God And His People In The Nations’ History: A Contextualised Reading Of Amos 1-2 -- By: M. Daniel Carroll R

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 047:1 (NA 1996)
Article: God And His People In The Nations’ History: A Contextualised Reading Of Amos 1-2
Author: M. Daniel Carroll R

God And His People In The Nations’
History: A Contextualised Reading Of
Amos 1-2

M. Daniel Carroll R.


The Oracles against the Nations in Amos 1 and 2 give important insights into the nature of God’s involvement in human history and the place of God’s people in it. This essay draws on them in order to evaluate Liberation Theology’s claim that Yahweh acts in history for the liberation of the oppressed. This theological conviction has gone hand-in-hand with certain hermeneutical commitments as to how the biblical text should be read. Two liberationists, Gustavo Gutiérrez and J. Severino Croatto are cited in order to raise the key issues for discussion, and then some alternative thoughts on hermeneutical and biblical method are proposed. A literary reading of Amos 1 and 2 suggests that this text can provide insights for a new understanding of God in history that might illuminate the Latin American situation more adequately than the liberation paradigm.

I. Introduction

The last few decades have witnessed the birth and maturing of challenging theological and missiological insights from the Two-Thirds World, insights arising from and responding to the pressing issues of those needy contexts. This work from different parts of the globe demonstrates not only that disparate contexts will consider other topics from fresh perspectives, but also that these different approaches can raise important methodological concerns.

For many outside Latin America, to speak of recent creative and contextualised Latin American theology is to refer to Liberation Theology. For those of us who live on that continent, of course, the theological scene is much more complex, but it is certainly true that Liberation Theology has

had an impact on how theology is done and how the biblical text is handled in that part of the world.1 Though perhaps one might disagree with certain presuppositions or some of the positions of this approach,2 Liberation Theology has often raised in powerful ways key questions that demand theological and hermeneutical consideration from within Latin social realities.

A continuing fundamental concern of Latin American Liberation Theology has been to reflect upon the nature of history and how to discern divine involvement within the contemporary course of events. To determine the character of God’s intervention within history also will influence to...

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