The greatest challenge facing most churches today isn't getting people through the front door---it's keeping them from leaving through the back door. In his new book, Larry Osborne reveals what it takes to cultivate a "sticky" church and reveals the strategy of sermon-based small groups to retain members while leading your church into even deeper levels of discipleship.
The influence of the evangelical Christian right on the Bush administration has had a mostly unnoticed impact on America's environmental policy. While some take God's granting of dominion over the earth to man as a call to good stewardship of our planet, many evangelicals distrust science and disdain environmental protections. They live in anticipation of one event: the Rapture, when Christ will return to cleanse the earth while the true believers are transported to heaven. For those who believe that the Rapture and the destruction of the world are imminent, there is no need to be concerned about saving the planet from environmental catastrophe.Welcome to Doomsday is an investigation into the coupling of ideology and theology, in particular the intrusion of religion into political life, in America today. Global climate change is a rapid, possibly irreversible occurrence, yet the stance taken by the White House in both international and domestic arenas is one of both ignorance and disbelief. Appeasing the influential agendas of corporations, as well as the uncompromising dominant beliefs of evangelical groups, the Bush administration has firmly established a disastrous record of ignoring the urgency of potentially devastating changing climate. Welcome to Doomsday is a passionate call to save the planet from the forces not only of greed and exploitation but from those who associate its destruction with a spiritual apocalypse. Written by the compelling and articulate Bill Moyers, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the current dismal state of environmental policy as well as in the growing power of the evangelical movement in the United States.
Scot McKnight, best-selling author of The Jesus Creed, invites readers to get closer to the heart of Jesus' message by discovering the ancient rhythms of daily prayer at the heart of the early church. "This is the old path of praying as Jesus prayed," McKnight explains, "and in that path, we learn to pray along with the entire Church and not just by ourselves as individuals." Praying with the Church is written for all Christians who desire to know more about the ancient devotional traditions of the Christian faith, and to become involved in their renaissance today. With his trademark style of getting right to the heart of theological concepts through practical, witty, and memorable examples from everyday life, Scot invites readers to explore: How Jesus prayed, How the Psalms teach us to pray, How Orthodox Christians pray, How Roman Catholics pray, How Anglicans pray, How The Divine Hours of Phyllis Tickle teaches us to pray, And, how praying with the church is an essential part of spiritual formation.
What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the church? (Tertullian, 3rd century). Such skepticism about the place of philosophy in the life of Christians persists down through the ages. As a student, author Steve Wilkens had deep reservations about studying the works of pagans or even questionable Christians. Now a teacher at a Christian university, Wilkens has developed a deep appreciation for teaching and studying philosophy. In fact, he believes that the life of faith can be enriched by good philosophical reflection. In this book Wilkens helps you begin the same journey. Using generous quotations from the original sources, Wilkens provides an introduction to the study of philosophy by exploring a single key issue from each of the following philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche and Sartre. The questions considered include
- Why ask why?
- Is a just society possible?
- Is God responsible for evil?
- Can you be certain of anything?
- Is morality all about power?
- Do you really want to be free?
Wilkens encourages you not to be a mere spectator but to actively and critically engage the questions and ideas these philosophers raise. Here is a book for beginning students, thoughtful Christians or anyone who wants to explore life's deepest questions.
- 2014 Readers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention
"Few things are more needed for the spiritual definition of this age than a recovery of our mystical patrimony. The Classics of Western Spirituality(TM) happily and competently provides for this need." Louis Dupre T.L. Riggs Professor in Philosophy of Religion, Yale University William Law: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, The Spirit of Love edited by Paul G. Stanwood, introduction by Austin Warren and Paul G. Stanwood, preface by John Booty "In Eternal Nature, or the Kingdom of Heaven, materiality stands in life and light: it is the light's glorious Body, or that garment wherewith light is clothed, and therefore has all the properties of light in it, and only differs from light as it is its brightness and beauty, as the holder and displayer of all its colors, powers, and virtues." William Law, 1686-1761 Often called the greatest of the post-Reformation English mystics, William Law was born in King's Cliffe, England, became a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church. After losing his position at Cambridge for refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance to George I, he became the center of a small spiritual community. He was a religious guide to the Gibbon family and included among his disciples John and Charles Wesley. His practical work as a spiritual director-as expressed in this, his best-known piece, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life-deeply influenced the English Evangelical Revival. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says this of the book: "The simplicity of its teaching and its vigorous style soon established the work as a classic, which has probably had more influence than any other post-Reformation spiritual book except the Pilgrim's Progress." In his later years Law became an intense admirer of the teaching of Jacob Boehme on the coincidence of opposites. He gave this doctrine an original turn in his little-known but exquisite mystical treatises-the most important being The Spirit of Love. This double selection, edited from first texts instead of reprints, demonstrates the range of Law's thought and his development as a genius of style and devotion.
One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world--author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha--now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place.Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life. The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with "Learn About Compassion" and close with "Love Your Enemies." In between, she takes up "compassion for yourself," mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and "concern for everybody." She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to "hear one another's narratives." Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.
Originally published in 1951 (with minor updates in 2002), the book covers the nature of God, the nature of man, the meaning of life, the nature of religion, the sources of Faith, the necessity of prayer, the duty of belief, the consequences of sin, the Commandments of God, the Holy Trinity, belief in Christ, the Redemption, the supremacy of the Pope, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Sacraments, the Mass, the priesthood, devotion to Mary and the Saints, what happens after death, the devotional life of a Catholic. Very interesting and very popular
"Wisdom from one of the greatest spiritual masters of our time."--James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A PilgrimageThe heart of Anthony de Mello's bestselling spiritual message is awareness. Mixing Christian spirituality, Buddhist parables, Hindu breathing exercises, and psychological insight, de Mello's words of hope come together in Awareness in a grand synthesis. In short chapters for reading in quiet moments at home or at the office, he cajoles and challenges: We must leave this go-go-go world of illusion and become aware. And this only happens, he insists, by becoming alive to the needs and potential of others, whether at home or in the workplace. Here, then, is a masterful book of the spirit, challenging us to wake up in every aspect of our lives.
The Saint John's Bible provides an opportunity for people to experience the Scriptures in a new 'but at the same time ancient 'way. Here are illuminations that bring the words of the Bible alive for a contemporary audience. Some of the world's top calligraphers, working in a tradition all but replaced by the printing press centuries ago, invite us into a rich and varied creation. This second volume of The Art of The Saint John's Bible: A Reader's Guide takes up two great collections of biblical literature 'Wisdom Books and Prophets.
The illuminations in Wisdom Books and Prophets draw on motifs from earlier illuminations and expand the visual vocabulary to strike at what is unique and important to these books. In Wisdom Books we find a number of well-known and beloved aphorisms, or words of wisdom." Here calligraphic text treatments take center stage. However, these books also portray the divine in the female figure of Wisdom, presented visually in several large-scale illuminations. The prophets ' messages are often dark and strange, reflecting the grief of exile but also hope. The illuminations throughout these pages reflect Visions of man's inhumanity, but they also burst with the rainbows of God's promise and glory. Lavishing equal attention on the biblical passages and the artistic Vision of The Saint John's Bible, this guide is offered to enhance your experience and reflection.
Susan Sink is a poet and writer, and is communications director at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is also an oblate of Saint John's Abbey, the author of a book of poems, The Way of All the Earth, and the first book in this series.