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* Reflections on tradition and change for the twenty-first-century church * Something for both newcomers and those familiar with liturgy and spirituality Like the scribe and master of the household cited by Jesus in Matthew 13, Re-membering God "brings out of treasure what is new and what is old," and empowers us to go and do likewise. As both critique and encouragement for the church in the early part of the twenty-first century, it seeks to reclaim the foundational riches of the church's liturgy and spirituality in the face of cul-tural change. These resources, some lost or neglected and others under-utilized, can help rebuild the church, raising up what has been cast down and renewing what has grown old. This series of reflections explore with discernment what is "fashionable," and acknowledge the deepest and most endur-ing human needs and hopes, which only God can answer. Re-membering God puts liturgical and spiritual practice into terms easily understood by both newcomers and seasoned devotees, for the benefit of this and future generations. Understanding the value of the past and with an eye to the future, this book will inform our next conversations about evangelism and church growth.
August Hermann Francke described his conversion to Pietism in gripping terms that included intense spiritual struggle, weeping, falling to his knees, and a decisive moment in which his doubt suddenly disappeared and he was "overwhelmed as with a stream of joy." His account came to exemplify Pietist conversion in the historical imagination around Pietism and religious awakening. Jonathan Strom's new interpretation challenges the paradigmatic nature of Francke's narrative and seeks to uncover the more varied, complex, and problematic character that conversion experiences posed for Pietists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Grounded in archival research, German Pietism and the Problem of Conversion traces the way that accounts of conversion developed and were disseminated among Pietists. Strom examines members' relationship to the pious stories of the "last hours," the growth of conversion narratives in popular Pietist periodicals, controversies over the Busskampf model of conversion, the Dargun revival movement, and the popular, if gruesome, genre of execution conversion narratives. Interrogating a wide variety of sources and examining nuance in the language used to define conversion throughout history, Strom explains how these experiences were received and why many Pietists had an uneasy relationship to conversions and the practice of narrating them. A learned, insightful work by one of the world's leading scholars of Pietism, this volume sheds new light on Pietist conversion and the development of piety and modern evangelical narratives of religious experience.
This book offers a creative and illuminating discussion of Protestant theology. Veteran teacher Phillip Cary explains how Luther's theology arose from the Christian tradition, particularly from the spirituality of Augustine. Luther departed from the Augustinian tradition and inaugurated distinctively Protestant theology when he identified the gospel that gives us Christ as its key concept. More than any other theologian, Luther succeeds in carrying out the Protestant intention of putting faith in the gospel of Christ alone. Cary also explores the consequences of Luther's teachings as they unfold in the history of Protestantism.
The Spiritual Baptist Church, thought to be present in the English-speaking Caribbean from about the late nineteenth century, has long been a fairly potent force in the daily life of the islanders, although its effect has varied depending on the island concerned. Certainly, in Trinidad and St Vincent, the movement has had considerable visibility over the years; and in those countries, its evolution and development have seen the movement take a prestigious place as a respected religious institute in the last two or three decades. However, the movement only extended to Barbados in 1957 when a Spiritual Baptist preacher, a Barbadian by birth, returned to his native island from Trinidad, where he had been living for several years. The Reverend Granville Williams established the first Spiritual Baptist Church in Barbados and has continued to oversee the church's development since its inception. The Barbados Spiritual Baptist Church is an important example of a new religious movement that was introduced into the island fifty years ago and has undergone transformation from a disparaged religious cult into a settled and accepted denomination. Appearing at a time when the island was a British colony, the founder appealed to the masses, who were suffering from material deprivation, economic hardship and a pervasive sense of hopelessness about their future. He set out new possibilities for the black underclass and evoked the idea that Jesus was black and that blacks had a rightful place in the kingdom of Heaven. Ye Shall Dream is an insightful, richly illustrated biography of both the church and its founder, in the context of a Caribbean island country coming to terms with its post-colonial identity.
This Doctrine, while it lays man's pride low, gives him an anchor of hope sure and steadfast, drawing him to Heaven; for his hope is founded not in the weakness, folly, and fickleness of his human will, but in the eternal love, wisdom, power of almighty God.
