The Walter Brueggemann Library brings together the wide-ranging and enlivening thought of popular biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann over his storied career. Each volume collects previously published work on a biblical theme that has deeply informed Brueggemann’s scholarship, in an accessible digest for readers who want to engage his writing on the topic.
This first volume in the series, Deliver Us, fittingly begins with the narrative of the exodus . Brueggemann has consistently brought attention to how the themes of the exodus event and the stories of the giving of the law that follow lay the groundwork for a biblical understanding of salvation. Drawn from numerous publications in recent decades, this volume reveals Brueggemann’s clear understanding that divine liberation from exploitation and acquisitiveness also means liberation for generous action for the common benefit. This salvation involves not the security of the individual soul but a wholehearted transformation of social identities and relationships. With the gift of deliverance—dramatically enacted in the Hebrew people’s being led out from the oppression of pharoah—comes the task of obedience—articulated in the covenantal laws given at Mount Sinai, in the wilderness, and beyond.
Brueggemann shows how this double theme of the gift and the task is forged in the exodus narrative, then reenacted in salvation motifs throughout the Bible. The people of God, always susceptible to mentalities of scarcity, selfishness, and the compulsion to consume, are again and again called out by the subversive message of the prophets, and Jesus himself, to forsake exploitation and to liberate the marginalized—to return to covenant obedience and align themselves with God’s radical commitment to create and sustain a more just and flourishing world. Deliver Us extends this same message of salvation, insightfully elucidated by Brueggemann in this single volume, for the benefit of both individual readers and the contemporary church.
Questions for reflection are included at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for individual or group study.