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Risking Truth

  • By Scott A. Ellington
Description: Ours is a world characterized by change. Often the most fundamental changes in our lives result from experiences of profound suffering and loss as we are wrenched from our familiar world and driven into one that is alien. In the midst of such loss, we are compelled to choose between trying to cling to the remnants of a reality that is passing away and trying to make a home in a strange new world. Biblical prayers of lament wait for us at this crossroad of loss and newness. Prayers of lament are marked both by loss and by the inexplicable silence of God. Everything we believe about God's justice and goodness is placed in doubt by his hiddenness. The cry of lament is an act of tremendous risk. To lament is to abandon the sinking ship of religious certainty and strike out in a small dingy, amidst stormy seas, in search of a hidden God. Faced with God's silence, the biblical writers are willing to place at risk their most fundamental beliefs and to lament. The Psalm writers risk the loss of the Exodus story by crying out to a God who has failed to save, demanding that he once more part the chaotic waters and make a way in the desert. Job risks the loss of a moral God by confronting God with his injustice. Jeremiah risks the loss of the covenant by calling out for God to return yet again to a faithless partner and a failed marriage. Matthew and John the Revelator recognize that the coming of Messiah is impelled by the cries of innocent sufferers. Throughout the Bible, lament risks the possible loss of relationship with God and presses for a new, though uncertain, experience of God's presence. Endorsements: Widespread attention to the practice of lament in the Bible is no doubt a measure of the sense of loss, hurt, and fear that mark our historical moment. Amid that widespread attention, Scott Ellington brings a peculiarly alert theological sensibility to the subject. He goes well beyond conventional critical approaches to see what is at stake in the practice of faith and what is at risk in the human enterprise of truth-telling, even when truth-telling shatters and jeopardizes old certitudes. The force of Ellington's exposition is further enhanced by his readiness to carry his study into the New Testament, there to find, amid the good news, the reality of loss and the hope for newness that only comes with truth-telling. This book merits wide and sustained attention from those who care about the quality of faith and the health of our common humanness. -Walter Brueggemann author of Praying the Psalms, 2nd ed. In Risking Truth, Scott Ellington continues the important work of exploring the topic of lament in Scripture. While he stands firmly on the shoulders of the great scholars who have studied the lament tradition in the past, his work offers a timeliness and accessibility to the subject that is rare in scholarly works and much-needed in the twenty-first century. -Nancy L. deClaisse-Walford author of Introduction to the Psalms In the Old Testament and in the New, real prayer involves real courage. It involves facing facts and owning them. It involves the risk of facing God with them and considering replacing old familiar convictions with new ones. It involves thinking about God in new ways. It is easier not to do any of that, but in this book Scott Ellington shows how the risk is worthwhile. -John Goldingay author of Israel's Faith About the Contributor(s): Scott Ellington is Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. He has served as a missionary educator in Mexico, England, and Germany. His Ph.D. is in Biblical Studies from the University of Sheffield."

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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781498249461
    • Manufacturer: Pickwick Pubn
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9781498249461
    • Publication Date: 09/01/2008
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Author: Scott A. Ellington
    • Page Count: 216
    • Width: 6.00 inches
    • Height: 0.56 inches
    • Length: 9.00 inches
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