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Growing up in a neighborhood where crack cocaine and prostitution coexisted alongside a gospel-preaching old woman named Sister Lou, Shawnta Pulliam saw the futility of life around her in the "hood," yet knew deep inside she was born for something more-something great even. Still, with a drug-addicted mother and a father behind bars, the pull of the streets and deep emotional wounding took their toll, and she easily fell in with a crowd hurtling headlong in the wrong direction. A nervous breakdown that led to her breakthrough revived Shawnta's faith and stirred up the gifts God had planted in her long ago. Propelled by that faith, she watched as God opened door after door for her to walk through. Following her heart-cry, she eventually founded an organization called Nurturing Hearts for at-risk girls ages ten to eighteen. In Hell Bent, Heaven Bound, she reminds us all that God uses the things we like least about ourselves-and breathes purpose into them.
An inspirational account of mess, meals and miracles! When Chris Lane and his friends planted a church on an inner-city estate notorious for crime and deprivation, they could not imagine the rollercoaster ride that awaited. Committed to loving and living in one place - the Langworthy estate in Salford - they have spent 18 years seeing Jesus' hope and healing transforming even the darkest and most desperate situations. At the heart of Ordinary Miracles is an understanding of Jesus' meal table, and how Langworthy Community Church has seen the most unlikely people welcomed into Jesus' Kingdom as they share at His table and invite others to do the same. Be encouraged by the radical inclusivity of Jesus' invitation and the remarkable miracles that happen when we eat with Him!
America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin. "It's time we right this unacceptable wrong," says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week. In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.
Part One determines why sexuality has become a "taboo" issue for the Black church and community. Douglas examines the function of sexuality in White culture and the denigration and exploitation of Black sexuality through a discussion of White cultural myths, stereotypes, laws and customs concerning Black women and men. Part Two studies how Blacks have responded to sexual myths and stereotypes by retreating into silence on the subject of sexuality. In this section, Douglas discusses the function and role of sexuality in the Black church and community, homophobia/heterosexuality and how Black sexuality is portrayed in Black fictional literature. Finally, she explores the importance of sexuality and sexual discourse to the Christian theological mandate and to Black churches.
Aldous Huxley's 1932 book Brave New World foresees a world in which technological advances have obliterated morality and freedom. John Feinberg and Paul Feinberg, in the first edition of Ethics for a Brave New World, noted how Huxley landed frighteningly close to the truth. Their book responded to ethical crises such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and genetic engineering by looking to Scripture for principles to guide us through the moral quagmires of our time.
Now dramatically updated and expanded, this edition of Ethics for a Brave New World seeks to maintain the relevance, rigorous scholarship, and biblical faithfulness of the first edition. While many of the topics covered in the book remain the same, John Feinberg has revised each chapter to keep it current with contemporary trends and to respond to the most recent scholarship. There is a new chapter on stem cell research and greatly expanded material on issues such as homosexuality and genetic engineering. This important resource will be a valuable guide for students and those seeking answers to ethical dilemmas.
Christianity Expanding - Into Universal Spirituality takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the areas that need updating if Christianity is to flourish in the 21st Century. New science, ecological concern and the need for new theology are all converging into a maelstrom of change. With broad brushstrokes on a big canvas, a path of personal transformation is charted, drawing on the mysterious Perennial Wisdom teachings that have survived down the ages. Pulling no punches, Don MacGregor delves into typically taboo subjects such as reincarnation, drawing a distinction between Jesus and the Christ. This dynamic first volume of The Wisdom Series is an initial outline of areas that demand ongoing exploration.
If you are exploring doing something extraordinary for the glory of God among the nations, Ask A Missionary will give clarity and answers for a journey into missions. Because they have "been there," over one hundred missionaries from around the world, including Elisabeth Elliot, George Verwer, Phyllis Kilbourn, and Bill Stearns, share their insightful wisdom and practical advice on everything from making the decision to go, to stepping into a new life once on the field, and everything in between. The treasures amassed in this book will guide you toward serving in the most wonderful, challenging, God glorifying, eternity-impacting endeavor in the world: missions.
The sacred ethos of the American Dream has become a central pillar of American civil religion. The belief that meaning is fashioned from some mixture of family, friends, a stable career, and financial security permeates American culture. Profane Parables examines three films that assault this venerated American myth. Fight Club (1999), American Beauty (1999), and About Schmidt (2002) indict the American Dream as a meaningless enterprise that is existentially, ethically, and aesthetically bankrupt. In their blistering critique of the hallowed wisdom of the American Dream, these films function like Jesus' parables. As narratives of disorientation, Jesus' parables upend conventional and cherished worldviews. Author Matthew Rindge illustrates the religious function of these films as parables of subversion that provoke rather than comfort and disturb rather than stabilize. Ultimately, Rindge considers how these parabolic films operate as sacred texts in their own right.
"Citizenship is salvation," preached Noble Drew Ali, leader of the Moorish Science Temple of America in the early twentieth century. Ali's message was an aspirational call for black Americans to undertake a struggle for recognition from the state, one that would both ensure protection for all Americans under rights guaranteed by the law and correct the unjust implementation of law that prevailed in the racially segregated United States. Ali and his followers took on this mission of citizenship as a religious calling, working to carve out a place for themselves in American democracy and to bring about a society that lived up to what they considered the sacred purpose of the law. In The Aliites, Spencer Dew traces the history and impact of Ali's radical fusion of law and faith. Dew uncovers the influence of Ali's teaching, including the many movements it inspired. As Dew shows, Ali's teachings demonstrate an implicit, yet critical component of the American approach to law: that it should express our highest ideals for society, even if it is rarely perfect in practice. Examining this robustly creative yet largely overlooked lineage of African American religious thought, Dew provides a window onto religion, race, citizenship, and law in America.
Loneliness is increasingly recognized as a major public health crisis that is on the rise and impacting people of all ages. Addressing the crisis of loneliness from a fresh perspective, this book introduces belonging as an overlooked but critical aspect of a flourishing Christian life. Eric Jacobsen shows how three pieces of glass--the car windshield, TV, and smartphone--are emblematic of significant societal shifts that have created a cultural habit of physical isolation. We feel increasingly disconnected from the people and places around us. Jacobsen explains how adopting everyday practices and making changes in our neighborhoods can help us create a sense of belonging and rediscover what belonging in a place looks like. In order to effectively solve the problem of loneliness, we need to recover patterns and practices of community life that encourage us to form meaningful connections with people and stories that are part of the places where we live, work, and worship. To this end, Jacobsen offers four redemptive strategies for living a more intentional and spiritual life.
Christianity has often understood the death of Jesus on the cross as the sole means for forgiveness of sin. Despite this tradition, David Downs traces the early and sustained presence of yet another means by which Christians imagined atonement for sin: merciful care for the poor. In Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity , Downs begins by considering the economic context of almsgiving in the Greco-Roman world, a context in which the overwhelming reality of poverty cultivated the formation of relationships of reciprocity and solidarity. Downs then provides detailed examinations of almsgiving and the rewards associated with it in the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the New Testament. He then attends to early Christian texts and authors in which a theology of atoning almsgiving is developeda 2 Clement , the Didache , the Epistle of Barnabas , Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Cyprian. In this historical and theological reconstruction, Downs outlines the emergence of a model for the atonement of sin in Christian literature of the first three centuries of the Common Era, namely, atoning almsgiving, or the notion that providing material assistance to the needy cleanses or covers sin. Downs shows that early Christian advocacy of almsgiving's atoning power is located in an ancient economic context in which fiscal and social relationships were deeply interconnected. Within this context, the concept of atoning almsgiving developed in large part as a result of nascent Christian engagement with scriptural traditions that present care for the poor as having the potential to secure future reward, including heavenly merit and even the cleansing of sin, for those who practice mercy. Downs thus reveals how sin and its solution were socially and ecclesiologically embodied, a vision that frequently contrasted with disregard for the social body, and the bodies of the poor, in Docetic and Gnostic Christianity. Alms , in the end, illuminates the challenge of reading Scripture with the early church, for numerous patristic witnesses held together the conviction that salvation and atonement for sin come through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the affirmation that the practice of mercifully caring for the needy cleanses or covers sin. Perhaps the ancient Christian integration of charity, reward, and atonement has the potential to reshape contemporary Christian traditions in which those spheres are separated.