When Joseph Smith ran for president as a radical protest candidate in 1844, Mormons were a deeply distrusted group in American society, and their efforts to enter public life were met with derision. When Mitt Romney ran for president as a Republican in 2008 and 2012, the public had come to regard Mormons as consummate Americans: patriotic, family-oriented, and conservative. How did this shift occur? In this collection, prominent scholars of Mormonism, including Claudia L. Bushman, Richard Lyman Bushman, Jan Shipps, and Philip L. Barlow, follow the religion's quest for legitimacy in the United States and its intersection with American politics. From Brigham Young's skirmishes with the federal government over polygamy to the Mormon involvement in California's Proposition 8, contributors combine sociology, political science, race and gender studies, and popular culture to track Mormonism's rapid integration into American life. The book takes a broad view of the religion's history, considering its treatment of women and African Americans and its portrayal in popular culture and the media. With essays from both Mormon and non-Mormon scholars, this anthology tells a big-picture story of a small sect that became a major player in American politics.
"Explores the intersection of church and state history"
Guided by a penchant for self-reflection and thoughtful discussion, Presbyterians have long been pulled in conflicting directions in their perceptions of their shared religious mission--with a tension that sometimes divides hearts as well as congregations. In this first comprehensive history of the Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma, historians Michael Cassity and Danney Goble reveal how Oklahoma Presbyterians have responded to the demands of an evolving society, a shifting theology, and even a divided church.
Beginning with the territorial period, Cassity and Goble examine the dynamics of Presbyterian missions among the Five Tribes in Indian Territory and explain how Presbyterians differed from other denominations. As they trace the Presbyterian journey, they examine the way Presbyterians addressed the evil of slavery and the dispossession of Oklahoma's Indians; the challenges of industrial society; the modern issues of depression, war, and racial injustice; and concerns of life and faith with which other Americans have also struggled.
An insightful and independent history that draws upon firsthand accounts of congregations and church members across the state, "Divided Hearts" attests to the courage of Presbyterians in dealing with their struggles and shows a church very much at work--and at home--in Oklahoma.
Peter McAuslan heeded Mormon missionaries spreading the faith in his native Scotland in the mid-1840s. The uncertainty his family faced in a rapidly industrializing economy, the political turmoil erupting across Europe, the welter of competing religions--all were signs of the imminent end of time, the missionaries warned. For those who would journey to a new Zion in the American West, opportunity and spiritual redemption awaited. When McAuslan converted in 1848, he believed he had a found a faith that would give his life meaning.
A few years later, McAuslan and his family left Scotland for Utah, but soon after he arrived, his doubts grew about the religious community he had joined so wholeheartedly. Historian Polly Aird tells the story of how McAuslan first embraced, then came to question, and ultimately renounced the Mormon faith and left Utah. It would be the most courageous act of his life.
In "Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector," Aird tells of Scottish emigrants who endured a harrowing transatlantic and transcontinental journey to join their brethren in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. But to McAuslan and others like him, the Promised Land of Salt Lake City turned out to be quite different from what was promised: droughts and plagues of locusts destroyed crops and brought on famine, and U.S. Army troops threatened on the borders. Mormon leaders responded with fiery sermons attributing their trials to divine retribution for backsliding and sin. When the leaders countenanced violence and demanded absolute obedience, Peter McAuslan decided to abandon his adopted faith. With his family, and escorted by a U.S. Army detachment for protection, he fled to California.
"Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector "reveals the tumultuous 1850s in Utah and the West in vivid detail. Drawing on McAuslan's writings and other archival sources, Aird offers a rare interior portrait of a man in whom religious fervor warred with indignation at absolutist religious authorities and fear for the consequences of dissension. In so doing, she brings to life a dramatic but little-known period of American history.
This book is the first new devotional resource of its kind for Episcopalians in more than two generations. It includes devotions to mark the rhythm of the day (brief prayers at fixed hours); the mystery of time and the rhythm of the week, the months, and the Christian year; self-examination and preparation for reconciliation and the Eucharist; intercessory prayers; devotions to the Mother of Jesus; praying with the saints; plus praying with icons. Each section of the book will open with a brief introduction and "teaching" by Bishop Griswold, guiding the reader in the effective use of the material.
