Archives For Brueggemann

 

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

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Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now

By Walter Brueggemann

Read a review of this book

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By C. Christopher Smith

In the current issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity, and the new book Gray Matters: Navigating the Space between Legalism & Liberty, offers his top 5 books on Christ and culture that have shaped this new work.

[ Read McCracken’s list on Christ and culture… ]
 
While McCracken’s list is solid, and I have a deep appreciation for three of the books on the list (Smith, N.T. Wright, Myers. Niebuhr’s work is dated and not particularly helpful and I haven’t read the Rogers book), I have been struck by recent statements by both Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben (in his new autobiography Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist) that the way forward for humanity lies in cultivating strong local communities. There often is a temptation to think of culture in the broadest, most abstract sense and to gloss over the particularities of the local cultures in which we daily live and move and have our being, therefore I thought that I would spin McCracken’s idea a bit and offer my own top 5 list, on the theme of Christ and LOCAL Culture.

I am eagerly anticipating the Spring 2014 release of The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community by Dwight Friesen, Tim Soerens and Paul Sparks, next spring, which will likely supercede all of these books, but until then, you can’t beat these five books.

 


1) Journey to the Common Good by Walter Brueggemann.  [ Read our review… ]
Brueggemann provides here a compelling theology of church and local culture. He concludes the book by saying:”[A] biblical perception of reality is urgent for the imagination of the public community, especially if that public imagination has been enthralled for a very long time in the claims of Enlightenment rationality.  While there are huge gifts given in that rationality, what we cannot derive from the account of Enlightenment rationality is demanding, generous neighborliness grounded in God’s own passion for the neighborhood.”

This book and Brueggemann’s recent work with community development gurusPeter Block and John McKnight, moves his work to the top of this list of resources for understanding the relationship of Christ and local culture.
 
 

2) Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World by John Howard Yoder
Although Yoder’s work is coming under scrutiny of late, as the Mennonite church wrestles to understand it in the context of Yoder’s patterns of inappropriate relations with women, this is an essential book that demonstrates how five essential Christian sacraments each provide a way for churches to engage their neighborhoods and to leaven their places with the shalom that God intends for all humanity.
 
 
3) The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

[ Our 2010 Book of the Year – Read our review… ]

As long as a we continue our habits of moving from place to place every few years as individuals, families and churches, we are unlikely to bear much fruit in the work of engaging our neighborhoods. As the most prominent non-monastic book on stability, Wilson-Hartgrove makes a compelling case for staying rooted in our places.
 
 

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In our continuing effort to fund the work of The Englewood Review, we offer you the opportunity to buy bargain theology books from CBD that we think of are interest.

Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s Bargains:

231217: Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church

By Walter Brueggemann / Westminster John Knox Press

$5.99 – Save 70%!!!

What role should the church play in the world today? This is the question esteemed theologian Walter Brueggeman strives to answer in his work Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church. His most recent collection of essays calls the church to “set itself in tension with the rest of the world.” Instead of drawing inward, Brueggemann asks the church to publicly choose a different way—to “courageously defy political polarization, consumerism, and militarism.” By demonstrating a different way, the church can lead the world forward “and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends.”Brueggeman is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.

829541DA: Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers - Slightly Imperfect Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers – Slightly Imperfect

By Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardback

$6.99 – Save 71%!!!

2009 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit in Spirituality

Just as God used words both to create the world and to give us commandments, we too use words for many different purposes. In fact, we use the same language to talk to each other and to talk to God. Can our everyday speech, then, be just as important as the words and prayers we hear from the pulpit? Eugene Peterson unequivocally says “Yes!”

Tell It Slant explores how Jesus used language—he was earthy, not abstract; metaphorical, not dogmatic. His was not a direct language of information or instruction but an indirect, oblique language requiring a participating imagination—“slant” language. In order to witness and teach accurately in Jesus’ name, then, it is important for us to use language the way he did.

