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.
Biographer John Allen collects the ArchbishopDesmond Tutu's most profound, controversial, and historic words in thisinspiring anthology of speeches, interviews, and sermons that have rocked theworld. An unforgettable look at the South African pastor’s deeply rootedempathy and penetrating wisdom, God IsNot a Christian is perfect for anyone moved by of Martin Luther King Jr.’s“I Have a Dream” speech or Nelson Mandela’s stirring autobiography Conversations with Myself, brilliantlyconnecting readers with the courageous and much-needed moral vision thatcontinues to change countless lives around the globe.
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.
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—from Made for Goodness
Over the years the same questions get asked of Desmond Tutu, the archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and veteran of the moral movement that ended apartheid in South Africa: "How can you be so hopeful after witnessing so much evil?" "Why are you so sure goodness will triumph in the end?" This book is his answer.
Now, more than any other time in history, our world needs this message: that we are made for goodness and it is up to us to live up to our destiny.
We recognize Archbishop Tutu from the headlines as an inspirational figure who has witnessed some of the world's most sinister moments and chosen to be an ambassador of reconciliation amid political, diplomatic, and natural disasters. Now, we get a glimpse into his personal spirituality—and a better understanding of the man behind a lifetime of good works. In this intimate and personal sharing of his heart, written with his daughter, Episcopal priest Mpho Tutu, Tutu engages his reader with touching stories from his own life, as well as grisly memories from his work in the darkest corners of the world. There, amid the darkness, he calls us to hope, to joy, and to claim the goodness that we were made for. Tutu invites us to take on the disciplines of goodness, the practices that are key to finding fulfillment, meaning, and happiness for our lives.
Born into the professional classes, Thomas More applied his formidable intellect and well-placed connections to become the most powerful man in England, second only to the king. As much a work of history as a biography, The Life of Thomas More gives an unmatched portrait of the everyday, religious, and intellectual life of the early sixteenth century. In Ackroyd's hands, this renowned "man for all seasons" emerges in the fullness of his complex humanity; we see the unexpected side of his character--such as his preference for bawdy humor--as well as his indisputable moral courage.
Published on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer presents this spiritually rich material in its original form and order. Compiled and presented for devotional use by C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F. M. Zahl, Cranmer's Collects are each followed by succinct commentary on their historical context and an insightful meditation crafted with contemporary Christians in mind.
Including a significant introduction to Cranmer and his work by C. FitzSimons Allison, this beautifully produced volume opens afresh Cranmer's classic devotional treasure to modern believers from all communions.
This book is itself the fruit of years of contemplative practice, and whether you are new to this form of prayer or an experienced practitioner, Taylor's insight, encouragement, and guidance will enhance and strengthen your efforts to draw nearer to the heart of God in prayer, and in doing so, become more fully conformed to the image of Christ.
The book's chief maker, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, created it as the authoritative manual of Christian worship throughout England. But as Jacobs recounts, the book has had a variable and dramatic career in the complicated history of English church politics, and has been the focus of celebrations, protests, and even jail terms. As time passed, new forms of the book were made to suit the many English-speaking nations: first in Scotland, then in the new United States, and eventually wherever the British Empire extended its arm. Over time, Cranmer's book was adapted for different preferences and purposes. Jacobs vividly demonstrates how one book became many--and how it has shaped the devotional lives of men and women across the globe.
The work of René Girard is hugely influential in literature and cultural studies. But it is in understanding the relationship between religion and violence that his theory has created its greatest impact. Girard's understanding of mimetic rivalry and conflict and of scapegoating is seen by many to be the key to a completely new understanding of Christianity.
Girard's name evokes curiosity and—often—strong feelings among devotees and skeptics. Discovering Girard is the first book to present Girard's work to a wider audience. It explains and appraises Girard's mimetic theory, shows its impact on theology and other disciplines, and manages to convey the excitement that a discovery of Girard's ideas often generates in readers.
Vest brings Benedict's perspective to three areas of work discontent today: the stress of performance, overproduction, and acquisitiveness. To these she opposes three Benedictine principles: vocation, or being called to what we do; stewardship, or taking care of what we are given; and obedience, or serving one another. Her emphasis is on the words of Benedict's primary text and its application for people today.
Each chapter concludes with extensive spiritual exercises and food for thought.
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 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.
