The Divine as Event: Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly
(This is an exegesis on Micah 6:1-8 I wrote in the fall of 2017 for seminary. If you know me I try not to do things in the ways most would expect. In my research I found deep interest in a particular part of this passage. You will surely decipher which part I am speaking of, in which you may think to yourself, "he certainly seems to be eisegeting (reading my own experience) into the text." Guilty as charged. I surely am eisegeting into text, but who does not? Hopefully I am respecting it, despite the agenda I have in highlighting a specific aspect to the text.)
“Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.”
As the social gospel has its being in 2017, I often see this saying on social media posts.
While I am sure those who post it care about loving mercy and walking humbly, it is the “do justice” that pulls at their liberal heart strings.
In this paper, based on my sociological and theological locations, I will provide the reader the historical and literary context of Micah 6:1-8, carefully exegete the text, and conclude with possible theological and hermeneutical implications based on my findings.
I cannot adequately exegete this passage objectively, as I, as everyone else as well, bring a social system into this endeavor.
Therefore, it is important for me to socially locate myself.
I am a millennial aged, white, straight male. I grew up in a middle-class, conservative Christian home and went to a small Christian college in rural Iowa, where I found myself, personally, more influenced by progressive Christian writers. Since graduating I have been living in Minneapolis, MN, working as a youth coordinator at a progressive church pastored by Doug Pagitt. While I will speak more about my theological location later, it is important to note I am influenced by process thought.
Because I am bringing my post-evangelical, white, male, progressive, unique-driven self to this project, I expect myself to align myself with the social justice orientation of the text, however, I will seek to provide a uniquely progressive (perhaps process) perspective to exegeting the text.
Many progressive people of faith utilize the last part of this Micah passage to perpetuate a social justice agenda inspired by one’s faith.
Therefore, I bring to this exegesis this association to the text.
Based on a brief reading of the text and without prior historical and literary context, this passage seems to question what it is God requires of us to be faithful, with the text saying God requires God’s people to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly...