Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now” as Want to Read:
Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,764 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Discussions about the Sabbath often center around moralistic laws and arguments over whether a person should be able to play cards or purchase liquor on Sundays. In this volume, popular author Walter Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not simply about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society. Importantly, Brueggemann speaks t ...more
Paperback, 89 pages
Published January 31st 2014 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published January 3rd 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sabbath as Resistance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sabbath as Resistance

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,764 ratings  ·  261 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
Cindy Rollins
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I am not in line with all of the author's theology, I greatly appreciated the theme of sabbath. Especially since as I write we have all been handed a sabbath rest by God in the form of the reaction to the Corona Virus of social distancing. We moderns desperately need sabbath and I believe Brueggemann when he says there are great benefits from taking a break from covetous living.

I had planned to practice Lent more delibrately this year. That plan became more of a reality than I anticipated
Dan Glover
There are some truly great insights in this book. The theme of Sabbath as Resistance to the break-neck pace of life and unending pursuit of material wealth and achievement is a message the church of our day (particularly the North American church) needs to take to heart. This book is (thankfully) not a legalistic volume of "thou shalt nots", nor does it spiritualize away the meaning of Sabbath rest - it really means resting from our labours. The Sabbath is a call to resist the dehumanizing gods ...more
Jacob Aitken
Brueggemann uses the Sabbath as a prism through which we understand economics and social relations and the ideological assumptions embedded in each.

“The demands of market ideology pertain as much to consumption as they do to production” (Brueggemann xii). It is “Pharaoh’s insatiable script.”

“Wherever YHWH governs as an alternative to Pharaoh, there the restfulness of YHWH effectively counters the restless anxiety of Pharaoh” (xiii).

Sabbath and the First Commandment

God is embedded in a narrative
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
Brueggemann starts off strong in making a Biblical case for the Sabbath and its importance. While there is some good paragraphs that encourage further thought and study, the book ultimately falls apart as it continues. It seems as though he argues that, if you observe the Sabbath, then you will keep from breaking the other commandments in the 10 Commandments. And yet, if you don't, you're giving yourself up to breaking the other commandments and will inevitably do so. While I understand this tra ...more
Peter Bringe
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, culture
Brueggemann is liberal in his approach to Scripture, and that comes out in the book, but the book is beneficial with regard to its main insight. This insight is that the Sabbath is “a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods. Such an act of resistance requires enormous intentionality and communal reinforcement amid the barrage of seductive pressures from the insatiable insistence’s of the market...It is an alternative to the demanding ...more
Neil R. Coulter
If I felt as I read Walter Brueggemann’s Sabbath as Resistance that I didn’t loooove it, that’s probably partly because I picked it up right after finishing a book by John Walton. For me, not many authors can top Walton when writing about the Old Testament. However, Brueggemann makes some excellent points about Sabbath-keeping, in the Bible and now. The six chapters look at Sabbath particularly in light of its place in the ten commandments. Brueggemann sees the Sabbath commandment as affirming t ...more
Joel Larson
Sep 23, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful series of essays on the Sabbath as the defining Old Testament practice of ancient Israel. Bruggemann offers a thorough and creative approach to these texts that feels incredibly relevant and applicable to modern life. He approaches the socioeconomic realities of life in the ancient world far more than merely approaching the “spiritual” implications of these texts, putting the need for Sabbath in conversation with the forces of empire, commodity, and restlessness which are alive and ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A commentary on the Exodus and giving of the Ten Commandments that roots itself in our contemporary imagination, and is a call to leave behind the pattern of coercion that is marked by anxiety, exclusion, and multitasking.

“Do you, when you wake up in the night, remember what you were supposed to have done, vexed that you did not meet expectations? Do you fall asleep counting bricks? Do you dream of more bricks you have to make yet or if bricks you have made that were flawed? We dream so because
John Defrog: global citizen, local gadfly
I enjoyed Walter Brueggemann’s Out of Babylon, and when I came across this, the title alone was a great hook – the idea of the Sabbath as a form of resistance to the never-ending demands of late-stage capitalism. Brueggemann’s basic thesis is that the Fourth Commandment is not only more significant than it looks, it’s also arguably the centerpiece of the list – a bridge between Commandments 1 to 3 and 5 to 10. The book offers a concise exploration into just why God felt it necessary to stick th ...more
Stephen Walsh
Jul 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Put down the phone! Celebrate time stoppage!

