The mystery of "the word of God" is appreciated only when we take both sides of that expression seriously. It is a human word, for God does not speak. But it is OF God, and not simply a human composition about God. The Bible makes us confront the seeming contradiction of a divine self-revelation in human terms.
-Brown's "summary of the theme" of the first chapter of his The Critical Meaning of the Bible.
The first time I was deeply awakened to the way Scripture is to challenge us was during a week-long series of sermons on The Sermon on the Mount given at our church in Miami Springs by non-other than Bruce Metzger. (Can you imagine, Bruce Metzger!) So obviously a most faithful Christian (as Brown was), he at one point used the phrase "wooden literalism" to describe an approach to Scripture that was faulty. I had been able to make it all the way through Duke and its great religion courses and UC law with its special training in secular exegesis without allowing myself to be challenged by the critical problem. Not until Metzger's remark. From him now to Brown. What a liberation it has been. My faith has only been strengthened in the process.