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The new English Standard Version TM translation is founded on the belief that the words of the Bible are the very words of God. Setting itself apart from other translations by sacrificing neither accuracy nor readability, the ESV is an essentially literal translation that seeks to duplicate the original texts while taking into account the differences between modern English and the original languages.Relying on the work of more than 50 Bible scholars, as well as the input of a 60-member, multi-denominational Advisory Council, the translation committee chaired by J.I. Packer realized its goals of word-for-word precision and accuracy, literary excellence and readability, and depth of meaning. Written in language beautiful enough to be used for public reading, clear enough for preaching and devotions, and trustworthy enough for academic study, the ESV sets a new standard -- and is truly a Bible for all people.
The freedom to question—asking and being asked—is an indispensable and sacred practice that is absolutely vital to the health of our communities. According to author David Dark, when religion won’t tolerate questions, objections, or differences of opinion, and when it only brings to the table threats of excommunication, violence, and hellfire, it does not allow people to discover for themselves what they truly believe. The God of the Bible not only encourages questions; the God of the Bible demands them. If that were not so, we wouldn’t live in a world of such rich, God-given complexity in which wide-eyed wonder is part and parcel of the human condition. Dark contends that it’s OK to question life, the Bible, faith, the media, emotions, language, government—everything. God has nothing to hide. And neither should people of faith. The Sacredness of Questioning offers a wide-ranging, insightful, and often entertaining discussion that draws on a variety of sources, including religious texts and popular culture. It is a book that readers will likely cherish—and recommend—for years to come.
For many of us, the word "religious" immediately evokes thoughts of brainwashing, violence and eye-rubbingly tiresome conversations. Why not be done with it? David Dark argues that it's not that simple. The ease with which we put the label on others without applying it to ourselves is an evasion, a way of avoiding awareness of our own messy allegiances. Dark writes: "If what we believe is what we see is what we do is who we are, there's no getting away from religion." Both incisive and entertaining, Life's Too Short to Pretend You're Not Religious combines Dark's keen powers of cultural observation with candor and wit. With equal parts memoir and analysis, Dark persuasively argues that the fact of religion is the fact of relationship. It's the shape our love takes, the lived witness of everything we're up to for better or worse, because witness knows no division. Looking hard at our weird religious background (Dark maintains we all have one) can bring the actual content of our everyday existence—the good, the bad and the glaringly inconsistent—to fuller consciousness. By doing so, we can more practically envision an undivided life and reclaim the idea of being "religious."