Journey to the Common Good by Walter Bruggeman
Rev. Dr. Ray Miles
This book is subversive! Read it only if you are prepared to have the assumptions, goals, and comfort of our society and lifestyle, directly challenged by careful and diligent examination of some Biblical texts. Though it does not’t deal with traditional understanding of stewardship, it reaches to the values and assumptions that define our way of life. It touches wealth accumulation, power and privilege coming from wealth, and the responsibility of God’s steward to care for all of humanity.
This book is a must read for anyone, clergy or lay, who has a serious concern with following God’s word. If one is not open to that, the book will be uncomfortable and dismissed before it is even finished. For those who are biblically centered it is appealing because of the careful and extensive use of the Scripture texts. At the end, the reader will have been amazed at how much these Old Testament stories deal with exactly the same issues as our society faces. Part of that comes from the skillful connections the author makes.
What to do rests upon our shoulders but one cannot read this book without being confronted by the truth. The book would be best used by pastors in developing an understanding of stewardship as care for the larger community. It could also be used as a resource for a study group which is serious about its study and is able to work without printed directions of what to talk about. The book is not long and could be read in a short session but will call the reader back to read again so as to fully absorb the message.
Reviewed by Rev. Dr. Ray Miles, retired Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Georgia