- Midsummer Dream, the Earth Breathes Out
- Finding the Greater Self
- "He Must Increase, I Must Decrease"
- Creating Vision
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, ... emergent, unfinished Christian (emergentYS)
Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed- yet hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian. A confession and manifesto from a senior leader in the emerging church movement. A Generous Orthodoxycalls for a radical, Christ-centered orthodoxy of faith and practice in a missional, generous spirit. Brian McLaren argues for a post-liberal, post-conservative, post-protestant convergence, which will stimulate lively interest and global conversation among thoughtful Christians from all traditions. In a sweeping exploration of belief, author Brian McLaren takes us across the landscape of faith, envisioning an orthodoxy that aims for Jesus, is driven by love, and is defined by missional intent. A Generous Orthodoxy rediscovers the mysterious and compelling ways that Jesus can be embraced across the entire Christian horizon. Rather than establishing what is and is not "orthodox," McLaren walks through the many traditions of faith, bringing to the center a way of life that draws us closer to Christ and to each other. Whether you find yourself inside, outside, or somewhere on the fringe of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy draws you toward a way of living that looks beyond the "us/them" paradigm to the blessed and ancient paradox of "we." Also available on abridged audio CD, read by the author.
Even theologians have had different ideas about the theology of atonement; how are the rest of supposed to understand it? This book is a good place to start. Crysdale, whose background in both psychology and theology gives her a unique perspective, presents an overview of the history of the theology of atonement, addressing clearly the difficulties around this concept, and bringing us with her to a contemporary understanding.
"Please join me in welcoming an informative, thoughtful, creative, and persuasive book on the atonement. St. Paul and even Anselm's contributions to this multi-faceted doctrine are rendered accessible here. I only wish Crysdale's volume had been available during my fifty years of teaching Anglican theology. Please don't miss reading her contemporary, scholarly perspectives. She has much to teach us."--Fredrica Harris Thompsett, author of We Are Theologians"No 'doctrine' has more distorted the living of lives called Christian than substitutionary satisfaction theories of the atonement. So thank God we now have Crysdale's constructive account of the atonement that helps us see that we do not need a theory of the atonement because what God has done in the crucifixion is not a violent exchange but rather God's way of befriending his people. I hope that this well researched book will be widely read."--Stanley Hauerwas, author of Without Apology
In this foundational text for the Church's Teachings for a Changing World, Law and Spellers explore seismic shifts in American life and the opportunities and challenges each presents to the church today. With a winning combination of passion, creativity, and wisdom, the authors call for a return to Episcopal basics and insist that faithfully engaging a changing world might be the most truly Anglican practice of all.
The Shakers are known for self-denial and austerity in everyday living and their material world, as embodied by the heavenly simplicity and purity of their chairs and blanket chests. Yet the believers also enjoyed a diversity of visual pleasures, from flowers, sunsets, rainbows, and the northern lights as seen at home to waterfalls, ocean waves, and dramatic cliffs viewed while traveling across America.
In Shaker Vision, Joseph Manca explores original texts, especially diaries and travel journals, and material culture to demonstrate that Shakers enjoyed a remarkably deep experience of the visual world. Shakers shared tastes with mainstream Americans and often employed a similar aesthetic vocabulary, but all within a belief system that made them distinct. In addition to their well-known ascetic architecture, furniture, and handicraft styles, they expressed themselves through ornate and detailed spiritual art and in vivid, visionary experiences. Based on firsthand accounts of the believers themselves, this richly illustrated volume will dramatically change how we assess the visual world of this uniquely American religious sect.
Named a Book of the Year by the Telegraph, the Spectator, the Observer, and BBC History Magazine
In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town's main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city's greatest temple, smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria's Great Library.
Today we refer to Christianity's conquest of the West as a "triumph." But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus's followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey brilliantly resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.
"A feast of tales of murder, vandalism [and] willful destruction . . . Nixey has a great story to tell, and she tells it exceptionally well." -- Guardian
"[A] bold, dazzling and provocative book." -- Peter Frankopan, best-selling author of The Silk Roads
Crucifixion, the Romans believed, was the worst fate imaginable. It was this that rendered it so suitable a punishment for slaves. How astonishing it was, then, that people should have come to believe that one particular victim of crucifixion-an obscure provincial by the name of Jesus-had been a god. Dominion explores the implications of this shocking conviction as they have reverberated throughout history.
Today, the West remains utterly saturated by Christian assumptions. Our morals and ethics are not universal. Instead, they are the fruits of a very distinctive civilization. Concepts such as secularism, liberalism, science, and homosexuality are deeply rooted in a Christian seedbed. From Babylon to the Beatles, Saint Michael to #MeToo, Dominion tells the story of how Christianity transformed the world.
