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Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now Paperback – January 31, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (January 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664239285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664239282
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is the author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles.

More About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the world's leading interpreter of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including Westminster John Knox Press best sellers such as Genesis and First and Second Samuel in the Interpretation series, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, and Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes.

Customer Reviews

God, help us reclaim Sabbath!
John Alden Tagliarini
Excellent, clear, insightful, solid interpretation, practical and with a sweeping pertinent biblical perspective.
Aaron Uitti
Oh, how this book is needed in our time!
J. Franklin Ballard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
You have probably heard about impatient societies or situations in which people simply cannot wait. With many symbols all around us that promote speed and efficiency, our fast-paced culture supported by fast-food industry is helping all of us race one another constantly in the search for meaning and accomplishments. Even Christians are not immune to this state of busyness and rush. Thankfully, there are perceptive people such as Walter Brueggemann who offers their acute awareness of contemporary culture that is combined with their grasp of biblical truth. Old Testament Professor and renowned author of books like "The Prophetic Imagination," and "Truth Speaks to Power," contributes yet another counter-cultural take on resisting the ways of the world. Expanding upon the topic first published as a series of Bible studies at "The Thoughtful Christian" website, Brueggemann has expanded the teaching into a book that aims to resist the worldliness by saying "NO to the culture of now." Riding on a provocative title, this book is deeply necessary to bringing back sanity back in an increasingly restless world. Brueggemann joins a chorus of prophetic voices in speaking against the restlessness, the frantic busyness, and the aimlessness of the world. He shares with theologian Marva Dawn and Michael Fishbane on the Jewish wisdom practices about keeping the Sabbath. He acknowledges the classic book on Sabbath by Abraham Heschel, calling it a "magisterial book." He then mines the Old Testament passages, focusing particularly on the Ten Commandments, to draw out elements of what it means to practise the Sabbath as resistance and provides an alternative lifestyle to a world that is quickly becoming breathless due to over-exertion, over-activity, and overwhelming anxiety.Read more ›
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
Walter Brueggeman, surely the most well-known and well-respected scholars of the Old Testament, has been reading the prophets for decades, and occasionally takes that role on himself. In his new book Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, Brueggeman examines the fourth commandment in light of the first and tenth, bringing worship and economic life into perspective.

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!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Philliber on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
Almost no one talks about it anymore. Once it used to be a significant issue, especially in the Christian Church in England, Scotland and North America. But the whole subject of Sabbath has fallen to the wayside in all the rush for prominence, peace and prosperity. Nevertheless the matter of the Sabbath has significant implications for Church and society. Walter Brueggemann has taken up the topic in his newest 108 page paperback, “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now” and takes the reader in an unexpected, but substantive, direction. “Sabbath as Resistance” is written to be grasped, comprehended and reflected on by both clergy and laity.
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.
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