How Jesus Saves the World from Us

Author: Morgan Guyton
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 161164660X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Christianity has always been about being saved. But today what Christians need saving from most is the toxic understanding of salvation we've received through bad theology. The loudest voices in Christianity today sound exactly like the religious authorities who crucified Jesus. This is a book for Christians who are troubled by what we've become and who want Jesus to save us from the toxic behaviors and attitudes we've embraced. Each of the 12 chapters proposes an antidote for the toxicity that has infiltrated Christian culture, such as "Worship not Performance, "Temple not Program," and "Solidarity not Sanctimony." Each chapter includes thought-provoking discussion questions, perfect for individual or group study. There are many reasons to lose hope about the state of our world and our church, but Guyton offers one piece of good news: Jesus is saving the world from us, one Christian at a time.

Gaslight

Author: Joachim Kalka
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681371189
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"In this sparkling essay collection, Joachim Kalka delves into the mythos of the nineteenth century, exploring our fascination with its "auratic gaslight," its mingling of romanticism and modernity, enlightenment and darkness. "To gaze back at the nineteenth century is to confront an era which. easily inspires a kind of sentimental scorn. And yet in this era's depths lie all the things that grin at us today with the Medusa's gaze of the unsolvable problem." Here we find the roots of our contemporary preoccupations: gender roles and sexuality, terrorism and technology, mad scientists and serial killers, kitsch and commodification. With wit and erudition, Kalka musters a wealth of (pop) cultural references to draw illuminating connections between Schiller and the surveillance state, Balzac and Billy Wilder, Mickey Mouse and the arms race, the cake fights of Laurel and Hardy and the wedding cake of Madame Bovary. With a keen feel for buried tensions and ironies, he probes the suppressed biography of Wagner's Brunnhilde, or such grotesque historical phenomena as the symbiosis between anti-Semitism and German gemutlichkeit. Kalka brings the nineteenth century to life with all its contradictions, aspirations, and absurdities, inviting us to reexamine that era and our own, and the stories we tell ourselves about history"--

Cancer Is Funny

Author: Jason Micheli
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 1506408486
Format: PDF, Docs
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Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn’t classify it with one of the normal four stages—they simply called it “stage-serious.” As Micheli struggled with despair and faced his own mortality, he resolved that although cancer kills the body, it would not kill his spirit, faith, or sense of humor. Micheli knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approaching cancer as fodder for some bowel-busting humor helps, too. His reflections are not trite. Instead, he writes honestly about being stricken with lethal cancer in the midst of a promising career and raising two young children. He struggles with his commitment to the God who, as he writes, may or may not be doing this to him. Because figuring this out for himself—not to mention explaining it to his congregation and his sons—is so important that theology is now a matter of life and death. This is a funny, no-holds-barred, irreverent-yet-faithful take on the disease that touches every family. Micheli’s story teaches us all how to stay human in dehumanizing situations—how to keep living in the face of death.

Forward Together

Author: William J. Barber II
Publisher: Chalice Press
ISBN: 0827244940
Format: PDF, Mobi
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North Carolina's Moral Monday protests have drawn tens of thousands of protestors in what has been called the new Civil Rights Movement. Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation shares the theological foundation for the Moral Monday movement, serving as a proclamation of a new American movement seeking equal treatment and opportunity for all regardless of economic status, sexual preference, belief, race, geography, and any other discriminatory bases. The book will also serve as a model for other movements across the country and around the world using North Carolina as a case study, providing useful, practical tips about grassroots organizing and transformative leadership.

Jesus Outside the Lines

Author: Scott Sauls
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 1496403835
Format: PDF
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Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today’s media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the bickering and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts. Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Scott shows us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive fray. Jesus offers us a way forward—away from harshness, caricatures, and stereotypes. In Jesus Outside the Lines, you will experience a fresh perspective of Jesus, who will not (and should not) fit into the sides.

Is It Time

Author: Adolf Hansen
Publisher: Abingdon Press
ISBN: 1501859749
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Conversations about human sexuality are taking place all over The United Methodist Church--in local congregations, among leaders, and in conferences. Adolf Hansen, an ordained elder who is theologian-in-residence at St. Luke’s UMC, Indianapolis, contributes to this conversation by presenting questions for laity and clergy to explore as they engage in open dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual respect, even when the conversation partners disagree. The author says, "My hope is that persons who read this book will become aware of the wide variety of issues related to the subject of homosexuality; will be encouraged to reflect on each of them; will think through the meaning of whatever answers they give to the questions the book raises; will grapple with the implications of the stances they take; and will engage in conversations with others—both in a one-on-one setting and in a group." (from the Introduction) When we do that, he argues, we can move on to the wider issues and give our full attention to the mission of the Church: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. From the Faultlines collection, resources intended to inform conversations around human sexuality and the church.

The Answer to Bad Religion Is Not No Religion Leader s Guide

Author: Martin Thielen
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 066425960X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Perfect for group study, the leader's guide provides everything needed to facilitate sessions and provide options based on the time and style of each group. If you think the only logical response to bad Christianity is to leave Christianity completely, this book is for you. In an effort to help those who’ve been hurt by or turned off by negative religion, Martin Thielen explains that there is an alternative to abandoning religion: good religion. Thielen uses personal stories to illustrate the dangers of religion that is judgmental, anti-intellectual, and legalistic. While addressing the growth of the new atheism movement and the “Nones” (people that have no religious affiliation), this book argues that leaving religion is not practical, not helpful, and not necessary. Thielen provides counterparts to the characteristics of bad religion, explaining that good religion is grace-filled, promotes love and forgiveness, and is inclusive and hope-filled. This study is perfect for individual, group, or congregational study.

The Next Christians

Author: Gabe Lyons
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 030771618X
Format: PDF
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Turn on a cable news show or pick up any news magazine, and you get the impression that Christian America is on its last leg. The once dominant faith is now facing rapidly declining church attendance, waning political influence, and an abysmal public perception. More than 76% of Americans self-identify as Christians, but many today are ashamed to carry the label. While many Christians are bemoaning their faith’s decline, Gabe Lyons is optimistic that Christianity’s best days are yet to come. In the wake of the stunning research from his bestselling book, unChristian, which revealed the growing disenchantment among young generations for Christians, Lyons has witnessed the beginnings of a new iteration of the faith. Marked by Lyons’ brutal honesty and unvarying generosity, Lyons exposes a whole movement of Christians—Evangelicals, Mainline, Protestants, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and others—who desire to be a force for restoration even as they proclaim the Christian Gospel. They want the label Christian to mean something good, intelligent, authentic, and beautiful. The next generation of Christians, Lyons argues, embodies six revolutionary characteristics: “When Christians incorporate these characteristics throughout the fabric of their lives, a fresh, yet orthodox way of being Christian springs forth. The death of yesterday becomes the birth of a great tomorrow. The end of an era becomes a beautiful new beginning. In this way, the end of Christian America becomes good news for Christians.” In THE NEXT CHRISTIANS, Lyons disarms readers by speaking as a candid observer rather than cultural crusader. Where other people shout, Lyons speaks in a measured tone offering helpful analysis of our current reality while casting a vision for how to be a Christian in a world disenchanted with the faith. Both a celebration and a reckoning, THE NEXT CHRISTIANS combines current day models and relevant research with stories of a new generation of Christian leaders. If you are worried by what you see transpiring around you, this book will take you on a surprising social exploration in hopes that you too will restore confidence in your faith. From the Hardcover edition.

Fabricating Faith

Author: Richard Hagenston
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781598151466
Format: PDF, Docs
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According to Hagenston, Jesus had such a hard edge when it came to Gentiles that he coined his own unflattering term for them-dogs. He limited what he was offering strictly to Jews. Yet the religion that began in his name quickly transformed into a predominantly Gentile movement centered on human sacrifice, a practice rejected by Judaism long before Jesus came on the scene. How did this happen? Hagenston exposes the roots of brutal justice underpinning traditional Christianity, but finds hope in a Jewish movement toward grace that preceded and influenced the historical Jesus.

I Feel Like Going On

Author: Ray Lewis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501112376
Format: PDF
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In this New York Times bestselling memoir, Ray Lewis—legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker and one of the greatest defensive players of his generation—holds nothing back on the state of football as well as his troubled childhood, his rise to athletic greatness, the storm that threatened to ruin his NFL career, and the devastating injury that nearly cost him a final moment of glory. Ray Lewis is undeniably one of the biggest names in football—not only for his seventeen years in the NFL, but also for the dramatic events that nearly brought his career to a halt in 2000. In his memoir, Lewis shares honest accounts of his difficult childhood and delves into the anguish and controversy that he found away from the game. But these heartbreaks gave him the courage to trust in God and continue his dream to play for the NFL and win the Super Bowl. From a rookie player to a football veteran, Lewis has experienced everything imaginable during his football career, and has become one of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL. I Feel Like Going On is the story of his incredible journey, and a sincere look at the most popular sport in America from one of football’s most revered players.