d e s p a i r . " D o e s this m e a n that n o b o n d is to b e found b e t w e e n the t w o realities? N o , there is s u c h a b o n d , a n d it is u n b r e a k a b l e . But it is n o t a causal b o n d , n o r is it a b o n d of m e a n i n g . T h e b o n d is p r e s e n t in a n d t h r o u g h the human response to t h e Shoah, only t h e r e , yet n e c e s s a r i l y t h e r e . " I t is n e c e s s a r y b e c a u s e the heart of
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e v e r y authentic r e s p o n s e to t h e Holocaust—religious a n d secularist, J e w i s h a n d n o n - J e w i s h — i s a c o m m i t m e n t to the a u t o n o m y a n d security of the state o f I s r a e l . " N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e r e r e m a i n s n o c o n s o l a t i o n for t h e H o l o c a u s t , for t h e s i m p l e , t r a n s c e n d e n t l y bleak r e a s o n that t h e infants, t h e children, the w o m e n , the m e n , t h e old p e o p l e are d e a d . " R a c h e l is w e e p i n g for h e r children; s h e refuses to b e c o m f o r t e d for h e r children, b e c a u s e t h e y are n o t " (Jer. 3 1 : 1 5 ) . T o interject that the L o r d of t h e u n i v e r s e l o o k e d u p o n the a n g u i s h of his p e o p l e i n Treblinka or M a i d a n e k a n d r e s o l v e d to r e t u r n s o m e o f t h e m to t h e land o f Israel c o n t a i n s an o b s c e n i t y . T h e p e o p l e are d e a d . T h e r e is n o c o n s o l a t i o n for that. Is n o t Israel to b e g r a s p e d i n s t e a d as s u b l i m e defiance o n t h e part o f the p i t e o u s r e m n a n t from the k i n g d o m of n i g h t w h o r e s o l v e d to take J e w i s h life into their o w n h a n d s ? W e are m e t h e r e w i t h w h a t R a b b i Irving G r e e n b e r g calls " t h e third era of J e w i s h h i s t o r y , " w h i c h stands for t h e absolutely e s s e n t i a l rebirth of political p o w e r to replace the hell that g r e w inevitably o u t o f p o w e r l e s s n e s s . In t h e world after the Shoah an a w e s o m e y e t r e a s s u r i n g p a r a d o x c h a l l e n g e s us: T o leave e v e r y t h i n g to G o d is to b e t r a y G o d ; to do e v e r y t h i n g o u r s e l v e s ( e v e n against G o d ) is to s e r v e G o d .
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(3) D o e s n o t t h e n a t u r e of t h e H o l o c a u s t ' s i n t e n t i o n b e a r tellingly u p o n kiveyakhol, t h e complicity o f G o d ? I c o u c h the p o i n t in rhetorical form b e c a u s e this i s s u e a p p e a r s e v e n m o r e debatable t h a n the o t h e r debatable m a t t e r s in w h i c h w e are h e r e involved. I a m a w a r e o f w h a t is b e i n g labeled t h e s e days " H o l o c a u s t m y o p i a . " T h e c h a r g e is m a d e that for s o m e J e w s a n d Christians t h e H o l o c a u s t h a s b e c o m e a n o b s e s s i o n c h o p p e d off from the h i s t o r y o f J e w i s h a n d o t h e r suffering. W e are already c a u g h t u p in t h e q u e s t i o n of t h e relation b e t w e e n faith a n d history, but n o w w e m u s t go m u c h d e e p e r into that q u e s t i o n . T h e Endlosung is profoundly paradoxical: o n t h e o n e h a n d , it w a s n o t s o m e t h i n g entirely n e w (the h a t r e d of J e w s for their r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f G o d is a v e r y old story); o n the o t h e r h a n d , it w a s w h o l l y n e w (every J e w w a s s u p p o s e d to die). T h e latter fact h e l p s to explain h o w j u s t before his suicide Adolf Hitler h a d to write a remorseful letter apologizing for having failed to e x t e r m i n a t e the J e w s . Six million w e r e d e a d , y e t Hitler
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k n e w h e h a d failed. E n o u g h J e w s w e r e left to e n s u r e a fresh m e t a s t a s i z i n g o f t h e c a n c e r o f J e w i s h n e s s . In principle, a single r e m a i n i n g J e w w o u l d quite suffice for this. A s Hitler said, " T h e J e w s h a v e inflicted t w o w o u n d s o n m a n k i n d — c i r c u m c i s i o n o n its b o d y a n d ' c o n s c i e n c e ' o n its s o u l . T h e y are J e w i s h i n v e n t i o n s . T h e w a r for d o m i n a t i o n o f the w o r l d is w a g e d only b e t w e e n t h e two of us, between these two camps alone—the Germans and t h e J e w s . E v e r y t h i n g e l s e is b u t d e c e p t i o n . " T h e t r a n s c e n d i n g u n i q u e n e s s o f t h e H o l o c a u s t c e n t e r s in its intention: to annihilate e v e r y last J e w .
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I a g r e e w i t h C l a r k M . W i l l i a m s o n ( w h o also s p e a k s from a Christian p o i n t o f v i e w ) that t h e t r a n s c e n d i n g u n i q u e n e s s o f a n e v e n t is w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s the b a s i s for theological reflection u p o n that e v e n t . P r o f e s s o r W i l l i a m s o n calls attention to w h a t h e c o n s i d e r s a helpful s t a t e m e n t in Alfred N o r t h W h i t e h e a d ' s Religion in the Making: " R a t i o n a l religion a p p e a l s to the direct intuition of special o c c a s i o n s [ = particular historical e v e n t s ] , a n d to t h e elucidative p o w e r o f its c o n c e p t s for all o c c a s i o n s . " W i l l i a m s o n c o n t i n u e s : " T h e criterion s u g g e s t e d h a s to d o with w h e t h e r t h e c o n c e p t s g e n e r a t e d b y a n e v e n t in t h o s e struck, g r a s p e d , o r rapt b y it c a n i n d e e d illuminate all o t h e r o c c a s i o n s , w h e t h e r t h e y c a n p r o v i d e a theoretical a n d practical framework a d e q u a t e for o r d e r i n g all o f l i f e . " H e c o n c l u d e s that h e finds the H o l o c a u s t to b e , in this s e n s e , s u c h an e v e n t , a n d further that t h e w a y Irving G r e e n b e r g talks a b o u t t h e H o l o c a u s t tends to c o n v i n c e h i m o f this j u d g m e n t , i . e . , "all o t h e r , n o n - H o l o c a u s t p e r s p e c t i v e s are called into radical q u e s t i o n , w h i l e reflection o n t h e H o l o c a u s t p r o v i d e s b o t h n e w theoretical a n d practical d e c i s i o n s . H e n c e , o n e c a n say that this e v e n t , but n o t a n o t h e r . . . is crucial for theological u n d e r s t a n d i n g . " * I h a v e m y s e l f written in a similar w a y , c o n t e n d i n g that the discipline o f t h e o l o g y s t a n d s m i d w a y b e t w e e n s c i e n c e a n d history. F o r t h e o l o g y is g r a s p e d b y a g i v e n , u n i q u e l y u n i q u e e v e n t , a n d t h e n it applies that e v e n t to the a d v e n t u r e o f universal u n d e r s t a n d i n g . A s H . R i c h a r d N i e b u h r explains (in a Christian frame of r e f e r e n c e ) , " r e v e l a t i o n m e a n s this intelligible e v e n t [Jesus C h r i s t ] w h i c h m a k e s all o t h e r e v e n t s i n t e l l i g i b l e . " Irving G r e e n b e r g points out that w e r e w e " t o ignore o r d e n y all
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s i g n i f i c a n c e " to t h e H o l o c a u s t - e v e n t , w e w o u l d b e repudiating a f u n d a m e n t a l affirmation of the S i n a i - c o v e n a n t , n a m e l y , "that h i s t o r y is m e a n i n g f u l , a n d that ultimate liberation a n d r e l a t i o n s h i p to G o d will take place in t h e r e a l m o f h u m a n e v e n t s . " N o w of c o u r s e a n y o n e m a y reject out of h a n d the entire n o t i o n o f u n i q u e l y u n i q u e , t r a n s c e n d i n g l y decisive heilsgeschichtliche e v e n t s . T h e a r g u m e n t w o u l d t h e n c e a s e . B u t if t h e rejection o f the d e c i s i v e n e s s o f t h e H o l o c a u s t c o m e s from s o m e o n e w h o affirms heilsgeschichtliche r e s p o n s e to other e v e n t s ( E x o d u s , Sinai, Crucifixion, R e s u r r e c t i o n , t h e S e c o n d T e m p l e ' s destruction) b u t n o t to t h e H o l o c a u s t , w e are forced to r e s p o n d , as a G e r m a n s a y i n g h a s it: "Ein Esel schilt den andern Langohr" ( " T h e o n e ass is calling the o t h e r ass ' L o n g e a r s ' " ) .
1 7 l f l

In s u m , it a p p e a r s m o s t difficult to rule out revelatory a n d p e r h a p s e v e n s u p e r s e s s i o n a r y m e a n i n g w i t h i n the Shoah—this u p o n t h e primordial g r o u n d that t h e intentionality o f that e v e n t c a n scarcely b e dissociated from w h a t it w a s that m a d e the e v e n t fatefully possible in t h e first p l a c e , n a m e l y , the C o v e n a n t , the setting apart o f J e w s as " a k i n g d o m o f priests a n d a h o l y n a t i o n " ( E x o d . 19:6). P r e s u m a b l y , G o d is a n y t h i n g b u t u n c a r i n g of the future, a n d o u g h t to b e able to foresee t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f his o w n m e t h o d s a n d d e c i s i o n s . G o d is identifiable as the culprit b e h i n d all J e w i s h suffering, but the Shoah r e m a i n s u n i q u e as a m o s t m o n s t r o u s , eschatological i n c a r n a t i o n o f that suffering. In Eli W i e s e l ' s Beggar in Jerusalem a y o u n g m a d m a n , o n e o f only t h r e e survivors w h o h a d e s c a p e d t h e deportation, asks: " H o w d o e s G o d justify H i m s e l f in His o w n e y e s , let a l o n e in ours? If t h e real a n d t h e i m a g i n a r y b o t h c u l m i n a t e in t h e s a m e s c r e a m , in the s a m e l a u g h , w h a t is c r e a t i o n ' s p u r p o s e , w h a t is its s t a k e ? " (4) A n a p p e a l to the Crucifixion a n d t h e R e s u r r e c t i o n appears to b e b l o c k e d . T h e liberation o f the divine r i g h t e o u s n e s s is i n t e r t w i n e d , I b e l i e v e , w i t h t h e u n c o m p r o m i s i n g h o n e s t y that K i e r k e g a a r d c o v e t e d so painfully. A c c o r d i n g l y , w e c a n n o t attribute to G o d a r e d e m p t i o n that h a s n o t t a k e n place. Ulrich S i m o n o f K i n g ' s C o l l e g e , L o n d o n h a s t u r n e d to the crucified a n d risen Christ for a n a n s w e r to, o r a m e a n s of r e c k o n i n g w i t h , the h o r r o r of the H o l o c a u s t . S i m o n writes: " T h e p a t t e r n o f C h r i s t ' s sacrifice, w h i c h s u m m a r i z e s all a g o n i e s " is
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" t h e reality b e h i n d A u s c h w i t z . " R o b e r t E . Willis o f H a m l i n e University p o i n t s u p t h e u n k n o w i n g irresponsibility a n d h e n c e t h e irony in this k i n d o f t h e o l o g i z i n g w h e n h e r e s p o n d s : T h e p r o b l e m in a p p l y i n g the m o d e l o f C h r i s t ' s d e a t h a n d R e s u r r e c ­ tion to t h e H o l o c a u s t " is that it was the very development of the church's official Christology . . . that provided the charge of deicide levelled against the Jewish people with at least quasi-official credentials. . . . One cannot simply proceed as though the passion of Christ provided a symbolically innocent vehicle for coping with the Holocaust. Symbolically, it has become part of the very evil it seeks to illuminate.
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Differing d e g r e e s o f s u p p o r t for Willis' reaction are f o r t h c o m i n g within a g r o w i n g l e g i o n o f c o n t e m p o r a r y historiographical w o r k s b y C h r i s t i a n s . I select b u t o n e citation, from t h e United M e t h o d i s t historian Franklin H . Littell, a p a s s a g e that e n c a p s u ­ lates n i n e t e e n h u n d r e d y e a r s o f relevant c h u r c h history: The cornerstone of Christian antisemitism is the superseding or displacement myth, which already rings with the genocidal note. This is the myth that the mission of the Jewish people was finished with the coming of Jesus, that "the old Israel" was written off with the appearance of "the new Israel." To teach that a people's mission in God's providence is finished, that they have been relegated to the limbo of history, has murderous implications which murderers will in time spell out.
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A g a i n , t h e i s s u e h a s b e e n raised b y E m i l F a c k e n h e i m of w h e t h e r in o n e or a n o t h e r o f t h e c a m p s of death J e s u s o f N a z a r e t h could h a v e b e c o m e a Mussulman. (''Mussulman" w a s c a m p - s l a n g for a n all-to-familiar, spectral figure, described b y G e r a l d Reitliner as " a w a l k i n g s k e l e t o n w r a p p e d in a bit of b l a n k e t . " If the a n s w e r is that J e s u s could n o t h a v e b e e n t u r n e d into a Mussulman, t h e n t h e r e p u t e d i n c a r n a t i o n o f G o d i n J e s u s is fatefully u n r e l a t e d to the h u m a n c o n d i t i o n . A n d if t h e a n s w e r is that J e s u s c o u l d h a v e b e c o m e a Mussulman, it is t h e r e b y out o f t h e q u e s t i o n to m a i n t a i n that a n y r e d e m p t i o n h a s t a k e n p l a c e .
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W i t h i n o u r o w n e p o c h o f history, the traditional Christological claims o f the c h u r c h h a v e b e e n s u b j e c t e d to a s e v e r e crisis.
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T h e y are b e s e t b y h u g e m o u n d s o f torn h u m a n b o d i e s a n d their a s h e s . A m e s s a g e r e s o u n d s in a n d t h r o u g h t h e shrieks o f the silent dead: " T h e r e is n o r e d e m p t i o n in this w o r l d . " D o w e n o t h a v e h e r e a s t e r n l e s s o n of the Shoah, that if t h e r e is to b e a n y r e d e m p t i o n , it m u s t lie w h o l l y w i t h i n s o m e t o m o r r o w ? H o w e v e r , t h e r e r e m a i n s the q u e s t i o n o f t h e R e s u r r e c t i o n . T h e c h a l l e n g e to t h e p r o c l a m a t i o n of J e s u s as raised from t h e d e a d by a special act of God is quite a different o n e from that confronting the m e s s a g e o f t h e C r o s s . Y e t this o t h e r c h a l l e n g e already lies implicit in P r o f e s s o r Littell's allusion to t h e C h r i s t i a n m y t h of s u p e r s e s s i o n as c o m p r i s i n g the c o r n e r s t o n e o f a potentially g e n o c i d a l a n t i s e m i t i s m . T h e o t h e r c h a l l e n g e p r e s e n t s itself in particularly stark form in t h e w o r k o f Wolfhart P a n n e n b e r g of M u n i c h U n i v e r s i t y . In his b o o k Jesus—God and Man, as e l s e w h e r e , P a n n e n b e r g a r g u e s that s i n c e J e s u s h a s i n truth b e e n raised from t h e d e a d b y G o d , J e s u s ' claim to a n authority that s u p e r s e d e s J u d a i s m w a s "visibly a n d u n a m b i g u o u s l y c o n ­ firmed b y the G o d o f I s r a e l . " N o t e t h e level u p o n w h i c h t h e case is put: C o n t r o v e r s i e s b e t w e e n Christianity a n d J u d a i s m are m o r e t h a n s i m p l e h u m a n conflicts. G o d h i m s e l f is a protagonist, a n d his v e r y truth is at stake. T h e R e s u r r e c t i o n teaching p u r p o r t s to c o n v e y s o m e t h i n g a b s o l u t e c o n c e r n i n g t h e real history of G o d . G o d h i m s e l f h a s i n t e r v e n e d w i t h i n h u m a n h i s t o r y to p r o v e o n c e a n d for all that t h e Christian faith is divinely true, a n d that, c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , t h e faith o f J u d a i s m is false or displaced. In t h e R e s u r r e c t i o n of J e s u s Christ, G o d h a s definitively a n d finally a c t e d — h e r e w e are b e i n g s u m m o n e d not to r e a s o n "kiveyakhol"—to s h o w that h e is for Christianity a n d C h r i s t i a n s , a n d against J u d a i s m a n d J e w s . T h e r e is special i r o n y in this state of affairs b e c a u s e Wolfhart P a n n e n b e r g is a t h e o l o g i a n o f G e r m a n y . (I s p e a k n o w , in a w a y , ad hominem.) A q u e s t i o n to b e a d d r e s s e d to h i m is: H o w c a n the R e s u r r e c t i o n of J e s u s b e p r o c l a i m e d as a special act o f G o d w i t h o u t the C h r i s t i a n t r i u m p h a l i s m that p a v e d t h e r o a d to Belzec a n d S o b i b o r ? T o m y k n o w l e d g e , n o Christian t h e o l o g i a n h a s a n s w e r e d , or e v e n s o u g h t to a n s w e r , this q u e s t i o n . In the meanwhile, Christian supersessionist thinking, preaching, and b e h a v i o r go forward, k e e p i n g alive, i n effect, t h e Christian
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 a s p e c t o f the f o u n d a t i o n o f t h e N a z i i d e o l o g y a n d p r o g r a m . C h r i s t i a n s u p e r s e s s i o n i s t t h i n k i n g is a carrier. It carries t h e g e r m s o f g e n o c i d e , the g e n o c i d e o n l y o f J e w s . P e r h a p s w e c a n e x p r e s s this m a t t e r a little m o r e objectively. In The Trinity and the Kingdom J u r g e n M o l t m a n n , a n o t h e r influen­ tial G e r m a n thinker, c o n t e n d s that o n t h e date o f J e s u s ' R e s u r r e c t i o n " t h e e s c h a t o l o g i c a l e r a " b e g a n . B u t if it is the case, as the American Catholic theologian Rosemary Ruether a r g u e s , that t h e b a s i c t r e s p a s s o f t h e C h r i s t i a n c h u r c h vis-^-vis J u d a i s m a n d t h e J e w i s h p e o p l e is the a t t e m p t to historicize t h e e s c h a t o l o g i c a l d i m e n s i o n , h o w t h e n are w e to c o n t i n u e to affirm t h e R e s u r r e c t i o n o f J e s u s a s a n actual e v e n t realized b y G o d w i t h o u t at t h e s a m e t i m e p e r p e t u a t i n g this b a s i c sin?
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(5) A final c o m m e n t in b e h a l f o f the n o r m o f h u m a n r i g h t e o u s n e s s a n d j u s t i c e h a s to d o w i t h w h e t h e r a m e a s u r e o f m o r a l integrity is to b e f o u n d w i t h i n a p p a r e n t sacrilege. I restrict m y s e l f to w h a t m i g h t b e called t h e unforgivability o f forgiveness. Elie W i e s e l t h u s d e s c r i b e s t h e g e n e s i s of his play The Trial of God: " I n s i d e t h e K i n g d o m o f night, I w i t n e s s e d a strange trial. T h r e e rabbis—all erudite a n d p i o u s m e n — d e c i d e d o n e w i n t e r e v e n i n g to indict G o d for allowing his c h i l d r e n to b e m a s s a c r e d . I r e m e m b e r : I w a s t h e r e , a n d I felt like crying. B u t t h e r e n o b o d y c r i e d . " A s the p l a y m o v e s a l o n g , o n l y a single individual can b e f o u n d w h o is r e a d y a n d willing to serve as d e f e n s e attorney. F o r t h e s a k e o f t h o s e w h o h a v e n o t yet r e a d t h e play, I s h a n ' t reveal t h a t p a r t y ' s true identity. I tell y o u o n l y his n a m e . It is S a m . T h e b u r d e n o f S a m ' s a r g u m e n t is this: W h i l e the e v e n t s are n o t to b e d i s p u t e d , t h e y are irrelevant. F o r w h o is to b l a m e for t h e m ? H u m a n b e i n g s , a n d h u m a n b e i n g s a l o n e . W h y implicate G o d ? G o d ' s w a y s are j u s t a n d b e y o n d r e p r o a c h . O u r d u t y is s i m p l e : to glorify h i m , to love h i m — i n spite o f o u r s e l v e s . H o w e v e r , t h e p r o s e c u t o r a r g u e s that if o u r truth is n o t G o d ' s as well, t h e n h e is b e n e a t h c o n t e m p t — f o r giving u s the taste a n d p a s s i o n o f truth w i t h o u t a p p r i s i n g u s that s u c h truth is in fact false. H e m a y very w e l l persist in h i s destructive w a y s . T h i s d o e s n o t m e a n that w e h a v e to g i v e o u r a p p r o v a l . " L e t H i m c r u s h m e , I w o n ' t s a y K a d d i s h . L e t H i m kill m e , let H i m kill u s all, I shall s h o u t a n d
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s h o u t that it's H i s fault." L e t the priests chatter o n a b o u t G o d ' s suffering. H e is big e n o u g h to take care o f himself. W e do better to pity o t h e r h u m a n b e i n g s .
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It is n o t a historical a c c i d e n t that t h e " d e a t h of G o d " thinking s u c c e e d e d the H o l o c a u s t . R a b b i B e r k o v i t s c o n c l u d e s that within t h e d i m e n s i o n o f t i m e a n d h i s t o r y , t h e w a y s o f G o d are simply u n f o r g i v a b l e . If c o n v i n c i n g , this finding d e m a n d s a n inversion of various biblical p a s s a g e s . O f A m o s 3:2: " Y o u o n l y h a v e w e k n o w n of all t h e r e p u t e d g o d s of earth; therefore, w e will p u n i s h y o u for all y o u r i n i q u i t i e s . " O f H o s e a 1:9: " Y o u are n o t o u r G o d a n d w e will n o t b e y o u r p e o p l e . " O f H o s e a 14:1: " R e t u r n , O G o d , to Israel y o u r p e o p l e , for y o u h a v e fallen b y y o u r i n i q u i t y . "
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J e s u s said: " I f y o u are offering y o u r gift at t h e altar, a n d t h e r e r e m e m b e r that y o u r b r o t h e r h a s s o m e t h i n g against y o u , leave y o u r gift there before t h e altar a n d g o ; first b e r e c o n c i l e d to y o u r b r o t h e r , a n d t h e n c o m e a n d offer y o u r gift" (Matt. 5:23-24). M a r v e l o u s ! — e x c e p t w h e n w e h a v e m u r d e r e d our b r o t h e r , in w h i c h case t h e r e is n o l o n g e r a w a y to b e r e c o n c i l e d to h i m . A n d G o d ? F o r g i v e n e s s for G o d m a y b e possible if h e c a n still s o m e h o w m a n a g e to leave his gifts at t h e altar a n d g o a n d b e r e c o n c i l e d to his h u m a n children. H e h a s s i n n e d against life, a n d life c a n o n l y b e v i n d i c a t e d t h r o u g h life. G o d h a s o n e c h a n c e left—kiveyakhol?—to b e s a v e d . H e m u s t d o t w o things: seek h u m a n f o r g i v e n e s s , a n d act to r e d e e m himself. I n W i e s e T s w o r k Souls on Fire R a b b i L e v i - Y i t z h a k r e m i n d s G o d that h e h a d b e t t e r a s k forgiveness for t h e h a r d s h i p s h e h a s inflicted u p o n his children. T h i s is w h y , so the tale g o e s , t h e p h r a s e Yom Kippur a p p e a r s also in t h e plural, Yom Kippurim: " t h e r e q u e s t for p a r d o n is r e c i p r o c a l . " S e c o n d , G o d is o b l i g a t e d — n o , h e is c o m ­ m a n d e d — t o r e d e e m t h e victims o f t h e S h o a h b y raising t h e m to eternal life w i t h h i m . T h i s tells us that t h e final disposition o f the trial of G o d rests u p o n t h e future o f G o d . I n the m e a n w h i l e , a s a t e a c h e r of W i e s e l o n c e said to h i m , " O n l y t h e J e w k n o w s that h e m a y o p p o s e G o d , so l o n g as h e d o e s so in d e f e n s e o f G o d ' s c r e a t i o n . " ( P e r h a p s the C h r i s t i a n is eligible for parallel duty. F o r o n l y the C h r i s t i a n k n o w s that h e m a y o p p o s e J e s u s Christ, so l o n g as h e d o e s so in d e f e n s e o f J e s u s ' o w n p e o p l e . )
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 III W h a t a m I to do n o w ? I a m u n s u r e . I do k n o w that I h a d b e t t e r find a w a y to c o n c l u d e this e s s a y . I h a v e c o m p o s e d scores o f essays; one more ending ought not be beyond execution. But I r e m a i n u n s u r e o f w h a t I a m to do. . . . ( H o w d o e s a m a n g o a b o u t finishing o u t a lifetime?) I n his powerful oeuvre u p o n t h e H o l o c a u s t , A r t h u r A . C o h e n b r i n g s h o n o r to t h o s e w h o are a w a r e o f t h e a b y s s of t h e tremendum in all its horror, yet w h o s e o w n b e i n g " i s e l s e w h e r e — o n t h e b r i d g e , in fact, o v e r the a b y s s . " T h e c o m p l i c a t i o n is that b r i d g e s p o i n t in different directions. W h i c h direction is to b e m i n e ? P e r m i t m e to start u s out in o n e direction. F o r all at o n c e it h a s c o m e b a c k to m e that The Trial of God is set o n the F e a s t of P u r i m , a n o c c a s i o n w h e n , a s the i n n k e e p e r B e r i s h o b s e r v e s (the v e r y fellow w h o plays t h e role o f p r o s e c u t o r ) , " e v e r y t h i n g g o e s . " A n d w e are all to w e a r m a s k s o n the j o u r n e y , since P u r i m is a d a y for fools, c h i l d r e n , a n d b e g g a r s . P e r h a p s , t h e n , w e can still p l a y t o g e t h e r . H e r e is o n e g e m for a l o n g t h e w a y , from The Big Book of Jewish Humor, m y c u r r e n t l y favorite w o r k in theology:
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A rabbinical student is about to leave Europe for a position in the New World. He goes to his rabbi for advice, and the rabbi, a great Talmud scholar, offers an adage which, he assures the younger man, will guide him throughout his life: "Life is a fountain." The young rabbi is deeply impressed by the profundity of his teacher's remarks, and departs for a successful career in America. Thirty years later, hearing that his mentor is dying, the younger man returns for a final visit. "Rabbi," he says to his old teacher, "I have one question. For thirty years, every time I have been sad or confused I have thought of the phrase you passed on to me before I left for America. It has helped me through the most difficult of times. But to be perfectly honest with you, rabbi, I have never fully understood the meaning of it. And now that you are about to enter the World of Truth, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me what these words really mean. Rabbi, why is life like a fountain?" Wearily, the old man replies, "All right, so it's not like a fountain!"
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Y e t in The Gates of the Forest t h e d a n c i n g a n d singing o f a certain
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H a s i d r e m a i n his w a y of telling G o d : " Y o u d o n ' t w a n t m e to d a n c e ; too b a d . I'll d a n c e a n y h o w . Y o u ' v e t a k e n a w a y every r e a s o n for s i n g i n g , b u t I shall sing. I shall sing of t h e deceit that w a l k s b y day a n d the truth that w a l k s b y n i g h t , y e s , a n d o f the silence of d u s k a s well. Y o u d i d n ' t e x p e c t m y j o y , b u t h e r e it is; y e s , m y j o y will rise u p ; it will s u b m e r g e y o u . "
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T h e o n e direction of the bridge t h u s e n d s in a b l i n d alley. T h e playing, the s i n g i n g , t h e d a n c i n g , the j o k i n g — n o n e c a n a n y l o n g e r b e d o n e for the sake of j o y b u t o n l y in b e h a l f of o u t r a g e , of defiance. A s Julian G r e e n said, "after A u s c h w i t z , only tears c a n h a v e m e a n i n g . " T h e rebbe w h o tells t h e story of t h e s i n g i n g and d a n c i n g H a s i d a d m i t s that the s o n g m e r e l y cloaks " a dagger, an o u t c r y . " T h e h u m o r a n d the j o y fall u p o n their o w n s w o r d s . A n d , w o r s e , t h e F e a s t of P u r i m is p o w e r l e s s before the ice-hot a w a r e n e s s that s h o u l d the unforgivability of forgiveness ever b e c o m e the final w o r d , despair will in a single m o m e n t gain d o m i n i o n o v e r all t h i n g s . T h e visit b y t h e character G r e g o r to the storytelling rebbe c l i m a x e s in a p i t e o u s r e q u e s t , " R a b b i , m a k e m e able to c r y . " R e i n h o l d N i e b u h r k n e w well that w h i l e l a u g h t e r m a y b e h e a r d " i n t h e outer courts of r e l i g i o n , " t h e r e is n o mirth " i n the h o l y o f h o l i e s . " B u t yet, l a u g h t e r c a n m a n a g e at least to get us to t h e d o o r that leads to forgiveness. A s C u l l e n H i g h t o w e r h a s written, " T h e r e are p e o p l e w h o c a n talk sensibly a b o u t a controversial issue w i t h o u t taking sides; t h e y a r e called h u m o r i s t s . " In authentic h u m o r w e all, in a w a y , stand forgiven. L e t u s , therefore, not wholly abandon the way of Purim: R a b b i A b r a h a m J . H e s c h e l h a s s p o k e n of the " o v e r w h e l m i n g s y m p a t h y with t h e divine p a t h o s " that the p r o p h e t Isaiah d e v e l o p e d . W h y d o w e n o t d o n the m a s k of Isaiah? T h e play's the thing: n o o n e will s t o p us. C o n t r a r y to B e r i s h the prosecutor, to b e sorry for G o d a n d for h u m a n b e i n g s is n e v e r a n either/or: t h e t w o sustain e a c h o t h e r . F o r m e , the p e n u l t i m a t e h e i g h t o f faith—not the final h e i g h t , for that w o u l d b e r e d e m p t i o n , the reconciliation o f h u m a n k i n d a n d G o d — t h e p e n u l t i m a t e height of faith is to find o n e s e l f g e n u i n e l y sorry for G o d . In the W o o d y A l l e n film Love and Death Boris G r u s h e n k o c l a i m e d that t h e w o r s t t h i n g w e c a n say theologically is that G o d is a n u n d e r a c h i e v e r .
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 Boris failed to g o far e n o u g h . T h e worst thing w e can say (and, for that very r e a s o n , as well as in the n a m e of A u s c h w i t z , w e have to say it) is that G o d is a klutz—the ultimate klutz—so m u c h so that h e h a s got himself strung out u p o n a cross that is n e v e r going to b e taken d o w n . H e would h a v e to g o m a k e h i m s e l f a world! N o w h e is stuck with it, a n d with u s , a n d h e is left with n o choice but to k e e p o n u n d e r g o i n g the a g o n y of it. F o r n o divine sin is possible w i t h o u t h u m a n b e i n g s (just as n o h u m a n sin could ever eventuate apart from G o d ) . A n d b y revealing a n d m a k i n g normative for h u m a n k i n d certain apodictic requirements, G o d h a s only o p e n e d the w a y to b e i n g held strictly to account b y the identical requirements. If all this is n o t the height of klutzyness, I do not k n o w w h a t is. T h e Creator o f all the universes m a d e radically vulnerable—and u n d e r his very o w n sponsorship! Is t h e r e a n y b o d y a r o u n d w h o is willing to a t t e n d to t h e a n g u i s h of G o d , a n d to give h i m comfort t h e r e u p o n his cross? W e h u m a n s m a y n o t a m o u n t to v e r y m u c h , a n d w e are tiny n o t h i n g s i n all t h e terrifying v a s t n e s s , b u t w e c a n at least m a n a g e that. S o m e o n e o u g h t to g o to the side of t h e eternal victim. If n o o n e will c o m e forward, all of e x i s t e n c e is just a dreadful t h i n g . S o G o d is u n f o r g i v e a b l e all right—and w e forgive h i m . B o n h o e f f e r t a u g h t that G o d d o e s n o t appreciate " c h e a p g r a c e . " Y e t m a y b e w e d o — o r w e c a n — w h e n it c o m e s to G o d . D o e s that m a k e u s inferior to G o d ? W e l l , it d o e s n o t m a k e u s superior: it is n o t w e w h o originated f o r g i v e n e s s . F o r g i v e n e s s is a gift of G o d . A n d if it is s o that o n P u r i m o u r g r a c e is forced to g o for c h e a p , to g o , i n d e e d for n o price at all, it is b e c a u s e all the available c u r r e n c y h a s b e e n c o n s u m e d in the flames o f t h e Shoah. W h y are w e to forgive the unforgivable G o d , a n d w i t h o u t a n y price a n d w i t h o u t a n y c o n d i t i o n s ? F o r n o r e a s o n . W e r e there a r e a s o n , the F e a s t w o u l d b e s p o i l e d , t h e party w o u l d b e over. A n d b e s i d e s , t h e r e c a n b e n o r e a s o n to forgive G o d , n o t after the Shoah. H o w e v e r , t h e r e c a n b e justification for d o i n g s o : D o e s n o t G o d y e a r n that w e b e free? A s Tillich h a s it,
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a person experiences an unconditional demand only from another person. The demand becomes concrete in the "I-Thou" encounter. The
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HA'SHOAH AS REVOLUTION content of the demand is therefore that the "thou" be accorded the same dignity as the "I" [and, we add, that the "I" be accorded the same dignity as the "thou"]; this is the dignity of being free. . . . This recognition of the equal dignity of the "Thou" and the "I" is justice. . . . Justice is the true power of being.
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O r — c a n w e n o t s u b s t i t u t e ? — " l o v e is t h e true p o w e r of b e i n g , " for at this place love a n d j u s t i c e a p p e a r as o n e , w i t h i n t h e praxis of a m o s t s t r a n g e equality. T h e very p r o p h e t w h o k n e w s o r r o w for G o d c l a i m e d that " t h e h o l y G o d p r o v e s h i m s e l f h o l y b y r i g h t e o u s n e s s " (Isa. 5:16). O n t h e a s s u m p t i o n that the imago dei a n d t h e imitatio dei s o m e h o w c o n v e r g e h e r e , h u m a n b e i n g s too p r o v e t h e m s e l v e s h o l y b y r i g h t e o u s n e s s . B u t r i g h t e o u s n e s s n e v e r c o m e s finally into its o w n until it is forgiven, until e v e r y o n e b e g i n s to smile a n d t h e n b r e a k s out l a u g h i n g . T h u s is t h e r i g h t e o u s n e s s o f G o d itself set free. L o v e b e t w e e n G o d a n d h u m a n k i n d is a l w a y s h a v i n g to say w e are sorry. In this w a y w e are e m p o w e r e d to do a last i n v e r s i o n o f S c r i p t u r e . H o s e a 11:8: " H o w c a n w e give y o u u p , O G o d ! " A n d P s a l m 130:34: If thou, O humanity, shouldst mark iniquities, Humanity, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee. . . . I h a v e h e a r d it said that at the c o n c l u s i o n of o n e o f the m a n y trials o f G o d , after the a c c u s e d h a d b e e n a d j u d g e d guilty as c h a r g e d a certain H a s i d s t o o d before t h e a s s e m b l y a n d said: " L e t u s p r a y . " A n d it is told, at t h e close o f The Gates of the Forest, that G r e g o r , w h o s e real identity w a s that o f Gavriel b u t w h o s e faith h a d b e e n carried off in t h e transports to t h e E a s t , c a m e to pray. H e p r a y e d for, a m o n g o t h e r s , t h e soul o f his father, a n d h e p r a y e d as well for the soul of G o d .
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NOTES
1. Menachem Rosensaft, in Symposium on "Jewish Values in the Post-Holocaust F u t u r e / ' Judaism 16 (1967): 294. 2. Eliezer Berkovits, "The Hiding God of History," in The Catastrophe of European Jewry: Antecedents—History—Reflections, ed. Yisrael Gutman and Livia Rothkirchen (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1976), p. 704. 65

