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Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann Paperback – December 30, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Walter Brueggemann, whose thoughtful and reflective works on the Hebrew Bible have ensured that the term "Old Testament theologian" is not an oxymoron, offers distilled wisdom from his 35 years of teaching in Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth. At the seminaries where he has taught, professors traditionally open their classes with prayer-a practice that for some might devolve into a quick nod to convention, but Brueggemann has always presented the opportunity to involve students more intimately in the assigned biblical texts. This marvelous little book of Brueggemann's start-of-class prayers will have readers cheering, especially when he writes that "much public prayer in the church is careless and slovenly, and... what passes for spontaneity is in fact a lack of preparation."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is a prolific author, and his award-winning Theology of the Old Testament (Fortress Press, 1997) has quickly become a foundational work in the field.

Editor Edward Searcy is pastor of University Hill Congregation in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; First Edition edition (December 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800634608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800634605
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fred W Hood on January 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
To one of his more recent students in classes and lectures at Columbia Seminary, Prof Bruegge is already a Living Legend! In the beginning of every class there is his personal, inspired prayer to the "One Who Listens; Yahweh; Holy God; Giver of all our years; You, the God of Truth; You, You, You..."
Lately, in his OT Survey, I wrote a few snatches of his opening addresses to: "You, You, You giver of Life; You who are the One Sovereign Judge, King, Lawyer, Counselor...O God as we watch powers rise and fall, We watch ourselves, we watch and see the World. You who comes late and sometimes soon... Come quickly Lord Jesus!"
My thoughts often return to his opening prayers in every class. My wish for all of last year: "Why does not someone publish them?" So now we have many of them. From 1976: "You are the voice we can scarely hear..." From 1992, "Healing sovereign God, overmatch our resistant ears..." How many sparkling ways that he creatively addresses the Living Personal God! In these few weeks I have used this Jewel of Prayers, I have been particularly struck by the first group: "And then you; You...and therefore us; For how you hope; The other side of the street; Our true home." The second section that I have re-read is "A people with many secrets," and the 11th one, "The God we would rather have."
Dedicated to "a long stream of treasured colleagues of 25 years at Eden Theological Seminary and 17 years at Columbia...with thanks and appreciation." When I purchased this treasure in the School's Book Store, I first saw it in the hands of one of his friends from the Seminary Offices. Now the one who prays to the "Liberator, Redeemer, Emancipator..." will continue to be the one I know who includes his students in his caring compassion!
Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood
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Format: Paperback
I first encountered Walter Brueggemann as a scholar of the Hebrew scriptures/Old Testament through his monumental 'Theology of the Old Testament'. When I started seminary a few years after purchasing that volume, there was a class taught based on that book, so I got to know more about Brueggemann's scholarship in some detail. However, that was not all I and the other students learned in that class - we were fortunate enough to have a professor who knows Walter Brueggemann through both his scholarship and personally - some of the spirit that came across in that class is not readily accessible in scholarly tomes, but is very present in books such as this one, 'Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth.'

Brueggemann spent over 40 years as a teacher, first at Eden Seminary and then at Columbia Seminary, and it was his standard practice to begin each class with prayer (those untutored to the ways of seminary might be surprised to learn that this is not always a standard practice - my personal experience is that it occurs about 50% of the time). Brueggemann's prayers are both timely and timeless - they tap into the eternal elements of divine-human communication, but also express care and concern for current situation in which students, faculty, staff and the world find themselves. According to the editors, his prayers are 'subtle, surprising and daring, gentle and dread-filled [and] echo the poetic speech of the psalms and of the prophets.' As for Brueggemann himself, he states that to put such a collection together in print needs some justification, and he gives two - that much of prayer is 'careless and slovenly, and that what passes for spontaneity is in fact lack of preparation.' He also sees this collection as 'an act of gratitude', toward students, colleagues, and toward God.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to know what Walter Brueggemann is about, read his prayers. Yes, his commentaries are profound, but his heart and soul are found in his prayers.
You will find, as I did, that he is a man who believes that God spoke and continues to speak. He is a man of the Word.
His prayers challenge, confront and comfort. They challenge us to listen for God's word to us - today, in our world. His prayers confront our hardness of heart and our complacency. Ultimately, Brueggemann's words comfort us by illuminating the steadfast faithfulness of God love for struggling people.
"Our lives are occupied territory... occupied by a cacophony of voices, and the din undoes us. In the daytime we have no time to listen, beset as we are by anxiety and goals and assignments and work, and in the night the voices are so confusing we can hardly sort out what could possibly be your voice from the voice of our mothers and fathers and our best friends and our pet projects, because they all sound so much like You. So give us ears. Amen."
Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I bought this book years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Walter Bruggemann about writing sermons and rayers and he said that he found it more work to write a prayer than a sermon, to which I say amen. These prayers are stirring in their meaning and passion. I begin each day reading one and it makes the start of the day so much better.
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This has become my favorite book of prayers. Selected prayers from years of beginning classes with a meaningful prayer. These have been taken from the classroom and placed in an anthology for our blessing. The formatting leads one to read them with the cadence and focus that was reflected as he first prayed them in the classroom.
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