"Scorah's book, the bravery of which cannot be overstated, is an earnest one, fueled by a plucky humor and a can-do spirit that endears. Her tale, though an exploration of extremity, is highly readable and warm."--The New York Times Book Review
A riveting memoir of losing faith and finding freedom while a covert missionary in one of the world's most restrictive countries. A third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah had devoted her life to sounding God's warning of impending Armageddon. She volunteered to take the message to China, where the preaching she did was illegal and could result in her expulsion or worse. Here, she had some distance from her community for the first time. Immersion in a foreign language and culture--and a whole new way of thinking--turned her world upside down, and eventually led her to lose all that she had been sure was true. As a proselytizer in Shanghai, using fake names and secret codes to evade the authorities' notice, Scorah discreetly looked for targets in public parks and stores. To support herself, she found work at a Chinese language learning podcast, hiding her real purpose from her coworkers. Now with a creative outlet, getting to know worldly people for the first time, she began to understand that there were other ways of seeing the world and living a fulfilling life. When one of these relationships became an "escape hatch," Scorah's loss of faith culminated in her own personal apocalypse, the only kind of ending possible for a Jehovah's Witness. Shunned by family and friends as an apostate, Scorah was alone in Shanghai and thrown into a world she had only known from the periphery--with no education or support system. A coming of age story of a woman already in her thirties, this unforgettable memoir examines what it's like to start one's life over again with an entirely new identity. It follows Scorah to New York City, where a personal tragedy forces her to look for new ways to find meaning in the absence of religion. With compelling, spare prose, Leaving the Witness traces the bittersweet process of starting over, when everything one's life was built around is gone.
New York Times Notable Book of 2018
Library Journal Best Book of 2018
"Last year saw a profusion of books about Martin Luther to mark the 500th anniversary of his posting the 95 Theses. Massing widens the lens wondrously, bringing in Erasmus, the great humanist foe of Luther, and showing how their rivalry set the course for much of Western civilization. Reviewing the book, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein applauds this "inspired approach" "Massing, a journalist, has produced a sprawling narrative around the rift between the two men, laying out the sociological, political and economic factors that shaped both them and Europe's responses to them, and tracing their theological disputes back to the earliest days of Christianity," she writes. "Though a massive amount of material is marshaled, Massing's journalistic skills keep the story line crisply coherent." --New York Times
Erasmus was the leading figure of the Northern Renaissance. At a time when Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael were revolutionizing Western art and culture, Erasmus was helping to transform Europe's intellectual and religious life, developing a new design for living for a continent rebelling against the hierarchical constraints of the Roman Church. When in 1516 he came out with a revised edition of the New Testament based on the original Greek, he was hailed as the prophet of a new enlightened age. Today, however, Erasmus is largely forgotten, and the reason can be summed up in two words: Martin Luther. As a young friar in remote Wittenberg, Luther was initially a great admirer of Erasmus and his critique of the Catholic Church, but while Erasmus sought to reform that institution from within, Luther wanted a more radical transformation. Eventually, the differences between them flared into a bitter rivalry, with each trying to win over Europe to his vision.
In Fatal Discord, Michael Massing seeks to restore Erasmus to his proper place in the Western tradition. The conflict between him and Luther, he argues, forms a fault line in Western thinking--the moment when two enduring schools of thought, Christian humanism and evangelical Christianity, took shape. A seasoned journalist who has reported from many countries, Massing here travels back to the early sixteenth century to recover a long-neglected chapter of Western intellectual life, in which the introduction of new ways of reading the Bible set loose social and cultural forces that helped shatter the millennial unity of Christendom and whose echoes can still be heard today. Massing concludes that Europe has adopted a form of Erasmian humanism while America has been shaped by Luther-inspired individualism.
Death of Christendoms, Birth of the Church: Historical Analysis and Theological Interpretation of the Church in Latin America
Douglass came to faith as a teenager among African American Methodists in Baltimore. For the rest of his life, he adhered to a distinctly prophetic Christianity. Imitating the ancient Hebrew prophets and Jesus Christ, Douglass boldly condemned evil and oppression, especially when committed by the powerful. Dilbeck shows how Douglass's prophetic Christianity provided purpose and unity to his wide-ranging work as an author, editor, orator, and reformer. As "America's Prophet," Douglass exposed his nation's moral failures and hypocrisies in the hopes of creating a more just society. He admonished his fellow Americans to truly abide by the political and religious ideals they professed to hold most dear. Two hundred years after his birth, Douglass's prophetic voice remains as timely as ever.
