Monday, March 31, 2008

THRILLING ENCOUNTER




As many of you who stop by here regularly will know by now, Walter Brueggemann has been an influential voice in my life during the transition I have walked through over the past couple years. I was at the airport today waiting for my mother-in-law who I was there to pick up and who walks by but Old Testament Theologian Walter Brueggemann.

I said "Excuse me sir, are you Walter Brueggemann? He stopped and said, "Yes I am, who would you be?" We stood there for about 10 minutes talking and it was such a trip for me to get to thank him personally for the help he has been to me through his writings. As he walked away he thanked me for taking the time to stop him and talk. I'm still grinning. And I am growing more accepting of the orientation...disorientation...re-orientation concept that Walter introduced me to as being a normal cycle of life with a Father whom operates with such wild freedom.

11 comments:

rob horton said...

that is so cool kent!

Kent said...

It really was a cool encounter. I was so pleased by how available in that moment he was. He didn't seem to be in a hurry trying to get away from the crazy person that stopped him.

rob horton said...

who is next? brian mclaren? tom wright?

Kent said...

My three girls said: Dad stuff like this happens to you all the time. They were shocked when Paul contacted us wanting to come and stay with us. I talked to Karin from Over The Rhine a couple years ago at Blueberry Hill. Maybe it's just because I'm not afraid to approach people?

rob horton said...

no fear; that could be it.

Joel Brueseke said...

I just quoted him yesterday on my blog. :) One of my favorite quotes from him is that God is a God who is "wild, dangerous, unfettered and free."

Brueggeman is a friend of my dad, going back to their college and seminary days. I believe both men are the same age and they attended Elmhurst College (Elmhurst, IL) and Eden Theological Seminary (Webster Groves, MO) at the same time.

Although I was born in St. Louis, my family moved to England for four years when I was a boy. While there, Brueggeman and his family were also staying in England. I believe it had something to do with something he was doing at Cambridge University (?) but I can't remember for sure. Anyway, I had no clue who he was at the time, he was simply a friend of my dad, and we went to visit them.

It wasn't till many years later that I discovered he was a big time theologian. :)

Joel Brueseke said...

I just realized I misspelled Brueggemann's last name. I do that a lot. I can barely even spell my own last name. ;)

Jennifer said...

That is definitely cool! Wow, not that I idolize anyone, but it's just so great to connect with those who spiritually inspire us.

I'm grinning with you.:)

Kent said...

Jennifer, Brueggemann was a big part of the rocking of my comfy little world view.

orientation...disorientation...re-orientation is something I see at work in my life and others everyday.

along with this

http://nthegarden.blogspot.com/2007/02/to-believe-that-god-could-recapture.html

and this

"3. The dominant script of both selves and communities in our society, for both liberals and conservatives, is the script of therapeutic, technological, consumerist militarism that permeates every dimension of our common life.

* I use the term therapeutic to refer to the assumption that there is a product or a treatment or a process to counteract every ache and pain and discomfort and trouble, so that life may be lived without inconvenience.

* I use the term technological, following Jacques Ellul, to refer to the assumption that everything can be fixed and made right through human ingenuity; there is no issue so complex or so remote that it cannot be solved.

* I say consumerist, because we live in a culture that believes that the whole world and all its resources are available to us without regard to the neighbor, that assumes more is better and that "if you want it, you need it." Thus there is now an advertisement that says: "It is not something you don't need; it is just that you haven't thought of it."

* The militarism that pervades our society exists to protect and maintain the system and to deliver and guarantee all that is needed for therapeutic technological consumerism. This militarism occupies much of the church, much of the national budget and much of the research program of universities.

It is difficult to imagine life in our society outside the reach of this script; it is everywhere reiterated and legitimated."

He's wild.

Sue said...

Dude, how cool!

I'm impressed that you recognised him. I wouldn't know him to look at although I have read one of his books ... and gee, The Prophetic Imagination, that looks pretty edible (plus there's a tree on the front). Might get me some of that.

Nicole said...

Wow! How exciting that must have been! I have a couple of people like that who have been inspirational in my life and would love to meet someday!

I am so blessed that you were able to meet and talk to him!!!

In Freedom, Nicole!