Brueggemann slams this one down the throats of all would-be multitaskers and complex world lovers that we are with this unbelievable treatise on Sabbath as a theological and socio-economic resistance to the “Egypt / Pharaoh esche” workaholic, commoditization-driven economy they lived in then and we live in today.

We think we trade money for phones or money for fuel, but what we are actually doing most of the time, is against YHWH’s beautiful order of c
Aug 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf-faith
2022 bk 218. I wish I had read this as part of a book discussion group. This book pushed for thoughtful consideration of the meaning and practice of sabbath, not just as a day of rest and worship. Brueggemann's interpretation of the sabbath of a means to resist the consumerism, the busyness of our modern lives, the intrusion of all things meant to keep us from the love of God are best considered in a group. Even so, I will still carry some questions from the book into my own life about how I kee ...more
Aldon Hynes
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It offers a very helpful way of thinking about Sabbath and its meaning for our relationship with God and our lives today. It fits very well with Brueggemann's Prophetic Imagination and has a study section if you wish to use it for a religious education course. ...more
Rhidge Garcia
Aug 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently, I’ve been more intentional about living a life of restfulness. Sabbath as Resistance has only enhanced and enriched my journey towards restful living.

The author is not only a masterful expositor of the texts, but also a soul who knows the heart of the Father. So many quotes. So many lessons. So many moments of awe and wonder.

If you, like me, have the tendency to allow the pursuit of more steal your joy, I totally recommend this book.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Seventh-day Adventist I've practiced Sabbath-keeping for my entire life, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, at some times better than others, but it has been a fixture within my life, requiring me to ask for different exam schedules during University, and not attending friends birthday parties as a child. I've heard dozens of sermons preached on the Sabbath, but I don't know that I've ever heard or read something quite like this book.

In my memory most of the sermons I've heard on the
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Sabbath as Resistance” is an apt title. This book is really a nonviolent call to arms–to resist the powers and principalities of consumerism and hostility that have always been engrained in every age. There were moments while reading this book where I could feel the falseness of this present world, and I would have to simply look around for a while just to take it all in. The sinister forces that keep people independent from one another in implicit rivalry are once again named and denounced in ...more
Roland Clark
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sabbath as Resistance (2014) calls on us to abandon our slavery to modern capitalism and consumerism, embracing instead a trusting attitude towards a God who takes care of our daily needs. Brueggemann writes, “I have found this study to be an important existential one for me. I know about the restless anxiety of not yet having done enough.” To put that in context, Sabbath as Resistance is one of six books this retired theology professor has published this year alone.

See my full review here: htt
Allison Gregory-Graff
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty short but VERY dense. At one point I was giving myself a hard time because I hadn’t finished it yet, and I was a couple weeks into 2018 and hadn’t finished a book yet.

Now, I am content with how fast I read it, because it’s jam packed with information and wisdom. I think I still skimmed some parts more than I should have..

It was actually a great book to begin 2018 with, because it sets the tone of rethinking your life in terms of the Sabbath. A great quote of the book says,
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really quite disappointing - for such a well known scholar, the exegesis is flimsy at best (I had a professor who would have written thin next to large portions of the books), he shows almost no cultural sensitivity to the ANE context, and to top it all off, the book isn't even practical (no, adding a study guide does not make it practical).

Oh, and did I mention he seems to confuse the Pharaoh of Joseph's time with the Pharaoh of Moses' time? At best, it's a deliberate obfuscation, at worst...we
Demetrius Rogers
This slim volume is made up of 6 chapters. Chapters 1-3 were amazing. Brueggemann stayed with the text of Scripture and made fascinating connections and applications. However, by the end of chapter 3, he seemed to have used up his best ideas. The remainder of the book struck me as repetitious and, unfortunately, politically partisan.
Jean Doane
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book, a birthday present fom my son Michael, while flying to Clevelad for the Common Global Ministries Fall 2017 meetings. Why not get closer to God while a citizen of the City in the Sky, part of the one million people in flight at any given moment in time? Walter Brueggemann is one of my favorite theologians, an elder statesman of the United Church of Christ. In under 100 pages, he insightfully lays out the case for Sabbath observance as a revolutionary act, an act of resistance ag ...more
Nicole Cober-Lake
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this stunning examination of the social justice implications of Sabbath, Brueggemann speaks simultaneously with the intensity and clarity of a prophet and with the tenderhearted concern of a pastor for the more complete flourishing of God's people.

