With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
An early fan of The Shack and a close friend to its author, Kruger shows why the novel has been enthusiastically embraced by so many Christians worldwide. In the words of William P. Young from the foreword to THE SHACK REVISITED, "Baxter Kruger will stun readers with his unique cross of intellectual brilliance and creative genius as he takes them deeper into the wonder, worship, and possibility that is the world of The Shack."
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.
These interviews, lectures, and essays cover topics such as the goal of human life, seeking a true spiritual teacher, reincarnation, super-consciousness, Krishna and Christ, and spiritual solutions to today's social and economic problems.
Collins's faith in God has been confirmed and enhanced by the revolutionary discoveries in biology that he has helped to oversee. He has absorbed the arguments for atheism of many scientists and pundits, and he can refute them. Darwinian evolution occurs, yet, as he explains, it cannot fully explain human nature -- evolution can and must be directed by God. He offers an inspiring tour of the human genome to show the miraculous nature of God's instruction book. Sure to be compared with C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, this is a stunning document, whether you are a believer, a seeker, or an atheist.
Quiet meditation, contemplative prayer, and careful study will help you receive the full benefit from spiritual truth--and this new edition assists with all three. When you give yourself to the Lord through the pages of this book, the spiritual truths you gain will bring you to new places in your experience with God and prepare you for deeper levels of loving relationships!
Major new age and human potential tenets will be discussed like: the belief that we are all gods and have to discover our divinity; Jesus was only a good teacher; Christianity is but one among many ways to eternal life; reincarnation is real; Jesus was married; truth is relative; there is no sin; and perfection is possible.
The truth of and the arguments for the bodily resurrection of Jesus will be presented as the most important argument for the exclusive claims about Jesus and Christianity.
This is the original account of the extraordinary activities of Sri Krishna, who appeared on earth 5,000 years ago. Find out why He has enchanted people for centuries.
Always remember Krishna, God. That was the goal of the rich spiritual culture that flourished in India for thousands of years. Even today Lord Krishna is remembered and glorified through monumental achievements of art, architecture, drama, music, dance and philosophy.
Fifty centuries ago Krishna descended from the transcendental world to show us His eternal spiritual activities. His acts reveal the fullest concept of God and attract us to join Him again. They are tangible subjects upon which to meditate.
Sri Krishna's life is fascinating and highly entertaining-even children love the stories. His life is full of deep philosophical wisdom and spiritual insight, and is a window into the personality, thoughts, and feelings of God.
Krsna is a summary study of the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Without the Sanskrit of the Bhagavatam it's an easy way to read yourself into the spiritual realm.
For thousands of years, people on a spiritual quest have consulted the mystical, intensely philosophical Upanishads. As the name implies (upa-near; ni-down; shad-to sit), one is advised to sit near a spiritual teacher to learn. To learn what? This Upanishad's name gives the clue: Isha means "the supreme controller."
Let us sit near the spiritual guide to learn about the supreme controller: God.
The process is simple, provided one learns from an authentic guide. The translation and commentary of Srila Prabhupada strictly adheres to the book's intention, assuring you of a legitimate understanding of the depths of Upanishadic knowledge.
The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit.
This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Using the texts of the New Testament, Yoder critically examines the traditional portrait of Jesus as an apolitical figure and attempts to clarify the true impact of Jesus' life, work, and teachings on his disciples' social behavior.
The book first surveys the multiple ways the image of an apolitical Jesus has been propagated, then canvasses the Gospel narrative to reveal how Jesus is rightly portrayed as a thinker and leader immediately concerned with the agenda of politics and the related issues of power, status, and right relations. Selected passages from the epistles corroborate a Savior deeply concerned with social, political, and moral issues.
In this thorough revision of his acclaimed 1972 text, Yoder provides updated interaction with publications touching on this subject. Following most of the chapters are new "epilogues" that summarize research conducted during the last two decades -- research that continues to support the insights set forth in Yoder's original work.
Currently a standard in many college and seminary ethics courses, The Politics of Jesus is also an excellent resource for the general reader desiring to understand Christ's response to the world of politics and his will for those who would follow him.
For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.
In the Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics, Renaissance man Doug Powell defends the Christian faith in a new key; taking timehonored approaches in apologetics and freshly presenting them for a new generation.
1. What Is Apologetics?
2. The Cosmological Argument for God's Existence
3. The Teleological Argument for God's Existence
4. The Axiological Argument for God's Existence
5. Which God Exists?
6. Where Did the New Testament Come From?
7. Is the New Testament Reliable?
8. ExtraBiblical Evidence for Jesus
9. Is the Old Testament Reliable?
10. The Fulfillment of Prophecy
11. What About Miracles?
12. Was Jesus Raised from Death?
13. Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Is He the Only Way?
14. How can God allow Evil, Pain, and Suffering?
When Dr. Eben Alexander told the story of his near-death experience and his vivid journey to the other side, many readers wrote to say it resonated with them profoundly. Thanks to them, Dr. Alexander realized that sharing his story allowed people to rediscover what so many in ancient times knew: there is more to life, and the to the universe, than this single earthly life.
Dr. Alexander and his co-author Ptolemy Tompkins were surprised to see how often his readers’ visions of the afterlife synced up with each other and with those of the world’s spiritual leaders, as well as its philosophers and scientists. In The Map of Heaven, he shares the stories people have told him and shows how they are echoed both in the world’s faiths and in its latest scientific insights. It turns out there is much agreement, across time and terrain, about the journey of the soul and its survival beyond death.
In this book, Dr. Alexander makes the case for heaven as a genuine place, showing how we have forgotten, but are now at last remembering, who we really are and what our destiny truly is.
This book was written as an explanation to his fundamentalist and evangelical friends and family about why he became a Roman Catholic. Currie presents a very lucid, systematic and intelligible account of the reasons for his conversion to the ancient Church that Christ founded. He gives a detailed discussion of the important theological and doctrinal beliefs Catholic and evangelicals hold in common, as well as the key doctrines that separate us, particularly the Eucharist, the Pope, and Mary.
Newberg and d'Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to examine the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads us to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid and tangibly real. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion or a manifestation of wishful thinking but rather a chain of neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed.
The inescapable conclusion is that God is hard-wired into the human brain.
In Why God Won't Go Away, Newberg and d'Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Along the way, they delve into such essential questions as whether humans are biologically compelled to make myths; what is the evolutionary connection between religious ecstasy and sexual orgasm; what do Near Death Experiences reveal about the nature of spiritual phenomena; and how does ritual create its own neurological environment. As their journey unfolds, Newberg and d'Aquili realize that a single, overarching question lies at the heart of their pursuit: Is religion merely a product of biology or has the human brain been mysteriously endowed with the unique capacity to reach and know God?
Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, Why God Won't Go Away bridges faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the "real" is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God.
From the Hardcover edition.
* are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances
* are 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers
* are 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex
* have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success.
Combining cutting-edge research with broad anecdotal evidence from her work as a clinical psychologist to illustrate just how invaluable spirituality is to a child's mental and physical health, Miller translates these findings into practical advice for parents, giving them concrete ways to develop and encourage their children's—as well as their own—well-being. In this provocative, conversation-starting book, Dr. Miller presents us with a pioneering new way to think about parenting our modern youth.
Combining the visions of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., Cone radically reappraised Christianity from the perspective of the oppressed black community in North America. Forty years later, his work retains its original power, enhanced now by reflections on the evolution of his own thinking and of black theology and on the needs of the present moment.
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.
A veteran theologian and minister offers his wise counsel to beginners in the field on the difficulties of practicing theology in a church often skeptical of theological pursuit. Thielicke stresses the importance of maintaining one's spiritual health in the course of technical theological inquiry.
Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.
Astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society. And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities. Good relationships come not from being sincere and authentic, but from the rituals we perform within them. A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments. Influence comes not from wielding power but from holding back. Excellence comes from what we choose to do, not our natural abilities.
In other words, The Path “opens the mind” (Huffington Post) and upends everything we are told about how to lead a good life. Its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place—just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently. “With its…spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life’s multifarious situations with both heart and head” (Kirkus Reviews).
A note from the publisher: To read relevant passages from the original works of Chinese philosophy, see our ebook Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi: Selected Passages, available wherever books are sold.
Very simply, a virtue (or vice) is acquired through practice--repeated activity that increases our proficiency at the activity and gradually forms our character. . . . We often need external incentives and sanctions to get us through the initial stages of the process, when our old, entrenched desires still pull us toward the opposite behavior. But with encouragement, discipline, and often a role model or mentor, practice can make things feel more natural and enjoyable as we gradually develop the internal values and desires corresponding to our outward behavior. Virtue often develops, that is, from the outside-in. This is why, when we want to re-form our character from vice to virtue, we often need to practice and persevere in regular spiritual disciplines and formational practices for a lengthy period of time.
