SABBATH AS RESISTANCE: SAYING NO TO THE CULTURE OF NOW by WALTER BRUEGGEMANN

4.5 of 5.0

 

The bottom line: A powerful reexamination of the often misunderstood and neglected day of rest in a restless, commodity-driven, pluralistic world.

 

Reading this book will reveal how to properly say “Yes” to God while saying “No” to the “Pharaohs” of our world.

In Sabbath as Resistance, theologian Walter Brueggemann intelligently illustrates that the Sabbath is more than liturgy or cultic legalism, but is a fundamental pillar of the Christian walk—a pillar that not only transforms the person, but is also intended to restore society as a whole.

Sabbath as Resistance exposes the concealed in that “[the] gods of commoditization for the most part go unchallenged in our world. As a result, the exploitative systems go unchallenged an unnoticed.” The Sabbath thus becomes a reimagination of reality that moves away from coercion and oppression and toward a transformative vehicle of unity, compassion, and community.

The author shows that keeping the Sabbath is not only one of the Ten Commandments, but is intrinsically incorporated into the other nine as well. The non-distracted Sabbath allows the faithful to thus focus on relationships and covenant as opposed to acquisitiveness. The “restlessness” of modern society demands unceasing dedication to secular ideologies that may serve the person temporarily, but ultimately leads to burn out, anxiety, aggression, and violence. The God of the Old Testament, in contrast, aims to “counter anxious productivity with committed neighborliness.” Brueggemann provides a transformative insight into the life that He intends for His creation, and the juxtaposition of ancient Israel under Egyptian oppression to modern society produces eye-opening and frightening conclusions.

This book is accessible, very easy to read and by no means is a “heavy” theological book. Quite frankly, I think that every person of faith who wants to improve his or her walk ought to read this book. I believe those in church leadership will find the text beneficial as well. Anyone who is a dedicated capitalist or zealous free-market advocate will probably throw this book in the fire.

Read this book and forever transform the way you see the day of rest.

 

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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