From Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Friends, when folks ask me for a book recommendation. This is it- no matter who you are. Whether you have never read the bible or are a total geek for it, whether you have been in the movement for decades or are just starting to ask the hard questions, this is a book that calls on your mind, your heart, and moves it into your hands and feet. For those growing up in the church identifying with the story of liberation, it turns everything on its head. It’s brilliant, accessible, loving, and filled with ancient and current stories of communities resisting empire. It calls us out on our shit and invites us into another way. I love this book. It is never far from reach. And I love the author- Laurel Dykstra loves the bible and you can tell. Her history goes deep in community and justice work. Her writing is born from movement and gift to movement. She is an incredible human being. So…..read this book. Read it in community. Read it on the bus. Read it in jail. Read it in the heart of empire and on the margins. And let us struggle together on our way out of empire.
Here are a few words from the book:
The heritage of Exodus is a great and honest gift for privileged readers, Exodus does not diminish the seduction and appeal of empire, nor does it pretend that salvation can be found there. By reading Exodus and identifying with the Egyptians we have faced hard truths about ourselves and the way we serve the empire of global capitalism. Like Egypt, we are complicit in oppression, slavery, and genocide. Facing these truths is the beginning of true conversion. First-world Christians live daily in the centers of global capitalism, but together with Shiphrah and Puah and Pharaoh’s daughter, with one another, and with whoever will have us as allies, we can come out of empire. “Exodus is the journey of the whole of humanity and of creation toward the resurrection of all flesh and the renewal of heaven and earth.” Amen.”
Set them Free has just been re-released. You can find more information and purchase the book here.
Laurel Dykstra is a community-based scholar with a long history in intentional communities and the radical discipleship movement. Her justice work focuses on issues of urban poverty; the activism of children, youth and families; challenging white privilege; and Queer and gender-Queer participation and resistance in churches. She is the author of Set Them Free: The Other Side of Exodus (Orbis, 2002), Uncle Aiden (Baby Bloc, 2005), editor of Bury the Dead (Cascade, 2013) and co-editor, with Ched Myers of Liberating Biblical Study (Cascade, 2011).