Chapter 3 “Prophetic Criticizing and the Embrace of Pathos” pp. 39-57
As Brueggemann continues his argument he now begins to describe a prophetic voice which is able to rise above the “royal consciousness,” that is, above the conventional wisdom that an entrenched governmental/imperial wisdom is actually in the interest of God and His people. This royal consciousness has numbed us to the sorrows and griefs that surround us. As we counter it in God’s name, we ask not if it is practiced or possible to implement. We ask rather whether it is right and true in God’s eyes. We therefore look not to our own experience but to our Lord’s care for his world. What does God see? He sees a world which is broken and in torment, on which will only receive relief through His mercy. Our society does not want to cry out. It would prefer to trust in the royal ability to do something. Yet in God’s world what we need to do is cry out honestly through our pain. Jeremiah is our biblical example of this outcry. Against all odds, including the king’s will, he cries out to the Lord for deliverance which even the king cannot bring. Though we have no present relief, we can imagine the newness and change the Lord can bring. This is where we find the newness God has for us only in Christ and His mercy.