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Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out
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Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  24 reviews

Silence is a complex matter. It can refer to awe before unutterable holiness, but it can also refer to the coercion where some voices are silenced in the interest of control by the dominant voices. It is the latter silence that Walter Brueggemann explores, urging us to speak up in situations of injustice.

Interrupting Silence illustrates that the Bible is filled with storie

Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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4.16  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
Brueggemann continues to impress. His capacity, as a cishet white male, to illuminate the struggles of all people is nearly unmatched among scholars like him. This book does not settle for pointing out pericopes of silence interrupted in Scripture-- just bland evidence to support a useless thesis for yet another book, as so many of Brueggemann's contemporaries do and call scholarly work-- but lifts up canonical instances that are directly applicable to the silence that needs interrupting in our ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Brueggemann's latest has plenty of good ideas, but it feels inessential. It's a short read, and it feels very casual. These are ideas Brueggemann knows inside and out by now, so while he's clear and concise, it's a little rote, even if his points – primarily about the value of speaking out and creating a space to speak – are valuable, particularly in our current moment.

I'm suspect of a few of his readings. While it can be useful to make a character stand in for Rome/oppressive powers, sometimes
WOW! My first time reading Walter Brueggemann, and extra special to share the experience with the wise, beautiful women in my small group (one of whom studied with Brueggemann in seminary). This is a small book, but it's full of powerful and timely topics. Highly recommend as a group read because you will need to discuss it!
A work that encapsulates both the compelling and frustrating natures of Brueggemann and his work.

Over the first seven chapters Brueggemann incisively explores narratives in the Old and New Testament as they relate to breaking silence. He considers the cry of the Israelites regarding oppression by Pharaoh; Amos' unwillingness to be silenced by the priest in Bethel; David's meditation on how an unwillingness to cry out to God for forgiveness and to keep silent hurts and kills; the Syro-phoenician
Harry Allagree
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, & an ordained United Church of Christ minister, gives us a refreshing, provocative & down-to-earth reflection on the dynamics of silencing & speaking out to end silencing. Silencers throughout human history are those who, whether in religion, politics or society in general, coerce economic production -- by the poor, the less fortunate, the weak. They act out of fearful greed, imposing stringent ...more
Andrew Doohan
A brief yet fascinating study from Walter Brueggemann on the place and power of silence - and the act of silencing - in the Christian Scriptures that points out that at the heart of silence is the application of power a power that supports the status quo rather than the freedom that God proclaims.

Taking several particular examples from across the spectrum of the Scriptures, Brueggemann issues a constant clarion call to recognise silence as something that has its origins in human frailty and desi
Jesse Baker
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Klagge
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brief, timely and interesting book on 8 biblical passages. Surprisingly, for Brueggemann, not all of them are from the Hebrew Testament! It makes good reading for preachers and laypeople. But it advertises itself as "A Bible Study for Adults." I read it precisely with that possibility in mind, and decided it wouldn't work, because Brueggemann's writing style is not sufficiently accessible. A good editor would have improved the sentence structures and toned down the vocabulary a bit. Others might ...more
Ann Hein
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
I really liked the format of this Bible-study book. Instead of studying one book in the Bible, Brueggemann finds scattered examples in Scripture where people have spoken out. Each of eight chapters has a theme and Scripture passages to read and discuss. Several questions are posted at the end of the chapter. Thought provoking and easy to discuss. The title suggests that God commands speaking out and perhaps we should be doing that right now.
Samantha Sophia
Timely and short read on a topic that should be more thoroughly discussed and acknowledged in the faith space. It provides some good food for thought and nicely forms the biblical basis for some ideas I have been toying with. The many old and new testament examples were super helpful and I would definitely build on some of this work as a reference while speaking on topics related to #MeToo, Immigration and fighting for the defense of black lives as Christians.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-2018
An important thing to note about this book is it is meant to be a study for church groups. The chapters are shorter and there are questions at the end of each chapter for conversation.
I state this after reading some other reviews about the content of the book. It is meant as an introduction into a larger conversation which is meant to be had around the table. It is still a good read, but it is definitely designed as a study as it states in the book.
Seth Thomas
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preaching
This study has been such a helpful and thought provoking additive to sermon prep for me the last few months. I've been using the texts and studies to springboard my sermon study. The sermons and reflections have launched many great conversations around our congregation about what it means to speak up and bear witness to God at work in our lives, as well as call out injustice and name the privileged silencers around us. A great good for study, with a group or alone.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most prophetic, inspiring and damning books of our time. Brueggemann revisits the passage of the widow who demands justice and reveals the necessity of persistent voicing to bring about restoration and equity. Faith is a matter of persisting hope and silence breaking in the midst of silencers. The Church has played its own silencing role as an organization and institution, and this power needs to be broken as well.
Alyssa Foll
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruggemann traces the idea of God's people being "silence-breakers" throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Torah, Psalms, and Prophets) and in the life of Jesus. This feels particularly relevant in light of the recent US election as well as other social movements, such as the #MeToo campaign. Again, I would recommend this as a small group book for discussion or for an adult education forum.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book shows numerous examples from the Old and New Testaments where people spoke up against injustice, breaking the silence that allowed it. We are challenged to speak up for justice. If we don't, we are allowing the powerful to remain in control and unjust situations to remain the norm.
Bruce C Coats
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With his usual clarity, Brueggemann tackles silence and its role in social justice. Using his typical socio-rhetorical method, he traverses both Old and New Testament passages to teach about silence and why there are times to speak up!
Lucretia R. Fuentes
Thought provoking.

Well researched and written. Brings new understanding to light. Some parts difficult. Recommend as a good read for thoughtful Christians.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for group as well as individual (as I used it) study. Brueggemann always helps us break out of old patterns so we can consider the world anew.
Jeff Bobin
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
There is a time for silence but, there is also a time to speak. This short book will give you food for thought about places and times you should speak up rather than remaining silent.

The author tends to look through the lens of modern culture at the scripture rather than looking at our culture through the scriptures.
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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
“There is no practical area in the life of the church in which reform is more urgent than in the church’s propensity (in all of its manifestations) to silence. Such reform, like every moment of reform, means a return to the core claims of the gospel. In this case, it is the core claim of the baptismal formula of Galatians 3:28 concerning the third element of “male and female.” 1 likes
“As the church in reform draws closer to its core confession, it inescapably embraces its most radical vision that violates and contradicts conventional practice in its social context. What makes such reform difficult, moreover, is the fact that while we ponder the radical core claims of faith, we ourselves are variously enmeshed in conventional practices that are inimical to the gospel.” 1 likes
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