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The Story We Find Ourselves in by Brian McLaren Book Summary:
In The Story We Find Ourselves In, Brian McLaren's witty and wise characters take on difficult, faith-busting themes, from evolution and evangelism to death and the meaning of life - and reveal that the answers to life's pressing spiritual questions often come from the most unlikely sources. Dan and Nero (and some new characters as well) invite reflection on the story we find ourselves in - that is, the narrative of God's presence and meaning in the world now and in the future.
The Story We Find Ourselves in by Brian D. McLaren Book Summary:
Book Two in The New Kind of Christian TrilogyThe Story We Find Ourselves In is the sequel to Brian D. McLaren's award-winning book A New Kind of Christian. His witty and wise characters take on difficult, faith-busting themes--from evolution and evangelism to death and the meaning of life--and reveal that the answers to life's pressing spiritual questions often come from the most unlikely sources. Dan and Neo (and some new characters as well) invite reflection on the story we find ourselves in--that is, the narrative of God's presence and meaning in the world now and in the future.
We Find Ourselves in Other People's Stories by Amy E. Robillard Book Summary:
We Find Ourselves in Other People's Stories: On Narrative Collapse and a Lifetime Search for Story is a collection of five essays that dissolves the boundary between personal writing and academic writing, a longstanding binary construct in the discipline of composition and writing studies, in order to examine the rhetorical effects of narrative collapse on the stories we tell about ourselves and others. Taken together, the essays theorize the relationships between language and violence, between narrative and dementia, between genre and certainty, and between writing and life.
Understand Emerging Church Theology by Jeremy Bouma Book Summary:
**3 Emergent Theology Response Books in 1!** Includes best selling books: •Reimagining the Kingdom: The Generational Development of Liberal Kingdom Theology from Schleiermacher to McLaren •The Gospel of Brian McLaren: A New Kind of Christianity for a Multi-Faith World •Reimagining the Christian Faith: Exploring the Emergent Theology of Doug Pagitt, Peter Rollins, Samir Selmanovic, and Brian McLaren On February 8, 2010 pastor and theologian Jeremy Bouma did something he thought he’d never do: He said “Goodbye, Emergent”! Once upon a time he was enamored by the "I-am-not-a-movement-but-a-conversation" known as the Emerging Church after entering a period of faith deconstruction and reconstruction nine years ago. Like many young adults, for the first time he was taking his faith in Jesus Christ seriously and asking a whole lot of questions along the way—which the Emergent Church helped foster and nurture. But then something happened: He came to realize the Emerging Church is a form of Christianity other-than the versions that currently exist but mirror those that have already existed, mainly the false theology of theological liberalism. Understand Emerging Church Theology is a bundle of three books representing his best selling work as a former Emergent insider and historical theologian. He offers it to help empower other interested Christians to respond to the foreign theology of the Emerging Church and do what Jude urges the Church to do: “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 3)
From Tablet to Table by Leonard Sweet Book Summary:
Worship Leader magazine has named From Tablet to Table one of the five best books of 2015! What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? From Tablet to Table invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God’s provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate “the most sacred item of furniture in every home” has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society.
Out of My Mind by WJ de Kock Book Summary:
We need a whole new mind to thrive in the twenty-first century, says Daniel Pink. As theologians we cannot escape the transition from the information age to the conceptual age of the twenty-first century. In the information age the theologian could give answers based on the best information, but in the twenty-first century information is on hand. Empathy and understanding however are in scant supply today. In the information age there was no room for doubt; certainty was the hallmark of a successful information worker. But today uncertainty is a certainty, thanks to globalization, the information revolution and even quantum mechanics. Uncertainty has been grafted into our collective consciousness. It therefore cannot be theological business as usual. It cannot be about giving answers; it is more about finding the best questions to be answered. It cannot be about winning theological arguments; it is more about living in God's regenerative story while we find ourselves in the liminal space of uncertainty. It cannot be about holding strong opinions; it is more about creating space for life, to allow God's generosity to flow through us. Out of My Mind tells the story of such a transition.
Live Forgiven by Jeff Warren Book Summary:
Book Summary Forgiveness. It s the cry of the human heart and yet few of us ever really live in it. Instead we strive to establish our worth through our performance, the approval of others, the latest self-help plan, or even religion. Do you struggle to shake the mistakes of your past? Do thoughts of the future bring anxiety? Are you troubled by unwanted patterns that have developed in your life? Maybe you re convinced that God is somewhere in the mix but the often contradictory expressions of religion have left your head spinning and heart wanting. Perhaps you re weary of an us against them brand of Christianity. Could it be that Jesus Christ has been lost in a religion that bears His name? Live Forgiven offers real answers for real life from a fellow traveler. Liberating truths combined with practical application will help you discover the unexpected freedom and boundless joy of living forgiven. Everything is about to change as you discover the life you never thought possible.
Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy by Randall E. Auxier,Douglas R. Anderson Book Summary:
Known as the working man's poet, the Boardwalk prophet, or simply, the Boss. If "love is a banquet at which we feed," Bruce Springsteen has provided much food for thought. In this collection of metaphysical probes, a gang of E-street philosophers will undress Bruce's deeper mysteries like irresistible Jersey girls. Can Springsteen settle the nature-nurture debate through his song "Born to Run"? What do the famous philosopher Ricuoer and Springsteen have in common in their depiction of time? These die-hard Springsteen fans, who just happen to be philosophers, compile an entertaining handbook to the field of Springsteen studies, covering topics like Springsteen's connection to Marx and the proletariat, Springsteen's concept of the soul, and his status as a poet.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves by J. Mark Thompson,Richard Tuch Book Summary:
The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Mentalizing Tales of Dating and Marriage is about the dynamics of intimate interpersonal relationships (dating and marriage) - how and why human pairings occur, what helps them function optimally and how therapists can intervene when they don't. J. Mark Thompson and Richard Tuch employ a multidimensional perspective that provides a variety of "lenses" through which intimate relationships can be viewed. The authors also offer a new model of couples therapy based on the mentalization model of treatment developed by Peter Fonagy and his colleagues. This book is aimed at those interested in the nature of intimate relationships as well as those wishing to expand their clinical skills, whether they are conducting one-on-one therapy with individuals struggling to establish and maintain intimate relations or are conducting conjoint treatment with troubled couples who have sought the therapist's assistance. Thompson and Tuch view relationships from a wide array of different perspectives: mentalization, attachment theory, evolutionary psychology, psychoanalysis, pattern recognition (neuroscience), and role theory. A mentalization based approach to couples therapy is clearly explained in a "how to" fashion, with concrete suggestions about how the therapist goes about clinically intervening given their expanded understanding of the dynamics of intimate relations outlined in the book. The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Mentalizing Tales of Dating and Marriage will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage therapists, and all those interested in both learning more about the dynamics of one-on-one intimate relationships (dating and marriage) from a truly multidimensional perspective and in learning how to conduct mentalization-based couples therapy.
Closure by Hilary Lawson Book Summary:
For over 2000 years our culture has believed in the possibility of a single true account of the world. Now this age is coming to a close. As a result there is a deep unease. We are lost both as individuals, and as a culture. In the new relativistic, post-modern era, we have no history, no right or moral action, and no body of knowledge. In their place is a plethora of alternative, and sometimes incompatible theories from 'fuzzy logic' to 'consilience' proposing a theory of everything. Closure is a response to this crisis. It is a radically new story about the nature of ourselves and of the world. Closure exposes the central questions of contemporary philosophy: language and meaning, of the individual and identity, of truth and reality, but it is also philosophical in the broader everyday sense that it enables us to make sense of where and who we are. A central principle, the process of closure, is shown to be at the heart of experience and language. As a theory of knowledge it has dramatic consequences for our understanding of the sciences, involving a reinterpretation of what science does and how it is able to do it. It similarly proposes a profound shift in the role of art and religion. But, above all, it reshapes our understanding of ourselves and the organisation of society, our goals and our capacity to achieve them. A superb new account of how order is created out of disorder, Closure is an exhilarating work of conceptual geography.
