Cronus liked to eat babies.
Narcissus probably should have just learned to masturbate.
Odin got construction discounts with bestiality.
Isis had bad taste in jewelry.
Ganesh was the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy.
And Abraham was totally cool about stabbing his kid in the face.
All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified…wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words.
Skeptical? Here are a few more gems to consider:
• Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed.
• The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone.
• The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies.
• The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace.
And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.
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.
FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.
Praise for No god but God
“Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times
“[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.)
“Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian
What is Catholicism? A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism--from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell--using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world.
Paired with his documentary film series of the same title, Catholicism is an intimate journey, capturing “The Catholic Thing” in all its depth and beauty. Eclectic, unique, and inspiring, Father Barron brings the faith to life for a new generation, in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths, while simultaneously speaking in the language of contemporary life.
Tim Reiterman’s Raven provides the seminal history of the Rev. Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and the murderous ordeal at Jonestown in 1978.
This PEN Award–winning work explores the ideals-gone-wrong, the intrigue, and the grim realities behind the Peoples Temple and its implosion in the jungle of South America. Reiterman’s reportage clarifies enduring misperceptions of the character and motives of Jim Jones, the reasons why people followed him, and the important truth that many of those who perished at Jonestown were victims of mass murder rather than suicide.
This widely sought work is restored to print after many years with a new preface by the author, as well as the more than sixty-five rare photographs from the original volume.
The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.
Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
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.
“As a scholar and storyteller extraordinaire, Deepak Chopra portrays a morally courageous yet highly human messenger of God.” —Irshad Manji, Director, Moral Courage Project, New York University
From the New York Times bestselling author of Buddha and Jesus comes the page-turning and soul-stirring story of Muhammad. Deepak Chopra—easily one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world today—delivers this stunning, sincere, and highly accessible portrait of the Prophet of Islam. Chopra’s Muhammad is an outstanding resource for everyone who thinks they should know more about the man who inspired the world's fastest-growing religion.
The epic story begins with the Jews' gradual transformation of pagan idol worship in Babylon into true monotheism—a concept previously unknown in the world. Christianity and Islam both rose on the foundation of this revolutionary idea, but these religions refashioned 'the One God' to suit the social and political needs of their followers. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic.
Praise for History of God
“An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers.”—The Washington Post Book World
“A brilliantly lucid, spendidly readable book. [Karen] Armstrong has a dazzling ability: she can take a long and complex subject and reduce it to the fundamentals, without oversimplifying.”—The Sunday Times (London)
“Absorbing . . . A lode of learning.”—Time
“The most fascinating and learned study of the biggest wild goose chase in history—the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius.”—A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life
A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses the globe. It captures the major turning points in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. MacCulloch introduces us to monks and crusaders, heretics and reformers, popes and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in shaping human history and the intimate lives of men and women. And he uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crises within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental religious history will not soon be surpassed.
Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.
In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.
As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.
In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.
BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines--such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism--to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.
"They put him to death by hanging him on a tree." Acts 10:39
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and "black death," the cross symbolizes divine power and "black life" God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era.
In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Well, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.
The purpose of this book is to expose the historical, cultural, sociological, religious and theological lies of the Europeans and the Arabs. This book reveals the truth of the origination of The Bible, as There Is No Religion Higher Than The Truth. Join me in an intellectual odyssey through time. Here, I feel like a Lone Warrior standing before a mighty army. Come with me on this perilous pilgrimage as we travel through a parallel universe.
I dedicate this book to my mother and father who gave me life. To the rest of my Native Afrikan family for supporting me and encouraging me on this publishing venture. To the Heavenly Father, without whom none of this would be possible. There are others I would also like to thank for being a part of helping me through this journey called Life, such as my professors at the Alabama State University where many a great scholars paths I have crossed. To my American family and friends in Mobile, Alabama who nurtured and taught me from childhood to adulthood. The many friends and colleagues I met in my travels all across America in my intellectual journey, and last but certainly not least, to my publisher for granting me the opportunity to speak to many all around the world in this forum. I am eternally indebted to you all-Thank you.
Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.
Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists' concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.
"Who do you say that I am?"
Uttered by Jesus Christ, this profound question has presented an age-old challenge to believers, skeptics, scholars, and rulers.
In attempting to answer this question, The True Jesus goes straight to the unimpeachable source: the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Only in the Gospels, says #1 New York Times bestselling author David Limbaugh, do we come face-to-face with the Son of God, Whose sublime teachings, miraculous actions, and divine essence leap off every page and into our hearts.
