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Reviving Old Scratch

Reviving Old Scratch Author Richard Beck
ISBN-10 9781506401362
Release 2016-06-03
Pages 200
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The devil has fallen on hard times. Surveys say that even the majority of Christians doubt Satan’s existence. Burdened by doubts, skeptical believers find themselves divorced from Jesus’ dramatic confrontation with Satan in the Gospels and from the struggle that galvanized the early church. In Reviving Old Scratch, popular blogger and theologian Richard Beck reintroduces the devil to the modern world with a biblical, bold, and urgent vision of spiritual warfare: we must resist the devil by joining the kingdom of God’s subversive campaign to interrupt the world with love. Beck shows how conservative Christians too often overspiritualize the devil and demons, and progressive Christians reduce these forces to social justice issues. By understanding evil as a very real force in the world, we are better able to name it for what it is and thus to combat it as Jesus did. Beck’s own work in a prison Bible study and at a church for recovering addicts convinced him to take Satan more seriously, and they provide compelling illustrations as he challenges the contemporary—and strangely safe—versions of evil forces. The beliefs of liberals and conservatives alike will be tested by Beck’s groundbreaking ideas, fascinating stories, and clear thinking. Because if Jesus took Satan seriously, says Beck, then so should we.



The Slavery of Death

The Slavery of Death Author Richard Beck
ISBN-10 9781620327777
Release 2013-12-23
Pages 146
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According to Hebrews, the Son of God appeared to "break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." What does it mean to be enslaved, all our lives, to the fear of death? And why is this fear described as "the power of the devil"? And most importantly, how are we--as individuals and as faith communities--to be set free from this slavery to death?In another creative interdisciplinary fusion, Richard Beck blends Eastern Orthodox perspectives, biblical text, existential psychology, and contemporary theology to describe our slavery to the fear of death, a slavery rooted in the basic anxieties of self-preservation and the neurotic anxieties at the root of our self-esteem. Driven by anxiety--enslaved to the fear of death--we are revealed to be morally and spiritually vulnerable as "the sting of death is sin." Beck argues that in the face of this predicament, resurrection is experienced as liberation from the slavery of death in the martyrological, eccentric, cruciform, and communal capacity to overcome fear in living fully and sacrificially for others.



Stranger God

Stranger God Author Richard Beck
ISBN-10 9781506438412
Release 2017-11-01
Pages 256
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When Richard Beck first led a Bible study at a maximum security prison, he went to meet God. His own faith was flagging, but Beck still believed the promise of Matthew 25, that when we visit the prisoner, we visit Jesus. With his signature combination of biblical reflection, theological reasoning, and psychological insight, Beck shows how God always meets us in the marginalized and the refugee. God comes to us in the poor, the crippled, the smelly.



Angry Like Jesus

Angry Like Jesus Author Sarah Sumner
ISBN-10 9781506401867
Release 2015-11-01
Pages 200
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The Gospels include at least fifteen different stories about Jesus’ anger. Jesus’ anger shows us what godly anger is. Although sinful anger cannot achieve the righteousness of God, godly anger can rouse a sleeping church. Godly anger stirs people to wake up and be truthful so that many can be healed. Godly anger is the antidote to arrogance and addictions and senseless violence. It’s the cure for selfish fearfulness and complacency. It’s the spark for moral courage. It’s the match that lights new fire for renewal in the church.



The Authenticity of Faith

The Authenticity of Faith Author Richard Allan Beck
ISBN-10 0891123504
Release 2012-01-01
Pages 272
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Is faith simply a form of wishful thinking? Is belief in God merely a consoling illusion? So argued Sigmund Freud in The Future of an Illusion. And the force of Freud's argument continues to be felt as it features prominently among critics of religion such as the New Atheists. But was Freud right? Until now, few have directly examined the plausibility of Freud's argument. But here, in a groundbreaking analysis inspired by the religious types described by William James in his seminal The Varieties of Religious Experience, Richard Beck explores the motivational dynamics among "summer Christians" and "winter Christians." Further, across a variety of laboratory studies, Beck examines how Christians variously engage with art (exploring what Beck has dubbed "The Thomas Kinkade Effect"), doctrine (from the Incarnation to beliefs regarding the activity of the devil), and religious difference in a pluralistic world. In each instance, Beck analyzes the underlying motivations of the religious types, sifting through the varieties and illusions of religious experience.



Seed Falling on Good Soil

Seed Falling on Good Soil Author Gordon W. King
ISBN-10 9781498279369
Release 2016-05-16
Pages 198
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Seed Falling on Good Soil is a unique book that combines a historically informed approach to Lucan parables with a critical understanding of social justice issues of our own age. The author proposes that the stories told by Jesus were narratives of resistance challenging audiences to participate in the personal and social transformation of God's kingdom. The author's experience in international community development provides a perspective rarely found among New Testament specialists. The book uses stories from the margins of our current world to connect the message of the parables with global issues of poverty, ethnic violence, gender discrimination, hunger and oppression. This book will appeal to people who long for the healing of a wounded world.