Gospel-Centered Theology for Today Evangelical Theology, Second Edition helps today's readers understand and practice the doctrines of the Christian faith by presenting a gospel-centered theology that is accessible, rigorous, and balanced. According author Michael Bird the gospel is the fulcrum of Christian doctrine; the gospel is where God meets us and where we introduce the world to God. And as such, an authentically evangelical theology is the working out of the gospel in the various doctrines of Christian theology. The text helps readers learn the essentials of Christian theology through several key features, including: A "What to Take Home" section at end of every part that gives readers a run-down on all the important things they need to know. Tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion to help reinforce key ideas and concepts A "Comic Belief" section, since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, so that readers enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure. Now in its second edition, Evangelical Theology has proven itself in classrooms around the world as resource that helps readers not only understand the vital doctrines of Christian theology but one that shows them how the gospel should shape how they think, pray, preach, teach, and minister in the world.
Jane Dawson has written the definitive life of John Knox, a leader of the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Scotland. Based in large part on previously unavailable sources, including the recently discovered papers of Knox's close friend and colleague Christopher Goodman, Dawson's biography challenges the traditionally held stereotype of this founder of the Presbyterian denomination as a strident and misogynist religious reformer whose influence rarely extended beyond Scotland. She maintains instead that John Knox relied heavily on the support of his "godly sisters" and conferred as well as argued with Mary, Queen of Scots. He was a proud member of the European community of Reformed Churches and deeply involved in the religious Reformations within England, Ireland, France, Switzerland, and the Holy Roman Empire. Casting a surprising new light on the public and private personas of a highly complex, difficult, and hugely compelling individual, Dawson's fascinating study offers a vivid, fully rounded portrait of this renowned Scottish preacher and prophet who had a seismic impact on religion and society.
One of the foremost American historians of his generation, Leonard J. Arrington (1913-1999) revolutionized the writing of Mormon history. Through the publication of his groundbreaking "Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, " as well as numerous other publications, he established the dominant interpretation of the Mormon experience. Yet until now, there has been little analysis of his contribution to western history.
Focusing on Arrington's intellectual career, Gary Topping examines the facets of Arrington's life that influenced his historical ideas: how his Idaho farm background shaped his values and interests, and how his nontraditional upbringing differed from that of other young Mormons. Topping also offers a critical evaluation and major new interpretation of Arrington's works that will likely spark controversy in the scholarly community.
Topping re-examines Arrington's role in founding and promoting what is known as the New Mormon History. Arrington has been criticized for relying on the assistance of numerous staff members in the church's History Division, but Topping shows this collaborative approach to have been in keeping with the cooperative spirit of Mormonism. Yet, as Topping relates, Arrington's efforts to make archival material more accessible to the public were undermined by the more conservative wing of the church hierarchy, which released him from his position as Church Historian in 1982.
Both an engaging biography and a sharp appraisal of Arrington's methods and interpretive work, Topping's book expands on Arrington's own autobiography by offering the first thorough analysis of his contributions.
In Pure, Linda Kay Klein uses a potent combination of journalism, cultural commentary, and memoir to take us "inside religious purity culture as only one who grew up in it can" (Gloria Steinem) and reveals the devastating effects evangelical Christianity's views on female sexuality has had on a generation of young women. In the 1990s, a "purity industry" emerged out of the white evangelical Christian culture. Purity rings, purity pledges, and purity balls came with a dangerous message: girls are potential sexual "stumbling blocks" for boys and men, and any expression of a girl's sexuality could reflect the corruption of her character. This message traumatized many girls-resulting in anxiety, fear, and experiences that mimicked the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-and trapped them in a cycle of shame. This is the sex education Linda Kay Klein grew up with. Fearing being marked a Jezebel, Klein broke up with her high school boyfriend because she thought God told her to and took pregnancy tests despite being a virgin, terrified that any sexual activity would be punished with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. When the youth pastor of her church was convicted of sexual enticement of a twelve-year-old girl, Klein began to question purity-based sexual ethics. She contacted young women she knew, asking if they were coping with the same shame-induced issues she was. These intimate conversations developed into a twelve-year quest that took her across the country and into the lives of women raised in similar religious communities-a journey that facilitated her own healing and led her to churches that are seeking a new way to reconcile sexuality and spirituality. Pure is "a revelation... Part memoir and part journalism, Pure is a horrendous, granular, relentless, emotionally true account" (The Cut) of society's larger subjugation of women and the role the purity industry played in maintaining it. Offering a prevailing message of resounding hope and encouragement, "Pure emboldens us to escape toxic misogyny and experience a fresh breath of freedom" (Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising).
