Join Frank as he shares God's original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.
A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
From the Hardcover edition.
This concise book provides an easy-to-read guide to church history with intellectual substance. The new edition of Church History in Plain Language promises to be the new standard for readable church history.
Features include:Includes contemporary developments related to the spread of the gospel Discusses how technology has an impact on how the church worships and grows Covers the explosion of Christianity in the southern hemisphere
The Lost Gospel takes the reader on an unparalleled historical adventure through a paradigm shifting manuscript. What the authors eventually discover is as astounding as it is surprising: the confirmation of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene; the names of their two children; the towering presence of Mary Magdalene; a previously unknown plot on Jesus’ life (thirteen years prior to the crucifixion); an assassination attempt against Mary Magdalene and their children; Jesus’ connection to political figures at the highest level of the Roman Empire; and a religious movement that antedates that of Paul—the Church of Mary Magdalene.
Part historical detective story, part modern adventure, The Lost Gospel reveals secrets that have been hiding in plain sight for millennia.
The Catholic Church claims Jesus Christ himself as her founder, and in spite of heresy from within and hostility from without, she remains in the twenty-first century the steadfast guardian of belief in his life, death, and resurrection. The teachings and redemptive works of Jesus as told in the Gospels are expressed by the Church in a coherent and consistent body of doctrine, the likes of which cannot be found in any other Christian body.
The history of the Catholic Church is long, complicated, and fascinating, and in this book it is expertly and ably told by historian James Hitchcock. As in the parable of Christ about the weeds that were sown in a field of wheat, evil and good have grown together in the Church from the start, as Hitchcock honestly records. He brings before us the many characters--some noble, some notorious--who have left an indelible mark on the Church, while never losing sight of the saints, who have given living testimony to the salvific power of Christ in every age.
This ambitious work is comprehensive in its scope and in incisive in its understanding, a valuable addition to any school or home library.
The son of a slave and a leader in the holiness movement of his day, Mason traveled to Azusa Street in 1907 where he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Returning home, he discovered that visions, spontaneous healing and deliverance followed him. A new power accompanied his preaching, and he experienced freedom from former limitations.
Mason’s vibrant spiritual life enabled him to lead a fledgling movement from its infancy to a powerful, prophetic community over the next fifty years. Beginning in the rural South in the decades following the Reconstruction Era, the denomination gradually moved into urban areas during the 1900’s. No matter where its ministers, however, the COGIC Church holds in tension the dynamics of holiness, spiritual encounter and prophetic Christian social consciousness.
Facing the challenges of our generation, the COGIC Church desires to maintain the legacy of its founder as it prepares for another century of work and witness.
"Our younger generations need to know the rich legacy bequeathed to them by the pioneers of the Church of God in Christ." Bishop Chandler D. Owens
"This valuable book should be in the hands of every member of the Church of God in Christ." Bishop C. L. Anderson
"God gave Bishop C. H. Mason an anointing to preach powerfully, to heal the sick, and to sing out in spontaneous worship. May we covet the same anointing that transformed thousands in his day." Bishop J. Neaul Haynes
"We are the descendants of a mighty move of God that began at Azusa Street. This book will help us to pass on an equally dynamic spiritual life to our successors, taking the Church of God in Christ into the next century." Bishop P. A. Brooks
"Church leaders would do well to emulate the dynamic spiritual life of our founder; Bishop C. H. Mason." Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr.
"Every pastor in our denomination and beyond should have a worn and well read copy of this book." Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
"Bishop Clemmons reminds us that our denomination was forged in the fires of a pentecostal revival that continues to impact our society today." Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson
"Our roots establish our legacy and provide the springboard for the future. This documentation is a must for this generation and the generations to come." Mother Emma F. Crouch, Supervisor, Women's Department, Church of God in Christ, President, International Women's Convention
"This is must reading for every seminary student preparing to minister in the Church of God in Christ. This will be extremely valuable to students of church history regardless of denomination." Dr. H. Vinson Synan, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Divinity, Regent University
"Finally, a documentary written by a black historian/theologian and a lifelong member of the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Clemmons' perspective is insightful, informative, and refreshing." Dr. William C. Turner, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Duke University
"Allow Bishop C. H. Mason's vision to grip you, to challenge you, and to change you." Raymond C. Pierce, J.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
Praise for My Father, Maker of the Trees:
"The power of this book comes from a call to forgiveness worldwide."--Publishers Weekly
"An inspirational memoir of faith and resilience."--Booklist
"Eric's story shows how God's love and presence can overcome suffering and evil in our world."--Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of the New York Times bestseller
Left to Tell
Deep within God's Word lies a wondrous story like no other. A drama that unfolded before time began. An epic saga that resonates with the heartbeat of God. A story that reveals nothing less than the meaning of life and God's great mission in the earth.