51 Christian

51  Christian Author Mark Stenberg
ISBN-10 9781506401140
Release 2015-11-01
Pages 176
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God is not an idea. Christian faith is not a set of propositions you either believe or reject. According to a proper Trinitarian understanding, God is essentially relationship, a relationship of sheer, active, ecstatic, self-giving love. If we truly are encountered by this magnificent love of the Trinity, then faith becomes a living and active daily practice. Just like a healthy marriage or a close and loyal friendship, it becomes something you choose every day. This “51% Christian” moniker is a ridiculous label with a deadly serious point. You now have permission to doubt, to question, to get angry at God. But, in the end, it’s not about you. Faith is about relationship: a living, daily relationship, based on trust, and active in concrete, daily practices. With this sort of freedom in grace, Stenberg takes a fresh new look at theology, thirteen topics that, one by one, examine the best of what the Bible and the history of Christian practitioners have to say. Looking through this grace-based, radically relational lens, the author offers a lively and engaging discussion of topics such as creation, violence, love, death, heaven, and hell. You might not always agree. But you will not be bored.



Jesus Abba

Jesus  Abba Author John B. Cobb Jr.
ISBN-10 9781506405711
Release 2016-03-01
Pages 181
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The church has emphasized ideas about God that have marginalized Jesus’ understanding of his spiritual Father, his Abba. We commonly think of God as a demanding lawgiver and judge, an omnipotent ruler, or an ultimate philosophical principle. None of these works well today. In contrast, Jesus’ view of God as spiritual Abba still truly works when it is given a chance. Christians should be open to accepting the ideas of the one they call Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Abba, one of the greatest theologians of this generation boldly argues for a new view of God, through the eyes of Jesus. John B. Cobb Jr. interprets the whole of Jesus’ life and ministry, and death and resurrection, in light of Jesus’ understanding of God. He also shows that Paul shared this understanding and that it played a central role in Paul’s churches. Ultimately, Cobb argues that Jesus’ view of God fits our actual experience today, that it is supported by the evidence of the sciences, and that it encourages appreciative learning from other wisdom traditions and cooperation with them in redeeming the world. With this book, John B. Cobb Jr. makes his ultimate and most impassioned plea for us to rediscover God through Jesus.



Stars Beneath Us

Stars Beneath Us Author Paul Wallace
ISBN-10 9781506401423
Release 2016-03-01
Pages 164
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In ways both confident and gentle, Stars Beneath Us brilliantly shows God’s presence in the ever-evolving cosmos. Relying on his upbringing as a Baptist, his doctoral work in experimental nuclear physics and gamma-ray astronomy, and his ordination to the gospel ministry in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Paul Wallace weaves a book unlike any other in faith and science literature. Instead of engaging the debates of natural theology or proofs for the existence of God, this is a call to courage for those who fear a true encounter with the cosmos will distance them from God. With a winsome mix of compelling personal narrative and insightful biblical analysis, the author calls into perspective the scale of the cosmos and our place within it. Relying on a theology of openness to the world, Stars Beneath Us will inspire readers to engage with the natural world in new ways and find God, as it turns out, everywhere.



The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to Jesus

The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to Jesus Author Tripp Fuller
ISBN-10 9781506401256
Release 2015-11-01
Pages 176
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Christology is crazy. It’s rather absurd to identify a first-century homeless Jew as God revealed, but a bunch of us do anyway. In this book, Tripp Fuller examines the historical Jesus, the development of the doctrine of Christ, the questions that drove christological innovations through church history, contemporary constructive proposals, and the predicament of belief for the church today. Recognizing that the battle over Jesus is no longer a public debate between the skeptic and believer but an internal struggle in the heart of many disciples, he argues that we continue to make christological claims about more than an “event” or simply the “Jesus of history.” On the other hand, C. S. Lewis’s infamous “liar, lunatic, and Lord” scheme is no longer intellectually tenable. This may be a guide to Jesus, but for Christians, Fuller is guiding us toward a deeper understanding of God. He thinks it’s good news—good news about a God who is so invested in the world that God refuses to be God without us.



Original Blessing

Original Blessing Author Danielle Shroyer
ISBN-10 9781506420295
Release 2016-11-01
Pages 217
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Of the world’s three major religions, only Christianity holds to a doctrine of original sin. Ideas are powerful, and they shape who we are and who we become. The fact that many Christians believe there is something in human nature that is, and will always be, contrary to God, is not just a problem but a tragedy. So why do the doctrine’s assumptions of human nature so infiltrate our pulpits, sermons, and theological bookshelves? How is it so misconstrued in times of grief, pastoral care, and personal shame? How did we fall so far from God’s original blessing in the garden to this pervasive belief in humanity’s innate inability to do good? In this book, Danielle Shroyer takes readers through an overview of the historical development of the doctrine, pointing out important missteps and overcalculations, and providing alternative ways to approach often-used Scriptures. Throughout, she brings the primary claims of original sin to their untenable (and unbiblical) conclusions. In Original Blessing, she shows not only how we got this doctrine wrong, but how we can put sin back in its rightful place: in a broader context of redemption and the blessing of humanity’s creation in the image of God.



