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Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now 1st Edition
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Brueggemann spends the first two chapters unpacking the Ten Commandments, showing how they were given by Israel’s God as a way of being a people who can enjoy rest. Pharaoh and his production-affirming gods, were confiscatory, demanding “endless produce and who authorize endless systems of production that are, in principle, insatiable” (2). In contrast, Israel’s God “is on a collision course with the gods of insatiable productivity” (Ibid.). Into this conflict God steps in and delivers his people from the restless, anxiety-ridden world of Pharaoh. He brings them to Sinai and gives them his Ten Commandments. As Brueggemann works it out, the first three commandments are about exclusive devotion to YHWH and the last six are about loving our neighbor. The hub of these commandments is found in the one commandment that is the longest and most detailed: The Sabbath. It’s here, in the place of rest, that Israel finds it can breathe. And in being able to finally have room to breathe, Israel can love God (exclusively) and actually begin to love their neighbor.Read more ›
Coming out of the slavery of Egypt, God reminded the Israelites, in the first commandment, that "the God of the exodus is unlike all the gods the slaves have known before." Unlike the "insatiable gods of imperial productivity," God is committed to relationship rather than commodity (brick making). Unlike the Egyptians, who demanded bricks without straw and gave no rest, God established the Sabbath rest. Brueggeman writes, "our motors are set to run at brick-making speed. To cease, even for a time, the anxious striving for more bricks is to find ourselves with a 'light burden' and an 'easy yoke.'"
At the other end of the decalogue, the commandment no to covet parallels the first commandment's rejection of commodification. "Sabbath is the practical ground for breaking the power of acquisitiveness and for creating a public will for an accent on restraint. Sabbath is the cessation of widely shared practices of acquisitiveness." This is the crux of Brueggeman's argument: in our culture of acquisitiveness, Sabbath presents "an occasion for reimagining all of social life away from coercion and competition to compassionate solidarity."
Some readers may find Brueggeman's reading of the Sabbath as a break from acquisitiveness rather limiting. But in a culture that rarely, if ever, steps aside from consumerism and labor, Sabbath as Resistance provides a welcome reminder to "rest in God's own restfulness."
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading sabbath has awakened my soul and spirit to one of the most dude mental of Christian practices, that is becoming ever increasingly difficult to keep in this age of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Crystal Tan
Every Christian should read this and ponder 'why' we don't obey the Fourth Commandment when we strive to oney the other nine.Hum.Published 12 days ago by Gregg Johnson
This book is a great starting place for rethinking how you look at the Sabbath. If we could all just learn and remember to "take time to be humans".Published 1 month ago by Cassie Sexton-Riggs
Excellent study and analysis of the significance of Sabbath. This short work by Brueggemann is insightful and challenging as its title hints. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Hatfield
Too much "big worditis." I had to use the dictionary throughout the book. The message was good, but I had to work too hard to get there. Not an enjoyable read.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm glad I got introduced by a dear friend. As my friend promised, indeed, it changed my life for better - now I'm at rest. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer