In this varied collection of essays, Walter Brueggemann provides a lens into biblical teachings that speak to our present age of fake news, lies, and alternate realities. Compiled and edited by Louis Stulman, professor of religious studies at the University of Findlay, these essays engage a common theme of truth and hope. As Brueggemann writes in the preface, “There is no doubt that the prophetic tradition regularly engages in truth-telling in order to expose social reality as a systemic act of ‘falseness’ that contradicts the purposes of God. The prophetic tradition of Jeremiah, for instance, is preoccupied with truth-telling that exposes ‘falseness.’ … The prophet exposes the deceit of dominant culture.” The prophetic tradition then moves from truth-telling to “hope-telling,” grounding hope both in unmasking corrupt systems, and in the faithfulness of God to bring about a new way. In Brueggemann’s words, “There can be no hope until truth is told.”
Readers will find this collection of essays to be theologically rooted in the concept of prophetic tradition as a means of truth-telling and bringing about justice and restoration. Brueggemann explores how, apart from God’s purposes, truth-telling is nothing more than harping, and hope-telling is only wishful thinking.
“In Truth and Hope, Walter Brueggemann unearths and relates messages from Scripture that speak to today's culture and society. Although well known for his Old Testament scholarship, Brueggemann is the quintessential pastor-scholar-theologian, breaking through the academia-church divide, providing suggestions and lessons that both academics and laymen will find beneficial.” – Bold Theology
“‘There can be no hope until truth is told,’ Brueggemann states early in this volume. He then tells us the truth about Daniel and difference, the Psalms and pastoral care, Proverbs and higher education, holy truth versus certitude, Ezra-Nehemiah and prayer and justice—to name only a few of his numerous topics and texts—all the while injecting real and profound hope in us, the church, and the world amidst many anxieties, uncertainties, failures, and sins. When he writes ‘I am aware, of course, that a little Bible study changes nothing,’ we have this latest installment of his oeuvre to prove otherwise. As Brueggemann demonstrates throughout this stunning volume, ‘the beginning point of public policy is text, text, text.’ Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
—Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament, Duke University