Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brueggemann, 2001. Chapter 5, "The Call to Obedience"

Chapter 5, “The Call to Obedience” pp. 62-75

The Bible does call Christians to obedience. We are to forsake sin. Yet at the same time we are rescued from sin by a God who loves and forgives without reserve. While on the one hand we wish to proclaim the freedom involved in grace, we need to proclaim God’s demands that we live a holy life. Luther can be taken to say that the Christian very naturally does good works. Yet God’s Law still speaks to us, both in its political and theological uses.  Even as Luther proclaims the freedom of the Christian he tells his hearers of the requirements they face.

How can we preach the call to obedience without a spiral into moralism? “We will sound the call to obedience as a consequence of grace and not its cause” (p. 66). All our obedience flows from God’s grace. We are well advised to describe rather than command good works.

“We will articulate the call to obedience with concreteness” (p. 69). We all know we are to do good. How do we do that? What does it look like? Giving examples of obedience may help hearers identify what it can look like in their own lives.

“We will point to spheres of obedience in the public as well as the private sector” (p. 72). Our actions have consequences which extend to business, politics, all areas of life. We live a life for Jesus within our culture.

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