Life After Suffering by Chris Williams Book Summary:
Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor, once said that to be human is to suffer. Suffering is an unavoidable part of life, but how do we engage our suffering in a culture that teaches us to avoid suffering at all costs? Through the telling of two stories, the horrific death of his parents and the exiled Judeans of the sixth century BCE, Chris Williams offers a way of engaging suffering that questions the dominant voices of popular culture. Perhaps hope is not found in avoiding suffering at all costs, but by inviting others into our darkest moments.
This is My Story by Cleophus James LaRue Book Summary:
African American women continue to confess their call to ministry even when they know such a confession may cause them to face criticism and even ostracism from many of the same men and women who nurtured them in the faith. In This Is My Story, thirteen successful African American women clergy tell the powerful, inspirational, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of their calls and ministerial journeys, which they experienced in the midst of anguish, uncertainty, and in many cases unfriendly leadership environments. Each of the women includes a sermon of particular importance to her.
The Stories We Are by William Lowell Randall Book Summary:
William Lowell Randall explores the links between literature and life and speculates on the range of storytelling styles through which people compose their lives. In doing so, he draws on a variety of fields, including psychology, psychotherapy, theology, philosophy, feminist theory, and literary theory.
The Externally Focused Quest by Eric Swanson,Rick Rusaw Book Summary:
A practical approach for leaders to guide their congregations to become more externally focused The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community is designed for church leaders who want to transform their churches to become less internally focused and more oriented to the world around them. The book includes the clear guidelines on the ten changes congregations must adopt to become truly outwardly focused. This book is not about getting all churches to have an annual day of community service as a tactic but changing the core of who they are and how they see themselves as a part of their community. Outlines the ten changes needed for church leaders to transform their churches Presents a highly practical approach that shows leaders how to become more externally focused without having to give up programs that serve members A new volume in the popular Leadership Network Series This book reveals what it takes to make the major shift from an internal to external focus and how that affects church leadership.
Reimagining the Kingdom by Jeremy Bouma Book Summary:
"In this important guide, Jeremy Bouma explains how many who speak of the Kingdom of God do not mean what Jesus meant by it. If you are one who is attracted to the liberal gospel, this guide might just save your soul." —MICHAEL E. WITTMER, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Recently use of Kingdom language in evangelicalism has markedly increased, and rightly so, as the Kingdom is central to the gospel and teachings of Jesus. Several scholars have noted similarities between this language and Protestant liberalism. Yet they have not significantly explored how liberal theology is impacting evangelical notions of the Kingdom, and consequently the gospel. Reimagining the Kingdom traces the development of this language through four generations of liberals—from Schleiermacher to Ritschl, Rauschenbusch, and Tillich—to explore how their liberal language is affecting evangelical theology, as illustrated by progressive evangelical and Emergent Brian McLaren. By exploring how theological liberals define the human problem, understand that problem’s solution, and interpret the nature of the One who bore that solution, this book reveals an inextricable link between progressive evangelicalism and Protestant liberalism. It is vitally important that evangelicals understand the contours of liberal Kingdom theology to understand how it is affecting how evangelicals are showing and telling the gospel itself.