In this book, Limbaugh combines the four Gospel stories into a unified account (though not, he humbly admits, a perfect harmony) and guides readers on a faith journey through the Four Evangelists' testimonies of the life of Jesus Christ. Along the way, Limbaugh shares his insights on Jesus' words and deeds as well as His unique nature as fully human and fully divine. In The True Jesus, you will learn:
- Why even the apostles failed to completely understand Jesus' true identity and mission until after His crucifixion
- The real basis for the rejection of Jesus' message by skeptics in His hometown and elsewhere
- The historical events preceding Jesus' birth that providentially paved the way for Christianity
- How Jesus' message utterly contradicted modern attempts to portray Him as being non-judgmental
Limbaugh's passion for the Gospels infuses the pages of The True Jesus, which is both a primer for new Bible readers and an outstanding guide to the Gospels for long-time believers. Who really is the true Jesus? Open this book and begin your odyssey toward the answer.
Scientology is known for its celebrity believers and its team of “volunteer ministers” at disaster sites such as the World Trade Center; its notably aggressive response to criticism or its attacks on psychiatry; its requirement that believers pay as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the highest levels of salvation. But for all its notoriety, Scientology has remained America’s least understood new religion, even as it has been one of its most successful.
Now Janet Reitman tells its riveting full story in the first objective modern history of Scientology, at last revealing the astonishing truth about life within the controversial religion for its members and ex-members. Based on five years of research, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is an utterly compelling work of nonfiction and the defining work on an elusive faith.
“A meticulously researched history and revealing exposé, a frightening portrait of a religion that many find not just controversial, but dangerous.” — Boston Globe
“This book is fearless.” — Wall Street Journal
A New York Times Notable Book
Amazon.com Best Books of 2011, Nonfiction
San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten of 2011
She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy.
After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress, and having spent the last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.
The impact of The Story of a Soul, a collection of her autobiographical manuscripts, printed and distributed a year after her death to an initially very limited audience, was great, and she rapidly became one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century.
The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers a revolutionary view of the history of the Christian church. Subtitled “The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died,” it explores the extinction of the earliest, most influential Christian churches of China, India, and the Middle East, which held the closest historical links to Jesus and were the dominant expression of Christianity throughout its first millennium. The remarkable true story of the demise of the institution that shaped both Asia and Christianity as we know them today, The Lost History of Christianity is a controversial and important work of religious scholarship that sounds a warning that must be heeded.
According to Mormon belief, The Book of Mormon was inscribed on golden plates by generations of prophets, quoted and abridged by the prophet-historian Mormon, and buried in the ground by Mormon’s son, Moroni. Fourteen centuries later, in 1823, the angel Moroni led Joseph Smith to the plates hidden in a hillside in upstate New York. Smith translated the ancient language into English through divine revelation.
The Book of Mormon narrates the historical, religious, political, and military events that shaped and continue to inform the Church’s teachings. The publication of this edition offers the opportunity to explore one of the largest denominations in America today.
The story behind this groundbreaking book--one of the most significant works of investigative journalism since Woodward and Bernstein's reporting on Watergate--has been brought brilliantly to life on the screen in the major new movie Spotlight, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Here are the devastating revelations that triggered a crisis within the Catholic Church. Here is the truth about the scores of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes. Here is the trail of "hush money" that the Catholic Church secretly paid to buy victims' silence--deeds that left millions of the faithful in the U.S. and around the world shocked, angry, and confused. Here as well is a vivid account of the ongoing struggle, as Catholics confront their Church and call for sweeping change.
In Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, David Limbaugh unlocks the mysteries of the Old Testament and reveals hints of Jesus Christ's arrival through all thirty-nine Old Testament books.
The key to the secrets of the Old Testament, Limbaugh argues, is the crucial New Testament encounter between the risen Jesus and two travelers on the road to Emmaus. With that key, and with Limbaugh as a deft guide, readers of Finding Jesus in the Old Testament will come to a startling new understanding of the Old Testament as a clear and powerful heralding of Jesus Christ's arrival. Limbaugh takes readers on a revealing journey from Genesis through Malachi, demonstrating that a consistent message courses through every one of the Old Testament's thirty-nine books: the power, wonder, and everlasting love of Jesus Christ.
Previously published under the title The Emmaus Code.
With his customary insight and reverance, Sheen interprets the scripture and describes Christ, not only in historical perspective, but also in exciting and contemporary terms, seeing in Christ’s life both modern parallels and timeless lessons. His thoughtful, probing analysis provides new insight into well-known Gospel events.
An appealing blend of philosophy, history, and Biblical exegesis, from the best-known and most-loved American Catholic leader of the twentieth century, Life of Christ has long been a source of inspiration and guidance. For those seeking to better understand the message of Jesus Christ, this vivid retelling of the greatest story ever lived is a must read.
Live and Experience the Book of Acts today!
Experience the Book of Acts today!
