Mandate to Difference. An Invitation to the Contemporary Church
Westminister John Knox. 01/2006
“If you cringe at the boisterous, cocky new sound of religion in politics, if you worry about the divisiveness of ‘red’ and ‘blue,’ and if you are vexed that too many people claim to be speaking directly for Christ, you might think that our Christian faith is all about getting the moral issues right and leveraging others to think and act the right way, as do we. But if you think that, you are very wrong, because such contemporary loud posturing is not so much about faith as it is about anxiety and maintaining control in the world. Our faith . . . is not about pinning down moral certitudes. It is, rather, about openness to wonder and awe in glad praise.”
—from chapter 1
In this his newest work, renowned Walter Brueggemann sets forth a new vision of the Christian church in today’s world. Based on recent speaking engagements surrounding his critical passion and conviction—that the church in this moment must set itself in tension with the rest of the world—the essays in Mandate to Difference call the church to courageously defy political polarization, consumerism, and militarism. “If this is God’s world and if the rule of love is at work,” he writes, “then our mandate is not to draw into a cocoon of safety; rather, it is to be out and alive in the world in concrete acts and policies whereby the fearful anxiety among us is dispatched and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends.”
Mandate to Difference has been chosen as one of the Best Religious Books of 2007 by the Massachusetts Bible Society.