In this varied collection of essays, Walter Brueggemann provides a lens into biblical teachings that speak to our present age of fake news, lies, and alternate realities. Compiled and edited by Louis Stulman, professor of religious studies at the University of Findlay, these essays engage a common theme of truth and hope. As Brueggemann writes in the preface, “There is no doubt that the prophetic tradition regularly engages in truth-telling in order to expose social reality as a systemic act of ‘falseness’ that contradicts the purposes of God. The prophetic tradition of Jeremiah, for instance, is preoccupied with truth-telling that exposes ‘falseness.’ … The prophet exposes the deceit of dominant culture.” The prophetic tradition then moves from truth-telling to “hope-telling,” grounding hope both in unmasking corrupt systems, and in the faithfulness of God to bring about a new way. In Brueggemann’s words, “There can be no hope until truth is told.”
Readers will find this collection of essays to be theologically rooted in the concept of prophetic tradition as a means of truth-telling and bringing about justice and restoration. Brueggemann explores how, apart from God’s purposes, truth-telling is nothing more than harping, and hope-telling is only wishful thinking.