Q U A R T E R L Y REVIEW, W I N T E R 1982 3. At present, some ten thousand communities across North America observe Yom Ha'Shoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. This figure is supplied by Donald W. McEvoy of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. See McEvoy, A Holocaust Memorial Service for Christians, Yom Ha'Shoah (New York: National Conference of Christians and Jews, 1979); and McEvoy, ed., Christians Confront the Holocaust: A Collection of Sermons (NCCJ, 1980). There are at present more than seven hundred courses on the Holocaust in American universities and theological schools, 4. On the question of God's suffering as such, see Jurgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981), chap. 2 and passim. 5. Emil L. Fackenheim, as quoted in Franklin H. Littell, "A Milestone in Post-Holocaust Church Teaching," Christian News From Israel (Jerusalem) 27 (1980):116. 6. Fackenheim, The Jewish Return into History: Reflections in the Age of Auschwitz and a New Jerusalem (New York: Schocken Books, 1978), pp. 281-82. 7. As far as I know, Elie Wiesel was the first to speak of the Shoah as the "kingdom of night." See his Night, trans. Stella Rodwa (New York: Hill and Wang, 1960). 8. Irving Greenberg, On the Third Era in Jewish History: Power and Politics (New York: National Jewish Resource Center, 1980). 9. R. David Freedman identifies one book on the Holocaust as afflicted with "Holocaust-myopia," a phenomenon that, so he alleges, "leads to impatience with the millennia-old standard Jewish theodicy." Freedman claims that once only the suffering is seen, the meaning of "covenant," "innocence," and "injustice" is distorted (review of Byron L. Sherwin and Susan G. Ament, eds.. Encountering the Holocaust, in Journal of Ecumenical Studies 17 [1980]:692). 10. Cf. A. Roy Eckardt, Your People, My People: The Meeting of Jews and Christians (New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book C o . , 1974), pp. 79, 80, 86, 98. 11. Adolf Hitler, as cited in Nosson Scherman, "An Understanding of the Holocaust in the Light of the 'Sparks of Glory' " (a review-article on Moshe Prager's Sparks of Glory), Jewish Observer (June 1974): 9. 12. For more on the uniqueness of the Holocaust, see Alice L. Eckardt and A. Roy Eckardt, "The Holocaust and the Enigma of Uniqueness: A Philosophical Effort at Practical Clarification," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 450 (1980):165-78. 13. Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making (New York: Macmillan, 1926), p.32. 14. Clark M. Williamson, letter to author, March 24, 1981. For more on Williamson's theological position, see his Has God Rejected His People?: Anti-Judaism in the Christian Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1982); and on Irving Greenberg's position, see his "Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire: Judaism, Christianity, and Modernity after the Holocaust," in Eva Fleischner, ed., Auschwitz: Beginning of a New Era? Reflections on the Holocaust (New York: Ktav, 1977), pp. 7-55. 15. A. Roy Eckardt, Introduction to The Theologian at Work: A Common Search for Understanding (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. xxix. 16. H. Richard Niebuhr, The Meaning of Revelation (New York: Macmillan, 1941), p. 93. 17. Greenberg, "Cloud of Smoke," p. 24. 18. Alice and Roy Eckardt, "How German Thinkers View the Holocaust," The Christian Century 93 (March 17, 1976):250. 19. Elie Wiesel, A Beggar in Jerusalem, trans. Lily Edelman and Roy Eckardt (New York: Random House, 1970), p. 28. 20. Ulrich Simon, Theology of Auschwitz (London: SPCK, 1978), pp. 13-14. 21. Robert E. Willis, "Christian Theology After Auschwitz," Journal of Ecumenical Studies 12 (1975):506. 66

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22. Franklin H. Littell, The Crucifixion of the jews (New York: Harper & Row, 175), p. 2. 23. Gerald Reitliner, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe 1939-1945 (New York: A. S. Barnes, 1961), p. 458. 24. Emil L. Fackenheim, in open discussion at 'Thinking About the Holocaust/' International Scholars Conference Devoted to Historiographical and Theological Questions, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, November 3-5, 1980. 25. Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man, trans. Lewis Wilkins and Duane A. Piebe (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1968), pp. 67, 257, 258. 26. Moltmann, The Trinity, p. 122. 27. Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fraticide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism (New York: Seabury Press, 1974). Ruether is not consistent on this matter, maintaining as she herslf has subsequently done that Christians can hold on "to the memory of Jesus' resurrection from the cross" as the basis for their refusal "to take evil as the last word" and their hope "that God will win in the end" (To Change the World: Christology and Cultural Criticism [New York: Crossroad, 1981], p. 42). 28. Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God (as it was held on February 25,1649, in Shamgorod), a play in three acts, trans. Marion Wiesel (New York: Random House, 1979). 29. Ibid., pp. 128, 157, 127, 133. 30. Berkovits, "The Hiding God," p. 704. 31. Elie Wiesel, Souls on Fire: Portraits and Legends of Hasidic Masters, trans. Marion Wiesel (New York: Random House, 1972), p. 107. 32. Arthur A. Cohen, The Tremejjdum: A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust (New York: Crossroad, 1981), p. 82. One immense value of this study is its dialectic of the universal and the particular: The Holocaust affects all of human history; yet the author offers a grand revivification of the sixteenth-century Jewish Kabbala. 33. William Novak and Moshe Waldoks, eds., The Big Book of Jewish Humor (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), p. 17. 34. Elie Wiesel, The Gates of the Forest, trans. Frances Frenaye (New York: Avon Books, 1967), p. 196. 35. Ibid., p. 197. 36. Reinhold Niebuhr, "Humour and Faith," Discerning the Signs of the Times: Sermons for Today and Tomorrow (New York: Scribner's, 1946), p. 112. 37. Cullen Hightower, as quoted by Ira Corn, The Globe Times (Bethlehem, Pa.), January 20, 1982. 38. Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets, vol. I (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 92. 39. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, trans. R. H. Fuller and Irmgard Booth (London: SCM Press, 1959), pp. 35 ff. 40. Paul Tillich, The Socialist Decision, trans. Franklin Sherman (New York: Harper &c Row, 1977), p. 6. 41. Wiesel, The Gates, p. 223. Scripture quotations unless otherwise noted are from the Revised Standard Version Common Bible, copyrighted © 1973 by the division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and are used by permission.

R e s p o n s e s to " H a ' S h o a h as Christian R e v o l u t i o n " R o y Eckardt w o r k s h a r d to c o n v i n c e us t h a t the H o l o c a u s t is a u n i q u e e v e n t in the h i s t o r y of h u m a n h o r r o r . H e s e e m s to
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b e l i e v e if this u n i q u e n e s s c a n b e e s t a b l i s h e d , t h e n w e c a n d r a w s o m e g r e a t e r insight from it t h a n if it w e r e simply o n e e x a m p l e a m o n g m a n y . I h a v e n o quarrel w i t h Dr, E c k a r d t ' s c o n t e n t i o n that the H o l o c a u s t w a s a h u m a n tragedy o f u n p a r a l l e l e d p r o p o r t i o n s , b u t I a m n o t s u r e that it w a s actually different in e s s e n c e from a n u m b e r o f o t h e r terrifying e v e n t s in o u r collective m e m o r y . T o b e s u r e , t h e H o l o c a u s t w a s o n a m u c h larger scale a n d , t h e r e f o r e , t h e effects o f it w e r e felt b y a greater n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a n d w i t h a terrifying c u m u l a t i v e intensity. H o w e v e r , m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e tells m e that there is a g e r m o f that a n g u i s h in e v e r y tragic e v e n t a n d that t h e q u e s t i o n s raised b y the m u r d e r o f six million J e w s in t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n c a m p s o f G e r m a n y are t h e s a m e q u e s t i o n s t h a t are raised w h e n a child is r a p e d a n d m u r d e r e d in a s e c l u d e d w o o d s or an old m a n is b l u d g e o n e d t o d e a t h in a n alley. In M a y , 1 9 8 1 , m y y o u n g e r s o n w a s s t r u c k b y a car a n d killed. It w a s an a c c i d e n t . T h e driver m o s t certainly did n o t i n t e n d for it to h a p p e n , a n d y e t b e c a u s e of a c o m b i n a t i o n o f natural a n d h u m a n factors, it did happeru E v e n t h o u g h the perpetrators of t h e H o l o c a u s t k n e w full well w h a t t h e y w e r e d o i n g a n d did it w i t h fierce i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , the H o l o c a u s t a n d m y s o n ' s d e a t h still raise s o m e o f t h e s a m e q u e s t i o n s . W h y did G o d allow it to h a p p e n ? W h y d o t h e r i g h t e o u s suffer? In m y o w n life a n d in m y o w n m i n i s t r y I c o m e a g a i n a n d again to the p o s i t i o n o f J o b . W e d o n ' t h a v e t h e a n s w e r s . D r . E c k a r d t h a s s o m e i n t e r e s t i n g c o m m e n t s o n t h e idea o f G o d ' s culpability for the e x i s t e n c e o f evil. H e s u g g e s t s that G o d m a y n e e d to b e forgiven for his part in the w h o l e b l o o d y m e s s . In m y o w n m i n d t h e e n o r m i t y o f t h e h o r r o r o f t h e H o l o c a u s t calls m e to a painful a d m i s s i o n o f o u r h u m a n potential for evil. I d o n o t a t t e m p t to lay t h e b l a m e o n G o d ' s d o o r s t e p , except to t h e e x t e n t that in a l l o w i n g for h u m a n f r e e d o m G o d o p e n e d the d o o r to all sorts o f a b u s e s o f that f r e e d o m . It s h o u l d b e n o t e d that that s a m e f r e e d o m also g r a n t s us the p o t e n t i a l to b e truly loving a n d caring. I find D r . E c k a r d t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f G o d a s " t h e ultimate k l u t z " to b e b o t h offensive a n d g r o t e s q u e . T h e r e s e e m s to b e little r e s p e c t for t h e h o l i n e s s a n d t h e a w e s o m e n e s s o f G o d .
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I did appreciate D r . E c k a r d t ' s w i l l i n g n e s s to e n t e r into a no-holds-barred confrontation with the Almighty. Unless we are p r e p a r e d t o a s k the difficult q u e s t i o n s a n d grapple w i t h the painful realities, w e h a v e little h o p e o f m i n i s t e r i n g effectively to t h e p e o p l e in o u r c a r e . H o w e v e r , e v e n after w e h a v e e n g a g e d in s u c h a confronta­ tion, m u c h r e m a i n s in t h e s h a d o w y area o f t h e u n k n o w n . A t the b e g i n n i n g of Part III o f the e s s a y D r . E c k a r d t a c k n o w l e d g e s his u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t h o w t o c o n c l u d e . I t h i n k t h a t u n c e r t a i n t y is natural a n d p o i n t s to t h e a u t h o r ' s integrity as a s c h o l a r a n d a s a t h e o l o g i a n . T h e r e are s o m e q u e s t i o n s t h a t w e simply c a n n o t a n s w e r . Part o f o u r ability to m a i n t a i n s o m e d e g r e e o f sanity in t h e m i d s t of c h a o s is d u e , n o t o n l y to o u r t o l e r a n c e for ambiguity, but also to our w i l l i n g n e s s to a d m i t that s o m e things that h a p p e n really d o n o t m a k e s e n s e . S a r a h S. Miller A. R o y E c k a r d t ' s article is p r o f o u n d a n d theological, b o t h in r e s e a r c h a n d q u e s t i o n i n g . S o , for t h e p a s t o r c o n c e r n e d w i t h the e t e r n a l p r o b l e m , " W h y s u f f e r i n g ? " a r e s p o n s e a l o n g similar lines is offered. H o w m u c h r e s e a r c h , h o w m u c h q u e s t i o n i n g of G o d a n d our h u m a n r a c e , b y b o t h p a r i s h i o n e r a n d pastor, h o w m u c h t i m e a n d t h o u g h t n e e d w e give to this m a t t e r in s u c h a rapidly c h a n g i n g w o r l d of t h o u g h t a n d y e t o n e in w h i c h the s a m e basic h u m a n n e e d s a n d p r o b l e m s arise a g a i n a n d again. A m o n g the p e o p l e o f m y r e g i o n , t h e m a t t e r o f the H o l o c a u s t is n o t well r e m e m b e r e d , m u c h less t h o u g h t a b o u t , especially b y t h e p o s t - W o r l d W a r II g e n e r a t i o n ( s ) . It h a s b e e n o b s e r v e d that o n e m a i n difference b e t w e e n p r e - a n d p o s t - W W II p e r s o n s is that the former still h a v e a h o p e for b e t t e r t h i n g s to c o m e w h i l e t h e latter often s e e m to live a n d act out a c o n d i t i o n of h o p e l e s s n e s s . I w o u l d p r o p o s e that it m a y well b e , i n a significant part, that t h e s u b l i m i n a l effect o f t h e H o l o c a u s t is causative in b o t h g e n e r a t i o n s . If s o , w e w o u l d d o well to c o n t i n u e d i s c u s s i o n s a n d s t u d y , o n a practical e v e r y d a y living level, about t h e H o l o c a u s t , w i t h b o t h p r e - a n d p o s t - W W II people.
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T o E c k a r d t ' s five c o m m e n t s t h e s e o b s e r v a t i o n s are s u b m i t t e d . First, t h e u n i q u e n e s s o f t h e H o l o c a u s t , its c a u s e s , its tragic facts a n d also t h e survival a n d g r o w t h o f a n e w political p e o p l e , (not j u s t in I s r a e l ) — t h e s e are affirmed. B u t again, all do p o i n t , with great t r a u m a , to o u r h u m a n n o n - u n d e r s t a n d i n g of o n e o f t h e great q u e s t i o n s o f life, " W h y s u f f e r i n g ? " A s t h e reference to W h i t e h e a d n o t e s , this " s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n ( H o l o c a u s t ) " a p p e a l s to o u r intuition c o n c e r n i n g suffering. I n e v e r s a y to m y c o n g r e g a ­ tion that I b e l i e v e a n y t h i n g , m u c h less suffering, is the direct loving, or c o n d e m n i n g , act o f G o d ' s will. Still, I d o w i t n e s s to the p e o p l e t h a t in t h e m y s t e r y o f s u c h a s suffering o r e v e n death, G o d ' s p r e s e n c e d o e s give us t h e h o p e o f living a n d re-creating o u r lives o f the future to e v e n greater fulfillment o f our given potential. S h a r i n g p e r s o n a l l y s u c h t h o u g h t s c a n , as W i l l i a m s o n s u g g e s t s , illuminate all o t h e r o c c a s i o n s . W h i l e w e c a n n e v e r fully k n o w w h a t the o t h e r is suffering i n s i d e , still in talk, w e c a n s h a r e w i t h h i m a n d d i s c o v e r in part, w h a t suffering is all about. T h u s the v a l u e o f reliving, as b e s t w e c a n , t h e H o l o c a u s t . S e c o n d , to the c o m m e n t that t h e r e is n o c o n s o l a t i o n in the fact t h a t Israel still lives; I t h i n k this i n incorrect. D e s p i t e t h e F a c k e n h e i m reference that " h o p e h a s c o m e to a n e n d , " I glimpse a bit o f h o p e . I h a v e lived a n d w o r k e d with m a n y p r e - W W II J e w i s h p e o p l e ; also visited m o d e r n Israel a n d participated in a n A s p e n s e m i n a r o n the J e w i s h e x p e r i e n c e in A m e r i c a today. I found t h e r e is h o p e , for t h e future, in J e w i s h p e o p l e a n d in their stated n e e d for a c o n t i n u i n g reaffirmation to their G o d w h o m a d e that first c o v e n a n t p r o m i s e , the o n e w h o , e v e n in the H o l o c a u s t , u s e d o t h e r p e o p l e to h e l p s a v e e n o u g h o f his p e o p l e t h a t " I s r a e l " m a y live. I b e l i e v e t h e G r e e n b e r g q u o t e is crucial to this point a n d that e v e r y p a s t o r n e e d s to find a w a y to affirm that to h e r or his p e o p l e . T h i r d , r e g a r d i n g the " c o m p l i c i t y o f G o d . " A s I s e e it, G o d c o m m i t s n o direct-will acts ( a b o v e ) , but t h e " d i v i n e " is involved! O n s u c h m a t t e r s o f faith, h o p e a n d l o v e , w e do n e e d to admit b o t h m y s t e r y a n d t h e p r e s e n c e o f G o d ' s grace. T h e p r e - W W II a u d i e n c e s o m e h o w h a s b e e n g i v e n that c o n f e s s i o n , in spite o f a n y t h i n g . T o o u r p o s t - W W II g r o u p s , to d e v e l o p , to instill the a l i v e n e s s o f G o d is o u r difficult b u t vital responsibility. O n e
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c u r r e n t d e b a t e c o m e s to m i n d : D o J e w s g o to H e a v e n ? A n d the a n s w e r after s o m e e v a s i o n b y s o m e , w a s , y e s ! I b e l i e v e , as the w o r l d g r o w s ever s m a l l e r a n d closer in c o m m u n i c a t i o n , as w e m e e t m o r e a n d m o r e p e o p l e of o t h e r faiths, that it will b e helpful i n talk w i t h t h e y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n to h e l p t h e m realize t h e G o d of h o p e is for all his p e o p l e . F o u r t h , I t h i n k w e c a n appeal to t h e r e d e m p t i o n act o f J e s u s as e v i d e n c e of t h e fact that h o p e s u r v i v e s . F r o m t h e cross h e a s k e d for forgiveness of h i s e n e m i e s ; at least o n e o f t h e m a s k e d J e s u s for t h e s a m e . A s a result, b o t h w e r e r e c e i v e d into Paradise. T h u s J e s u s , a J e w , h e l p s u s u n d e r s t a n d t h e k i n g d o m is o f t h o s e w h o ask for, a n d w h o give, f o r g i v e n e s s . It is p o s s i b l e n o survivor of t h e H o l o c a u s t w o u l d b e able to forgive, or to a s k for forgiveness of t h o s e i n v o l v e d . Y e t in m o d e r n Israel, as w e l l as a m o n g b o t h C h r i s t i a n s a n d n o n - C h r i s t i a n s w h o t o o k n o action against t h e e v e n t s in G e r m a n y in t h e early 1930s, still t h e r e is, I b e l i e v e , an h o n e s t a n d hopeful r e c o g n i t i o n o f r e d e m p t i o n ( = n e w life) t h r o u g h this m a t t e r o f forgiveness. Speak to the Winds b y Kofi A s a r e O p o k u h a s t h e s e k e y p r o v e r b s from p a g a n Africa w h i c h s p e a k to m e c o n c e r n i n g the m a t t e r of h u m a n c o n d u c t in r e s p o n s e to o t h e r s ' actions: " I f y o u do n o t forgive a c r i m e , you c o m m i t a c r i m e . " a n d " I f y o u see w r o n g - d o i n g or evil a n d say n o t h i n g against it, y o u b e c o m e its v i c t i m . " T h e s e a n c i e n t p r o v e r b s of m a n k i n d h e l p m e to final c o m m e n t s c o n c e r n i n g " t h e unforgivability o f f o r g i v e n e s s " a n d h a v i n g G o d say to u s , " S o sorry!" S u c h is not m y u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the n a t u r e of G o d , w h o I b e l i e v e to b e a b o v e a n y s u c h f o o l i s h n e s s as a c c e p t i n g responsibility for the w a y w e h a v e u s e d G o d ' s gift of f r e e d o m , g i v e n us to c o n t i n u e to re-create or to d e s t r o y our w o r l d . It is I w h o n e e d to say, " I a m sorry, G o d " for e v e n daring to t h i n k I c a n avoid m y responsibility for m y b r o t h e r s a n d sisters, a n d m y acts t o w a r d s t h e m . T o d e n y that t h e total divine n a t u r e is a b o v e our realities w o u l d , for m e , i n d e e d lead to the "unforgivability o f f o r g i v e n e s s " a n d , as s u g g e s t e d , " d e s p a i r would rule." A s a Christian a n d as a pastor, I affirm w h a t I p e r c e i v e m a y b e a v e r y universal u n d e r s t a n d i n g , if n o t a doctrine. F o r m a n y , m a n y of this w o r l d t h e r e is in their v e r y b e i n g a conviction that
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 forgiveness h a s a m e a n i n g a n d p u r p o s e . It leads to h o p e ! W h e t h e r t h e H o l o c a u s t w a s o f G o d ( a n d I say, No!) o r b y w o r k s of G o d ' s p e o p l e , it h a s a p u r p o s e of t e a c h i n g a n d a call to t h e s h a r i n g o f the h o r r o r s o f u n f o r g i v e n e s s , especially o f a n y a n d all t y p e s o f s u p e r s e s s i o n a r y t h i n k i n g a n d acting. T h u s , t h e H o l o c a u s t w a s a n d is u n i q u e . It h a s t h e c o n t i n u i n g n e e d of review, research and questioning with the current generation of the hopeless, by and with those w h o , coming t h r o u g h that t r a u m a , still h a v e h o p e . Robert B . Fortenbaugh Pastor, Calhan and Rush United Methodist Churches Calhan, Colorado