He begins by demonstrating that in issuing the Sabbath commandment, God sets himself up as an explicit alternative to the obsessive production system of Pharaoh. His people can trust him to provide enough, rather than constantly working for more an
Mar 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Families in market ideology, think of themselves as helpless before such a commitment to sports. It takes resolve to resist the demand. It is alternative to the demanding chattering pervasive presence of sports that devour rest time.
Is it demanding, anxiety inducing? Resist it.
The moment of giving bread at Eucharist is gift. So is sabbath. We receive in gratitude.
Sabbath is a school for our desires, it is critique of false desires for idolatry and greed. When we do not pause, these false desi
Lisa Lewton
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If the American people were to really consider this brief writing, and truly listen to the way we treat people and life as something to be mastered with efficiency and charm, Brueggeman would be in trouble. The culture might kill the messenger in anger over the notion that relationships with the vulnerable and the neighborhood matter most. Brueggeman takes us back to the context of the 10 commandments, when the Israelites were fleeing the Sabbath-opposed Pharoah. We remember God's dream for us i ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is fabulous. A deeper, more biblical exposition on Sabbath than I'm accustomed to, but a welcome one. The text is a bit dense, but still readable, and its chapters are short enough that you can take little bits at a time and digest it all over a week or two. While others have made me feel guilty for working too much, or better yet, convinced me that I should stop working at least one day a week, Brueggemann explores the power Sabbath has in interrupting and changing destructive cycles in ou ...more
Jane Gleaton
Jul 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was an easy read. I liked how he framed Sabbath and why it’s important. It is framed within the Ten Commandments.

He made commentary on our culture and I agreed in lots of ways. Like how we are super consumers and always feel like we need more and how that goes against the way God intended us to be. But what I didn’t necessarily agree with was what felt like some of his undertones. He doesn’t come right out and say “capitalism is evil and ungodly, socialism is the Godly thing to do”, but th
Matt Willden
Jun 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Exceedingly dry. The author was far more cerebral and professorial in tone than I would have expected given how the book pitches itself. Frankly a bit of a slog. But in the end I did walk away with some useful insights and grist for the mental mill related to how I can better use my sabbaths. So for that at least I’m grateful for the time invested.
Nov 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Really well done: aimed at a popular but thinking audience, framed around the familiar (10 commandments) and the uncanny (at least in contemporary society—stopping the economics of consumption), and well written. I read it twice, and had plenty to think about each time. Adding to my permanent collection.
Kelsey Fortin
Jun 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I read this book from a recommendation when auditing the class “The Decalogue and Sabbath in Redemptive History” from Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary taught by Professor Jon English Lee. Both were life changing. My outlook on Sabbath, the law of God, creation, and more has been radically informed and enlightened. I can’t recommend it enough. And I’d love to do a group study on it with the study guide questions, it’s already sparked so much great discussion just within my family.
Apr 23, 2021 rated it liked it
More accurately, 3.5 ⭐️
John Griffiths
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
a surprisingly good read for a work of theology and quick too - I rattled through it in less than a week. So little theology written is relevant to business and consumer culture this was a treat. It contrasts sabbath and stopping with the anxiety culture of pharoah - the pyramid that has the workers labouring endlessly while the few at the top worry about not having enough and driving everyone including themselves to create surpluses. It could be edited down a tad. But I think Breuggeman missed ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man
  • Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World
  • Live No Lies: Recognize and Resist the Three Enemies That Sabotage Your Peace
  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence
  • Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry
  • Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World
  • The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus
  • Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
  • A Non-Anxious Presence: How a Changing and Complex World will Create a Remnant of Renewed Christian  Leaders
  • Emotionally Healthy Discipleship: Moving from Shallow Christianity to Deep Transformation
  • Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.
  • When Everything's on Fire: Faith Forged from the Ashes
  • Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience
  • Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation
  • The Pastor: A Memoir
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society
  • The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door
  • On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the world's leading interpreter of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including Westminster John Knox Press best sellers such as Genesis and First and Second Samuel in the Interpretation series, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christ ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
15 likes · 2 comments
“In our own contemporary context of the rat race of anxiety, the celebration of Sabbath is an act of both resistance and alternative. It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods.” 13 likes
“Moses knows that prosperity breeds amnesia.” 12 likes
More quotes…