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.
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.
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In Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh applies his lifetime of legal experience to a unique new undertaking: making a case for the gospels as hard evidence of the life and work of Jesus Christ. Limbaugh, a practicing attorney and former professor of law, approaches the canonical gospels with the same level of scrutiny he would apply to any legal document and asks all the necessary questions about the story of Jesus told through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. His analysis of the texts becomes profoundly personal as he reflects on his own spiritual and intellectual odyssey from determined skeptic to devout Christian. Ultimately, Limbaugh concludes that the words Christians have treasured for centuries stand up to his exhaustive inquiry—including his examination of historical and religious evidence beyond the gospels—and thereby affirms Christian faith, spirituality, and tradition.
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.
"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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Titus Livius, as Livy in English, was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own time.
He was on familiar terms with the Julio-Claudian family, advising Augustus's grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, as a young man not long before 14 AD in a letter to take up the writing of history. Livy and Augustus's wife, Livia, were from the same clan in different locations, although not related by blood.
The Reformation was a long struggle of ideas between the established Catholic Church and the questioning of faith brought about by the Renaissance in Western Europe. Started by Martin Luther in 1517, religious dissidence spread across Europe throughout the sixteenth century, causing wars, migration and disunity. By 1648 Henry VIII’s desire for divorce led him to break with the Catholic Church in Rome and form the Church of England.
The Reformation: History in an Hour is a clear and comprehensive look at this long and complex period of religious change. It explains the major causes of the Reformation and the differences between Protestants and Catholics. It will help you understand the significance of the Reformation in European history in just one hour.
Know your stuff: Read a concise history of the Protestant Reformation in just one hour.
At age sixteen, Lewis begins writing to Arthur Greeves, a boy his age in Belfast who later becomes one of his most treasured friends. Their correspondence would continue over the next fifty years. In his letters to Arthur, Lewis admits that he has abandoned the Christian faith. "I believe in no religion," he says. "There is absolutely no proof for any of them."
Shortly after arriving at Oxford, Lewis is called away to war. Quickly wounded, he returns to Oxford, writing home to describe his thoughts and feelings about the horrors of war as well as the early joys of publication and academic success.
In 1929 Lewis writes to Arthur of a friend ship that was to greatly influence his life and writing. "I was up till 2:30 on Monday talking to the Anglo-Saxon professor Tolkien who came back with me to College ... and sat discoursing of the gods and giants & Asgard for three hours ..." Gradually, as Lewis spends time with Tolkien and other friends, he admits in his letters to a change of view on religion. In 1930 he writes, "Whereas once I would have said, 'Shall I adopt Christianity', I now wait to see whether it will adopt me ..."
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume I offers an inside perspective to Lewis's thinking during his formative years. Walter Hooper's insightful notes and biographical appendix of all the correspondents make this an irreplaceable reference for those curious about the life and work of one of the most creative minds of the modern era.
As an introduction to the world of Hebrew thought, Our Father Abraham is biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. At the same time, the writing is personal and passionate, reflecting Marvin Wilson's own spiritual pilgrimage and his extensive dialogue with Jews. The book (1) develops a historical perspective on the Jewish origins of the church, (2) sets forth the importance and nature of Hebrew thought, (3) discusses how the church can become more attuned to the Hebraic mind-set of Scripture, and (4) offers practical suggestions for interaction between Jews and Christians.
The study questions at the end of each chapter enhance the book's usefulness as a text and also make it suitable for Bible-study and discussion groups. All Christians--and Jews too--will profit from Wilson's sensible treatments of biblical texts, his thorough understanding of both the Christian and the Jewish faith, and his honest historical analysis of the general failure of the Christian church to acknowledge and understand its relation to Judaism.
In a chronicle that captures nearly two thousand years of inspiration and intrigue, John Julius Norwich recounts in riveting detail the histories of the most significant popes and what they meant politically, culturally, and socially to Rome and to the world. Norwich presents such popes as Innocent I, who in the fifth century successfully negotiated with Alaric the Goth, an invader civil authorities could not defeat; Leo I, who two decades later tamed (and perhaps paid off) Attila the Hun; the infamous “pornocracy”—the five libertines who were descendants or lovers of Marozia, debauched daughter of one of Rome’s most powerful families; Pope Paul III, “the greatest pontiff of the sixteenth century,” who reinterpreted the Church’s teaching and discipline; John XXIII, who in five short years starting in 1958 instituted reforms that led to Vatican II; and Benedict XVI, who is coping with today’s global priest sex scandal. Epic and compelling, Absolute Monarchs is an enthralling history from “an enchanting and satisfying raconteur” (The Washington Post).
Now organized around fourteen key moments in church history, this well-received text provides contemporary Christians with a fuller understanding of God as he has revealed his purpose through the centuries. This new edition includes a new preface; updates throughout the book; revised "further readings" for each chapter; and two new chapters, including one spotlighting Vatican II and Lausanne as turning points of the recent past.
Students in academic settings and church adult education contexts will benefit from this one-semester survey of Christian history.
In The Truth behind Truths, author Cedric Boswell shares the history of the Jews as revealed in the Bible. He asks pertinent questions not often seen in typical histories and provides Scriptures in support of his answers. Beginning with Adam, Boswell relates different stories of Jews in the Bible and how they are truly the chosen people of God.
Boswell argues that those who currently call themselves Jews do not fit the historic evidence in their looks or how they were dispersed from Israel. He discusses skin pigmentation and explains that many of the early Jewish people were black and not white. He then explores the subject of Gods elect, the genealogy of the Jews, and the tribes of Israel. In the last section, Boswell tackles the heavy yet crucial subject of redemption.
An unorthodox and intriguing study, The Truth behind Truths seeks to open your eyes to new questions and new perspectives on the Jews of the Bible.
Amidst scientists’ attempts to debunk Christianity’s truths and atheists’ assuming the Bible is a how-to-be-virtuous self-help book, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza resolves to both answer the tough questions and challenge believers as well as doubters to search for the ultimate truths about theories of origin. D’Souza tackles subjects and events such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, the Big Bang theory and Darwinism—everything you always pondered but never scrutinized, now placed under the proverbial microscope and studied thoroughly.
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
Triumph is that history. Inside, you'll discover the spectacular story of the Church from Biblical times and the early days of St. Peter—the first pope—to the twilight years of John Paul II. It is a sweeping drama of Roman legions, great crusades, epic battles, toppled empires, heroic saints, and enduring faith. And, there are stormy controversies: Dark Age skullduggery, the Inquistition, the Renaissance popes, the Reformation, the Church's refusal to accept sexual liberation and contemporary allegations like those made in Hitler's Pope and Papal Sin.
A brawling, colorful history full of inspiring pageantry and spirited polemic, Triumph will exhilarate, amuse, and infuriate as it extols the glories of Catholic history and the gripping stories of its greatest men and women.
From the Hardcover edition.