From Here to Eternity presents three remarkable stories spanning from Genesis to Revelation. Each story traces a divine theme that is woven throughout scripture. Seen together, they offer an extraordinary glimpse into God's highest passion and grand mission. What you discover will forever change your view of life, the church, and our magnificent God.
This volume completes a landmark history of Christianity. Reviewed and shaped by an international team of 43 consulting scholars, this history assigns a rightful place to the peoples of Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Near East in the unfolding of the Christian story, In the process a fuller and richer view emerges of Christianity as a religion constantly evolving in dialogue with new cultures, new questions, and new historical influences. Volume I traced the origins of Christianity up to the middle of the fifteenth century, Volume II continues the story up to the new millennium. Beginning with the early missionary expansion in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the story goes on to trace the fracturing of Christianity among Catholic, Orthodox, and reformed expressions; the impact of modern colonialism and the emergence of a new global reality; the wars of religion, the impact of the Enlightenment, the rise of Christianity in North America, and the modern missionary movement. Throughout, the authors emphasize the expression of local forms of Christianity in diverse cultures, and the role of Christianity in helping to shape distinct national identities in an era of decolonization and globalization.
And if the Bible can be interpreted in many ways, how do we know what to make
of it? And who decided what should be in the Bible anyway?
The Church Fathers provide the answers. These brilliant, embattled, and
sometimes eccentric men defined the biblical canon, hammered out the Creed,
and gave us our understanding of sacraments and salvation. It is they who
preserved for us the rich legacy of the early Church.
D’Ambrosio dusts off the dry theology and brings you the exciting stories and
great heroes such as Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, Athanasius, Chrysostom, and
Jerome. This page-turner will inspire and challenge you with the lives and
insights of these seminal teachers from when the Church was young.
The Unquenchable Flame, a lively, accessible, and fully informative introduction to the Reformation by Michael Reeves, brings to life the movement's most colorful characters (Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, The Puritans, etc.), examines their ideas, and shows the profound and personal relevance of Reformation thinking for today.
Also included are a lengthy Reformation timeline, a map of key places in the Reformation, further reading suggestions, and, in this U.S. edition, a new foreword by 9 Marks Ministries president Mark Dever.
"Without this vital sap, man is exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking to redeem himself by himself."
-- Pope Benedict XVI
More than the heroic conqueror of Western Europe, Charlemagne was an intense and thoughtful human being. His succession of five wives brought him a palace full of children. So warm was his love for his daughters that he could never bear to see them married away from the court, even though enticing alliances with other rulers were offered them.
A deeply religious man, Charlemagne became the protector of orthodox Christianity against medieval heresies. A patron of learning, he established schools and brought artists and scholars to his court to work and study. As a result, most classical literature comes down to us in copies of books made in Charlemagne's time.
Here, from National Book Award winner Richard Winston, is his remarkable story.
The Holy Spirit has never left the Church and neither have His supernatural gifts and manifestations. They have been available in every century ~ from the days of the Apostolic Fathers, to the desert monks of Egypt and Syria, to the missionary outreaches of the Middle Ages, to the Reformation era and the awakenings and revivals that followed, to the Pentecostal explosion of the Twentieth Century and the increase of signs and wonders in the Twenty-first.
Miracles, healings, deliverances, prophecies, dreams, visions ~ even raising the dead! ~ have all been in operation throughout the history of the Church. Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, Quakers and many others have experienced the supernatural gifts and workings of the Spirit over the centuries.
Miracles and Manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the History of the Church gathers up numerous accounts from a variety of historical sources and provides a handy reference for those who want to know more about:
• How the Church has understood and operated in the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit at various times in history.
• Why the gifts and miracles were more frequently in manifestation in some eras than in others.
• The many ways the Church has ministered in healing and deliverance.
• How the Holy Spirit manifested in great revivals.
• How the river of gifts and miracles continues to flow today.
The radical idea that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves spawned a revolution that is still being played out on the world stage today. This innovation lies at the heart of Protestantism's remarkable instability and adaptability. World-renowned scholar Alister McGrath sheds new light on the fascinating figures and movements that continue to inspire debate and division across the full spectrum of Protestant churches and communities worldwide.
Since this translation and that of R. H. Charles were first published, several copies of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which further connects the book with the Jews of Palestine in the 1st century.
This translation of the Book of Enoch was once popular, so I have updated the language to make it more readable today by replacing archaic words we no longer use such as "execrate" with the modern equivalent, and changing the Roman Numerals with modern numbers.
Please leave a review of this book, thanks.
Designed particularly for undergraduate courses in theology and religion, the Westminster History of Christian Thought series offers reliable and accessible introductions to Christian thought for each major period in Christian history--the early church, the medieval era, the Reformation, the modern age, and the contemporary period--and concludes with a volume on American religious thought.
Specifically, Wells explores the wholesale disappearance of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture. Western culture as a whole, argues Wells, has been transformed by modernity, and the church has simply gone with the flow. The new environment in which we live, with its huge cities, triumphant capitalism, invasive technology, and pervasive amusements, has vanquished and homogenized the entire world. While the modern world has produced astonishing abundance, it has also taken a toll on the human spirit, emptying it of enduring meaning and morality.
Seeking respite from the acids of modernity, people today have increasingly turned to religions and therapies centered on the self. And, whether consciously or not, evangelicals have taken the same path, refashioning their faith into a religion of the self. They have been coopted by modernity, have sold their soul for a mess of pottage. According to Wells, they have lost the truth that God stands outside all human experience, that he still summons sinners to repentance and belief regardless of their self-image, and that he calls his church to stand fast in his truth against the blandishments of a godless world.
The first of three volumes meant to encourage renewal in evangelical theology (the other two to be written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and Mark Noll), No Place for Truth is a contemporary jeremiad, a clarion call to all evangelicals to note well what a pass they have come to in capitulating to modernity, what a risk they are running by abandoning historic orthodoxy. It is provocative reading for scholars, ministers, seminary students, and all theologically concerned individuals.
In these pages you'll take an unforgettable journey through the Apostolic Age as it brings to life the dusty streets and crowded marketplaces through which Mary and the Apostles journeyed as they built the Church.
For each episode you're given . . .a short essay with important historical and theological context.a detailed map that enables you to see where the Apostles journeyed or where important activities happened during the episode.profiles so you know the role of each Biblical character.pre- and post-viewing questions for family study, viewing parties or small group discussions.Definitions of words or terms you will hear in the episode but may not know.Connections to Scripture and to the lives and writings of the Saints.Ways in which you can use the principles in the episode to strengthen your own spiritual life.
The Catholic Viewer's Guide is absolutely essential if you are to make the most of A.D. The Bible Continues. It's perfect for personal use, group discussions, family study, or small group sessions.
"This study guide is an excellent companion to this amazing story with drama and danger, holiness and heroism."
-Most Rev. Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
"When you watch A.D. The Bible Continues you will want to have Sophia Institute Press's two resources at your side. They are beautifully produced and packed with important information, helping to bring to life the Acts of the Apostles in a new and fresh way."
-Father Jonathan Morris
New York Times Bestselling Author, The Way of Serenity
Praise for A.D. The Bible Continues. . .
"Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's new project, A.D. The Bible Continues, is ambitious and promising, with the potential to enrich the culture like few others before it. I'm grateful for their efforts to put the Acts of the Apostles on prime time network television in a powerful way. "
-Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
"A.D. The Bible Continues serves as a powerful reminder that even when our world seems lost in darkness, there is always hope and a bright light at the end of the tunnel. That light is the risen Jesus. "
-Teresa Tomeo EWTN Host, Catholic Connection
" A.D. The Bible Continues is a riveting piece of television that throws you in the middle of some of the most important events of the early Christian era. It also manages to remain true to the Scriptures while drawing the audience into the drama of this neglected historical moment. "
-Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author and host of EWTN's World Over
Watch the New Testament come alive! Understand God's Word like never before!
The New Testament is often hard to understand. A major reason is because it is not arranged in chronological order. Paul's letters, for example, are arranged by size rather than chronologically. This makes the New Testament a bit like a Chinese puzzle! For this reason, one famous Bible scholar said that reading the New Testament letters is like hearing one end of a phone conversation. The book you hold in your hands reconstructs the other end so that you can understand virtually every word.
"The Untold Story of the New Testament Church" is a unique Bible handbook that weaves Acts and the Epistles together chronologically . . . creating one fluid story. This epic volume gives readers a first-hand account of the New Testament drama that is riveting and enlightening. It includes dates, maps, and background information about the people, the cities, and the events of the first-century church using a "you-are-there" approach.
Get up-close and personal with apostles Paul, Peter, James and John and learn of their personal struggles. Understand the circumstances behind each inspired letter they penned. Watch the chaotic swirl of first-century people and events fall into place before your very eyes. Discover what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" really was. Learn what happened to all the apostles after the book of Acts was finished. Be ushered into the living, breathing atmosphere of the first century and uncover the hidden riches found in God's Word.
Martin begins by making a powerful case for the study of the New Testament. He next sets the Greco-Roman world in historical context and explains the place of Judaism within it. In the discussion of each New Testament book that follows, the author addresses theological themes, then emphasizes the significance of the writings as ancient literature and as sources for historical study. Throughout the volume, Martin introduces various early Christian groups and highlights the surprising variations among their versions of Christianity.
A provocative and challenging book—but one that is tempered by Dr. Schaeffer's deep commitment to Christ and love for the church.
The global community of Christians is stunning in its scope and spiritual impact. But what is happening to the Church as new technology, marketing, and generational shifts make their unavoidable mark? And what difference does it make for Christians in day-to-day life? Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, The Meeting of the Waters interlaces stories and instruction in the tradition of Freakonomics, The World Is Flat, and The Tipping Point. This breakthrough book is for any Christian eager to make a difference in a changing world.
This reader-friendly book examines twelve events, sayings, and teachings of Jesus, using ten well-accepted historical rules. Pull up a chair, engage in the conversation, and discover how fascinating the discussion of the historical Jesus can be.
Larry Shallenberger takes a fresh look at the book of Acts to help you gain a deeper understanding of how God moved in the early church and what that means for you today.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013
An Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Nominee
An explosive, sweeping account of the scandal that has sent the Catholic Church into a tailspin -- and the brave few who fought for justice
In the mid-1980s a dynamic young monsignor assigned to the Vatican's embassy in Washington set out to investigate the problem of sexually abusive priests. He found a scandal in the making, confirmed by secret files revealing complaints that had been hidden from police and covered up by the Church hierarchy. He also understood that the United States judicial system was eager to punish offenders and those who aided them. He presented all of this to the American bishops, warning that the Church could be devastated by negative publicity and bankrupted by its legal liability. They ignored him.
Meanwhile, a young lawyer listened to a new client describe an abusive sexual history with a priest that began when he was ten years old. His parents' complaints were downplayed by Church officials who offered them money to go away. The lawyer saw a claim that any defendant would want to settle. Then he began to suspect he was onto something bigger, involving thousands of priests who had abused countless children while the Church had done almost nothing about it. The lawsuit he filed would touch off a legal war of historic and global proportions.
Part history, part journalism, and part true-crime thriller, Michael D'Antonio's Mortal Sins brings to mind landmark books such as All the President's Men, And the Band Played On, and The Informant, as it reveals a long and ferocious battle for the soul of the largest and oldest organization in the world.
But, by the beginning of the 21st century, this faith that began in such fragility, and that became so powerful--even though its temporal power has now receded in its historic homelands--is the most widespread and diverse of all religions. Christianity is rapidly taking root in cultures very different from those in which it was born and in which it once flourished, and is assuming configurations that could not have been anticipated a century ago.
In The Story of Christianity, the distinguished theologian David Bentley Hart provides a broad picture of Christian history. Presented in 50 short chapters--each focusing on a critical facet of Christian history or theology, and each amplified by timelines, quotations, and color images--his magisterial account does full justice to the range of Christian tradition, belief and practice--Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Coptic, Chaldean, Ethiopian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Malankaran, to name but a few of the many possibilities.
From the persecutions of the early church to the papal-imperial conflicts of the Middle Ages, from the religious wars of 16th and 17th-century Europe to the challenges of science and secularism in the modern era, and from the ancient Christian communities of Africa and Asia to the "house churches" of contemporary China, The Story of Christianity triumphantly captures the heterogeneous richness of Christian history.
This book takes the reader back to the hour when monasticism was born and describes the life of those revolutionary Christians who sought God in the Egyptian desert. The focus of the book is the life and work of Saint Anthony, whose experiences of the spiritual life have a timeless beauty and validity, even for those not called to live as a monk.
The second half of the book presents other Desert Fathers, such as Paul of Thebes, Pachomius, and Simeon Stylites, as well as the great founders of the monastic communities in Western Europe who were inspired by them: John Cassian, Columban, and Benedict, for example.
Features include:Explains and analyzes the role of all major streams, including women, African-Americans, and Hispanics Thoroughly illustrated with photographs, charts, figures, maps, and vignettes 4-color fold-out timeline/genealogy tree 16 full-color pages, plus black-and-white photos throughout Includes bibliographies and indexes
While many Christians are bemoaning their faith’s decline, Gabe Lyons is optimistic that Christianity’s best days are yet to come. In the wake of the stunning research from his bestselling book, unChristian, which revealed the growing disenchantment among young generations for Christians, Lyons has witnessed the beginnings of a new iteration of the faith. Marked by Lyons’ brutal honesty and unvarying generosity, Lyons exposes a whole movement of Christians—Evangelicals, Mainline, Protestants, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and others—who desire to be a force for restoration even as they proclaim the Christian Gospel. They want the label Christian to mean something good, intelligent, authentic, and beautiful.
The next generation of Christians, Lyons argues, embodies six revolutionary characteristics:
“When Christians incorporate these characteristics throughout the fabric of their lives, a fresh, yet orthodox way of being Christian springs forth. The death of yesterday becomes the birth of a great tomorrow. The end of an era becomes a beautiful new beginning. In this way, the end of Christian America becomes good news for Christians.”
In THE NEXT CHRISTIANS, Lyons disarms readers by speaking as a candid observer rather than cultural crusader. Where other people shout, Lyons speaks in a measured tone offering helpful analysis of our current reality while casting a vision for how to be a Christian in a world disenchanted with the faith. Both a celebration and a reckoning, THE NEXT CHRISTIANS combines current day models and relevant research with stories of a new generation of Christian leaders. If you are worried by what you see transpiring around you, this book will take you on a surprising social exploration in hopes that you too will restore confidence in your faith.
From the Hardcover edition.
With the combination of vivid immediacy and learned analysis that characterized his acclaimed Are We Rome?, Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past and argues that only by understanding the Inquisition can we hope to explain the making of the present.
This new narrative history of medieval Christianity, spanning from A.D. 500 to 1500, attempts to combine both what is unfamiliar and what is familiar to readers. Elements of novelty in the book include a steady focus on the role of women in Christianity; the relationships among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; the experience of ordinary parishioners; the adventure of asceticism, devotion and worship, and instruction through drama, architecture, and art. Madigan expertly integrates these areas of focus with more traditional themes, such as the evolution and decline of papal power, the nature and repression of heresy, sanctity and pilgrimage, the conciliar movement, and the break between the old Western church and its reformers.
Illustrated with more than forty photographs of physical remains, this book promises to become an essential guide to a historical era of profound influence.
Across the country, churches are creating entertaining, pop culture-savvy services that feel more market-driven than ministry. On the menu? A proven blend of dynamic music, high-tech dazzle, and topical teachings. And just like any successful product, churches are launching campuses that build on their brand.
But is the franchised church of today leading to the disenfranchised believers of tomorrow? Though thousands flock to these services, how many lives are truly being changed? Have we traded real truth for relevancy?
Franchising McChurch takes an honest look at the rise of consumer-minded ministries. Authors Thomas White and John Yeats tackle a spiritual shift that is raising provocative issues such as:The blurry line between entertainment and evangelism A marketing approach to ministry The warped yardstick for measuring church success Feel-good messages that avoid tough truths
Candid and compelling, Franchising McChurch calls us back to the heart of Christ's church, and shares the Biblical design for delivering meaningful, life-changing ministry in a fast-food world.