Supernatural Christianity never ended!
A generation today is asking, Where are all God’s miracles which our fathers told us about? (Judges 6:13).
Author of the best-selling book They Told Me Their Stories, Tommy Welchel answered this question, living among the youth of one of the greatest spiritual outpourings ever experienced—the Azusa Street Revival. During this time, Tommy recorded first-hand accounts of the miracles that they had witnessed… and even performed themselves!
These testimonies have been shared around the world, and the results have been amazing: Miraculous healings, supernatural phenomena, and impossible situations being turned around by a wonder-working God.
As you read about the miracles that God performed during this great move of His Spirit, your faith will be stirred to:
• Encourage others that God’s healing power has not passed away
• Believe for the miraculous in your life
• Release supernatural breakthrough to people who need a touch from God
Prepare to experience a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit… today!
In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. Jesus, as we know, was the son of Mary, a young woman who became pregnant before her marriage to a man named Joseph. The gospels tell us that Jesus had four brothers and two sisters, all of whom probably had a different father than his. He joined a messianic movement begun by his relative John the Baptizer, whom he regarded as his teacher and a great prophet. John and Jesus together filled the roles of the Two Messiahs who were expected at the time: John, as a priestly descendant of Aaron, and Jesus, as a royal descendant of David. Together they preached the coming of the Kingdom of God. Theirs was an apocalyptic movement that expected God to establish his kingdom on earth, as described by the Prophets. The Two Messiahs lived in a time of turmoil as the historical land of Israel was dominated by the powerful Roman Empire. Fierce Jewish rebellions against Rome occurred during Jesus' lifetime.
John and Jesus preached adherence to the Torah, or the Jewish Law. But their mission was changed dramatically when John was arrested and then killed. After a period of uncertainty, Jesus began preaching anew in Galilee and challenged the Roman authorities and their Jewish collaborators in Jerusalem. He appointed a Council of Twelve to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel, and among the Twelve he included his four brothers. After Jesus was crucified by the Romans, his brother James -- the "Beloved Disciple" -- took over leadership of the Jesus dynasty.
James, like John and Jesus before him, saw himself as a faithful Jew. None of them believed that their movement was a new religion. It was Paul who transformed Jesus and his message through his ministry to the Gentiles. Breaking with James and the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, Paul preached a message based on his own revelations, which would become Christianity. Jesus became a figure whose humanity was obscured; John became merely a forerunner of Jesus; and James and the others were all but forgotten.
James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. Drawing on this background, Tabor reconstructs for us the movement that sought the spiritual, social, and political redemption of the Jews, a movement led by one family. The Jesus Dynasty offers an alternative version of Christian origins, one that takes us closer than ever to Jesus and his family and followers.
This is a book that will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.
Jerusalem is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, fanaticism, bloodshed, and coexistence, from King David to the 21st century, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the “center of the world” and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs, and revelations of the men and women who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem. As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan.
In this masterful narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore brings the holy city to life and draws on the latest scholarship, his own family history, and a lifetime of study to show that the story of Jerusalem is truly the story of the world.
A New York Times Notable Book
Jewish Book Council Book of the Year
With new information on the important contributions of women to church history as well as the latest information on Christianity in developing countries, Gonzalez's richly textured study discusses the changes and directions of the church up to the twenty-first century. The Story of Christianity covers such recent occurrences as the fall of the Soviet Union and the return of the Russian Orthodox Church; feminist, Africa-American, and Third-World theologies; the scandals and controversies facing the reign of Pope Benedict XVI; interfaith dialogue; and the movement toward unity of all Christian churches. This revised and updated edition of The Story of Christianity concludes with a thoughtful look at the major issues and debates facing Christianity today.
The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes, or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else—a reflection of divine providence.
In The American Miracle, bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved recounts some of the most significant events in America’s rise to prosperity and power, from the writing of the Constitution to the Civil War. He reveals a record of improbabilities and amazements that demonstrate what the Founders always believed: that events unfolded according to a master plan, with destiny playing an unmistakable role in lifting the nation to greatness.
Among the stirring, illogical episodes described here:
• A band of desperate religious refugees find themselves blown hopelessly off course, only to be deposited at the one spot on a wild continent best suited for their survival
• George Washington’s beaten army, surrounded by a ruthless foe and on the verge of annihilation, manages an impossible escape due to a freakish change in the weather
• A famous conqueror known for seizing territory, frustrated by a slave rebellion and a frozen harbor, impulsively hands Thomas Jefferson a tract of land that doubles the size of the United States
• A weary soldier picks up three cigars left behind in an open field and notices the stogies have been wrapped in a handwritten description of the enemy’s secret battle plans—a revelation that gives Lincoln the supernatural sign he’s awaited in order to free the slaves
When millions worry over the nation losing its way, Medved’s sweeping narrative, bursting with dramatic events and lively portraits of unforgettable, occasionally little-known characters, affirms America as “fortune’s favorite,” shaped by a distinctive destiny from our beginnings to the present day.