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RESEARCHING FAMILY MINISTRIES THROUGH CROSS-CULTURAL EDUCATION

TAYLOR AND JUNE McCONNELL

For m a n y , t h e f a m i l y is n o l o n g e r a source of s u p p o r t b u t a source o f stress. B y s t e p p i n g out o f our o w n e n v i r o n m e n t , w e c a n learn f r o m families of other cultures h o w to d o a better j o b , at certain significant p o i n t s , in d e a l i n g w i t h the p r o b l e m s that currently affect families.

I

Families in N o r t h A m e r i c a t o d a y are attracting m u c h attention. T h e m e d i a , the c h u r c h e s , various professional organizations and governmental agencies have focused upon t r e n d s a n d indicators that t h e y s e e as a l a r m i n g . M i n i s t e r s are d e e p l y c o n c e r n e d a b o u t the g r o w i n g p r o b l e m s t h e y p e r c e i v e . B u t b e c a u s e m a n y of t h e s u g g e s t i o n s that c o m e to t h e m are of t h e " t r y h a r d e r " variety, t h e y u n d e r s t a n d a b l y g r o w w e a r y . P e r h a p s s o m e n e w a p p r o a c h e s to family, leading to insights c o n c e r n i n g m o r e effective forms of m i n i s t r y , w o u l d provide b o t h relief a n d n e w e x c i t e m e n t for t h e c h a l l e n g e . T h e cross-cultural m e t h o d d e s c r i b e d in this e s s a y is o n e s u c h effort to g e n e r a t e n e w a n d m o r e fruitful w a y s o f p r o c e e d i n g . S e n s a t i o n a l i z e d a t t e m p t s are m a d e to depict the e n d o f t h e family as w e k n o w it. A n d w h i l e the family as social institution is p r o b a b l y an e x t r e m e l y t o u g h structure to d e m o l i s h , it n e v e r t h e Taylor McConnell is professor of Christian education and June McConnell is a visiting faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, which underwrites their research in northern New Mexico. 73

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less s e e m s to b e u n d e r great a t t a c k a n d m a y be in t h e p r o c e s s o f c h a n g i n g form. A n outline o f several p r o b l e m a r e a s d e m o n s t r a t e s t h e linkage a m o n g t h e m . N o t a sociological analysis, this is a survey of factors that c u r r e n t l y i m p i n g e d a m a g i n g l y u p o n families a n d t h u s s u g g e s t the n e e d for s o m e c h a n g e s . 1. T h e first p r o b l e m is that t h e family n o l o n g e r s e e m s capable of fulfilling its role as a s o u r c e o f stability a n d s t r e n g t h in a time of rapid c h a n g e . L o v e , affection a n d d e p e n d a b i l i t y are w o r d s that are traditionally linked w i t h family. W e traditionally fantasize e s c a p e from the troubles a n d turmoil o f t h e w o r l d into the security a n d tranquility o f the b o s o m o f the family. P e r h a p s this h a s a l w a y s b e e n a fantasy for w o m e n , w i t h the reality of it limited to t h e e x p e r i e n c e of a n o c c a s i o n a l fortunate m a n . But n o w i n c r e a s i n g e v i d e n c e p o i n t s to the family iself as the major s o u r c e o f conflict a n d friction in the lives o f m a n y p e o p l e . W h e r e a s w e u s e d to run from the w o r l d to the family in s e a r c h o f tranquility, n o w w e find m a n y p e o p l e h a v i n g to run from the family to t h e w o r l d in s e a r c h of that s a m e tranquility. O u r frontier m e n t a l i t y h a s n ' t g e a r e d u s to stay there a n d w o r k it t h r o u g h . I n s t e a d in the e i g h t e e n t h a n d n i n e t e e n t h centuries w e l e a r n e d h o w to e s c a p e from it. A n d a l t h o u g h the frontiers t h e n w e r e p h y s i c a l , a n d n o w are social, w e are still r u n n i n g today. 2 . T h e s e c o n d o f t h e s e p r o b l e m s is that individualism in this c o u n t r y h a s b e e n p u s h e d to the point o f d i m i n i s h i n g returns. L o n e l i n e s s is o n e of the results o f this, d e e p d o w n in our p s y c h e . W e t h e n a t t e m p t to p u s h toward a g r e a t e r e x p r e s s i o n o f individuality for fulfillment, b u t find that this, c o u n t e r p r o d u c tively, drives u s m o r e d e e p l y into alienation, a n o m i e , a n d isolation. W a l t e r B r u e g g e m a n n , in his b o o k The Land , elaborates o n the m e a n i n g o f land a n d h o m e to the Israelites. H e feels that this is p o i g n a n t l y r e l e v a n t for u s today. F o r w e too are a rootless p e o p l e . W e too h a v e b e e n so c o n c e r n e d a b o u t s p a c e that w e h a v e forgotten w h a t it m e a n s to h a v e place. W e , like the s o j o u r n e r s of t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t , are r e s i d e n t aliens in o u r o w n l a n d , n e v e r k n o w i n g at w h a t m o m e n t the c o m p a n y is going to transfer u s , or the u r b a n p r o g r a m is g o i n g to r e m o v e u s . T h e
1

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m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s o f our lives often c e n t e r s in our r o o t l e s s n e s s , w h i c h m e a n s n o t k n o w i n g w h o w e c o m e from as well as w h e r e w e c o m e from. A n d individualism, e l e v a t e d to t h e s a c r e d n e s s of a cult, exacerbates this p r o b l e m . 3. T h e third p r o b l e m relating to families is the decline of the m e l t i n g pot t h e o r y in A m e r i c a n society. O n l y a few y e a r s h a v e p a s s e d since p e o p l e w e r e trying rather d e s p e r a t e l y to fit into the d e s i g n s o f t h e great w h i t e middle-class n o r m . B u t various e r u p t i o n s h a v e driven m a n y of t h e s e s a m e p e o p l e into a d e e p e r e x a m i n a t i o n o f their m o t i v e s ; increasingly p e o p l e are p e r s u a d e d n o t o n l y that it is i m p o s s i b l e to b e c o m e this k i n d of p e r s o n , b u t that t h e y d o n ' t want to b e c o m e like t h e s e o t h e r s . A s N o r t h A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y m o v e s t o w a r d s o m e k i n d of pluralism, i n s t e a d of t o w a r d a m e l t i n g p o t , w e n e e d to ask a b o u t t h e c o h e s i v e force, t h e glue, that will b i n d A m e r i c a n society together. A s w e b e c o m e increasingly d i v e r s e , racially a n d linguistically, d o e s this m e a n that w e disintegrate into warring factions? T h i s q u e s t i o n i m p i n g e s u p o n families e v e r y w h e r e . T h e c o h e s i v e forces of a society m u s t relate to t h e p r i m a r y social structures—including family. Large differences exist b e t w e e n d e v e l o p e d societies c o m p o s e d of effective families a n d neigh­ b o r h o o d s , a n d a t o m i z e d , individualistic, m a s s society with w e a k primary g r o u p s . A s t h e m e l t i n g pot d r e a m dies, it is n o t o n l y t h e families of e t h n i c minorities that are shifting their priorities. Families from the m a i n s t r e a m are n o w called u p o n to e x a m i n e their structures a n d values. If t h e y are n o l o n g e r t h e n o r m , b u t o n e a m o n g m a n y p a t t e r n s , h o w do t h e y c h e r i s h a n d identify that w h i c h t h e y w i s h to transmit to their c h i l d r e n ? 4. T h e fourth p r o b l e m is the d e c r e a s e o f t h e availability of fossil fuels—the e n e r g y p r o b l e m . A n d w e s h o u l d really e x p a n d it to include all o f the e a r t h ' s r e s o u r c e s . T h e A m e r i c a n family h a s b e e n h o n e d into the w o r l d ' s m o s t wasteful c o n s u m i n g unit. W h e n it places c o n s u m p t i o n at the u p p e r end of its v a l u e s , it m a k e s children of adults. T h a t is, the c o n s u m e r role is essentially an infantile role w e n o w expect a d u l t s to play enthusiastically. T h e N o r t h A m e r i c a n family over
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 t h e past t w o g e n e r a t i o n s h a s m o v e d from a unit of p r o d u c t i o n to a unit o f c o n s u m p t i o n . A n d this i m p a c t s t h e e n e r g y p r o b l e m at a number of points: O u r dietary p r e f e r e n c e for m e a t i n s t e a d o f grain d e m a n d s that w e b u r n a p p r o x i m a t e l y ten calories o f fossil fuel to p r o d u c e o n e calorie o f h u m a n food in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . (In s o m e c o u n t r i e s o f t h e w o r l d , o n e calorie o f fuel p r o d u c e s ten calories o f food). I n d i v i d u a t i o n h a s driven us o v e r t h e e d g e in t h e u s e of fuels, a s for e x a m p l e w h e n the L o s A n g e l e s f r e e w a y s are p a c k e d w i t h a u t o m o b i l e s that carry a n a v e r a g e o f four e m p t y seats. T h i s c o n s u m e r m e n t a l i t y , fostered b y t o d a y ' s family, c h a l l e n g e s seriously o t h e r v a l u e s in o u r s o c i e t y . W h e n w o r k i n g p e o p l e c a n ' t afford t h e g a s o l i n e to g e t to w o r k , b u t m o r e affluent adults a n d y o u t h c a n p a y the h i g h p r i c e s in o r d e r to u s e their recreation vehicles w i t h o u t restraint, t h e n s o m e clear s y m p t o m s o f this clash o f v a l u e s c a n b e s e e n . A little t h o u g h t reveals the extent to w h i c h the four problems are linked: S h o r t a g e s of fossil fuels relate to individualism in a n intricate fashion. W e c a n ' t k e e p the individual automobile if there is n o fuel for it. W e w h o h a v e b e e n trained to o v e r c o m e loneliness a n d seek h a p p i n e s s t h r o u g h the b u r n i n g o f fuels to p o w e r our dirt bikes, our d u n e b u g g i e s , s n o w m o b i l e s , ski lifts, powerboats a n d water skis, our c a m p e r s a n d m o t o r h o m e s , balloons, planes a n d skydives will h a v e to shift our b a s e of self-worth or else fight the world for the fuels n e c e s s a r y for t h e s e pleasures. B o t h i n d i v i d u a l i s m a n d t h e e n e r g y s h o r t a g e relate to a s p e c t s o f the m e l t i n g - p o t d e c l i n e . B o t h village life a n d the pseudovillage of the s u b u r b w e r e d e s i g n s w h i c h k e p t s t r a n g e p e o p l e a n d c u s t o m s at a d i s t a n c e . If w e h a v e n e i t h e r t h e fuel for private t r a n s p o r t a t i o n n o r t h e t e m p e r a m e n t to u s e public transporta­ tion, the s u b u r b will fade, to b e r e p l a c e d b y m o r e h e t e r o g e n e o u s urban housing arrangements. A n d all t h r e e o f t h e s e t h e n relate to t h e first p r o b l e m — f a m i l y n o w b e i n g a m a j o r s o u r c e of p a i n a n d distress. F o r r u n n i n g from t h o s e d i s a g r e e a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e c o m e s m o r e difficult if w e c a n ' t e s c a p e in o u r fuelless c a m p e r for a w e e k e n d , a n d k e e p r u n n i n g i n t o p e o p l e w h o refuse t o m e l t into t h e kind of p e r s o n w i t h w h o m w e are c o m f o r t a b l e . In short, mobility of m a n y kinds
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is likely to d e c r e a s e in t h e n e a r future, a n d the families t h a t are t h e p r o d u c t of current N o r t h A m e r i c a n v a l u e s y s t e m s are ill-equipped to deal w i t h that. T h e s e four p r o b l e m s t a k e n t o g e t h e r s u g g e s t the n e e d for s o m e m a j o r e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e forms o f m i n i s t r y b y w h i c h c h u r c h e s a t t e m p t to s u p p o r t a n d s t r e n g t h e n C h r i s t i a n families. B u t since the p r o b l e m s a r e c h a l l e n g i n g the b a s i c v a l u e s w h i c h underlie family life, n e w forms o f m i n i s t r y w h i c h a r e casually d e v i s e d a n d a d m i n i s t e r e d are a s likely to h a r m a s to h e l p . S e r i o u s r e s e a r c h at t h e root level of v a l u e s is called for. S u c h r e s e a r c h d e m a n d s a b a s e that is theoretically s o u n d . In this s e c t i o n , a n effort will b e m a d e to lay out t h e formulations b y w h i c h k n o w n theoretical a s s u m p t i o n s systematically c a n be b r o u g h t to b e a r u p o n t h e s e p r o b l e m s . T h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s at least tentatively g u i d e t h e d e s i g n i n g o f p r o c e d u r e s : 1. I f o n e is to u n d e r s t a n d o n e ' s o w n e n v i r o n m e n t or culture, o n e m u s t s t e p o u t s i d e of it in o r d e r to e x a m i n e it. T h e p r o c e d u r e s a n d t h o u g h t p r o c e s s e s that w e are e x p o s e d to e v e r y d a y o f our lives s e e m to u s to b e c o m p l e t e l y n o r m a l . O n l y w h e n this p e r c e p t i o n is c h a l l e n g e d b y a n obviously-different p o i n t of v i e w are w e able to t h i n k a b o u t t h e a s s u m p t i o n s w e h a v e t a k e n for g r a n t e d . N o t m e r e l y a m a t t e r o f h o l d i n g u p differing p e r s p e c t i v e s , this m e t h o d p r o b a b l y c a u s e s u s for t h e v e r y first t i m e to b e c o n s c i o u s of the a s s u m p t i o n s w e h a v e m a d e . T h e h o m e l y a n a l o g y is f o u n d i n t h e life of a fish that is totally u n a w a r e o f t h e w e t n e s s of w a t e r — u n t i l d e p r i v e d o f it. T h i s p r o c e s s o f s t e p p i n g o u t s i d e u s u a l e n v i r o n m e n t s , often u s e d in cultural a n t h r o p o l o g y , s h o u l d serve w i t h equal effectiveness in o t h e r h u m a n e n t e r p r i s e s . In t h e o l o g y , or in C h r i s t i a n e d u c a t i o n , for e x a m p l e , w e h a v e in t h e past t e n d e d to talk o n l y " w i t h our o w n k i n d . " In a c c e p t i n g this a s s u m p t i o n from cultural a n t h r o p o l o g y , w e are h o p i n g to e s c a p e the t y r a n n y of our o w n c u l t u r e - b o u n d a s s u m p t i o n s . 2. A s e c o n d a s s u m p t i o n , flowing directly out o f the first, is that o u r society in the U n i t e d S t a t e s n e e d s to give a t t e n t i o n to its m a n y s t r a n d s — n o t s i m p l y to the " m a i n s t r e a m " o f middle-class, A n g l o - S a x o n p e o p l e . E v e n t h o u g h m o s t o f u s think of family as s i n g u l a r in d e s i g n , actually a large n u m b e r of t y p e s c a n b e s e e n
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w i t h i n the v a r i o u s c u l t u r e s o f this c o u n t r y . M o s t of t h e s e family forms h a v e e m e r g e d w i t h rich a n d d e e p histories that provide a w o r k a b l e a n d m o r a l d e s i g n for e n h a n c i n g quality o f life of their m e m b e r s . T h u s , i n s t e a d o f b e i n g forced to w o r k o n l y w i t h a single p a t t e r n , w e h a v e the luxury o f a pluralism. W e can c h o o s e a n d a d a p t from a n u m b e r of possibilities, e a c h o f w h i c h h a s d e m o n s t r a t e d its p o w e r to lift levels of h u m a n interaction. O n e easily c a n n o t e h o w m u c h m i n o r i t i e s n e e d t h e majority. B u t w e s h o u l d p a y e q u a l a t t e n t i o n to the parallel truth, that t h e majority n e e d s the m i n o r i t i e s . F o r t h e y are the wells out o f w h i c h c o m e t h e potential for survival o f u s all. T h e r e is a curious parallel h e r e to the field o f biological e c o l o g y . I f all the varieties of w h e a t (or c o r n or p o t a t o e s ) are a l l o w e d to d i s a p p e a r b e c a u s e o n e strain is so e m i n e n t l y superior, t h e n w e invite disaster. F o r a blight o r virus m i g h t a p p e a r that is s u p e r b l y d e s i g n e d to w i p e o u t this o n e v a r i e t y o f w h e a t . O n l y t h r o u g h the p r e s e n c e o f o t h e r varieties that are n o t susceptible to the blight is t h e h u m a n race able to a s s u r e future availability o f w h e a t . In the s a m e w a y , if w e a d v o c a t e a n d s u p p o r t o n e d e s i g n o f family living ( c o m i n g from the d o m i n a n t culture), a n d allow or e n c o u r a g e the d e s t r u c t i o n of o t h e r forms of family a n d h o u s e h o l d , w e m a y b e inviting d i s a s t e r . F o r n e w c o n d i t i o n s m a y m a k e that o n e p a t t e r n ' s u s e f u l n e s s d i s a p p e a r . S o m e say that this is h a p p e n i n g in the U n i t e d S t a t e s today, w i t h the traditional n u c l e a r family u n d e r great strain b e c a u s e o f n e w c o n d i t i o n s that it d o e s n o t tolerate well. In this s e n s e , t h e majority m a y b e d e s p e r a t e l y d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e p a t t e r n s of s e e m i n g l y insignificant minorities if c h a o s is to be a v o i d e d . 3. T h e third a s s u m p t i o n is that families flourish m o r e in the p r e s e n c e o f diversity t h a n in its a b s e n c e . T h i s a s s u m p t i o n is built u p o n small g r o u p r e s e a r c h . It h a s b e e n d e m o n s t r a t e d that in small g r o u p s , h e t e r o g e n e i t y o f m e m b e r s h i p , b r i n g i n g in a r a n g e of b a c k g r o u n d s a n d skills, results in a g r o u p that is m o r e fruitful a n d p r o d u c t i v e . T h i s h y p o t h e s i s w a s empirically tested w i t h two different s i m u l a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g b o t h h o m o g e n e o u s g r o u p s a n d h e t e r o g e n e o u s g r o u p s . T h e h e t e r o g e n e o u s groups w e r e m o r e c r e a t i v e , m o r e i n v e n t i v e , m o r e able to reach a n
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i n f o r m e d c o n s e n s u s . In g e n e r a l t h e y w e r e m o r e p r o d u c t i v e , at least in areas i n v o l v i n g t h e m e n t a l s o l u t i o n o f p r o b l e m s . Families are small g r o u p s , so s o m e of this s a m e d y n a m i c functions w i t h t h e m . T o the e x t e n t that t h e y allow diversity to flourish, they are m o r e able to t h r e s h out i s s u e s a n d arrive at m u t u a l l y - a g r e e a b l e c o n s e n s u s t h a n are m o r e rigid, authoritar­ ian families. R e s e a r c h m i g h t b e d e s i g n e d in w h i c h w e bring families of v a r i o u s cultural b a c k g r o u n d s t o g e t h e r to w o r k o n c o m m o n i s s u e s a n d n e e d s . T h e a s s u m p t i o n is that t h e diversity o f t h e s e h e t e r o g e n e o u s families will lead to m o r e p r o d u c t i v e p r o b l e m solving a n d will c o n t r i b u t e m o r e to t h e e m e r g e n c e of insight t h a n w o u l d an a s s e m b l a g e o f families that are h o m o g e n e o u s in background. T h i s principle is true only w i t h i n limits, h o w e v e r . In small g r o u p s o n e can find differences that are s i m p l y u n b r i d g e a b l e . It is also true that w e m u s t n o t c o n f u s e productivity with a t t r a c t i v e n e s s . A s H o m a n s first d e m o n s t r a t e d in 1 9 5 0 , attracti­ v e n e s s of p e o p l e to e a c h o t h e r in g r o u p s l e a d s t o w a r d h o m o g e n e i t y o f t h o u g h t a n d a c t i o n . B u t this attraction, w h i l e v a l u a b l e , is n o t the m a j o r value s o u g h t . In o t h e r w o r d s , t h e h o p e is for t h e s e g r o u p s of families to p r o d u c e useful insights, k n o w l e d g e , a n d attitudes. A h e t e r o g e n e o u s g r o u p (as l o n g as that diversity is n o t too broad) is m o r e likely to p r o d u c e t h e s e r e s u l t s t h a n is a h o m o g e n e o u s g r o u p . 4 . T h e fourth a s s u m p t i o n e m e r g e s directly from the third: T h e s e families will n e e d training in the t e c h n i q u e s o f existing a n d thriving in t h e m i d s t o f diversity. H o w e v e r , the r e s o u r c e s are at h a n d for this. G e n e r a t i o n s of families h a v e g o n e to the m i s s i o n field, a n d individuals h a v e m o v e d into the P e a c e C o r p s , w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l e k n o w l e d g e at their d i s p o s a l for n o t b e c o m i n g "ugly Americans." 5. A t t i t u d e s a n d b e h a v i o r s c a n c h a n g e for t h e g o o d as a result of e x p e r i e n c e s a n d n e w information. ( A n o b v i o u s a s s u m p t i o n , b u t o n e that s h o u l d b e stated.) 6. Cultural a n a l y s i s , w e a s s u m e , i n c l u d e s t h e religious d i m e n s i o n . O r p e r h a p s this a s s u m p t i o n c o u l d b e t t e r b e stated: T h e o l o g i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s m a y b e testable in a real-life proving
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 g r o u n d . W h i l e this w o u l d not b e true o f all theological p e r c e p t i o n s , it s h o u l d b e d e m o n s t r a b l e o f t h e effects o n p e o p l e of certain i n s i g h t s a n d c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . J o h n S. D u n n e h a s b e e n d e v e l o p i n g a religious p r o c e s s h e t e r m s " p a s s i n g o v e r . " T h i s c o n c e p t illuminates theologically t h e r e s e a r c h h e r e b e i n g visualized. In his b o o k The Way of All the Earth: Experiments in Truth and Religion, D u n n e d e s c r i b e s p a s s i n g o v e r in this fashion: Passing over is a shifting of standpoint, a going over to the standpoint of another culture, another way of life, another religion. It is followed by an equal and opposite process we might call "comingback," coming back with new insight to one's own culture, one's own way of life, one's own religion. The holy man of our time, it seems, is . . . a figure like Gandhi, a man who passes over by sympathetic understanding from his own religion to other religions and comes back again with new insight to his own. Passing over and coming back, it seems, is the spiritual adventure of our time.
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T h e p a s s i n g o v e r is n o t d o n e w i t h t h e i m a g e o f c o n v e r t i n g o r b e i n g c o n v e r t e d . N o r d o e s o n e p a s s o v e r as a disinterested, objective scientist, b u t a s a m o v e m e n t " o f t h e w h o l e heart a n d m i n d a n d s o u l , " in r e s p o n s e to a q u e s t i o n that will give us n o rest. It is n o t a q u e s t , a o n e - w a y a d v e n t u r e , n o r is it quite a j o u r n e y , for that s p e a k s o f d i s c o v e r y o f s o m e t h i n g o v e r t h e r e , not t h e d i s c o v e r y o f s o m e t h i n g in o n e ' s o w n h o m e l a n d . D u n n e settles o n t h e w o r d odyssey as that w h i c h b e s t d e s c r i b e s p a s s i n g o v e r . F o r this w o r d i m p l i e s t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e j o u r n e y with t h e return. It " s t a r t s from t h e h o m e l a n d of a m a n ' s o w n religion, g o e s t h r o u g h t h e w o n d e r l a n d o f o t h e r religions, a n d e n d s in t h e h o m e l a n d o f his o w n . "
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But it is n o t s i m p l y a p u r p o s e l e s s a n d circular trip. R a t h e r o n e discovers that t h e k n o w l e d g e a n d c o m p a s s i o n g a i n e d h a v e transformed one's homeland. To use D u n n e ' s description, w e proceed on the assumption that p e o p l e c a n d e v e l o p the desire a n d t h e ability to pass o v e r into o t h e r cultures in o r d e r to find t h o s e i n s i g h t s that illuminate their o w n p r o b l e m s a n d possibilities. W e b e l i e v e t h e y c a n b e trained in that s u s p e n s i o n o f j u d g m e n t , that e m p t y i n g o f o n e ' s 80

