Mandate to Difference | Walter Brueggemann

The cover of Brueggemann's Mandate to DifferenceThe world is dark. Brueggemann describes our current situation as “technological, therapeutic, military consumerism” (63).

  • Technological: We blindly accept new technologies which give us a sense of invincibility.
  • Therapeutic: We are obsessed with “pain-free, death-free, inconvenience-free existence at the expense of the neighbor” (63).
  • Military: We put our faith (and our money) in military power.
  • Consumerism: We buy in order to achieve happiness.

In the midst of this dark world, the Hebrew Scriptures offer hope. Mandate to Difference is a collection of essays and sermons that offer an alternative way of living based on God’s Word.

All of Brueggemann’s favourite themes are found here: the necessity of Sabbath, the call for justice, and the challenge to imagine a different future that challenges the current ideology. Since this is a collection, many of the ideas are repeated in different forms, as Brueggemann admits in the preface. This doesn’t take away from the work, it reminds the reader of what is important.

If you cringe at the boisterous, cocky new sound of religion in politics, if you worry about the divisiveness of “red” and “blue,” and if you are vexed that too many people claim to be speaking directly for Christ … (1)

… then read these essays and accept Brueggemann’s invitation to be different.

—Walter Brueggemann, Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007).

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