-- Francis Collins, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
Many of history's greatest thinkers have wrestled with the ultimate question of belief and nonbelief in God. Though it might seem unlikely that any new arguments could possibly be raised on either side, the twentieth century managed to produce two men who each made brilliant, new, and lasting arguments, one in favor of belief and one opposed. Few spokesmen have ever championed their respective positions better than Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis. Sadly, as far as we know, they never met or debated each other directly.
In The Question of God their arguments are placed side by side, as if they were standing at podiums in a shared room. Both thought carefully about the flaws and alternatives to their positions; each considered the other's views. Both men considered the problem of pain and suffering, the nature of love and sex, and the ultimate meaning of life and death. Here, with their debate made explicit, we can take ringside seats at one of history's most profound encounters.
For more than twenty-five years Armand Nicholi has studied the philosophical writings of both men, and has taught a popular course at Harvard that compares the two worldviews. In The Question of God he presents the fruits of years of labor among the published and unpublished writings of Lewis and Freud, including an extensive exploration of their private letters. He allows them to speak for themselves on every major question of belief and nonbelief, but also skillfully draws conclusions from their own lives. Why did Freud have such difficulty maintaining lifelong friendships? How did Lewis's friendships change after his transition from atheism to belief? Why was Freud unable to willfully ignore his own internal moral sense, even though he believed it to be purely a product of socialization and not in any way eternally "true"?
The Question of God may be the best book about belief and nonbelief ever written, since it does not presuppose which answer is correct. Instead, it uses two of history's most articulate spokesmen to present arguments on both sides. In the end, readers must join Nicholi's hundreds of former students in deciding for themselves which path to follow.
At two-thirty in the morning of June 6, 1998, Whitley Streiber was awakened by somebody knocking on his hotel room door. A man came in, and everything he said was life-altering.
This is the unsettling and ultimately enlightening narrative of what happened that night. Strieber was never really sure who this strange and knowing visitor was--a "Master of Wisdom"? A figure from a different realm of consciousness? A preternaturally intelligent being? He called him the Master of the Key. The one thing of which Strieber was certain is that both the man and the encounter were real.
The main concern of the Master of the Key is to save each of us from self-imprisonment. "Mankind is trapped," the stranger tells Strieber. "I want to help you spring the trap." In a sweeping exchange between Strieber and the stranger--which takes the form of a classical student- teacher dialogue in pursuit of inner understanding--the unknown man presents a lesson in human potential, esoteric psychology, and man's fate. He illuminates why man has been caught in a cycle of repeat violence and self-destruction--and the slender, but very real, possibility for release.
In its breadth and intimacy, The Key is on par with contemporary metaphysical traditions, such as A Course in Miracles, or even with the dialogues of modern wisdom teachers, such as D.T. Suzuki and Carl Jung.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a young German pastor who was executed by the Nazis in 1945 for his part in the “officers’ plot” to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
This expanded version of Letters and Papers from Prison shifts the emphasis of earlier editions of Bonhoeffer’s theological reflections to the private sphere of his life. His letters appear in greater detail and show his daily concerns. Letters from Bonhoeffer’s parents, siblings, and other relatives have also been added, in addition to previously inaccessible letters and legal papers referring to his trial.
Acute and subtle, warm and perceptive, yet also profoundly moving, the documents collectively tell a very human story of loss, of courage, and of hope. Bonhoeffer’s story seems as vitally relevant, as politically prophetic, and as theologically significant today, as it did yesterday.
What lies beyond death, and what would you do if you had only a few days left to live? Despite an abundance of comforts and conveniences, why do many still feel dissatisfied, empty, and lacking in purpose? Are day-to-day occurrences predestined, or is life an interplay of fate and free will? In this book, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda and his followers address the most crucial questions of our existence.
As an educator, Wilson is well-equipped to diagnose the cause of America's deteriorating school system and to propose remedies for those committed to their children's best interests in education. He maintains that education is essentially religious because it deals with the basic questions about life that require spiritual answers-reading and writing are simply the tools. Offering a review of classical education and the history of this movement, Wilson also reflects on his own involvement in the process of creating educational institutions that embrace that style of learning. He details elements needed in a useful curriculum, including a list of literary classics. Readers will see that classical education offers the best opportunity for academic achievement, character growth, and spiritual education, and that such quality cannot be duplicated in a religiously-neutral environment.
How do you recognize your own soul contracts?
Why is this knowledge so important for personal and spiritual growth?
Can we communicate with deceased loved ones to help them, and learn from them?
Self-help material for further exploring and healing contracts in your own life. Spiritual Post-Conception Birth Control and Past Life Techniques
“The Alchemy Institute is one of America’s foremost training programs in Past Life Regression. When my students study Past Life Regression, there are many texts we recommend. Soul Contracts is at the top of the list. Linda’s compassion and her skill as a hypnotherapist show through in one inspiring story after another that proves the practical power of past life regression to transform lives. This book is filled with easy to read, fascinating true stories that open a window into a rich and extraordinary world of healing which lives inside of each of us.”
~ David Quigley, founder and Director of the Alchemy Institute
“Dear Linda, I love what you have written as it is so personal and easy to read and most important for everyone to understand that much of what is happening in their lives has its root in their distant past of a previous incarnation. Reincarnation is a fact as we are eternal and we can free ourselves of a problem in the present when we resolve the past in the manner that Linda Baker is sharing with us. A must read for the spiritually sincere.”
Terry Cole-Whittaker – author of What You Think of Me is None of My Business, Dare to Be Great and Live Your Bliss and many others
“Brings a broad new dimension to our understanding of healing and personal change...Excellent reading!”
–Hal Zina Bennett,Ph.D. author of Spirit Circle and more than 25 books on personal growth
“I just finished your book Soul Contracts. I was deeply affected by this book. I had to buy it because I could not let it go. Soul Contracts rang more bells in my heart, head and body than any book I’ve read this year!” -J.B., Seattle, WA
What sort of "person" is God? What is his "life story"? Is it possible to approach him not as an object of religious reverence, but as the protagonist of the world's greatest book—as a character who possesses all the depths, contradictions, and abiguities of a Hamlet? This is the task that Jack Miles—a former Jesuit trained in religious studies and Near Eastern languages—accomplishes with such brilliance and originality in God: A Biography.
Using the Hebrew Bible as his text, Miles shows us a God who evolves through his relationship with man, the image who in time becomes his rival. Here is the Creator who nearly destroys his chief creation; the bloodthirsty warrior and the protector of the downtrodden; the lawless law-giver; the scourge and the penitent. Profoundly learned, stylishly written, the resulting work illuminates God and man alike and returns us to the Bible with a sense of discovery and wonder.
It can't be denied-children have an inherent desire to know. Teachers and parents can either encourage this natural inquisitiveness or squelch it. There is joy in the classroom when children learn-not to take a test, not to get a grade, not to compete with each other, and not to please their parents or their teachers-but because they want to know about the world around them!
Both Christian educators and parents will find proven help in creating a positive learning atmosphere through methods pioneered by Charlotte Mason that show how to develop a child's natural love of learning. The professional educators, administrators, and Mason supporters contributing to this volume give useful applications that work in a variety of educational settings, from Christian schools to homeschools.
A practical follow-up to Crossway's For the Children's Sake, this book follows a tradition of giving serious thought to what education is, so that children will be learning for life and for everlasting life.
Scripture & the Mystery of the Family of God, edited by Dr. Scott Hahn and Leon J. Suprenant, with the forward by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, will help Catholics and non-Catholics alike develop a better understanding of the Church. Each chapter goes to the heart of its topic, presenting the teachings of the Church in a clear, concise, and insightful way. The teachings on Mary, the Eucharist, Baptism, and Purgatory are explained in light of the relationship of God the Father to us.
Scripture & the Mystery of the Family of God is bound to become an apologetics classic.
This book is one of four books in the Catholic for a Reason Series.
Authors: Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Fr. Pablo Gadenz, Curtis J. Mitch, Richard A. White, Kimberly Hahn, Sean Innerst, Edward P. Sri, Timothy Gray, Leon J. Suprenant, Kris Gray, and Curtis A. Martin. Foreword by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
About the Catholic for a Reason Series: This benchmark series brings together the expert knowledge and personal insight of today’s top Catholic apologists on topics at the heart of the Catholic faith. Whether you’re a non-Catholic who wants to learn about the Church’s teaching, or a Catholic who wants to become a more articulate defender of the faith, the Catholic for a Reason series is for you.