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o w n m i n d , that m a k e s p o s s i b l e the c o m p a s s i o n a t e e n t e r i n g into another's experience and autobiography. 7. A n o t h e r a s s u m p t i o n w e are m a k i n g is that t h e s u b j e c t s i n v o l v e d in action r e s e a r c h c a n h a v e a h a n d in t h e d e s i g n i n g o f t h e t e c h n i q u e s for c a r r y i n g out t h e r e s e a r c h . T h i s is e s s e n t i a l if p e o p l e o f their cultures are to benefit from t h e project. 8. W e also a s s u m e that it is p o s s i b l e , i n action r e s e a r c h of f o r m s o f ministry, for t h e o n e s p e r f o r m i n g t h e m i n i s t r y to e n g a g e also in r e s e a r c h i n g t h e r e l e v a n c e a n d quality o f t h e m i n i s t r y . T h i s h y p o t h e s i s w o u l d n o t b e a c c e p t a b l e in empirical r e s e a r c h . B u t in action r e s e a r c h s o m e a s p e c t s c a n b e s h o w n objectively to h a v e resulted from the ministries; e . g . , c h a n g e d b e h a v i o r or s t a t e m e n t s from participants a b o u t n e w i n s i g h t s . 9. A n d finally, w e a s s u m e that t h e skills a n d k n o w l e d g e g a i n e d will h a v e r e l e v a n c e for o t h e r cross-cultural settings. W i t h t h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s at least tentatively in p l a c e , w e turn to t h e o b j e c t i v e s that provide direction for t h e r e s e a r c h . T w o m a j o r o b j e c t i v e s e m e r g e , e a c h i n c o r p o r a t i n g several m o r e specific goals. T h e first o b j e c t i v e o f s u c h r e s e a r c h is to d e m o n s t r a t e that cultural interaction a m o n g families of various cultures c a n a d d to t h e s t r e n g t h a n d viability o f e a c h o f t h e s e families. F o r t h e " m a i n s t r e a m " families, t h e n , o n e w o u l d d e m o n s t r a t e t h e a c h i e v e m e n t o f this o b j e c t i v e if the families m a k e p r o g r e s s in relation to e a c h of t h e n e e d s stated at t h e b e g i n n i n g o f this p a p e r : that is, if t h e y a c h i e v e g r e a t e r stability a n d tranquility; if t h e y d e p e n d less o n mobility a s a m e a n s o f e s c a p e from relational p r o b l e m s ; if t h e y learn to live m o r e comfortably with p e o p l e w h o are n o t willing to b e c o m e like t h e m ; a n d if t h e y l o w e r their d e p e n d e n c e u p o n fossil fuels a n d o t h e r of the earth's r e s o u r c e s as m e a n s for a c h i e v i n g h a p p i n e s s . For t h e families of different cultures i n v o l v e d in s u c h r e s e a r c h g r o u p s , a different set of goals m u s t b e specified, e a c h l i n k e d to n e e d s e x p e r i e n c e d b y families in s u c h cultures. P a o l o Freire spells o u t s o m e o f t h e e l e m e n t s i n v o l v e d i n this first o b j e c t i v e . H e h a s a great r a n g e o f e x p e r i e n c e w i t h p e o p l e w h o s e cultures h a v e b e e n s u b m e r g e d b y o t h e r , m o r e d o m i n a n t g r o u p s . His w o r k in Brazil w a s essentially a n action r e s e a r c h
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 p l a c e d in t h e m i d s t o f a t h o r o u g h l y historical c o n t e x t a n d d e s i g n e d to c r e a t e social c h a n g e t h r o u g h a n e w u n i t y o f t h e o r y a n d praxis. H i s s u c c e s s h e b e l i e v e s w a s a c h i e v e d b e c a u s e h e e r a s e d distinctions b e t w e e n t e a c h e r a n d s t u d e n t , a n d m a d e all adults t h e t e a c h e r s o f e a c h o t h e r . H e d e m o n s t r a t e d that e v e r y h u m a n b e i n g is c a p a b l e o f l o o k i n g critically at his or h e r world in a dialogic e n c o u n t e r with o t h e r s . Freire t e r m e d his m e t h o d a " p e d a g o g y o f t h e o p p r e s s e d , " a p e d a g o g y h e w a s certain m u s t b e d e s i g n e d with, n o t for, o p p r e s s e d p e o p l e . H e d e m o n s t r a t e d also that true reflection leads to a c t i o n , a n d that action, if it is w o r t h y o f t h e t e r m praxis, b e c o m e s in t u r n the object o f critical reflection. If w e sacrifice t h e action, it e q u a l s o n l y v e r b a l i s m ; if w e sacrifice t h e reflection it is o n l y activism. O n l y w h e n it is action and reflection does t h e w o r d e q u a l w o r k , a n d that is praxis. T h e r e f o r e , o n e o f t h e m a r k s o f t h e a c h i e v e m e n t of this objective is t h e e m e r g e n c e o f a praxis o f action a n d reflection in t h e families i n v o l v e d . M o s t m i n i s t r y a i m s a t s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e in-group of t h o s e w h o b e l i e v e . M o s t religious a n d cultural c e l e b r a t i o n s , celebrate o u r u n i q u e n e s s . If, t h r o u g h the p r o c e d u r e s b e i n g outlined in this r e s e a r c h , p e o p l e learn to celebrate o t h e r p e o p l e ' s differ­ e n c e s a n d to find t h e gift h i d d e n in the o t h e r g r o u p ' s history, t h e n w e will h a v e a n o t h e r indicator o f t h e a c h i e v e m e n t o f t h e first o b j e c t i v e . T h i s m a y s o u n d like s o m e t h i n g that o n l y a full-time r e s e a r c h e r could w o r k at. B u t actually, t h e pastor, director o f Christian e d u c a t i o n or c h a p l a i n h a s t h e platform from w h i c h to l a u n c h s u c h w o r k w i t h e v e n greater effectiveness. Virtually e v e r y c o m m u n i t y h a s s o m e cultural diversity w i t h i n it. T h i s e n a b l e s c h u r c h leaders to start w i t h s o m e old tried-and-true d e s i g n s s u c h as h a v i n g c o n g r e g a t i o n s s h a r e m e a l s o f their e t h n i c origin, or w o r s h i p a n d c o n d u c t s e a s o n a l celebration from their heritage, w i t h o t h e r c o n g r e g a t i o n s o f different b a c k g r o u n d . O t h e r possibilities start to e m e r g e : C a u c a s i a n c o n g r e g a t i o n s m i g h t find i m m e n s e l y stimulating the description o f A s i a n Christians o f t h e w a y in w h i c h t h e y h e l p their c h i l d r e n m a i n t a i n discipline a n d h o n o r for their e l d e r s . A n g l o s m i g h t enjoy s o m e
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i n t e r g e n e r a t i o n a l g r o u p i n g s w i t h H i s p a n i c s to learn from t h e m h o w t h e y build s u c h powerful l i n k a g e s o f love a n d m u t u a l r e s p e c t b e t w e e n g r a n d c h i l d r e n a n d their g r a n d p a r e n t s . Native A m e r i c a n s m i g h t find quite illuminating t h e s t u d y o f the p a t t e r n s b y w h i c h p e o p l e of E u r o p e a n b a c k g r o u n d p r o d u c e s u c h vital i n d e p e n d e n c e in their children. A n d H i s p a n i c c o u p l e s m a y w i s h to form a g r o u p w i t h A n g l o c o u p l e s to learn h o w to build greater equality into the roles o f h u s b a n d a n d wife. P e r h a p s n o o n e h a s greater o p p o r t u n i t y for d i s c o v e r i n g the "gift h i d d e n in t h e o t h e r g r o u p ' s h i s t o r y " t h a n c o n g r e g a t i o n s of different e t h n i c g r o u p s that s h a r e the s a m e building. P r o b a b l y t h e m o s t significant k e y to t h e s u c c e s s of a n y s u c h u n d e r t a k i n g is t h e ability of t h e p e r s o n initiating t h e c o n t a c t to d o so w i t h n o s e n s e of superiority o r inferiority in the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Gifts c a n e m e r g e o n l y as t h e p e o p l e d i s c o v e r that t h e y c a n b o t h give a n d receive as e q u a l s . T h e s e c o n d objective is strongly related to the first. It is to create a n ecumenical n e t w o r k of people across the U n i t e d States a n d C a n a d a w h o h a v e the will to w o r k t h r o u g h cultural barriers for the sake of family life. T h e r e are d o z e n s of culture groups o n the N o r t h A m e r i c a n continent. A n d researchers vary widely in their personal history a n d characteristics. Illuminating insights a n d b r e a k t h r o u g h s could e m e r g e from a n y point in such a network. T h e t e r m " r e s e a r c h e r " c a n be a p p l i e d to a b r o a d g r o u p of p e r s o n s a n d is n o t o n l y for t h e a c a d e m i c o n a full-time a s s i g n m e n t . It c a n w i t h e q u a l a c c u r a c y b e u s e d to d e n o t e a n y l e a d e r o f a c o n g r e g a t i o n w h o tries e x p e r i m e n t a l l y to i n c r e a s e the capacity of his or h e r g r o u p to e n h a n c e the quality of life in t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d b y stimulating m u t u a l interaction w i t h p e o p l e w h o are " d i f f e r e n t . " T h i s exploratory effort, h o n e s t l y p u r s u e d a n d e v a l u a t e d , c a n p r o v i d e t h e f r a m e w o r k for n e w forms of m i n i s t r y that are u r g e n t l y n e e d e d in our t i m e . A t first g l a n c e , it m i g h t a p p e a r that n o w o r k could b e directed t o w a r d the a c h i e v i n g o f this objective until s o m e results w e r e e m e r g i n g in reference to t h e first objective. B u t w h y wait? T h e p u r p o s e o f a n e t w o r k is n o t s i m p l y to replicate r e s e a r c h that o n e p e r s o n is c o n d u c t i n g . Its p u r p o s e is r a t h e r to p e r m i t i n d e p e n ­ d e n t r e s e a r c h e r s to a d v a n c e jointly o n a n u m b e r o f fronts. In this
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 f a s h i o n , t h e y e n h a n c e a n d illuminate the w o r k that e a c h o f t h e m is d o i n g . Action research of the type outlined above places unique r e q u i r e m e n t s o n t h e directors o f t h e project: First o f all t h e s e r e q u i r e m e n t s is that t h e y p e r c e i v e t h e m s e l v e s a s validly e n g a g e d in m i n i s t r y . N o c o l d , analytic s t a n c e will d o . T h e y s h o u l d p o s s e s s the c a p a c i t y to e n c o u r a g e participation o f s t r o n g , articulate p e o p l e from e a c h culture. A n d h a v e t h e e m o t i o n a l w i l l i n g n e s s to " s i t at t h e f e e t " o f o t h e r s a n d b e t h e willing l e a r n e r s . T h e y s h o u l d t h e m s e l v e s b e willing—in D u n n e ' s t e r m s — t o " p a s s o v e r , " a n d n o t s i m p l y l e a v e this difficult a s s i g n m e n t to o t h e r s . T h i s n e e d s p e a k s to t h e quality of e m p a t h y w i t h w h i c h t h e y are e n d o w e d , a n d i n d i c a t e s also t h e humility w i t h w h i c h t h e y c a n i n t r o s p e c t i v e l y o b s e r v e a n d r e c o r d t h e c h a n g e s that o c c u r w i t h their own b e i n g . A s J o h n H i n k l e n o t e s , " I n t r o s p e c ­ tion is a m e t h o d l o n g utilized in t h e discipline o f scientific p s y c h o l o g y . " T h i s m e r g i n g o f the k n o w e r a n d k n o w n — t h e r e s e a r c h e r a n d r e s e a r c h e d — m a k e s t h e m o n e . It also e x a c t s s e v e r e p e r s o n a l d e m a n d s in t e r m s o f humility a n d objectivity. T h e r e s e a r c h e r s m u s t also p e r m i t the m i n i s t r y to b e defined b y o t h e r s . T h a t is, t h e y m a y n o t d e s c r i b e s o m e t h i n g a s ministry until o t h e r s h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d t h e reality o f b e i n g m i n i s t e r e d t o . A n d this l e a d s into a further r e q u i r e m e n t : T h e r e s e a r c h e r s m u s t let p e o p l e o f t h e different cultures h e l p s h a p e t h e d e s i g n o f t h e m i n i s t r y . O t h e r w i s e o u r cultural b i a s e s will b l i n d u s t o t h e v a r y i n g s h a p e s o f m i n i s t r y called for. A n d finally, t h e r e s e a r c h e r s m u s t n o t b e c o m e so a b s o r b e d in t h e functions o f m i n i s t r y as to n e g l e c t the various a s p e c t s o f t h e r e s e a r c h . T h e y m u s t g o o n w i t h t h e analytic task. T h e v a l u e o f i n v e s t i g a t i n g v a r i o u s forms o f m i n i s t r y lies in u s e f u l n e s s . T a n g i b l e results o f this r e s e a r c h will reside in t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e various p e o p l e , t h e g r o u p s , t h e families a n d t h e cultures i n v o l v e d . F u r t h e r m o r e , o n a p e r s o n a l level, s u c h investigation h a s t h e capacity t o " b r i n g o n b o a r d " a g r o w i n g n e t w o r k o f readers a n d m o v e t h e m t o w a r d their o w n o d y s s e y . A n d this w o u l d b e further c a u s e for celebration!
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FAMILY MINISTRIES NOTES
1. Walter Brueggemann, The Land (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977). 2. Validation of this assumption came recently from the Wingspread Conference on Research Needs in Religious Studies, conducted by the Council on the Study of Religion in February, 1978. One of the findings of this Conference was that "religious studies (as a field) is being affected increasingly and formatively by cross-cultural sensitivities. Such sensitivities are large, pervasive, and extensive. So forceful has this tendency become that some believe religious studies to have undergone (or be ready for) a transformation via the dynamics of cross-cultural modalities." (See "Report from the Wingspread Conference on Research Needs in Religious Studies/' Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin, February 16-18, 1978, p. 2 4 . ) 3. Taylor McConnell, Group Leadership for Self-Realization (New York: Mason and Lipscomb, 1974), pp. 58-59, 154. 4. Bernard Berelson and Gary A. Steiner, Human Behavior (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964), p. 327. 5. John S. Dunne, The Way of All the Earth: Experiments in Truth and Religion (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1972), p. ix. 6. Ibid., p. 182. 7. Ibid., p. ix. 8. Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos (New York: Herder and Herder, 1971). 9. Ibid., p. 75. 10. John Hinkle, "Ministry Where Cultures Meet," in June and Taylor McConnell, "Family Ministry through Cross-Cultural Education" (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, May, 1980), p. 32.

