Tweets from Walter Brueggemann on May 1, 2011

The famous and prolific Hebrew Bible professor Walter Brueggemann — author of 58 books and hundreds of articles — taught a Bible study and preached this morning at the Alliance of Baptists Gathering in Louisville, Kentucky:

If this is God’s world and if the rule of love is at work, then our mandate is not to draw into a cocoon of safety; rather, it is to be out and alive in the world in concrete acts and policies whereby the fearful anxiety among us is dispatched and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends. –Walter Brueggemann, Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church

I’m a long-time member of the Alliance and currently serve as an officer of the board of directors. The Alliance describes itself as follows:

We began as a dissenting voice in Baptist life 24 years ago. Today we are the many voices of progressive Christians around the world seeking to respond to the continuing call of God in a rapidly changing world.With more than 2,500 individuals, 150 endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors, 23 local and global mission partners, 2 theology schools and 131 congregation partners the Alliance is committed to ecumenism, partnership in mission, radical hospitality, and social justice.

Below I will paste my tweets in response to Brueggemann words (find me on Twitter @carlgregg):

“The Fourth Story goes with the other three to be enacted soon and often — and later told by our children. Some story!” ~Walter Brueggemann

“We tell these stories about Elisha, Jesus, and Peter. But there is a 4th Story: we are given capacity for Resurrection and to heal others.”

“Who wants to travel light, be unencumbered, and touch disability?” ~Brueggemann

“At its best the church knows that human power and human capacity fed by the mercy and compassion of God HAS transformative power.”~WB

“The church feels dense, wounding in its need to control, and embarrassing in quarrels about gays, worship, or the color of the carpet.”~WB

“The church doesn’t feel like Resurrection.” ~Brueggemann

“The church is a big, cumbersome organizational arrangement for pensions and curriculum.” ~Brueggemann

“Obvious: something is really wrong w/ our society and something is really wrong w/ the church. Also obvious: something new is happening”~WB

Sermon title: “On Performing the Fourth Story” ~Brueggemann

“The church is a 12 Step Program b/c we’re addicted to anxiety. The good news is that we don’t have to live that way.” ~Brueggemann

“We need Sabbath replenishment to be dangerous, intentional people with energy to transform the world.”~Brueggemann

“Depleted people are easily manipulated and controlled. In Exodus 31:17, God was ‘rested, and was refreshed’ by Sabbath.”~Brueggemann

“The Sabbath is the most important and most difficult of the commandments. It is written that on the 7th day, God was pooped.” ~ Brueggemann

“When waiting to turn into traffic, no white guys let me in. Then I realized that I never let people in either.” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“A Sociology of Doxology: ‘The more money you’ve got, the less you can sing! If enough $, you hire people to sing for you.’” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“Read Psalm 104!” ~ Walter Brueggemann

You water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. The trees of God are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that God planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees.

“When the Bible talks about abundant oil, they meant OLIVE oil!” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“Genesis 1 is not about ‘creation v. evolution’ — but that God blessed and blessed and blessed the world.” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“Most people would rather have their debts forgiven than their sins.” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“Do not participate in the dominant system of anxiety, but embrace an alternative life.” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“We cannot serve both God and capital.” ~ Walter Brueggemann

“From Pharaoh to Milton Friedman at U Chicago we’ve made economics about scarcity. But God is about abundance” ~ Walter Brueggemann

If you resonated with Brueggemann’s Bible study or sermon, a good entry point into his voluminous work is his recent book Disruptive Grace: Reflections on God, Scripture, and the Church, which is an edited collection of the best of his public talks from the past few decades.

About Carl Gregg

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