By looking closely at the biblical texts on divorce and remarriage in light of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman world, this book shows that the original audience of the New Testament heard these teachings differently. Through a careful exploration of the background literature of the Old Testament, the ancient Near East, and especially ancient Judaism, David Instone-Brewer constructs a biblical view of divorce and remarriage that is wider in scope than present-day readings.
Among the important findings of the book are that both Jesus and Paul condemned divorce without valid grounds and discouraged divorce even for valid grounds; that both Jesus and Paul affirmed the Old Testament grounds for divorce; that the Old Testament allowed divorce for adultery and for neglect or abuse; and that both Jesus and Paul condemned remarriage after an invalid divorce but not after a valid divorce. Instone-Brewer shows that these principles are not only different from the traditional church interpretation of the New Testament but also directly relevant to modern relationships.
Enhanced with pastoral advice on how to apply the biblical teaching in today's context, this volume will be a valuable resource for anyone seeking serious answers about married life.
• Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
• Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
• Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
• Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?
According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible — they are probably true! so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.
"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Like Chariots of the Gods?...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller."
From the Paperback edition.
At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.
Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well.
Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward.
Praise for American Gospel
“In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776
“Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
King drafted a furious rebuttal that emerged as the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"-a work that would take its place among the masterpieces of American moral argument alongside those of Thoreau and Lincoln. His insistence on the urgency of "Freedom Now" would inspire not just the marchers of Birmingham and Selma, but peaceful insurgents from Tiananmen to Tahrir Squares.
Scholar Jonathan Rieder delves deeper than anyone before into the Letter-illuminating both its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights. Rieder has interviewed King's surviving colleagues, and located rare audiotapes of King speaking in the mass meetings of 1963. Gospel of Freedom gives us a startling perspective on the Letter and the man who wrote it: an angry prophet who chastised American whites, found solace in the faith and resilience of the slaves, and knew that moral appeal without struggle never brings justice.
The so-called “Tibetan Book of the Dead” has been renowned for centuries as a cornerstone of Buddhist wisdom and religious thought. More recently, it has become highly influential in the Western world for its psychological insights into the processes of death and dying—and what they can teach us about the ways we live our lives. It has also been found to be helpful in the grieving process by people who have recently lost their loved ones.
Composed in the eighth century C.E., it is intended to prepare the soul for the trials and transformations of the afterworld. Its profound message is that the art of dying is as important as the art of living. Drawing on Tibetan spiritual traditions, it shows us the workings of the mind in its various manifestations—terrifying and comforting, wrathful and beautiful—which appear more clearly after death in the consciousness of the deceased. By recognizing these manifestations, we can attain a state of enlightenment, both in this existence and in the existence to come.
This authoritative translation preserves the form and spirit of the original and was prepared especially for Western readers by Robert A. F. Thurman, one of the most prominent Tibetan scholars in America and a close associate of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s.
Many believe in the inevitability of an escalating “clash of civilizations”. Peaceful coexistence has long been problematic with religion, and while previous conflicts over religious differences may have been significant and regrettable, they did not threaten the very survival of humanity. Now, when extremists can persuade followers with the immense emotional power of faith and have access to powerful technological resources, a single spark could ignite a powder keg of frightening proportions.
Yet the Dalai Lama shows how the challenges of globalization can also move us in another direction, to a deeper plane where nations, cultures, and individuals connect through their shared human nature. All major religions confront the same perennial questions; each have distinct forms of expression. But this marvelous diversity of insight has the potential for inspiring dialogue which can enrich everyone’s pursuit of wisdom. All faith traditions turn to compassion as a guiding principle for living a good life. It is the task of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to affirm the fundamental value of the compassion. In this way we can truly develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths, and on that basis, we can cultivate genuine respect.
In Toward a True Kinship of Faiths, the Dalai Lama also explores where differences between religions can be genuinely appreciated without serving as a source of conflict. The establishment of genuine harmony is not dependent upon accepting that all religions are fundamentally the same or that they lead to the same place. Many fear that recognizing the value of another faith is incompatible with having devotion to the truth of one’s own. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama profoundly shows how a sincere believer can, with integrity, be a pluralist in relation to other religions without compromising commitment to the essence of the doctrinal teachings of their own faith.
An issue of central importance for the Dalai Lama personally and for the entire world in general, Toward a True Kinship of Faiths offers a hopeful yet realistic look at how humanity must step into the future.
From the Hardcover edition.