Comparative Religious Ethics by Darrell J. Fasching,Dell deChant,David M. Lantigua Book Summary:
This popular textbook has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent global developments, whilst retaining its unique and compelling narrative-style approach. Using ancient stories from diverse religions, it explores a broad range of important and complex moral issues, resulting in a truly reader-friendly and comparative introduction to religious ethics. A thoroughly revised and expanded new edition of this popular textbook, yet retains the unique narrative-style approach which has proved so successful with students Considers the ways in which ancient stories from diverse religions, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the lives of Jesus and Buddha, have provided ethical orientation in the modern world Updated to reflect recent discussions on globalization and its influence on cross-cultural and comparative ethics, economic dimensions to ethics, Gandhian traditions, and global ethics in an age of terrorism Expands coverage of Asian religions, quest narratives, the religious and philosophical approach to ethics in the West, and considers Chinese influences on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen Buddhism, and Augustine’s Confessions Accompanied by an instructor’s manual (coming soon, see www.wiley.com/go/fasching) which shows how to use the book in conjunction with contemporary films
The Post-Black and Post-White Church by Efrem Smith Book Summary:
A blueprint for missional, multi-ethnic Christian community Efrem Smith, an internationally recognized and innovative African-American leader, offers a workable plan for connecting theology, practical ministry models, and real stories of people in multi-ethnic Christian communities. Using the example of Jesus, Smith develops a theology of multi-ethnic and missional leadership. Embracing urban and ethnic subcultures such as hip-hop, this book provides a rich mix of multi-ethnic church development, reconciliation theology, missional church thinking, and Christian community. Provides a common-sense approach to creating a multi-ethnic Christian community Includes practical ministry models and real stories of people who are members of thriving multi-ethnic congregations Author is acclaimed African-American thought leader who planted and led a multi-ethnic churches of close to 1,000 and now leads a regional division of a denominational committed to ethnic, multi-ethnic, and missional churches This book is written for anyone wrestling with what it means to be a Christian in an increasingly multi-ethnic world polarized by class, politics, and race.
The Theology of Dallas Willard by Gary Black Book Summary:
Evangelical Christianity in the United States is currently in a dramatic state of change. Yet amidst this sometimes tumultuous religious environment a rather unique blend of both ancient and contemporary Christian theology has found its way into the hearts and minds of emerging generations of Christians. The Theology of Dallas Willard both describes and conveys the essence of this increasingly popular and perhaps mediating view of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Blending both a prophetic critique with pastoral encouragement, Willard's unique understanding of the reality present within a life lived as a disciple of Jesus in the kingdom of God is attracting both new and traditional Christians to reconsider their faith.
Books to Die For by John Connolly,Declan Burke Book Summary:
The world’s most beloved mystery writers celebrate their favorite mystery novels in this gorgeously wrought collection, featuring essays by Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin, and more. In the most ambitious anthology of its kind, the world’s leading mystery writers come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that reveal as much about the authors and their own work as they do about the books that they love, over a hundred authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Agatha Christie to Lee Child, from Edgar Allan Poe to P. D. James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Lord Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the best of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and for those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought…I want more!
Heaven Is a Place on Earth by Michael E. Wittmer Book Summary:
I don’t want to go to heaven. Not that I’m lobbying for the other place . . .—Michael WittmerThis planet is more than just a stopover on your way to heaven. It is your final destination. God wants you to enjoy your earthly existence, and to think otherwise is to miss the life he intends for you.Exploring the book of Genesis, Heaven Is a Place on Earth gently but firmly strips away common misconceptions of Christianity and broadens your worldview to reveal the tremendous dignity and value of everyday life. Taking you from creation, to the fall, to redemption, and to glimpses from the book of Revelation, Michael Wittmer opens your eyes to a faith that encompasses all of life—baseball games, stock reports, church activities, prayer, lovemaking, work, hobbies . . . everything that lies within the sphere of human activity. To be fully Christian is to be fully human, says Wittmer, alive and responsive to the kingdom of God in all that you are and all that you do.Discover the freedom and impact God created you for. It starts with a truly Christian worldview. And its fruit is the undiluted gospel, powerful not only to save souls, but to restore them to a life that is truly worth living.Includes discussion/reflection questions after each chapter.