Response to "Researching Family Ministries" A s a p a s t o r w h o i n c r e a s i n g l y s e e s t h e family in all its diverse forms as the focus o f the c h u r c h m i s s i o n , I a p p r e c i a t e the M c C o n n e l l s ' call for a " m a j o r e x a m i n a t i o n o f the f o r m s o f m i n i s t r y b y w h i c h c h u r c h e s a t t e m p t to s u p p o r t a n d s t r e n g t h e n f a m i l i e s . " I a g r e e that " s e r i o u s r e s e a r c h " is n e e d e d , a n d cross-cultural studies p r o v i d e a helpful lens t h r o u g h w h i c h to v i e w families in our society. It is m y belief that w h e n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of w a y s o f life v e r y different from o n e ' s o w n is g a i n e d , abstractions a n d g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a b o u t cultural v a l u e s , social structure, institutional p a t t e r n s , a n d o t h e r u n i v e r s a l categories o f h u m a n social b e h a v i o r b e c o m e m e a n i n g f u l . I further believe that as U n i t e d M e t h o d i s t s , w e are u n i q u e l y called, t h r o u g h o u r tradition, to e m b r a c e the s t r e n g t h s of families in all their pluralism. T o do so, h o w e v e r , will require a p r o p h e t i c voice in a day w h e n so m a n y forces are a t t e m p t i n g to
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 m a k e too n a r r o w w h a t a r e a p p r o p r i a t e and/or " C h r i s t i a n " e x p r e s s i o n s o f life, family, faith. I wish the McConnells had chosen a term other than " r e s e a r c h i n g " family ministries. I fear t h e t e r m is too v a l u e - l a d e n a n d h a s too l o n g - s t a n d i n g a tradition in science to b e r e c e i v e d a s t h e M c C o n n e l l s w o u l d define it. T h o u g h I b e l i e v e m o s t p a s t o r s c o u l d carry out a n " a c t i o n - r e f l e c t i o n " m e t h o d o f e x p l o r a t i o n , few p a s t o r s are e q u i p p e d properly to do r e s e a r c h . H a v i n g said that, p r o f e s s i o n a l r e s e a r c h e r s w o u l d do well to h e e d the b a s i c a s s u m p t i o n s u n d e r l y i n g t h e M c C o n n e l l s ' a p p r o a c h to " r e s e a r c h , " e s p e c i a l l y their e m p h a s i s o n exploring " w i t h " a n d n o t " f o r " t h o s e p e r s o n s a n d families from w h i c h they would draw n e w insights. I agree that m o s t o f t h e forces a n d v a l u e s s e e k i n g to fragment t h e family are e x t e r n a l , a n d w o u l d a d d u n e m p l o y m e n t , a n u n j u s t i n c o m e tax s y s t e m , a n d t h e threat o f a n u c l e a r holocaust. It m e a n s that if w e are serious a b o u t s t r e n g t h e n i n g families, w e m u s t confront t h e social structures a n d policies that t h r e a t e n t h e m . I d i s a g r e e that " t h e family n o l o n g e r s e e m s capable of fulfilling its role a s a s o u r c e o f stability a n d s t r e n g t h in a time o f rapid c h a n g e . " G r a n t e d , too m a n y families are i n c o m p e t e n t , b u t s t r o n g families a b o u n d . I w o u l d call y o u r a t t e n t i o n to the b o d y of r e s e a r c h e m e r g i n g a r o u n d family s t r e n g t h s . Finally, I b e l i e v e t h e c h u r c h c a n t e a c h family s t r e n g t h s t h r o u g h a family life e d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m d e s i g n e d to a d d r e s s t h e " g e n e r a l l y p r e d i c t a b l e " t u r n i n g p o i n t s a n d crises o f family life. I c a n generally predict that m y d a u g h t e r s will " l e a v e h o m e , " that m y p a r e n t s will i n c r e a s i n g l y rely o n m e for s u p p o r t , a n d I'll face r e t i r e m e n t , e t c . T h e p o i n t b e i n g that if I c a n anticipate s u c h transitions, I c a n b e t t e r p r e p a r e for t h e m s o that t h e y will b r i n g m o r e possibility a n d less pitfall. It's j u s t to s u c h a family life p r o g r a m o f p r e v e n t i v e a n d creative m a i n t e n a n c e t h e c h u r c h is called, s o that families c a n b e freed to b e in m i s s i o n . Kelly B y r o n B e n d e r Pastor, Countryside United Methodist Church Topeka, Kansas

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ORDINATION TASKS: FIVE CLUSTERS
ANDREW GILMAN

H o w can w e say o r d a i n e d m i n i s t e r s are "set a p a r t " w h e n their w o r k o v e r l a p s w i t h that of the laity? T h e a n s w e r lies in finding the "areas o f u n c e r t a i n t y " over w h i c h o r d a i n e d m i n i s t e r s c l a i m control.

O r d i n a t i o n sets m i n i s t e r s apart. T h a t is clear. A s the C o n s u l t a t i o n o n C h u r c h U n i o n said r e c e n t l y in its s t a t e m e n t o n m i n i s t r y , while all C h r i s t i a n s are called to b e m i n i s t e r s , s o m e are a p p o i n t e d to carry out special n e e d s a n d p u r p o s e s . " T h e r e are distinctions o f function, b u t n o distinctions o f d i g n i t y . " T h e r e is a division b e t w e e n o r d a i n e d clergy a n d t h e laity. T h e c h u r c h s e t s apart m e n a n d w o m e n for special roles in t h e c o m m u n i t y of faith.
1

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , clarity s e e m s to e n d with s t a t e m e n t s like t h e s e a n d c o n f u s i o n sets in. W h i l e it is clear that m i n i s t e r s are set apart b y ordination, it is n o t at all clear j u s t w h a t t h e y are set a p a r t for. It is o b v i o u s that o r d a i n e d m i n i s t e r s are different from lay m i n i s t e r s , but it is n o t o b v i o u s precisely h o w . D e f i n i n g the special roles a n d ministries o c c u p i e d b y t h o s e o r d a i n e d is a difficult a n d frustrating task. T h e r e is a n a l m o s t d e m o n i c a m b i g u i t y a b o u t the o r d a i n e d ministry. E v e r y b o d y suffers in stress a n d frustration, p a r i s h i o n e r s . A situation c o m p e t e n c e h a s the effect this situation. b o t h for the that d o e s n o t of e n c o u r a g i n g Confusion generates p a s t o r a n d for the identify a n d d e m a n d incompetence, and no

Andrew Gilman is pastor of the Stratham Community Church, United Church of Christ, Stratham, New Hampshire.

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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 o n e likes to b e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i n c o m p e t e n c e , either as a provider o r as a client. T h e r e s h o u l d b e clarity, if n o t for the s a k e o f the calling, t h e n certainly for t h e s a k e s of t h o s e called. W h a t is t h e m e a n i n g o f o r d i n a t i o n ? J u s t h o w are ordained ministers different. W h a t are their special tasks? Is it possible to d e s c r i b e their role in a w a y that is b o t h useful to the professionals a n d respectful o f the p r o f e s s i o n ? I t h i n k so. O n e w a y to d e s c r i b e p r o f e s s i o n s is b y describing t h e areas of u n c e r t a i n t y o v e r w h i c h t h e y claim c o n t r o l . D o c t o r s , for e x a m p l e , h a v e c o n t r o l o v e r t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f m y physical h e a l t h , a n d a u t o m e c h a n i c s h a v e c o n t r o l o v e r t h e uncertainty of m y car's t r a n s m i s s i o n . Control m a y b e too s t r o n g a w o r d , especially in t h e c a s e o f m y t r a n s m i s s i o n . B u t in b o t h i n s t a n c e s t h e s e p e o p l e are t h e o n e s w h o m I c o n s u l t , o n w h o s e o p i n i o n s I rely, w h o m I e x p e c t to h a v e e x p e r t i s e , a n d to w h o m I will defer. I s u g g e s t that ordination delineates a cluster o f five areas o f u n c e r t a i n t y o v e r w h i c h the p a s t o r h a s control—areas in w h i c h t h e m i n i s t e r is e x p e c t e d to h a v e e x p e r t i s e , w h e r e his or h e r o p i n i o n s c o u n t , w h e r e h e o r s h e is c o n s u l t e d a n d p e r h a p s e v e n deferred t o . T h e s e a r e a s are t h e s e a r c h for m e a n i n g , t h e s u p p o r t of v a l u e s , t h e s e n s e of p e r s o n a l w o r t h , t h e identification o f t h e m i s s i o n o f t h e institutional c h u r c h , a n d provision o f access to t h e larger s o c i e t y . F o r e a c h o f t h e s e a r e a s t h e r e is a task w h i c h ordination calls pastors to perform: for m e a n i n g t h e r e is t h e task of interpreting. F o r v a l u e s t h e r e is the task o f legitimating. F o r p e r s o n a l w o r t h t h e r e is t h e t a s k o f affirming. F o r institutional m i s s i o n t h e r e is t h e task o f initiating, a n d for social a c c e s s there is the t a s k of c o n n e c t i n g . T h e s e tasks c a n b e briefly d e s c r i b e d . I n t e r p r e t i n g . T h e c h u r c h is a c o m m u n i t y o f m e a n i n g . It s e e k s to n u r t u r e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d to p r o m o t e a w a r e n e s s . It tries to a n s w e r p a r i s h i o n e r s ' q u e s t i o n s , especially their Big Q u e s t i o n s . In o r d e r to do this, t h e c h u r c h h a s a special l a n g u a g e , special s y m b o l s , a n d special traditions. T h e c h u r c h ' s c a l e n d a r , t h e Bible, t h e v a r i o u s c o n f e s s i o n s o f faith—these are all i n s t r u m e n t s the c h u r c h u s e s to e x p r e s s t h e M e a n i n g o f T h i n g s . H o w e v e r , if t h e s e e x p r e s s i o n s are to h a v e a n y significance, t h e y n e e d to b e i n t e r p r e t e d . O t h e r w i s e t h e y quickly b e c o m e a n a c h r o n i s t i c , archaic, o r m e r e l y c u t e . It is n o t e n o u g h to g a t h e r a n d sing,
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" h o l y , h o l y , h o l y . " F o r that to b e a s u b s t a n t i v e e x p e r i e n c e , p e o p l e n e e d to d i s c u s s w h a t holiness m e a n s , w h e r e it c a n b e e n c o u n t e r e d , w h a t is a n a p p r o p r i a t e r e s p o n s e , a n d so forth. T h e task of interpreting c a n b e carried out t h r o u g h p r e a c h i n g . M i n i s t e r s often feel that this is their b e s t o p p o r t u n i t y to explain a n d e x p o u n d . H o w e v e r , listeners m a y b e m o r e likely to appreciate t h e p r e a c h e r t h a n to r e m e m b e r t h e s e r m o n . W h i l e t h e y c a n recollect perfectly t h e p a s t o r ' s facial e x p r e s s i o n , t h e y m a y h a v e a h a r d time w i t h t h e three p o i n t s that w e r e m a d e . This is n o t a criticism o f the p r e a c h e r . It is r a t h e r a r e m i n d e r that the m e s s e n g e r is a l w a y s m o r e i m p o r t a n t to p a r i s h i o n e r s t h a n the message.
4

