It was great to finally meet one of my heroes face to face yesterday. Walter Brueggemann’s work has meant a great deal to me over the years. His book The Prophetic Imagination continues to be a source of guidance and inspiration for my life and ministry.
When I was working on Shrink, I relied heavily on it for a couple of the chapters. So, I contacted Dr. Brueggemann to see if he’d take a look at my work, and give me a reaction. During that time we talked about his 19 Theses as well, making a clarifications on one detail that has been often confused or stated inconsistently in other scholarly work & in the blogosphere. You can read about all of that in Walter Brueggemann’s 19 Thesis Revisited. When the project was over, he agreed to read the whole thing & write a recommendation.
Dr. Brueggemann reads and recommends a lot of books, so in that respect the blurb he wrote for my book Shrink is not out of the ordinary. For me, however, just knowing that he read the book & that he took the time to talk with me about it, and have his name attached to it along with mine was very meaningful to me personally. It felt like validation from a mentor for whom I have immense respect. Here’s what he wrote for Shrink:
“Tim Suttle has written a powerful, passionate, honest word to the church. He critiques a church too much seduced by American can-do culture. His Gospel alternative is straight forward: Faithfulness, not success; Story, not strategy; Virtue, not technique; Cooperation, not competition. The book is directed toward evangelicals who lust after mega-churches. But I hope his book will spill over into the world of “progressive” Christians where I live. It is a good word and the whole church in our culture needs to listen. It is a word that draws us back to the truth enacted by Jesus.” – Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary, April 15, 2014
I wish I could be at his final FCC15 lecture this morning. Can’t wait to follow the Twitter stream & then hear the recordings.