Fire blazes from heaven, and a stone altar erupts in flame. So begins a spiritual awakening, the kindling of a revival fire still burning today. Beginning with Elijah and God's tremendous one-day revival of Israel, Wesley Duewel tells stories of revivals spanning the globe from America to China to Africa, all brought by obedience and heartfelt prayer. He illustrates how God has used revival fire through the centuries to revive the church and reveal the glorious presence of the Holy Spirit.
Liberate yourself from the forces of darkness!
Take hold of your destiny and discover the profound freedom that Jesus has bought
for you, today!
Written by a leading expert on the Puritans, this brief,
informative volume offers a wealth of background on this key
religious movement. This book traces the shaping, triumph, and
decline of the Puritan world, while also examining the role of
religion in the shaping of American society and the role of the
Puritan legacy in American history. Francis J. Bremer discusses the
rise of Puritanism in the English Reformation, the struggle of the
reformers to purge what they viewed as the corruptions of Roman
Catholicism from the Elizabethan church, and the struggle with the
Stuart monarchs that led to a brief Puritan triumph under Oliver
Cromwell. It also examines the effort of Puritans who left England
to establish a godly kingdom in America. Bremer examines puritan
theology, views on family and community, their beliefs about the
proper relationship between religion and public life, the limits of
toleration, the balance between individual rights and one's
obligation to others, and the extent to which public character
should be shaped by private religious belief.
In 1893, Said Jureidini, an Arabic-speaking Christian from the Ottoman Empire, experienced an evangelical conversion while attending the Chicago World's Fair.Two years laterhe founded the first Baptist church in modern-day Lebanon. For financial support, he aligned his fledgling church with American Landmark Baptists and, later, Southern Baptists. By doing so, Jureidini linked the fate of Baptists in Lebanon with those in the United States. In Evangelizing Lebanon , Melanie E. Trexler explores the complex, reflexive relationship between Baptist missionaries from the States and Baptists in Lebanon. Trexler pays close attention to the contexts surrounding the relationships, the consequences, and the theologiesinherent to missionary praxis, carefully profiling the perspectives of both the missionaries and the Lebanese Baptists. Trexler thus discovers a fraught mutuality at work. U.S. missionaries presented new models of church planting, evangelism, and educational opportunities that empowered the Lebanese Baptists to accomplish personal and communal goals. In turn, Lebanese Baptists prompted missionaries to rethink their ideas about mission, Muslim-Christian relations, and even American foreign policy in the region. But Trexler also reveals how missionaries' efforts to evangelize Muslims came to threaten the very security of the Lebanese Baptists. Trexler shows how Baptist missionary theology and praxis in Lebanon had more to do with bolstering an insular Baptist identity in the U.S. than it did with engaging in interfaith relationships with Lebanese Muslims. Ironically, American Baptists' efforts to help ultimately spunoutof control and led to unintended consequences. Trexler's study of Baptists in Lebanon serves as a warning for missional identity everywhere, Baptist or not: missionary insistence on a narrow and politically useful definition of what it means to be Christian can both aid and undermine, build and destabilize.
The pastoral image of Amish communities living simply and in touch with the land strikes a deep chord with many Americans. Environmentalists have lauded the Amish as iconic models for a way of life that is local, self-sufficient, and in harmony with nature. But the Amish themselves do not always embrace their ecological reputation, and critics have long questioned the portrayal of the Amish as models of environmental stewardship. In Nature and the Environment in Amish Life, David L. McConnell and Marilyn D. Loveless examine how this prevailing notion of the environmentally conscious Amish fits with the changing realities of their lives. Drawing on 150 interviews conducted over the course of 7 years, as well as a survey of household resource use among Amish and non-Amish people, they explore how the Amish understand nature in their daily lives and how their actions impact the natural world. Arguing that there is considerable diversity in Amish engagements with nature at home, at school, at work, and outdoors, McConnell and Loveless show how the Amish response to regional and global environmental issues, such as watershed pollution and climate change, reveals their deep skepticism of environmentalists. They also demonstrate that Amish households are not uniformly lower in resource use compared to their rural, non-Amish neighbors, though aspects of their home economy are relatively self-sufficient. The first comprehensive study of Amish understandings of the natural world, this compelling book complicates the image of the Amish and provides a more realistic understanding of the Amish relationship with the environment.
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