P r o b a b l y t h e m i n i s t e r interprets as powerfully out o f the pulpit as in it. W h e n p e o p l e talk a b o u t practicing w h a t o n e p r e a c h e s , t h e y are indicating w h e r e t h e y l e a r n , w h e n t h e y pick u p signals. T h e i m m e d i a t e r e s p o n s e a p a s t o r m a k e s to a crisis, s u c h as a d e a t h , will p r o b a b l y carry m o r e w e i g h t t h a n his or h e r r e a s o n e d r e a c t i o n . T h e p o i n t is that a n y o c c a s i o n w h e r e the p a s t o r can relate theological affirmation to t h e lived situations o f his or her p a r i s h i o n e r s is a n o c c a s i o n for interpreting. L e g i t i m a t i n g . T h e p a s t o r ' s attitude t o w a r d i s s u e s a n d c o n c e r n s is an i m p o r t a n t t o u c h s t o n e for p a r i s h i o n e r s . It is n o t that m e m b e r s o f t h e flock w a n t to e c h o t h e p a s t o r ' s s e n t i m e n t s . F a r from it! B u t t h e y w a n t to k n o w w h e r e h e or s h e s t a n d s , so that t h e y c a n h a v e s o m e p e r p e c t i v e o n their o w n v a l u e s . W h a t t h e p a s t o r e n d o r s e s , w h e r e t h e m i n i s t e r ' s p a s s i o n s are e n g a g e d , w h a t c a u s e s are e s p o u s e d , w h a t m o r a l t o n e is g i v e n off, will form a significant e n v i r o n m e n t for c h u r c h p e o p l e . Legitimating includes a wide range of issues. O n the one hand it applies to p e r s o n a l i s s u e s s u c h a s g a m b l i n g o r t h e u s e of alcohol. O n t h e o t h e r it refers to social i s s u e s s u c h a s civil rights for h o m o s e x u a l s or t h e n e e d s o f third-world p e o p l e s . Jeffrey H a d d e n , w h o identifies the w o r k o f m i n i s t r y a s " v a l u e creating, v a l u e carrying, v a l u e l e g i t i m a t i n g , " h a d in m i n d t h e social i s s u e s o f the early 1 9 6 0 s , especially t h e civil rights i s s u e s . B u t the p h r a s e applies as well to the field o f individual n e e d s a n d c o n c e r n s s u c h as s e x u a l m o r a l s a n d life-style evaluation. In e a c h i n s t a n c e , t h e t a s k o f t h e m i n i s t e r is to give off signals a b o u t w h a t
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 is " o k a y " from a t h e o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . T h e p a s t o r will n o t n e c e s s a r i l y c o n v i n c e his or h e r p a r i s h i o n e r s , b u t t h e m i n i s t e r ' s v i e w will p r o v i d e a n i m p o r t a n t p o i n t o f reference for t h o s e in t h e parish. A f f i r m i n g . In a w o r l d i n c r e a s i n g l y i m p e r s o n a l , w h e r e individuals t e n d to b e treated as c u s t o m e r s a n d clients, t h e i m p o r t a n c e of p e r s o n a l a t t e n t i o n g r o w s . T o s p e a k o f a p e r s o n a l e m p h a s i s m a y c o n j u r e u p i m a g e s of d e a d l y afternoon teas in w h i c h e n d l e s s h o u r s are c o n s u m e d d i s c u s s i n g the unpredict­ ability o f the w e a t h e r , but t h e t a s k is m o r e substantial a n d w o r t h w h i l e t h a n that. P a s t o r i n g , in this c o n t e x t , c o n s i s t s o f n o u r i s h i n g a n d s u b s t a i n i n g a p e r s o n - t o - p e r s o n relationship b e t w e e n p a s t o r a n d p a r i s h i o n e r . T h e basic c o m m o d i t y is c o n c e r n a n d t h e j o b o f the m i n i s t e r is affirming t h e w o r t h o f p a r i s h i o n e r s ; c o m m u n i c a t i n g their v a l u e as p e r s o n s , caring a b o u t t h e m . W h e n p a r i s h i o n e r s c o m e to t h e p a s t o r w i t h p r o b l e m s t h e y d o n o t n e c e s s a r i l y e x p e c t their difficulties to b e r e s o l v e d . S u c h a resolution m a y take p l a c e , especially if t h e p a s t o r is o n e w h o h a s a d d e d c o u n s e l i n g skills to t h e arsenal. B u t t h e m o r e u s u a l e x p e c t a t i o n is that t h e p a s t o r will comfort t h e m , will be c o n c e r n e d a b o u t t h e m . In s u c h c a s e s p a r i s h i o n e r s are a s k i n g for n o t h i n g less t h a n r e s p e c t a n d d e m a n d little from t h e p a s t o r e x c e p t for t h e self-discipline to listen. W r i t i n g a b o u t the field o f social w o r k , o n e a u t h o r d e s c r i b e d w h a t h e called " e n c o u n t e r s . " E n c o u n t e r s are c o n t a c t s b e t w e e n t h e w o r k e r a n d the client that are u n s c h e d u l e d a n d o c c u r in n e u t r a l territory. S u c h e n c o u n t e r s t a k e place in office halls, in b u s l i n e s , at social e v e n t s , a n d so o n . T h e e n c o u n t e r is u n p l a n n e d a n d often s e e m s to b e a c o i n c i d e n c e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , there is a discipline i n v o l v e d for t h e social w o r k e r a n d it is o n e o f listening. S u c h e n c o u n t e r s s e r v e chiefly to highlight " w h e r e t h e client i s . " T h e i r k e y t a s k is building trust a n d k e e p i n g o p e n communication. T h i s is a g o o d d e s c r i p t i o n o f the task o f affirming. Pastors c o m e a c r o s s p a r i s h i o n e r s in s u p e r m a r k e t s , at gas stations, a n d m a n y o t h e r p l a c e s , a n d the p a r i s h i o n e r will give off clues a b o u t c o n c e r n s a n d d i s t r e s s e s . S o m e t i m e s the clues are subtle, as in a slight p a u s e before a n s w e r i n g the c o n v e n t i o n a l q u e s t i o n , " H o w
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are y o u ? " w i t h the equally c o n v e n t i o n a l a n s w e r , " F i n e . " S o m e t i m e s the c l u e s are m o r e direct: " W o u l d y o u p r a y for m y father? T h e y j u s t t o o k h i m to t h e h o s p i t a l . " In either case, p a r i s h i o n e r s a r e primarily s e e k i n g to tell t h e p a s t o r a b o u t t h e m s e l v e s . M o r e t h a n specific a s s i s t a n c e , l a y p e r s o n s w a n t a sensitivity to their hurt. In t h e m i n i s t e r t h e y e x p e c t to find s o m e o n e to w h o m their e x p e r i e n c e will m a k e a difference. P a r i s h i o n e r s w a n t to b e listened to a n d k n o w n . M i n i s t e r s face t h e task of affirming. I n i t i a t i n g . C l e r g y are set apart to exercise l e a d e r s h i p in a s t r a n g e w a y . G e n e r a l l y , a c c o r d i n g to t h e local c h u r c h ' s b y - l a w s , t h e p a s t o r h a s little official s t a n d i n g . T h e legal authority o f t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n is l o d g e d in s o m e b o a r d of lay p e o p l e , often with t h e m i n i s t e r n o t e v e n h a v i n g a v o t e . T h i s is a reflection o f t h e fact that t h e local c o n g r e g a t i o n is t h e actual o w n e r of t h e c h u r c h a n d is formally r e s p o n s i b l e for it. H o w e v e r , r e g a r d l e s s o f policies a n d b y - l a w s , the p a s t o r is the c h u r c h ' s leader, at least in certain r e s p e c t s . T h e p a s t o r is t h e r e to b r i n g a special p e r s p e c t i v e o n the affairs of the local c h u r c h , to indicate w h a t n e e d s to b e d o n e , a n d to d e s r i b e h o w it c a n be a c c o m p l i s h e d . T h e m i n i s t e r h a s b e e n called to articulate possibilities, to indicate priorities, to inspire e n t h u s i a s m , a n d to sustain m o m e n t u m . O n e a u t h o r d e s c r i b e s this as c h a r i s m a t i c l e a d e r s h i p b e c a u s e it is n o t conferred b y training a n d i n v o l v e s the b r i n g i n g of s o m e t h i n g n e w to t h e local o r g a n i z a t i o n . T h a t is, this sort of authority is a m a t t e r o f vision a n d a p p e a l rather t h a n skill a n d legal a u t h o r i t y . T h a t m a y be an a b u s e o f t h e w o r d charisma, b u t it is helpful in p o i n t i n g out w h a t is i n v o l v e d in this a s p e c t of ministry. A m i n i s t e r is t h e r e to add a fresh n o t e to t h e situation. T h e p a s t o r is the a g e n t of initiative, a n d e v e n w h e n h e or s h e does not p e r s o n a l l y g e n e r a t e the n e w i d e a s , it is still u p to h i m or h e r to legitimate t h e m , to d e v e l o p t h e m , a n d to p u s h t h e m . T h e p a s t o r is m o r e t h a n t h e m i d d l e m a n a g e m e n t figure d e s c r i b e d b y H . R i c h a r d N i e b u h r in The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry. R a t h e r , the p a s t o r is t h e r e to p r o d u c e positive organizational
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 m o r a l e , to define t h e local c h u r c h ' s peculiar m i s s i o n , a n d to g e n e r a t e s u p p o r t o f it. T o fulfill t h e s e p u r p o s e s is n o t simply a m a t t e r of d r e a m s a n d w o r d - p i c t u r e s . In o r d e r to p r o d u c e e n t h u s i a s m , t h e m i n i s t e r m u s t d o t h e n e c e s s a r y h o m e w o r k a n d b e able to p r o d u c e s o m e results (or c o n v i n c e o t h e r s that t h e y are p o s s i b l e ) . In this c o n t e x t , Paul H a r r i s o n ' s description o f t h e rational-pragmatic a u t h o r i t y that a c c r u e s to p a s t o r s w h o get t h i n g s d o n e — a n authority h e lables " i l l e g i t i m a t e " — i s a p r o p e r a n d a b o v e - b o a r d part o f the p a s t o r ' s l e a d e r s h i p . It is n e c e s s a r y to h a v e s o m e a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s in o r d e r to g e n e r a t e s u p p o r t . T h e parish m u s t h a v e c o n f i d e n c e in t h e p a s t o r ' s ability to deliver before m e m b e r s c a n invest m u c h of t h e m s e l v e s in his or h e r vision for t h e m . T h e p r i m a r y t a s k o f m i n i s t r y , h o w e v e r , is n o t getting t h i n g s d o n e b u t articulating a s e n s e o f m i s s i o n a n d e n c o u r a g i n g t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n to m o v e t o w a r d fulfilling t h e m i s s i o n .
9

C o n n e c t i n g . T h e m i n i s t e r is a s o u r c e o f social access, i n f o r m a t i o n , a n d c o n t a c t s . H e o r s h e functions a l m o s t as a c l e a r i n g h o u s e . M a n y p e o p l e turn to t h e p a s t o r in the first m o m e n t s o f a crisis, w h e n t h e y w a n t to sort out o p t i o n s , o r w h e n t h e y s i m p l y w a n t to find o t h e r s to h e l p t h e m w i t h various p r o j e c t s . O n e s t u d y , for e x a m p l e , f o u n d that o f t h o s e i n distress w h o s o u g h t professional h e l p , 4 2 p e r c e n t c o n s u l t e d clergy f i r s t . It is also to t h e p a s t o r that m a n y turn to find out m o r e a b o u t social i s s u e s , to d i s c o v e r w h e r e t h e y c a n b u y religious b o o k s , to e x p l o r e w h a t d e n o m i n a t i o n a l activities w o u l d b e suited to their i n t e r e s t s , a n d s o o n . T h e p a s t o r is n o t e x p e c t e d to h a v e all t h e d e s i r e d information, b u t t h e p a s t o r s h o u l d k n o w w h e r e to find it. T h i s is true w h e t h e r p a r i s h i o n e r s ' q u e s t i o n s h a v e to d o w i t h S u n d a y s c h o o l m a t e r i a l s , welfare services, funeral h o m e s , or audiovisual e q u i p m e n t . T h e m i n i s t e r is often t h e pivotal link in t h e flow of i n f o r m a t i o n , v o l u n t e e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s , t h e r a p e u t i c services, a n d global c o n c e r n s . T h r o u g h the pastor m o s t d e n o m i n a t i o n a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n flows. T h r o u g h the p a s t o r m o s t c o m m u n i t y a p p e a l s are m a d e . T h r o u g h t h e p a s t o r p e r s o n s n e e d i n g a s s i s t a n c e c o m e to b e referred. Partially this task is a c o n s e q u e n c e o f the m i n i s t e r ' s o w n
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TASKS O F T H E O R D A I N E D

peculiar p o s i t i o n o f a c c e s s . T h e p a s t o r is a l m o s t universally w e l c o m e . H e or s h e is well-received i n p e o p l e ' s h o m e s , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e situation. T h e p a s t o r is also c o n n e c t e d to social institutions in a variety of w a y s . T h e result is that h e or s h e is often the link for p e o p l e , the interface b e t w e e n t h e m a n d the larger c o m m u n i t i e s in w h i c h t h e y live. T h i s task of c o n n e c t i n g b e c o m e s t h e p a s t o r ' s partially b e c a u s e of his or h e r credibility. M i n i s t e r s h a v e b e e n set apart, a n d t h e y h a v e t h e aura of disinterest. T h e y s e e m to b e clearly a b o v e t a k i n g a d v a n t a g e o f t h e situation, or profiting in a n y w a y . T h a t this a p p e a r a n c e is clear to all is i m p o r t a n t , b e c a u s e often t h o s e s e e k i n g i n f o r m a t i o n or referrals feel e x t r e m e l y v u l n e r a b l e a n d will t u r n o n l y to t h o s e w i t h w h o m t h e y feel s e c u r e . B e c a u s e of t h e p a s t o r ' s credibility, a n d b e c a u s e also o f his or h e r a c c e s s to a w i d e r a n g e o f situations, the m i n i s t e r h a s t h e t a s k o f facilitating c o n n e c t i o n s for p a r i s h i o n e r s . T h e s e five tasks deal w i t h areas o f u n c e r t a i n t y for p e o p l e . .Interpreting d e a l s w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y of m e a n i n g , w i t h the struggle to a p p r o p r i a t e a living tradition. L e g i t i m a t i n g deals w i t h t h e u n c e r t a i n t y of e s t a b l i s h i n g a c o h e r e n t set of v a l u e s , an especially tricky b u s i n e s s in a pluralistic age s u c h as ours. Affirming deals w i t h the u n c e r t a i n t y of p e r s o n a l w o r t h — a quality u n d e r s t r o n g p r e s s u r e in m a s s society. Initiating refers to t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f m o v e m e n t a n d m o r a l e in t h e institutional c h u r c h . C o n n e c t i n g d e a l s w i t h t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f a c c e s s to a large scale social s y s t e m . T h e m i n i s t r y is n o t , of c o u r s e , t h e only o c c u p a t i o n w h i c h d e a l s w i t h t h e s e a r e a s . In c o n t e m p o r a r y s o c i e t y m o v i e stars c a n legitimate v a l u e s , a n d welfare depart­ m e n t s c a n offer a c c e s s to social s e r v i c e s . T h e ministry m a y , quite p o s s i b l y , b e t h e o n l y p r o f e s s i o n w h i c h h a s all t h e s e a r e a s a s a c o m m o n cluster o f c o n c e r n , but a m o r e i m p o r t a n t distinction is that for the m i n i s t r y , t h e s e c o n c e r n s g r o w o u t o f theological affirmation. I n t e r p r e t i n g , legitimating, a n d t h e rest are n o t just tasks that history h a p p e n s to h a v e thrust into the p a s t o r ' s lap. T h e y are r o o t e d in the m i n i s t e r ' s s e n s e o f t h e G o s p e l , in t h e w a y G o d ' s love is m a d e i n c a r n a t e in t h e w o r l d a n d given h u m a n s u b s t a n c e . T h e s e tasks are w a y s p a s t o r s in this d a y c a n live out their faith a n d assist o t h e r s in living out their faith. F o r the
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 ministry, p r o f e s s i o n a l identity p r o c e e d s from o n e ' s identity as a p e r s o n of faith. D e s c r i b i n g t h e m i n i s t r y in this w a y offers a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f pastoral a u t h o r i t y w h i c h is n e i t h e r too h i g h n o r too l o w to b e useful. T h e scale is n o t so g r a n d a n d m e t a p h y s i c a l that daily realities fade from sight. N o r is it so small that the s u g g e s t i o n s m a d e are s i m p l y a b u n c h of practical g i m m i c k s . I t h i n k that this description p r o v i d e s a realistic picture o f t h e ministry: a picture o f w h a t it is that p a s t o r s d o that m a k e s p a s t o r i n g a n i m p o r t a n t t h i n g to d o . T h e tasks m e n t i o n e d are significant t a s k s , b u t t h e y a r e also t h e stuff o f w h i c h w e e k l y s c h e d u l e s are m a d e . F u r t h e r m o r e , this cluster o f tasks is a list of activities that are tangible a n d o b j e c t i v e . I n t e r p r e t i n g , affirming, a n d the rest are m a d e u p o f skills that c a n b e t a u g h t , i m p r o v e d , a n d evaluated. D e s c r i b i n g t h e m i n i s t r y in this w a y liberates it from exclusive subjectivity, in w h i c h p a s t o r i n g is o n l y p e r s o n a l art. Listing areas o f u n c e r t a i n t y o v e r w h i c h m i n i s t e r s are given control d o e s n o t eradicate t h e p e r s o n a l qualities that e a c h p a s t o r b r i n g s , b u t it d o e s h i g h l i g h t objective skills a n d k n o w l e d g e w h i c h are i m p o r t a n t in pastoral c o m p e t e n c e . A b o v e all, d e s c r i b i n g t h e ministry in this w a y gives a b o t t o m line to t h e p r o f e s s i o n , o n e that is b o t h respectful o f t h e calling a n d useful to t h o s e called. T h i s cluster o f tasks indicates w h a t authority is conferred in o r d i n a t i o n a n d w h a t accountability is demanded.

NOTES
1. In Quest of a Church of Christ Uniting (Princeton: Consultation on Church Union, 1980), p. 37. 2. Linda Nilson, "An Application of the Occupational 'Uncertainty Principle' to the Professions," Social Problems, 26 (June 1979): 570-81. 3. James Gustafson, Treasure in Earthen Vessels (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976) pp. 56-71. 4. Osmund Scheuder, "The Silent Majority" in Gregory Baum and Andrew Greeley, eds., Communication in the Church (New York: Seabury Press, 1978), p. 17. 5. Jeffrey Hadden, The Gathering Storm in the Churches (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969), p. xx. 6. See also the servant model for the church in Avery Dulles, Models of the Church (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1978), pp. 95 ff. 7. Julian Hull, "Encounters," Social Work (January 1980): 61-63.

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TASKS O F T H E ORDAINED 8. Phyllis Day, "Charismatic Leadership in the Small Organization/' Human Organization, (spring 1981). 9. Paul Harrison, Authority and Power in the Free Church Tradition (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971). 10. Henry Vikler, "Counselling Demands, Procedures, and Preparation of Parish Ministers: A Descriptive Study," journal of Psychology and Theology, (winter 1979): 271-60.

