Daily Riches: “Trouble” Is God’s Middle Name (Robert McAfee Brown and Jürgen Moltmann)

“… the God we are talking about is a risk-taking God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of Sarah, Leah, and Rachel, is always in the thick of things, siding with the poor, putting the divine name on the line for a bunch of slaves, and – in Christian terms – getting incarnated in the most unlikely and risky way imaginable, in a first-century Jew who lived at a time (like all times) when people in general didn’t like Jews very much and people in power didn’t like Jews at all. So if we get in trouble for affirming such a God, we can be sure that Trouble is God’s middle name and that such a God will be alongside us in the midst of trouble, rather than off in a remote heaven practicing neutrality. And if we can begin to make that most difficult switch of all – away from the gods of middle-class values and upward mobility and gilt-edged retirements plans – and if we can explore, even tentatively and gingerly, what it would be like to think with and act for those who are the victims, we might just uncover the most ‘unexpected news’ of all: that God got there before we did.” Robert McAfee Brown

“Reading the Bible with the eyes of the poor is a different thing from reading it with a full belly. If it is read in the light of the experience and hopes of the oppressed, the Bible’s revolutionary themes — promise, exodus, resurrection and spirit — come alive.” Jürgen Moltmann

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us …But even if he does not …we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17,18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does “getting into trouble” seem like an unseemly or obviously unspiritual thing to you? Do you think of God as “off in a remote heaven practicing neutrality?”
  • What can you do to better read the Bible “in light of the experience and hopes of the oppressed?”
  • Do you think of the Bible as mostly supporting things as they are, or as “revolutionary?” Does it matter?

Abba, keep me from a satisfaction and comfort that blinds me to the experience and hopes and struggles of others.

For More: Unexpected News by Robert McAffee Brown


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”