Walter Brueggeman is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary and the author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles. In this hard-hitting and prophetic paperback, Brueggemann laments the fact that contemporary Christians pay little attention to the Sabbath which he sees as an art form and a practice with a long and meaningful tradition. It offers an alternative to "the reduction of all human life to the requirements of the market." In our consumer culture we are restless and filled with desires for something more, better or different. The rat race keeps us moving at breakneck speed as we expend ourselves on work and deplete ourselves on draining pleasures such as reality television shows and professional sports.
Instead of getting caught up in little moral squabbles about breaking the Sabbath with card games, movies, and liquor on Sundays, the author discusses the much bigger theological issues of resistance to anxiety, to coercion, to exclusivism, and to multitasking. We especially liked the following list of qualities that are honored during the Sabbath and offer an alternative to those who want to be free from a world defined solely by production and consumption:
• "You do not have to do more.
• You do not have to sell more.
• You do not have to control more.
• You do not have to know more.
• You do not have to have your kids in ballet or soccer.
• You do not have to be younger or more beautiful.
• You do not have to score more."