Recent Reads: The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann

Jen Bradbury
Feb 26 · 5 min read

Prophetic Imagination

What the book's about: From Moses to Jesus, in The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann highlights the prophetic vision found in Scripture and explores what it means for us today. 

Why I read this book: After a friend recommended this book to me, it sat on my shelf for a good two years before I read it. I finally did so because my senior pastor chose it for our staff to discuss. 

My favorite quotes from the book: 

- "The freedom of God is always in considerable tension with the accessibility of God." 

- "Passion as the capacity and readiness to care, to suffer, to die, and to feel is the enemy of imperial reality." 

- "The speech of God is first about an alternative future." 

- "The task of prophetic imagination and ministry is to bring to public expression those very hopes and yearnings that have been denied so long and suppressed so deeply that we no longer know they are there." 

- "Hope is the refusal to accept the reading of reality which is the majority opinion." 

- "Hope expressed without knowledge and participation in grief is likely to be false hope that does not reach despair." 

- "Jesus in his solidarity with the marginal ones is moved to compassion. Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural but is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness." 

- "Suffering made audible and visible produces hope, articulated grief is the gate of newness, and the history of Jesus is the history of entering into the pain & giving it voice." 

- "Prophetic ministry consists of offering an alternative perception of reality and in letting people see their own history in the light of God's freedom and his will for justice."  

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs up

Who I'd recommend this book for: The Prophetic Imagination is a must-read for those in ministry of any kind. That said, it's dense. Although it's short, it's not a book to be consumed in one sitting, but to be lingered over and discussed with others.