Sparrow Migrations

Sparrow Migrations Author Cari Noga
ISBN-10 147783088X
Release 2015-06-23
Pages
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An airplane plunges into an icy river and the world witnesses the dramatic rescue. Then, life after the Miracle on the Hudson landing puts three families on another crash course with their own fragile humanity. Airplane passenger Deborah DeWitt-Goldman knows her survival means one last chance to start the family she so badly desires no matter the cost to her marriage. Preacher s wife Brett Stevens witnesses the event from a ferry, burdened by a secret that could destroy her family. And while twelve-year-old Robby Palmer s desperate parents struggle to reach through the fog of his autism, the boy discovers a deep connection to the birds responsible for the crash. Now, all of them must navigate the crosscurrents of the consequences of their decisions and when their paths collide a second time, another miracle just might happen. Award-winning author Cari Noga s "Sparrow Migrations" is an inspiring, heartfelt look at the crucible of crisis and the power of human connection."



Making Love with Scripture

Making Love with Scripture Author Jacob D. Myers
ISBN-10 9781506402604
Release 2015-11-01
Pages 176
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Nothing has been more contentious in the history of Christianity than the meaning of the Bible, and that debate continues today. Arguments over scripture have divided denominations, churches, and families, and these squabbles have led many to abandon the faith altogether. Jacob D. Myers, a rising young scholar, has a solution to the problem with scripture. The instability of the Bible’s meaning, he argues, is not a weakness but a strength, and it can benefit conservatives and liberals alike. In a conversational style peppered with pop culture references, Myers provides a variety of tools for readers of the Bible, helping the experienced and inexperienced alike appreciate the sacred text in new ways. Finally, he proposes the intriguing alternative of an “erotic” interpretation, one that makes love with the Bible and opens new vistas of understanding.



The Triumph of Love

The Triumph of Love Author Eric Reitan
ISBN-10 9781498296267
Release 2017-07-31
Pages 306
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Recent years have witnessed an astonishing cultural and legal shift when it comes to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Many Christians see these changes as a defeat for Christian values, often painting Christian opponents as sell-outs to secular culture. But can there be a genuinely Christian case for same-sex marriage? This book makes that case. While sensitive to scriptural issues, it focuses on a question that cannot be answered by Scripture alone: What does love for our gay and lesbian neighbors demand? This question calls us to pair theological, philosophical, and scriptural reflection with something else: attention to gay and lesbian lives. We must attend to the psychological research and, more importantly, to the stories our gay and lesbian neighbors tell us about themselves and their experience. Love does not permit us to plug our ears with Bible verses. While this book argues that Christian love calls us to make same-sex marriage available, the deeper conclusion is that Christian values prevail when we wrestle with these questions in a spirit of love: love for those with whom we disagree, and love for those most affected by the decisions we reach.



Unclean

Unclean Author Richard Beck
ISBN-10 9780718892562
Release 2012
Pages 201
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"I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Echoing Hosea, Jesus defends his embrace of the "unclean" in the Gospel of Matthew, seeming to privilege the prophetic call to justice over the Levitical pursuit of purity. And yet, as missional faith communities are well aware, the tensions and conflicts between holiness and mercy are not so easily resolved. At every turn, it seems that the psychological pull of purity and holiness tempts the church into practices of social exclusion and a Gnostic "flight" from the world into a "too spiritual" spirituality. In an unprecedented fusion of psychological science and theological scholarship, Richard Beck describes the pernicious (and largely unnoticed) effects of the psychology of purity upon the life and mission of the church.



The Hedgehog the Fox and the Magister s Pox

The Hedgehog  the Fox  and the Magister s Pox Author Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN-10 9781400051533
Release 2003
Pages 273
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Draws on the philosophy of seventh century B.C. Greek soldier and poet Archilochus to challenge assumptions about an inescapable conflict between science and the humanities, rebut ideas from Edward O. Wilson's Consilience, and explain why the pursuit of knowledge must always operate in tandem with nature. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.



Hoping Against Hope

Hoping Against Hope Author John D. Caputo
ISBN-10 9781506401508
Release 2015-10-01
Pages 224
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John D. Caputo has a long career as one of the preeminent postmodern philosophers in America. The author of such books as Radical Hermeneutics, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida, and The Weakness of God, Caputo now reflects on his spiritual journey from a Catholic altar boy in 1950s Philadelphia to a philosopher after the death of God. Part spiritual autobiography, part homily on what he calls the “nihilism of grace,” Hoping Against Hope calls believers and nonbelievers alike to participate in the “praxis of the kingdom of God,” which Caputo says we must pursue “without why.” Caputo’s conversation partners in this volume include Lyotard, Derrida, and Hegel, but also earlier versions of himself: Jackie, a young altar boy, and Brother Paul, a novice in a religious order. Caputo traces his own journey from faith through skepticism to hope, after the “death of God.” In the end, Caputo doesn’t want to do away with religion; he wants to redeem religion and to reinvent religion for a postmodern time.