027373DA: Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers

By Laura K. Simmons / Baker

$5.99 – Save 75%!!!

This elegant and accessible book takes an in-depth look at the life and thought of the brilliant, yet little-known theologian, Dorothy L. Sayers. Author Laura K. Simmons examines Sayers’s thoughts on topics ranging from the incarnation and the Trinity to work ethics and the arts. Simmons does great justice to a woman whose goal was to avoid Christian “slip-slop and fiddle-faddle,” and in doing so, introduces the modern church to a brilliant thinker.

432682: Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks

By Jon M. Sweeney / Brazos Press

$2.99 – Save 77%!!!

“We can show you how to be quiet, how to listen, but only God can show you the other stuff,” Father Ambrose told Jon Sweeney long ago. “What stuff?” he replied. “You.”This is just one of the many conversations Sweeney shares in Cloister Talks-a series of glimpses into his decades-long friendships with Cistercian and Benedictine monks in various monasteries across the country. The contemplative way embodied by these communal brothers has been the single greatest source of guidance in Sweeney’s journey of faith. Here he shares with poignant honesty the wisdom and insight for everyday living he has gained along the way.

Sweeney’s conversations with monks engage various universal areas of life, including life, death, love, work, play, and spirituality. Readers will emerge with a deeper understanding of this ancient way of Christianity-a much needed antidote to the hurry of contemporary life. The monastics who populate these pages have spent a combined century and a half in their sacred vocation. They hold the keys to many of the things we all yearn for: stillness, solitude, simplicity, contemplation, and clarity of purpose.

226180: The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology

By Mark Ellingsen / Westminster John Knox Press

$7.99 – Save 73%!!!

In an inclusive reading of Augustine, Ellingsen reveals a patterned conceptual richness in Augustine’s thought. He demonstrates that the Augustinian traditions claimed by the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, and virtually every Protestant denomination all have validity. The Richness of Augustine is a wonderful introduction and a rich ecumenical and historical resource. It is the first introduction that places in focus the significance of Augustine’s African cultural and ethnic roots.

 

God: Initiating and Sustaining Conversation

A Review of
An Unsettling God:
The Heart of the Hebrew Bible
.
by Walter Brueggemann.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

[ Read an excerpt of this book here ]


An Unsettling God:
The Heart of the Hebrew Bible
.
Walter Brueggemann.

Paperback: Fortress Press,  2009.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]


Brueggemann - UNSETTLING GODWalter Brueggemann’s An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible describes first of all a God-in-relation, YHWH understood as he is in dialogue, most especially with Israel, but also with human persons, the nations, and all of creation. Locating God’s primary identity not in unilateral commands or creeds, but rather as an engaged dialectical partner, Brueggemann identifies God’s covenanting act as one in which he is an “available agent who is not only able to act but is available to be acted upon” (9).  Indeed, the agency of Yahweh is seen to be inviting a reciprocal act of participation and conversation from the dialogical partners, suggesting that the response of Yahweh’s chosen people – in attentiveness and discernment – extends the possibilities in the work of reconciliation.

Israel’s identity then, as a people, is also best understood as it is in relation: “If we are to identify what is most characteristic and most distinctive in the life and vocation of this partner of YHWH [Israel], it is the remarkable equation of love of God with love of neighbor, which is enacted through the exercise of distributive justice of social goods, social power, and social access to those without leverage” (29). The demands of justice and holiness are fulfilled within the gathered community of Israel, as they are in relation themselves and with Yahweh. God, as characteristically in relation, places Israel, and consequently all of creation, into a dynamic role in the narrative of God-in-history. In fact, God’s dialogue partners are “invited, expected, and insistently urged to engage in a genuine interaction that is variously self-asserting and self-abandoning, yielding and initiative-taking,” (65) all of which may be characteristics of any good conversation, but when extended to Yahweh as a partner, it becomes the narrative by which God is known as embodied on earth.

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