Friday, September 24, 2004


this is a good re-post from jonny via geoff holsclaw

those of you who were there last does this frame our conversation surrounding Amos? How do we wrestle with the ambiguities of the scripts (#16)?

I feel like we discover the most clarity about such things when we are engaged in liturgies of our life together - welcoming refugees, eating together, visiting with friends at phoenix park, praying our way into an awareness of the presence of God in our city....


Anonymous said...

15) The nurture/socialization of this counter script is the work of ministry.

to me this ties in directly with what Bosch suggests in 'spirituality of the road' about true spiritual formation....he urges us to discover the discipline of the work. it is in acting out God's mission that we are formed - grounded service and acts of justice/mercy.


geoff said...

i will take the risk of appearing self-important by commenting on my own post....

james and i had a coffee at the new 3rd st coffee shop this afternoon and we ran into an old friend. at one place in our rambling conversation we talked about a book called "the spell of the sensuous" by david abram which explores the problems of our disconnection with the environment.

how does this relate to 'scripts'? well, i think perhaps we need to learn the script of our environment as a way of unplugging from what brueggemann describes in #3. when isaac an i were on our walk this morning we saw:
- squirrals busily collecting acorns for the winter.
- edges of leaves losing their vibrant green and turning other colors.
- shrivelled blooms falling to the ground
- a blue-jay collecting twigs

it reminded me of our (human) dysfunction when it comes to productivity (or the lack thereof).

Anonymous said...

I followed the links to the page of summarized thoughts on/by Brueggemann.
I must admit, the comment toward the end about God being a recovering practitioner of violence had all the trappings of, "The-postmoderns-like-me-so-I'm-going-to-say-something-iconoclastic." I'm not sure what it means to say God used to think violence was okay, and occasionally relapses "like all addicts."

There's something very appealing to me about Abrams book, not least the aesthetic quality of his writing. Like Chomsky, however, though I resonate with the criticisms, the constructive proposals we're presented with as an alternative are too unsatisfactory (which is not the same thing as saying we can learn nothing from them).

In Chomsky's case, I think he sees the American political machine for what it is as clearly as anyone, but he knows nothing about the kingdom. Which is why he can spend over two hundred pages in Hegemony and survival exposing the diabolical nature of American foreign policy, but can provide only a few vague comments at the end about hope and vigilance.

I read Abrams thinking of the words of Paul Ricoeur, that phenomenology is inherently atheistic; it asks us to view the world "nakedly," which means excluding our theological commitments (Husserl's as in Husserl's phenomenology is inherently atheistic...) Of course, the world doesn't merely exist, and we can only view it interpretively.

Abrams helps us see the consumerist/etc. script that we typically live in, but cannot take us the whole way. In fact, our reading Abrams through our Christian framework is key here, for it keeps us from the naivity of phenomenology, as well as its atheism. It's worth asking if, though Abrams helps us see the script as I mentioned above, he helps us see it as "truly" as the biblical narrative.

So we do step out of one script, but must immediately step into another (which happens regardless of whether or not we're intentional about this). The biblical narrative, embodied in the life and faith of the church,
gives us that script, and infuses the world around us with a significance that gives fresh meaning to the words "it is all very good."

None of the foregoing is a critique of what you wrote; it's simply the thoughts sparked off in my own mind as a result of reading your reflections... which is what you asked for in the first place. :-)


geoff said...

thanks joey,
you wrote that "the biblical narrative, embodied in the life and faith of the church, gives us the script". i feel (ooops...perhaps too much reliance on phenomenology there :) like we are still learning the parts of the script that give us the hope you refer to in your critique of chomsky et al.

we have been into Amos the last couple of Thursday nights and it's hard to get a handle on being prophets of hope (as well as doom/critique/deconstruction).

maybe Habakkuk will give us some good 'lines' this week.