Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann

I came across the writings of Walter Brueggemann several years ago and I'm so happy that I did! Brueggemann is a committed Christian, pastor, and for many years served as the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. I enjoy his writings because they have both depth and breadth and while he has a scholar eyes and mind he also has a pastors' heart. I rank Brueggemann up there with Eugene Peterson, Fred Craddock, Thomas Long, among others.

When I saw his second volume of collected sermons I knew that I had to review it. A few years ago I read and reviewed the first volume of sermons and the second volume, very much like the first, doesn't disappoint.

As a longtime pastor I have found that I need to fill up my wells so that I can continue in my preaching and teaching ministry. It's certainly challenging to preach sermons week after week, month after month, season after season for many years. It can be downright tiring. However, I need to continually read, study, and pray the Scriptures as well as read books like this collection of sermons. It is food for the journey. If you're a pastor or a teacher in the Church I encourage you to read this collection too, you won't be disappointed.

The sermon collection is arranged according to the Church Year:

Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany 

Lent and Easter 

Pentecost and Ordinary Time 

What I like about Brueggemann is that since he knows the cultural and religious world view of the Old Testament he brings that to light in his preaching. His sermons weave both the Scriptural as well as personal as he finds no problem mentioning a book, movie, or personal anecdote as we would a story about King David or Abraham. The Old Testament comes to life in his sermons and while reading one could just imagine Adam or Eve just walking into the room. I don't get a chance to hear many preachers because I have a parish myself, however I hear from some folks that too many sermons are like dry bones, dusty and old, stories told and re-told without much imagination from the preacher. However, Brueggemann is far from dry, these dry dusty bones come to life as he refashions them into the life-giving story of God's salvation for us in Jesus.

If you want a book that will feed heart, mind, and spirit then look no further than Walter Brueggemann's Second Volume of Sermons, you'll be happy that you did!

Since reading this book I have read several other of his books too, his books on the prophets for example is excellent. I hope you will find Brueggemann as inspiring as I have!

For more information about the sermon collection click here 

For Walter Brueggemann's Website click here