One of my favorite books ever is Walter Brueggemann’s most popular book, “The Prophetic Imagination.” I have read and re-read it countless times, and am continually surprised and inspired by what I find between its pages. Surprisingly enough, I’ve never taken the time to read any of his other writings, or listen to him talk. Until now.
Last week I searched for collections of his teaching, etc., and came across this – The Gospel in a Frightened Culture – a teaching series at a retreat several years ago. Brueggemann goes through the Old Testament, but touches on interpretation, culture, faithful living, and how it relates and interacts and can make a difference in our society, culture, and world. And he does so in a highly intelligent, relatable, down-to-earth way that doesn’t take himself too seriously, but takes what he is teaching on very seriously. These things are important.
For something shorter, listen to this 12 minute talk Brueggemann gave – The Risk of Telling the Truth – (which I found at Calvin’s Center for Excellence in Preaching.) And since we’re trying to talk about truth-telling, I found it especially appropriate. Download it, listen to it, and do your best to live it. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
Death cannot win…
The church is surrounded by people who lie – who in their fear and their anxiety and their desire to control tell lies about God and about God’s world.
They say, assuming the power of death, that violent force will make us safe. It is a lie!
They say, assuming the power of death, that more stuff will make us happy. It is a lie!
They say, assuming the power of death, that more clever techniques will make the church more faithful. It is a lie!
They say, assuming the power of death, that more cosmetics will keep us young. It is a lie!
They want us to gather around the still power of death in order to stay in control. And it is a lie!
They lie, and we in the church are called to tell the truth about Easter that opens the future.”
~ Brueggemann, “The risk of telling the truth.”
And hopefully soon I should be able to polish some of the thoughts planted and concepts that Brueggemann has articulated so beautifully. Enjoy.
PS. In case you missed them, here are those links again. You’re welcome.