The impact of Christianity on world civilization is almost incalculable, and in exploring this rich heritage, nineteen leading scholars range from the earliest origins to the present day to examine virtually every aspect of the faith. They discuss the apostle Peter and Roman Emperor Constantine, describe the role of Charlemagne in the expansion of the religion, and assess medieval scholasticism and the influence of Thomas Aquinas. The profound changes that occurred during both the Reformation and the Enlightenment are fully treated in chapters that offer revealing portraits of such key figures as Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Rousseau. Fully one third of the book covers Christianity since 1800--with special studies of the faith as practiced in Britain and Europe, North and South America, Africa, India, and the Far East--offering a compelling continuous narrative filled with insight into the enormously diverse Christian world. In the final chapters, the authors consider questions of contemporary Christian theology, conscience and belief, and explore new concepts of Christian community.
Over 350 beautiful illustrations--including 32 full color plates--grace the text, ranging from mosaics, paintings and sculptures, to architecture and modern art. There are also ten maps, a chronology of important events, and an annotated guide to further reading.
Throughout, the book reflects the changing world in which Christians have found themselves, and the many ways in which, individually and through the institutions of the church, they in turn have influenced history. Comprehensive, vividly narrated, and exquisitely produced, this magnificent book captures the richness and vitality of Christian thought and culture throughout the ages.
"Well-researched . . . Pilgrimage shines a light on [Pope Francis's] unexplored aspects. . . . A very timely and important addition to the literature on the life and person and thinking of Pope Francis. Everybody interested in Pope Francis will enjoy reading this biography."--The Washington BookReview "Apt to stir the soul of readers . . . While this is a rich telling of Bergoglio's life and ascension to the papacy, it is more movingly a spiritual memoir that draws us deep into a knowing of this at once humble and soul-stirring rekindler of faith."--Chicago Tribune "A fascinating portrait of a man and a nourishing account of spiritual yearning."--Booklist "This fast-paced and fascinating tale takes us on Jorge Mario Bergoglio's pilgrimage from his grandmother's knee in the Italian-Argentine community, through years of success and sorrow in the tumultuous country that he loved, to his surprise election as Pope Francis."--Cokie Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868
"All people of good faith, including those whose lives are not guided by religious beliefs, will be inspired and enlightened by the compelling manner in which Pilgrimage brings us closer to the heart and mind of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis. I highly recommend this book; it will make a difference in your life."--Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Students of church history and the monastic ascetic life will find this volume of much interest. Contained are three important documents of the early Christian Church: The Sayings of the Fathers, The Conferences of Cassian, and The Rule of Saint Benedict.
Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.
Brad Igou offers writings by Amish people across North America, compiled from the first 25 years (1968-92) of Family Life, a monthly Amish magazine. He includes letters, articles, history lessons, parables, questions, challenges--a wide spectrum of human experience, from an Amish point of view. Sixteen chapters cover fascinating topics such as shunning, nonresistance, clothing, youth activities, old age, conflicts with the modern world, work, church, humor, and lessons from life.
You will laugh, cry, and be touched in a personal way by a people focused on living for God. These humble folk write with simple directness. Open this book and explore the unique world of the Amish, their history, their church; their community, their challenges, joys, and sorrows, as only they can tell it--in their own words.
"This is by far the most informative book about contemporary African Christianity around; nobody could have written a study as richly detailed and as informed by real insider knowledge as he has done.... It will be the most significant study of African Christianity to appear at a time when its importance for Africa is becoming ever more widely recognized." --J. D. Y. Peel
"A sophisticated political and social analysis of the various Christian groups is allied to a most original, consistent exploration of their different theological positions and thinking.... An interesting, important critical assessment of the extent to which the churches are playing a major role in the emergence of a civil society.... Gifford's overall analysis and his four case studies are so fresh and so important that... they cry out for immediate publication." --Richard Gray
Paul Gifford analyzes African Christianity in the mid-1990s, against the background of the continent's current social, economic, and political circumstances. Gifford employs concepts taken from political economy to shed light on the current dynamics of African churches and churchgoers and assesses their different contributions to political developments since 1989. He also evaluates the churches' role in promoting a civil society in Africa. Four case studies--Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Cameroon--cover all strands of Christianity: Catholic, Evangelical, mainline Protestant, Pentecostal, and Independent. These detailed analyses of the state of the churches in each country also suggest more general patterns operating widely across sub-Saharan Africa.
Transforming Preaching: Transformations series (Transformations The Episcopal Church in the 21st Century)
At once "travel guide" and vision for the future, the Transformation series is good news for the Episcopal Church at a time of fast and furious demographic and social change. Series contributors - recognized experts in their fields - analyze our present plight, point to the seeds of change already at work transforming the church, and outline a positive new way forward. What kinds of churches are most ready for transformation? What are the essential tools? What will give us strength, direction, and purpose to the journey?
Each volume of the series will:
Preaching is one of the more "transformable" aspects of the church's life. Performance teacher Ruthanna Hooke, writing for both clergy and lay leaders, delivers the good and bad news about Episcopalians and preaching. She explains why preaching is more difficult than ever today, and provides essential models and spiritual practices in order to transform both the creators of preaching and its listeners as both participate in sermons.