Chapter 1 “The Alternative Community of Moses” pp. 1-19
Brueggemann introduces us to the work of a prophet by introducing us to Moses. As we consider the way Moses confronted Egypt we realize that God’s power is able to overcome any opponents. Yet as we look at the modern church we find that both liberalism and conservatism have lost the totality of the prophetic ministry. Liberalism through cultivation of doubt is left only with complaints about the culture. Conservatism with its acceptance of the status quo can give a vision of the future but without effective complaint or powerful articulation of a necessary change.
In contrast to the dominant culture, Moses brought God’s complaint against Egypt. He then articulated the promise of God and showed that this true God was the one who would systematically dismantle the tyranny of the Egyption state. In the criticizing and energizing work Moses not only showed the problems inherent in Egypt, but he showed the people of Israel the darkness in which they lived, the good and new reality which would emerge, and the freedom God would create. All this resulted in a community of praise, bringing glory to God.
If we are to recover a Mosaic prophetic ministry, says Brueggemann, we must recapture this world of criticism and energizing to bring God’s people out of darkness.