In these 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures in Preaching delivered at Yale Divinity School, Barbara Brown Taylor focuses on the task of those who preach and those who hear sermons in a world where people thirst for a word from God. How may we approach this seemingly silent God with due respect, proclaiming the Word without violating the silence, by speaking with restraint?
Her first chapter examines the late twentieth-century language with which we talk about God in theology and speak to God in prayer. The second chapter addresses the question of God's communication in Scripture and how the “voice of God” was heard less and less in the land as the centuries progressed. Finally, Taylor explores what the silence of God means for Christians and how we may exercise “homiletical restraint” in speaking of the divine.
This book is itself the fruit of years of contemplative practice, and whether you are new to this form of prayer or an experienced practitioner, Taylor's insight, encouragement, and guidance will enhance and strengthen your efforts to draw nearer to the heart of God in prayer, and in doing so, become more fully conformed to the image of Christ.
The book is composed of 49 short chapters that develop classical monastic themes of hospitality, poverty, celibacy, and obedience, exploring what these might mean to men and women living at the end of the millennium. And because this is a modern rule, it provides guidance and reflection in less traditional areas, too—leadership, conflict, the use and abuse of authority, work, the need for rest and silence, vocation, and fellowship with the poor. Therefore it has much to teach Christians in other kinds of communities, including the family, the parish, and the workplace.
Concluding chapters give suggestions for meditating on the Rule and for its use as an aid to discernment and spiritual growth for prayer groups and parish life committees.
The son of an Episcopal priest, Eric Lax develops in his youth a deep religious attachment and an acute moral compass—one that he is willing to go to prison for when it leads him to resist military service in Vietnam. His faith abides until, in his mid-thirties, he begins to question the unquestionable: the role of God in his life. In response, Lax engages with the father who inspired him and with his best friend, a Vietnam War hero turned priest. Their ongoing and illuminating dialogues, full of wisdom and insight, reveal much about three men who approach God, duty, and war in vastly different ways. Lax provides an unusual and refreshing perspective, examining religious conviction sympathetically from both sides as one who has lost his faith but still respects it.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Vest brings Benedict's perspective to three areas of work discontent today: the stress of performance, overproduction, and acquisitiveness. To these she opposes three Benedictine principles: vocation, or being called to what we do; stewardship, or taking care of what we are given; and obedience, or serving one another. Her emphasis is on the words of Benedict's primary text and its application for people today.
Each chapter concludes with extensive spiritual exercises and food for thought.
With the help of scripture and Claypool's own pastoral wisdom, Mending the Heart is a powerful tool for reflection. Each meditation begins with verses from the psalms and ends with a prayer. This book is a wise resource for pastors and caregivers, especially in times of crisis and bereavement, but its simplicity and insight also make it a good guide to prayer and discernment as well as a fine gift book.
Mending the Heart is the fourth in our series of Cloister Books: smaller format, gift edition books designed for meditative and devotional reading.
The work of René Girard is hugely influential in literature and cultural studies. But it is in understanding the relationship between religion and violence that his theory has created its greatest impact. Girard's understanding of mimetic rivalry and conflict and of scapegoating is seen by many to be the key to a completely new understanding of Christianity.
Girard's name evokes curiosity and—often—strong feelings among devotees and skeptics. Discovering Girard is the first book to present Girard's work to a wider audience. It explains and appraises Girard's mimetic theory, shows its impact on theology and other disciplines, and manages to convey the excitement that a discovery of Girard's ideas often generates in readers.
In her discussion of lectio-on-life, for example, Vest provides insight on the reading of our lives as the “text” in which we find God's Word written in the ordinary events of daily life. Exercises for individuals or groups follow each chapter on silence, prayer, and holy reading. Excellent for Lenten study groups as well as ongoing prayer or Bible study groups.
Chet Raymo's elegant essays link the mysterious phenomena of the night sky with the human mind and spirit, as he ranges through the realms of mythology, literature, religion, history, and anthropology. Originally published two decades ago, The Soul of the Night is a classic work that is a must for those interested in the relationship between science and faith.
It started with an occasional Sunday, a "tourist's" visit to a local church. Eventually Nora Gallagher entered into a yearlong journey to discover her
faith and a relationship with God, using the Christian calendar as her compass.
