Jon Sweeney, a self-described “evolved Protestant” and noted religious writer, has long been fascinated by the Catholic Church. However, it wasn’t until he was a young missionary in the Philippines that he truly began to understand the Church’s traditions, mysteries, and religious beliefs and its hold on those who follow the tradition. As he explains, Catholic spirituality is all about responding to the fundamental mystery of Jesus, the incarnation, and what it all meant in the beginning as well as what it means today. In Almost Catholic, Sweeney offers an appreciation of Catholicism, weaving in the story of his own explorations with those of others who have also been attracted to this tradition. He finds himself drawn to the Church’s ancient and medieval traditions out of a desire to connect with the deepest and widest paths on the way. Two millennia of saints and practices and teachings and mystery form a connection for him to the very beginnings of Christianity.
What if you could encounter the words of Jesus on their own, lifted up from the surrounding narratives and presented in their full power and mystery? That’s the question Phyllis Tickle—one of America’s most beloved writers on Christian spirituality—asked when she set out to write what she calls a “Sayings gospel.” In The Words of Jesus Tickle has compiled and arranged all the sayings of Jesus from the first four books of the New Testament and the first chapter of the Book of Acts in a way that creates an entirely new kind of encounter with the texts. And she has accompanied those sayings with her own personal reflections and commentaries not just on the words themselves but on the One who spoke them.
Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy reveals the happiness that awaits us if we strive for real spirituality. The stories are about pious rabbis and humble tailors, about dancing, singing, laughing, and crying, but their common denominator is always joyous ecstasy. Drawing us into a world of devotion, the tales allow us to taste the bliss that comes from a life lived from the very center of one's self. Each story comes alive in joy and produces a «holy shiver» that speaks to the soul.
What is a «holy woman,» or a holy man for that matter? According to the Jewish mystics, a holy person is someone who has not lost the holiness that every baby is born with. A holy person is someone who fulfills it. Stories about Jewish holy women have rarely been collected in such an engaging and entertaining form. The tales display a specifically female Jewish spirituality, giving us a peek into a world of devotional beauty that focuses on kindness. These stories of laughter and tears, humility and bravery, striving and trance, have an appeal spanning the denominational spectrum: they are spiritual nourishment for the soul. The rabbis say there are both male and female angels and angels are on earth as well as in heaven. These tales enhance our appreciation of the female angels on earth.
This insightful book offers business advice that has endured for thousands of years. While business fads come and go, the ancient lessons of the Talmud are timeless, profound, ethical, and practical–and they’re for everyone. Values, Prosperity, and the Talmud is a concise guide to this proven philosophy of business. Beyond basic money-related matters, it includes the Talmud’s advice on complex issues of employer/employee relationships, partnerships, competition, and much more. Here, you will learn how to run a successful business, negotiate with style, earn the loyalty of your employees, sell products successfully, advertise effectively, and make higher profits, all within an ethical and moral framework. Buy it today!
A Leadership Network Publication A New Kind of Christian's conversation between a pastor and his daughter's high school science teacher reveals that wisdom for life's most pressing spiritual questions can come from the most unlikely sources. This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity–where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institutional church structures, where faith is more about a way of life than a system of belief, where being authentically good is more important than being doctrinally «right,» and where one's direction is more important than one's present location. Brian McLaren's delightful account offers a wise and wondrous approach for revitalizing Christian spiritual life and Christian congregations. If you are interested in joining a discussion group devoted to a A New Kind of Christian please visit groups.yahoo.com/group/NKOC.
In Living the Sermon on the Mount, theologian and award-winning author Glen H. Stassen helps us to see that the revolutionary ideas in the Sermon on the Mount about loving and caring for each other, living in peace, and acting justly are not unattainable ideals but a recipe for wholeness and healing in our human relationships and deliverance from the vicious cycles that we get stuck in.
The Phoenix Affirmations, named for the town in which the principles were created and the mythological bird adopted by ancient Christians as a symbol of resurrection, offers disillusioned and spiritually homeless Christians and others a sense of hope and a more tolerant, joyful, and compassionate message than those we often hear from the media and some Christian leaders. These twelve central affirmative principles of Christian faith are built on the three great loves that the Bible reveals: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self. They reflect commitments to environmental stewardship, social justice, and artistic expression as well as openness to other faiths. Transcending theological and culture wars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, these principles ask believers and seekers alike to affirm their Christian faith in a fresh way.
"I join the ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the faith I love has been taken over by fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus but whose actions are anything but Christian." —Robin Meyers, from his «Speech Heard Round the World» Millions of Americans are outraged at the Bush administration's domestic and foreign policies and even angrier that the nation's religious conservatives have touted these policies as representative of moral values. Why the Christian Right Is Wrong is a rousing manifesto that will ignite the collective conscience of all whose faith and values have been misrepresented by the Christian Right. Praise for Why the Christian Right Is Wrong: «In the pulpit, Robin Meyers is the new generation's Harry Emerson Fosdick, George Buttrick, and Martin Luther King. In these pages, you will find a stirring message for our times, from a man who believes that God's love is universal, that the great Jewish prophets are as relevant now as in ancient times, and that the Jesus who drove the money changers from the Temple may yet inspire us to embrace justice and compassion as the soul of democracy. This is not a book for narrow sectarian minds; read it, and you will want to change the world.» —Bill Moyers «In this book, a powerful and authentic religious voice from America's heartland holds up a mirror to the Bush administration and its religious allies. The result is a vision of Orwellian proportions in which values are inverted and violence, hatred, and bigotry are blessed by one known as 'The Prince of Peace,' who called us to love our enemies. If you treasure this country and tremble over its present direction, this book is a must-read!» —John Shelby Spong author, The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love «This is a timely warning and a clarion call to the church to recover the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to a great nation to resist the encroachment of the Christian Right and of Christian fascism. Many of us in other parts of the world are praying fervently that these calls will be heeded.» —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"Jason Boyett's Pocket Guides are smart and hilarious. And they're sneaky too: You don't realize how much you're learning because you're having so much fun." —AJ Jacobs, author, The Year of Living Biblically Americans consistently identify the Bible as the most influential book in history, but seriously: are you really reading it? Probably not. If all you know about the Bible are a few Psalms and the Christmas story, then you're missing out on a book that's wilder, weirder, and more entertaining than you ever imagined. With a stealthy combo of entertainment and insight, Jason Boyett's Pocket Guide to the Bible fills the gaps in your religious education. It introduces you to the characters you must know, reveals the thrilling development of the biblical canon, and details the less-churchy parts of Scripture (hello, sex and violence!). Don't miss out on discovering How God employs talking donkeys, mentally unstable prophets, and helpful prostitutes in his master plan Which moral failures may result in an old-fashioned smiting Why Catholic Bibles include books some Protestants refuse to recognize Whether your New International Version of the Bible may in fact be demonic With Pocket Guide to the Bible, you'll finally realize what's so good about the Good Book.