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THE QUESTION OF GOD Reviews by Robert T. Osborn Hans Kiing, Does God Exist: An Answer for Today, trans. Edward Quinn. New York: Vantage Books, 1981. Pp. vii-839. $8.95. Basil Mitchell, The Justification of Religious Belief. New York: The Oxford University Press, 1981. Pp. 1-180. $4.95. Kiing asks, does God exist? Mitchell asks, how can one, like Kiing, ask and answer that question? Kung's project is presented to him by modem atheism, which "demands an account of our belief in God as it never did in the past" (p. xxii). The challenge is not academic, for at stake, in Kung's judgment, is "the struggle with the . . . insecurity of human existence, which has existed from time immemorial" (p. xxx), and which, with the breakup of the certainties and unity of the Middle Ages at the advent of the Renaissance and the rise of modern science and rationalism, emerged with a new poignancy and urgency in the 17th century. Kung's study will therefore begin with Descartes and Pascal, with the quest for certainty via the cogito of reason and the credo of faith. Somewhat differently, Mitchell asks whether belief in God's existence as found in "traditional Christian theism" "requires or admits of rational support" (p. 1). Rather than answer the material question raised by Kiing, he gives "an account of the sort of reasoning by which a religious position [such as Kung's] is characteristically supported" (p. 2). This is in order to show that a defense of faith need not be, as its British philosophical critics have argued, "logically inconsistent or in some other way logically incoherent through
Robert T. Osborn teaches in the Duke University Department of Religion. 96

QUESTION OF GOD

failing some legitimate test of significance or intelligibility" (p. 7). These differences in the purposes of the two theologians are suggestive of other differences. Mitchell, an Oxford philosopher and theologian, writes a most British book—concise, precise, and logical, addressed to those whose faith and theology have been under attack from British philosophy. It is a relatively brief, tightly reasoned, and excellent analysis of what can count for a rational defense of faith. Kiing, on the other hand, is a German professor and theologian. He is also a somewhat forcibly liberated Roman Catholic theologian who finds himself in an immediate confrontation with the modern world. He is obliged, he feels, to defend and make the case for his faith—vis-^-vis his own tradition against claims of modern scientism and atheism, in the face of a pluralistically religious world and as a citizen of the Christian west. His book is long, often too wordy, but most erudite. While it is certainly an exercise in theological analysis and construction, its immediate subject matter is the history of mainline western philosophical development from the seventeenth century to the present.
/

A point of obvious agreement between these authors is that the traditional proofs for the existence of God do not work as proofs. In his first two chapters Mitchell concludes that the proofs instead set forth the presuppositions of faith and that, as a matter of fact, "in such a fundamental matter as our entire understanding of life, proof is out of place and we must be content to be guided by presuppositions, which determine for us what shall count as proof" (p. 34). Kiing similarly observes, along with Anselm, that the proofs assume faith in the existence of the God whose proof is sought. Without faith these proofs do not work. However, Kiing seeks a rational and responsible answer to the question, Does God exist? If reason cannot prove his existence, does a rational response to the question yet remain? Kung's answer, which it is the task of the book to develop, is anticipated in his On Being a Christian. In Does God Exist? he traces a history of efforts to deal with the question, through which his own answer emerges—namely, a broadening and extension of Kant's so-called "moral" proof. This line takes him with great sympathy to Hegel, who, he says, must serve as the "model for further development" (p. 129). Kiing's premise is an understanding of God as the final and absolute source of the unity and certainty of reality and experience. With the breakup of the medieval synthesis and the rise of modern rationalism and science, that unity (and therefore God's existence) are in doubt.
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 Since Kiing believes in God, his challenge is primarily theo-logical— namely, how to represent or speak of that divine ground of unity and certainty in such a way that it can answer effectively to modern doubt, atheism, and nihilism. The question was taken up in the seventeenth century in paradigmatic fashion by Descartes and Pascal. Descartes, having found apparent certainty in his reason, sought to speak on that basis with equal certainty about God. But as Kiing says, "conceptual certainty, however methodically thought, is still a long way from existential security" (p. 40). Pascal, finding such rationalism "useless and uncertain" advocated instead of Descartes' rational cogito, a wholistic, passionate leap of the "heart" into the wholly other world of the biblical God. In Kung's judgment Pascal's correlative disparage­ ment of reason as hopelessly sinful and fallen was in error and was to render reason Godless and a "track to atheism." The division and disunity remain—Descartes' cogito on the one hand, Pascal's credo on the other. How are they to be brought together? Kiing finds the solution in the philosophical development from Descartes to the German idealists that reached its culmination in the thought of G. F. Hegel and that permitted man "to think of God and particularly the biblical God on a grander scale" (p. 127) than had ever before been possible. Inasmuch as Hegel's thought thus signaled "a turning toward a unity of infinite and finite, divine and human, to a unity of life . . . " ( p . 129), a modern recovery of the lost unity and reality and a new vision of God, it is to be the paradigm or "model for further development" (p. 129). In Kung's judgment, Hegel succeeds. In two specific and important ways. First, Hegel overcame the dualism in which traditional theology had been for so long encrusted. God is no longer to be conceived dualistically as "above" or "beyond" the world, but henceforth "panentheistically" as in the world and the world as in God. Secondly, he overcame the notion of God as a static, lifeless absolute. God is now to be understood as a living, dialectically self-realizing Spirit. This is "the God of the new world picture" (p. 333). In his transcendent immanence he brings together the immanent reason of Descartes and the transcending faith of Pascal. And in his dialectic self-realization all alienation, even the alienation of autonomous, scientific, atheistic, nihilistic reason, is taken up ("aufgehoben" or "sublated") into the dialectical life of absolute spirit. Confident in this division, Kiing proceeds to engage modern atheism, nihilism (Nietzsche) and more recent critics of faith. At the outset it was stated that Kiing modifies the
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Kantian proof. Kant understood God to be a postulate of the practical reason, an idea without which he could not make sense of the moral life. The moral life is categorical and inescapable and therefore as a postulate of that experience, God is also. Kiing is persuaded that Kant's argument is too narrow. The challenge to faith from its critics, he says, must be answered "in terms of a God considered in relation to the totality of man and the world." As a postulate of our total experience God and theistic faith make better sense than does atheism or nihilism. Having rejected traditional proofs, Mitchell ventures a rational defense by what he calls a "cumulative case." Most of Mitchell's book is in defense of the appropriateness of making this kind of case for Christian theism. He makes his point by appealing to analogies from secular argument, which are generally accepted as rational. The question is whether the evidences of religion are comparable to other kinds of evidence. His argument proceeds through stages. The first objection to his analogies is that religion is like metaphysics, and since metaphysics concerns ultimate principles, there is no possibility of rationally settling a dispute at this level. A philosophical determinist will argue that freedom is illusory, regardless of how I experience my so-called "freedom." There appears to be no amount of evidence that can be accumulated to dissuade him of his disbelief in freedom. To this kind of argument Mitchell responds that the same problem exists in science (and other fields) and not just in religion and metaphysics. T. S. Kuhn has shown how scientific reasoning cannot settle the argument between basic scientific visions or paradigms. "Paradigms," says Kuhn, "are not corrigible by normal science at all" (p. 66). The move from one paradigm to another is "revolutionary"; it entails a revelation and conversion. So Mitchell contends that if scientists were irrational when they shifted from a pre-Copernican to a Copernican world view, then so is anyone who moves from disbelief in God to belief in God. Are such moves indeed irrational? He replies that they are not rational in the sense that they are based on rational proof or strict probability. But they are rational insofar as they reflect sound, rational judgment. Mitchell does not want to say that Kuhn is wrong in speaking of revolutions, since specifiable reasons cannot be given for paradigm shifts. Nevertheless, basic rules for judgment can be specified. Michael Polanyi would doubtless speak here of the "tacit dimension." Finally Kuhn considers those criticisms of the rational defense of faith from the standpoint of faith itself, criticisms which contend that faith and reason are incompatible. Faith, after all, is personal commitment, not rational argument; God is a reality and not merely a
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QUARTERLY REVIEW, WINTER 1982 theoretical hypothesis. Acceding to these points, Mitchell holds his ground nevertheless, and demonstrates the place of reason in faith and the need for rational defense. It is the last form of this kind of criticism to which I would finally direct our consideration of Mitchell. The issue is whether the idea of revelation does not finally preempt the role of reason. Are the analogies earlier employed not invalidated by claims to revelation? His answer is no, the analogies do apply. He draws an analogy to the experience of an outstanding musical performance or being taught by the pupil of a distinguished teacher. In these cases reason does not presume, a priori, to judge what would constitute that outstanding performance or what the pupil should have learned from his teacher. But, neither is reason finally excluded; instead it is expanded and illuminated. Developing the analogy of the pupil, Mitchell further argues that it is a reasonable inference from the testimony of the pupil, as well as from the possible change in his life effected by the alleged teacher, that a teacher in fact exists. This is especially the case with the New Testament witnesses, who testify to having been taught and given new lives by God in Christ. Let me summarize Mitchell's position before returning to Kiing. Mitchell says that a rational defense for "traditional Christian theism" can be made in terms of a cumulative case. That is, theism can be shown to be reasonable insofar as it makes sense of the available, accumulated evidence. However, insofar as we are defending basic paradigms, no amount of evidence will finally prove convincing. If the case wins, it will have appealed in the last analysis not to reason, but to a reasonable or sound judgment. This kind of reasoning is not inimical to revelation, for it does not presume to judge revelation a priori, but rather is capable of being opened up to revelation and giving it rational expression. Interestingly Mitchell did not discuss Kant's moral proof directly, for like Kiing he has also adopted a modification of it in which God is postulated to make sense of the cumulated evidence. Kung's book is long; so needless to say in such an essay as this we can scarcely give it its full due. There are, however, two issues that need attention before, in a final section, I look at aspects of his argument from Mitchell's perspective. First, we have seen Kiing postulate God along Hegelian lines as the living immanent and transcendent ground of our unity and experience. God would appear to make sense of the total, cumulative data of experience. The question is whether and how this postulate is 100

QUESTION OF GOD

verified. How does the God so postulated demonstrate his truth and experience? On its surface, reality is uncertain, the evidence is contradictory. Atheists have their point. There is no compelling, extrinsic reason for either faith or non-faith, for a yes or a no to life's ultimate meaning and unity. Rather, reality confronts us with a choice, with the necessity of a free decision for or against a "fundamental trust" (p. 445). He insists that there is a certain "essential reasonableness" to the affirmative decision, but nevertheless no proof, no determinative argument (p. 445). Yet the decision is not arbitrary or wishful projection, for it can be made and is made only when reality itself manifests its fundamental truth and unity, when reality invites and enables the commitment of trust and gives to it an "intrinsic rationality" (p. 451). And this fundamental trust also provides an autonomous "foundation for all man's ethical behavior and action in this reality" (p. 471). What more can be said? Kung's response is truly puzzling. A problem remains, he claims, inasmuch as "the reality upon which fundamental trust is based seems itself to be without foundation" (p. 477). Kant had agreed that the imperative was categorical, rooted in human nature; his critics were to argue that since the imperative is indeed categorical, postulating God adds nothing to the proof. Similarly here—if reality itself provides a basis for trust and morality, what is added by the God hypothesis? Nevertheless Kiing continues to ask about God as the foundation of the foundation, as the postulate of the postulate. Broadly speaking, the evidence which invites the God postulate is traces of "the other dimension" in such non-theists as Ernest Bloch, Heidegger, Horkheimer, and recent linguistic philosophers. Finally, in a relatively few concluding pages, Kiing turns to the God of the religions, to the God of the Bible, and finally to the God of Jesus. He contends here that his philosophical vision of the God of the new world picture must inform and reform our Christian reflection, and that it is in fact the proper expression of it. One has to be impressed that Kiing has defined God, made a rational case for God's existence, and witnessed a confirming revelation and experience of that God without direct reference or appeal to the New Testament. Any student of nineteenth century Protestant theology will have an experience of d&ja vu working through this book, for it is indeed a contemporary exercise of nineteenth century theological liberalism, to which, strangely, it makes absolutely no significant reference. Particularly missing is Schleiermacher, to whose passion for unity Kung's is so akin.
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Since Mitchell's book is a critical analysis of theological reason and apologetic defenses of the faith in particular, I would in these final paragraphs make three critical observations about Kung's book from my perspective on Mitchell. A first and fundamental criticism is implied in the difference between the foci of the two books—"traditional Christian theism" in Mitchell's case and God's existence in the case of Kiing. Mitchell argues as he does (despite the title which suggests that his arguments could be applied analagously to other religious beliefs) because "there is no such thing as 'religion as such'," because religion as such "would not be what anyone seriously believed" (p. 3). In effect, Kiing appears to be violating the integrity of the basic religious vision, the paradigm of faith. He moves from the God(s) of the philosophers, to the God(s) of the religious, to the God(s) of the Bible as if no paradigm shifts were involved. It must be then that he either denies the paradigmatic dimensions of the religions (and philosophy, for that matter) or, (more likely) he is actually making moves within his own paradigm—perhaps the Hegelian vision which he stated was to be his model (paradigm?). In this case he can be viewed as having effectively "sublated" (aufgehoben), overcome, and transformed the paradigms of the religions, including that of Christianity. Mitchell might also have questions as to whether Kiing has honored the Christian claim to revelation. In his last chapter Mitchell agrees with Karl Barth, for instance, that whatever else the notion of revelation means, it certainly suggests that it cannot be submitted a priori to criteria of reason. But Kung's entire book appears to be the development or explication of such criteria. Having devoted almost six hundred pages to developing "a new understanding of God," a new criterion for judging the rationality and truth of the Christian revelation, he is finally in a position to put forth "demands" (p. 594) which the God of the Bible must meet if he is to receive Kung's vote of confidence, his "yes to the Christian God." Can such thinking be regarded as anything but a paradigm violation? He appears either to be reinterpreting ("sublating") the Christian revelation by taking it up into another, or perhaps in tacit ways extending the biblical paradigm in violation of others. Finally, a question must be asked of Kiing in light of Mitchell's claim that the case for theism is determined by its ability to make the greater sense of all the accumulated evidence, in particular the evidence brought against faith by atheism. The most important evidence on the positive side is the testimony and lives of persons of faith. On the
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negative side, Mitchell cites "the character and existence of evil" which "tortures the faith of the believers more than any other circumstance and demands a theodicy of some kind" (pp. 44 f). The common denominator in these two kinds of data is their concrete historicity and materiality. People, people suffering, people believing and witnessing, are, according to Mitchell, the primary data, of which the defense of faith must make the better sense. While Kiing certainly gives some lip service to this claim, the greater weight and message of his book is rationalistic—his criticisms of Hegel and Descartes to the contrary notwithstanding. He is interacting not so much with lived and living human history, the concrete data and evidence, but with the great minds of and dominant philosophies of our western history. My point is not that these historical voices are unimportant, but they should not be the object of faith's quest of rational justification but instruments of it, as it seeks to engage and render meaningful the historical realities of our own day. It is fair, it seems to me, despite the historical orientation of the book, to question Kiing at this point, because he writes in order to address the challenges which faith and belief in God's existence face today—challenges which insofar as they appear at all in this book remain quite academic.

103

INDEX TO VOLUME TWO

Authors Bailey, Wilfred M., 1:101-8 Beck, Harrell F „ 4:7-51 Bender, Kelly Byron, 4:85-6 Burtner, Robert W., 3:59-61 Cole, Charles E . , 1:3-4, 2:3-7, 3:3-8, 4:3-6 Eckhardt, A. Roy, 4:52-67 Flick, Carl W. (with Edward E. Jayne), 3:75-77 Fortenbaugh, Robert B., 4:69-72 Foster, Charles R., 3:98-105 Gilman, Andrew, 4:87-95 Hann, Robert R., 3:78-95 Harrelson, Walter, 2:58-66 Howard, Virgil P., 1:62-100 Jayne, Edward E. (with Carl W. Flick), 3:75-77 Logan, James C , 1:5-26 McConnell, Taylor and June, 4:73-85 Mickle, Jeffrey P., 1:43-61 Miller, Sarah S., 4:67-69 Nelson, Rudolph L . , 2:79-98 104

INDEX

Osborn, Robert T., 4:96-103 Plekon, Michael, 3:43-59 Stewart, Charles W., 63-75 Tannehill, Robert C , 2:67-78, 3:9-42 Truitt, Richard, 3:61-62 Watson, David Lowes, 1:27-42 Will, James E . , 2:99-107 Willimon, William H., 2:9-44 Wingard, Robert W., 2:45-57 Articles, reviews, and documents "Book Reviews: Marty, Muggeridge, and Metz on Public Theology," 2:99-107 "Book Reviews: Three Big Books in Christian Education," 3:98-105 "Christian Misreadings of Basic Themes in the Hebrew Scriptures," 2:58-66 "Editorial," 1:3-4, 2:3-7, 3:3-8, 4:3-6 "Fundamentalism at Harvard: The Case of Edward John Carnell," 2:79-98 "Ha'Shoah as Christian Revolution: Toward the Liberation of the Divine Righteousness," 4:52-67, and "Responses," 4:67-72 "Homiletical Resources: Gospel Lections for Advent," 3:9-42 "Homiletical Resources: Old Testament Lections for Epiphany," 4:7-51 "Homiletical Resources: Preparing to Preach from Ephesians to Northside Church," 2:9-44 "Homiletical Studies: Gospel Lections for Eastertide," 1:62-100 "Incarnational Model for Teaching in the Church," 2:45-57 "Mid-Life Crisis from a Faith Perspective," 3:63-75 and "Responses," 3:75-77 "Ministry as Vocation and Profession," 1:5-26 "Ordination Tasks: Five Clusters," 4:87-95 "Professing the Call to Serve," 1:27-42 "Protest and Affirmation: The Late Kierkegaard on Christ, the Church and Society," 3:43-59 and "Responses," 3:59-62 "Reading It Whole: The Function of Mark 8:34-35 in Mark's Story," 2:67-78
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Q U A R T E R L Y R E V I E W , W I N T E R 1982

"Researching Family Ministries Through Cross-Cultural Education/' 4:73-85 and "Response/' 4:85-6 "Review of Books: Kiing and Mitchell on the Question of God/' 4:96-103 "Role of Doubt in the Life of Faith/' 1:101-8 "Toward a Revised Diaconate/' 1:43-61 "Werner Erhard's est—A Religious Movement?" 3:78-95 and "Re­ sponses," 3:95-97 Major Subjects

Book reviews, 2:99-107, 3:98-105, 4:96-103 Carnell, Edward John, 2:79-98 Christian education, 3:98-105 Cross-cultural education, 4:73-85, 85-86 Diaconate, 1:43-61 Doubt, 1:101-8 Eastertide, 1:62-100 Ephesians, 2:9-44 Epiphany, 4:7-51 Exegesis of Mark, 2:67-78 Family Ministries, 4:73-85, 85-6 Fundamentalism, 2:79-98 Ha'Shoah, 4:52-67, 67-72 Hebrew Scriptures, 2:58-66 Holocaust, 4:52-67, 67-72 Homiletical Studies, 1:62-100, 2:9-44, 3:9-42, 4:7-51 Incarnation, 2:45-57 Kierkegaard, 3:43-60, 61-62 Mark (Gospel), 2:67-78 Mid-life crisis, 3:63-75, 75-77 Misreading of Scriptures, 2:58-66
106

Old Testament 4:7-51 Ordination tasks, 4:87-95 Professional ministry, 1:5-26, 27-42 Research, 4:73-85, 85-6 Teaching, 2:45-57 Vocational ministry, 1:5-26, 27-42 Werner Erhard's est, 3:78-95, 95-97

107

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