Whether writing about her brother's battle against cancer, talking to homeless men about the World Series, or questioning the afterlife ("One world
at a time"), Gallagher draws us into a world of journeys and mysteries, yet grounded in a gritty reality. She braids together the symbols of the
Christian calendar, the events of a year in one church, and her own spiritual journey, each strand combed out with harrowing intimacy. Thought provoking and profoundly perceptive, Things Seen and Unseen is a remarkable demonstration that "the road to the sacred is paved with the ordinary."
"Like Kathleen Norris in Amazing Grace, Gallagher is renewing the language of ultimate concerns."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The deep serenity that suffuses Gallagher's work, the lyrical cadences in which she writes, do not blunt the sharp edges of what she discovered in her quest for meaning."--Los Angeles Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In explaining why the church should care about the new insights of science, Taylor suggests ways we might close the gap between spirit and matter, between the sacred and the secular. We live in the midst of a “web of creation” where nothing is without consequence and where all things coexist, even in such a way that each of us changes the world, whether we know it or not. In this luminous web faith and science join on a single path, seeking to learn the same truths about life in the universe. “For a moment,” Taylor writes, “we see through a glass darkly. We live in the illusion that we are all separate ‘I ams.' When the fog finally clears, we shall know there is only One.”
Shining a light on the lives of ordinary churchgoers and historically marginalized groups, the authors reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the Episcopal Church. While the church evolved into the denomination of the urban establishment, a politically, theologically, and socially moderate religious body that appealed to those seeking the society of their largely middle- and upper-middle-class peers, it also appealed to those whom the dominant society excluded from power: African and Hispanic Americans, women, and American Indians. The volume concludes with a chronology of important events and biographical sketches of major figures in the Episcopal Church.
With reference to the consequences of our poorly considered and self-centered environmental practices—global warming, ozone degradation, deforestation—McKibben combines modern science and timeless biblical wisdom to make the case that growth and economic progress are not only undesirable but deadly. If we continue to accelerate the pace of development, we will inevitably complete the “decreation” of our planet and everything on it, including ourselves.
In his signature lyrical prose, and using Stephen Mitchell's powerful translation of Job, McKibben calls readers to truly appreciate both the majesty of creation and humanity's rightful—and responsible—place in it.
Ferlo explains why the Bible looks the way it does, the theology that lies behind the many different versions and translations, how to deal with the notes and cross-references, and the practical tools needed for studying the Bible. Above all he teaches the importance of approaching the Bible with respect—a book with a long history, complex traditions, and diverse authorship, which must be read on its own terms. Ferlo identifies the ground rules of reading Scripture for Anglicans, noting the particular ways Anglicans have read the Bible for revelation, insight, and ethical directives, and suggesting that Scripture itself contains many clues for unlocking its own mysteries.
Sellner speaks from firsthand knowledge and experience of mentoring—the practice of direction, counsel, and formation which has enjoyed an enormous resurgence in our time in arenas as disparate as business, the recovery movement, and spiritual direction. This timely book is itself an opportunity to engage with a wise and seasoned elder.
“Love is the most powerful source for social change in the world.”
As the founder of Thistle Farms—a community of women survivors of addiction, prostitution, and trafficking—Becca Stevens has seen firsthand the miraculous therapeutic effects of love. In this collection of letters, she calls on her experiences helping these women in need to give readers the tools to avoid disillusionment and the distraction of ego on their journey through an often-challenging world.
While written to inspire seminarians, priests, and pastors across denominational lines, Letters from the Farm will also profoundly resonate with social workers, activists, caregivers, and anyone who wants to cultivate the seeds of courage, humility, and compassion on their path to a grounded, more meaningful life.
Richard Giles responds to this question with a 40-day meditation and commentary of the Gospel of Mark. Brimming with insight and Giles's signature wit, Mark My Word reviews the events and teachings related in the Gospel, and provides a twenty-first-century lens through which to understand it. Each daily reading is followed by reflection questions and a closing prayer, making Mark My Word perfect for individual devotional use and group reading.
Destined to Win: Inspiration for Winning in Turbulent Times
***Please Note: This is a Christian Self Help Book with Bible references***
Did you know God has given you the power to achieve anything you set out to achieve? The goal of this book is to open your mind to the possibilities and opportunities for creating a life full of joy and satisfaction.
Are you ready to take control of your life and become a winner? Let’s get started…
In Isaiah 40:31, the Word of God says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
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