This book locates its analysis of Palestinian Christians within a broader understanding of Israel as a Jewish ethnocratic state. It describes the main characteristics of the Palestinian Christian community in Israel and examines a number of problematic assumptions which have been made about them and their relationship to the state. Finally, it examines a number of intra-communal conflicts which have taken place in recent years between Christians and Muslims, and between Christians and Druze, and probes the role which the state and various state attitudes have played in influencing or determining those conflicts and, as a result, the general status of Palestinian Christians in Israel today.
Written for clergy, Christian educators, religious scholars, and lay readers alike, Classic Christianity provides the best synthesis of the whole history of Christian thought. Part one explores the most intriguing questions of the study of God—Does God exist? Does Jesus reveal God? Is God personal, compassionate, free?—and presents answers that reflect the broad consensus culled from the breadth of the church's teachers. It is rooted deeply and deliberately in scripture but confronts the contemporary mind with the vitality of the Christian tradition. Part two addresses the perplexing Christological issues of whether God became flesh, whether God became Christ, and whether Christ is the source of salvation. Oden details the core beliefs concerning Jesus Christ that have been handed down for the last two hundred decades, namely, who he was, what he did, and what that means for us today. Part three examines how the work of God in creation and redemption is being brought to consummation by the Holy Spirit in persons, through communities, and in the fullness of human destiny. Oden's magisterial study not only treats the traditional elements of systematical theology but also highlights the foundational exegetes throughout history. Covering the ecumenical councils and early synods; the great teachers of the Eastern church tradition, including Athanasius and John Chrysostom; and the prominent Western figures such as Augustine, Ambrose, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, this book offers the reader the fullest understanding of the Christian faith available.
The myth that the war was fought by ‘lions led by donkeys’ powerfully endures turning heroes into victims. Alan Wilkinson demonstrates the sheer horror, moral ambiguity, and the interaction between religion, the church and war with a scholarly, and yet poetic, hand. The author creates a vivid image of the church and society, includes views of the Free Churches and Roman Catholics, portrays the pastoral problems and challenges to faith presented by war, and the pressures for reform of church and society.
The Church of England and the First World War is written with compelling compassion and great historical understanding, making the book hard to put down. This expert and classic study will grip the religious and secular alike, the general reader or the student.
The son of an Episcopal priest, Eric Lax develops in his youth a deep religious attachment and an acute moral compass—one that he is willing to go to prison for when it leads him to resist military service in Vietnam. His faith abides until, in his mid-thirties, he begins to question the unquestionable: the role of God in his life. In response, Lax engages with the father who inspired him and with his best friend, a Vietnam War hero turned priest. Their ongoing and illuminating dialogues, full of wisdom and insight, reveal much about three men who approach God, duty, and war in vastly different ways. Lax provides an unusual and refreshing perspective, examining religious conviction sympathetically from both sides as one who has lost his faith but still respects it.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
It started with an occasional Sunday, a "tourist's" visit to a local church. Eventually Nora Gallagher entered into a yearlong journey to discover her
faith and a relationship with God, using the Christian calendar as her compass.
Whether writing about her brother's battle against cancer, talking to homeless men about the World Series, or questioning the afterlife ("One world
at a time"), Gallagher draws us into a world of journeys and mysteries, yet grounded in a gritty reality. She braids together the symbols of the
Christian calendar, the events of a year in one church, and her own spiritual journey, each strand combed out with harrowing intimacy. Thought provoking and profoundly perceptive, Things Seen and Unseen is a remarkable demonstration that "the road to the sacred is paved with the ordinary."
"Like Kathleen Norris in Amazing Grace, Gallagher is renewing the language of ultimate concerns."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The deep serenity that suffuses Gallagher's work, the lyrical cadences in which she writes, do not blunt the sharp edges of what she discovered in her quest for meaning."--Los Angeles Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
The book is composed of 49 short chapters that develop classical monastic themes of hospitality, poverty, celibacy, and obedience, exploring what these might mean to men and women living at the end of the millennium. And because this is a modern rule, it provides guidance and reflection in less traditional areas, too—leadership, conflict, the use and abuse of authority, work, the need for rest and silence, vocation, and fellowship with the poor. Therefore it has much to teach Christians in other kinds of communities, including the family, the parish, and the workplace.
Concluding chapters give suggestions for meditating on the Rule and for its use as an aid to discernment and spiritual growth for prayer groups and parish life committees.
In her discussion of lectio-on-life, for example, Vest provides insight on the reading of our lives as the “text” in which we find God's Word written in the ordinary events of daily life. Exercises for individuals or groups follow each chapter on silence, prayer, and holy reading. Excellent for Lenten study groups as well as ongoing prayer or Bible study groups.
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!