Donald Trump, a thrice-married, no-need-of-forgiveness, blustery billionaire who rarely goes to church, won more Evangelical Christian votes than any candidate in history on his way to winning the 2016 US presidential election. Veteran journalist Angela Denker set out to uncover why, traveling the United States for a year, meeting the people who support Trump, and listening to their rationale. In Red State Christians, readers will get an honest look at the Christians who gave the presidency to the unlikeliest candidate of all time. From booming, wealthy Orange County megachurches to libertarian farmers in Missouri to a church in Florida where the pastors carry guns to an Evangelical Arab American church in Houston to conservative Catholics on the East Coast--the picture she paints of them is enlightening, at times disturbing, but always empathetic. A must-read for those hoping to truly understand how Donald Trump became president.
Bernard Brady has given us a rare, delightful, and thought-provoking book - a volume that belongs on the desk or the bed-stand of anyone in search of the rich and varied dimensions of Christian love. Christians are taught that God is love and are commanded to love, their neighbours and their enemies. These truths are not controversial. What is controversial and, indeed, has been controversial throughout the history of Christianity is the meaning of this love. This book explores the tradition of Christian reflection on the meaning, and experience of love, loving, and being loved. Many books have been written about Christian love, but no book has gathered together this kind of primary source material and covered such a wide range of perspectives, allowing the reader to engage directly with the thought and experience of some of the greatest Christian minds on the topic of love. Bernard Brady covers with remarkable clarity the breadth and depth of discussions on Christian love from the Bible to contemporary experience to create this-a survey of how Christians through the ages have understood love. Beginning of course with the Bible, Brady examines the key writings and thinkers on the nature of Christian love: St. Augustine; mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewich, and Julian of Norwich; the great tradition and literature of courtly love, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Soren Kierkegaard, and others. In addition, Brady devotes chapters to several 20th century figures whose lives seemingly embodied Christian love: Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Pope John Paul II. Finally, Christian Love addresses contemporary deliberations over the meaning of love with an analysis of the modern writings of Martin D'Arcy, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jules Toner, Gustavo Gutierrez, Gene Outka, Margaret Farley, Edward Vacek, and Don Browning. In a synthesizing concluding chapter, Brady offers his own insightful and introspective understanding of the substance of Christian love, suggesting that it is an affective affirmation of another, that it is both responsive and unitive, and that it is steadfast and enduring. As a beautiful contemplative companion to one's own spiritual understanding, or as a thoughtful and meaningful gift, Christian Love is in every sense a treasure to behold, read, and share with those you love.
"Previously published (1990) by NavPress"--T.p. verso.
Some call today's refugee crisis a disaster. Patrick Johnstone sees divine blessings. Millions are on the move, driven by war, drought, terrorism, poverty, failed states, environmental catastrophes, disease, revolutions, and the desire for a better life. Christians have a unique perspective because Jesus was a refugee. So was Abraham. So was Joseph. So was Moses. 'God has used migration for millennia to achieve His purposes for His people,' says Johnstone, the pioneering missionary researcher and author of the bestselling book Operation World. 'He is doing so again in our time.' Today, some turn their backs on refugees. Patrick Johnstone helps us understand what's causing today's refugee crisis, explore Christian theology and tradition on migration, and see how Christian workers around the globe are opening their hearts to embrace these modern outcasts. 'The world has literally come to our doorstep,' says Johnstone. 'Will we open the door?'
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