Baptists and the Emerging Church Movement by David Mark Rathel Book Summary:
In Baptists and the Emerging Church Movement, David Rathel examines the major ecclesiological proposals of the emerging church movement. Though many theologians argue that the emerging church movement emphasizes epistemology, Rathel contends that its primary concern is ecclesiology. Emerging church leaders offer a number of important ecclesiological proposals, including restructuring traditional church leadership models to accommodate the rise of postmodernity, changing the mission of the church so that the church may strike a more "missional" tone in contemporary culture, removing the categories of "in" or "out" within the church body, and adopting the multi-site church model. In assessing these proposals, Rathel draws upon historic Baptist convictions about the nature of the church, using Baptists' ecclesiological distinctives and long history of ecclesiological thought as a helpful reference point. This book will not only serve as a guide for those who wish to learn of emerging church ecclesiology, it will also be an aid to Baptists who wish to evaluate recent trends in ecclesiology in light of their denominational distinctives.
Your Church in Rhythm by Bruce B. Miller Book Summary:
A gentle new way for church leader’s to survive stress and burnout Bruce Miller debunks the idea of balance—basically trying to have it all, all the time. Most churches and their pastors try to do everything at once and feel guilty if any one aspect (worship, ministries, outreach, etc.) is neglected. He replaces the exhausting concept of balance with the idea of rhythm: churches, like people, need to give attention to different programs and ministries at different times, basically by attending to their seasons and cycles. Offers an innovative new model for church leaders Miller has been influential in the formation and promotion of “Church-Based Training” as in international movement Offers a proven method for avoiding burnout for church leaders and members by doing the right things at the right time The author offers much-need help to overwhelmed leaders and shows them how to apply Miller’s seasonal/cyclical approach to church life.
Missional: Impossible! by Francis Rothery Book Summary:
Mainline Christianity in the West is dying. Addiction to hierarchical and bureaucratic power is killing it. A management-god and a mission-god have usurped the Way of Christ. In the midst of decline the missional movement is attempting to reboot the church. Its goal is to remake a New Christian West through mission, leadership, mapping, and planning. Yet it is trapped in the language and methods of modernity. Its final solution is a polarizing vision of cultural domination by one social group, the Christians. The Way of Life and Truth has been forgotten. Christ is not a conquering King, a written Word, or an absolute Idea, but a divine Human Being. Social wholeness can only be realized through a rediscovery of Conversation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment. These reflect Christ's practices of eternal dialogue and reciprocal giving in small communities. Through this mutual Way of Life people of all faiths (and none) can discover deep within themselves Our Un/Known G-d. A gentle voice is whispering in the heart of all humanity, I am . . . the Way.
Preaching the Parables by Richard Louie Sheffield Book Summary:
People love to share good stories -- but above all, they remember them Jesus knew this, so the master storyteller's most powerful sermons -- the parables -- were earthly stories that used everyday imagery to communicate heavenly meaning. In this volume, Sheffield helps you tell the story by expanding on 14 of Jesus' parables appearing in Cycle A and bringing them into a more modern setting. The parables of Jesus as familiar, predictable Sunday school stories? Not when Richard Sheffield is doing the preaching and teaching -- Ginny Thornburgh (Board of Trustees, Princeton Theological Seminary)
Missional Communities by Reggie McNeal Book Summary:
The third book in the trilogy that explores the popular missional movement From Reggie McNeal, the bestselling author of The Present Future and Missional Renaissance, comes the third book in the series that helps to define and illuminate the popular missional movement. This newest book in the trilogy examines a natural outgrowth of the move toward a missional orientation: the deconstruction of congregations into very small Christian communities. For all those thousands of churches and leaders who have followed Reggie McNeal's bold lead, this book details the rise of a new life form in churches. Discusses how to move a church from an internal to an external ministry focus Reggie McNeal is a recognized leader in the missional movement Outlines an alternative to the program church model that is focused on the projects and passions of the congregants This book draws on McNeal's twenty years of leadership roles in local congregations and his work over the last decade with thousands of clergy and church leaders.
Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem,Roger Patterson Book Summary:
LEADING FROM THE SECOND CHAIR will raise awareness of the need for strong leaders in secondary positions. It will describe the value they can bring to their organization and to primary leaders when they are serving at their full potential. It will reshape the way they view their role, with an emphasis on their own responsibility as leaders. It recognizes the unique challenges and frustrations of serving in a subordinate position and equips these leaders with the attitudes and skills that they will need to survive and thrive in this new paradigm. Because of the scarcity of resources for second chair leaders, particularly those in the church, this book will offer a practical way to improve the performance of any organization. Leading Congregational Change discussed the importance of a "vision community"--a diverse group of key members who discern and implement the vision for a congregation--to guide the transformation of a church. This work will extend the theme of an empowered leadership team as we explore how individual clergy and laity can lead effectively.
Missional Map-Making by Alan Roxburgh Book Summary:
Guidance for church leaders to develop their own maps and chart new paths toward stronger, more vibrant, and more missional congregations In the burgeoning missional church movement, churches are seeking to become less focused on programs for members and more oriented toward outreach to people who are not already in church. This fundamental shift in what a congregation is and does and thinks is challenging for leaders and congregants. Using the metaphor of map-making, the book explains the perspective and skills needed to lead congregations and denominations in a time of radical change over unfamiliar terrain as churches change their focus from internal to external. Offers a clear guide for leaders wanting to transition to a missional church model Written by Alan Roxburgh, a prominent expert and practitioner in the missional movement Guides leaders seeking to create new maps for leadership and church organization and focus A Volume in the popular Leadership Network Series This book is written to be accessible to all Christian congregational styles and denominations.
Emmaus by Stephen Cottrell,Steven Croft,Felicity Lawson,John Finney,Robert Warren Book Summary:
Emmaus: The Way of Faith is a course designed to welcome people into the Christian faith and the life of the Church. Knowing God is designed to deepen new Christiansâ (TM) understanding of the basics of Christian doctrine, addressing questions about the role of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives.
Renewing Your Christian Self by Cheryl Dickow Book Summary:
This revised edition of an award-winning Bible study now includes the engaging look at 15 women of the Old and New Testaments and an expanded section on the Holy Spirit. The popular format includes a prayer at the end of each chapter, relevant Scripture verses, and weekly activities that ensure more personal revelations for the reader. (Christian)
River of God by Douglas D. Priest,Stephen E. Burris Book Summary:
River of God is an introduction to world missions aimed at undergraduate students. However, the readers will soon discover that the book is rich in its content far beyond the editors' original plan. It serves as a reader for people with various levels of missiological interest and competence and deals with cutting-edge issues in missions. This book introduces a new paradigm, Kingdom Missiology, which builds on shalom in the Old Testament and as Jesus applied to the Kingdom of God in the New Testament. The first half of the book looks at Kingdom Missiology from the biblical, historical, and cultural dimensions. The second half of the book describes helpful strategies in the implementation of this paradigm. The importance of urban ministry is woven throughout the book.
The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2013 by David N. Mosser Book Summary:
Pastors and other preachers have long turned to The Abingdon Preaching Annual for help with one of the central tasks of their ministry: sermon preparation. The 2013 edition of the Annual continues and, in response to our faithful readers, improves this fine tradition. Sermon helps include: lectionary-based sermons for each Sunday and special liturgical event of the year; lectionary commentary; and 15 topical sermon series on diverse themes like missions, modern families, life in the Holy Spirit, stewardship, and more. Worship planning aids include a four-year liturgical event calendar Guide to liturgical colors; 2013 lectionary readings in one, easy-to-read table; and related worship aids following each lectionary sermon, and each sermon series. The Abingdon Preaching Annual, always a trusted resource, is the most comprehensive and useful aid for sermon preparation you will find.