Book of the Month, December 2022 – A Gospel of Hope by Walter Brueggemann

Hi, there. Maggie Shaw here, proud owner of Eregendal and author.

As a lifelong lover of reading, each month I choose one of my favourite books – and tell you all about it.

For December’s Book of the Month I have chosen A Gospel of Hope by Walter Brueggemann (Hodder & Stoughton 2018). Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament Theologian and one of the most influential Biblical interpreters at this time. His work often focuses on the Hebrew prophetic tradition and speaks prophetically to the socio-political stance of the Christian Church of our time. He encourages Christians and the Church to abandon what is safe and routine and instead embrace the audacity needed to live out their faith in Jesus.

The book has been created from a collection of extracts from Brueggemann’s earlier writings, collated into twelve sections: Abundance and Generosity, Alternative Worlds, Anxiety and Freedom, God’s fidelity and ours, Jesus, Justice, Evangelical Identity, Neighbor Love, Newness and Hope, Public Witness and Responsibility, Relinquishment, and Faithful Practices.

I found the book easy to dip into as most of the extracts are quite short, making it very accessible. The thoughts expressed in the extracts are very encouraging, but also often very challenging. What I read helped me see how important the social actions of my local church are in bringing in God’s kingdom, when it does things like providing free meals for the hungry and meeting spaces for recovery groups and charities, collecting for food banks, and working for greater Christian unity. Equally as important are my own responses to those in need and on the margins of society. The book is one of very few on my shelves where I have made annotations on almost every page, agreeing with the ideas expressed or placing exclamation marks (!) to warn myself I have more work to do in that area.

I came away from this book feeling moved that what I was doing was important in God’s economy, even if it is not in our political economy; and encouraged to continue pursuing those causes which support the practical witness of the Church. The wisdom expressed in the pages is so inspiring, I am sure I will continue to dip into it for many years to come.

So there we have it, December’s Book of the Month! Be sure to check back in January 2023 as I’ll be revealing another must read.

Take care,

Maggie x

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