I was on a discussion forum recently where someone challenged me to show that the bible was historically accurate. Having seen several Discovery channel/PBS documentaries dealing with Biblical Archaeology, I couldn’t understand how my interlocutor could believe there weren’t more than several thousand proofs extant that showed precisely that.
Well it turns out that the Bible has a significant number of deniers who lurk about the Internet and I’m not speaking about those who reject the Bible as “inspired” text. These are folks who reject any historicity whatsoever. While elsewhere I have discussed the process by which Scripture Became The Word of God but Walter Brueggemann’s explanation of imaginative remembering here also shows how the interplay of imagination, ideology and inspiration cohere in the traditioning process and allows people of faith to find a trustworthy voice.
Here is the good Doctor describing the problem we all have:
"On the one hand, there is a mood in the church—sometimes linked to what is called a “canonical” perspective -- that judges that the “true” interpretation has already been given, and all we need to do is reiterate.
On the other hand, Schleiermacher’s “Cultured Despisers of Religion” who live at the edge of the church often fail to recognize the “thickness” of the traditioning process, and take the biblical offer at surface meaning, run the matter through the prism of modern rationality, and so dismiss the tradition as inadequate.
Either way -- by confessional closure or by rationalistic impatience -- one misses the world “strange and new” that is generously, with recurring surprise, given in the Scriptures. Walter Brueggemann shows how "imaginative remembering" presents the "strange and new" that resides in the scriptures. A reading selection from his book Introducing the Old Testament.
You can find it all here: