• Self-help & personal development

      Keeping the Faith

      Daily Reflections to Build Strength, Serenity, and Passion in Your Life and the Lives of Others

      by John W. Pozzi

      THE TRUE FAITH THAT MUST BE FOUND AND KEPT IS THE FAITH IN ONESELF. Each day you give a part of yourself whether it is at work, at home, or in your daily interaction with others. How do you give of yourself? Do you hold back or go at life half-heartedly? You need to give of yourself with heart, mind, and soul all the time. You never know what interaction with a person will make a difference in their life — or yours. If you don’t believe in yourself and don’t have the confidence to grow each day, then you are missing out on what life has to offer you. This simple book will inspire you to help others. Or, at the very least, you will make another person’s day — and, therefore, your day — better.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2012

      The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus

      The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

      by Adam C. English

      With his rosy cheeks and matching red suit—and ever-present elf and reindeer companions—Santa Claus may be the most identifiable of fantastical characters. But what do we really know of jolly old Saint Nicholas, "patron saint" of Christmastime? Ask about the human behind the suit, and the tale we know so well quickly fades into myth and folklore.In The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus, religious historian Adam English tells the true and compelling tale of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Around the fourth century in what is now Turkey, a boy of humble circumstance became a man revered for his many virtues. Chief among them was dealing generously with his possessions, once lifting an entire family out of poverty with a single--and secret--gift of gold, so legend tells. Yet he was much more than virtuous. As English reveals, Saint Nicholas was of integral influence in events that would significantly impact the history and development of the Christian church, including the Council of Nicaea, the destruction of the temple to Artemis in Myra, and a miraculous rescue of three falsely accused military officers. And Nicholas became the patron saint of children and sailors, merchants and thieves, as well as France, Russia, Greece, and myriad others.Weaving together the best historical and archaeological evidence available with the folklore and legends handed down through generations, English creates a stunning image of this much venerated Christian saint. With prose as enjoyable as it is informative, he shows why the life--and death--of Nicholas of Myra so radically influenced the formation of Western history and Christian thought, and did so in ways many have never realized. ; 1. Finding St. Nicholas2. Out of a Dying World Comes a Light3. Three Gifts and One Election4. The Work of Victory5. Riots, Beheadings, and Other Near Misfortunes6. Death Is Only the BeginningNotesRecommended ReadingsIndex

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2014

      Seriously Dangerous Religion

      What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

      by Iain Provan

      The Old Testament is often maligned as an outmoded and even dangerous text. Best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, and Derrick Jensen are prime examples of those who find the Old Testament to be problematic to modern sensibilities. Iain Provan counters that such easy and popular readings misunderstand the Old Testament. He opposes modern misconceptions of the Old Testament by addressing ten fundamental questions that the biblical text should--and according to Provan does--answer: questions such as "Who is God?" and "Why do evil and suffering mark the world?" By focusing on Genesis and drawing on other Old Testament and extra-biblical sources, Seriously Dangerous Religion constructs a more plausible reading. As it turns out, Provan argues, the Old Testament is far more dangerous than modern critics even suppose. Its dangers are the bold claims it makes upon its readers. ; 1 Of Mice, and Men, and HobbitsStories, Art, and Life2 The Up Quark, the Down Quark, and Other Cool Stuff What Is the World?3 Slow to Anger, Abounding in Love, and (Thankfully) Jealous Who Is God?4 Of Humus and Humanity Who Are Man and Woman?5 It Isn't Natural Why Do Evil and Suffering Mark the World?6 On Living in a Blighted World What Am I to Do about Evil and Suffering?7 Even the Stork Knows That How Am I to Relate to God?8 Love All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to None How Am I to Relate to My Neighbor?9 On Keeping the Earth How Am I to Relate to the Rest of Creation?10 I Saw the New Jerusalem Which Society Should I Be Helping to Build?11 A Bird Perched in the Soul What Am I to Hope For?12 Further Up and Further In New Dimensions in the Old Story13 On the Judicious Closing of the Mind The Question of Truth14 Risk Assessment Is the Story Dangerous?Postscript: Biblical Faith for a New AgeNotesBibliographyScripture IndexIndex of AuthorsSubject Index

    • History
      September 2016

      Destroyer of the gods

      Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World

      by Larry W. Hurtado

      "Silly," "stupid," "irrational," "simple." "Wicked," "hateful," "obstinate," "anti-social." "Extravagant," "perverse." The Roman world rendered harsh judgments upon early Christianity—including branding Christianity "new." Novelty was no Roman religious virtue.Nevertheless, as Larry W. Hurtado shows in Destroyer of the gods, Christianity thrived despite its new and distinctive features and opposition to them. Unlike nearly all other religious groups, Christianity utterly rejected the traditional gods of the Roman world. Christianity also offered a new and different kind of religious identity, one not based on ethnicity. Christianity was distinctively a "bookish" religion, with the production, copying, distribution, and reading of texts as central to its faith, even preferring a distinctive book-form, the codex. Christianity insisted that its adherents behave differently: unlike the simple ritual observances characteristic of the pagan religious environment, embracing Christian faith meant a behavioral transformation, with particular and novel ethical demands for men. Unquestionably, to the Roman world, Christianity was both new and different, and, to a good many, it threatened social and religious conventions of the day.In the rejection of the gods and in the centrality of texts, early Christianity obviously reflected commitments inherited from its Jewish origins. But these particular features were no longer identified with Jewish ethnicity and early Christianity quickly became aggressively trans-ethnic—a novel kind of religious movement. Its ethical teaching, too, bore some resemblance to the philosophers of the day, yet in contrast with these great teachers and their small circles of dedicated students, early Christianity laid its hard demands upon all adherents from the moment of conversion, producing a novel social project. Christianity’s novelty was no badge of honor. Called atheists and suspected of political subversion, Christians earned Roman disdain and suspicion in equal amounts. Yet, as Destroyer of the gods demonstrates, in an irony of history the very features of early Christianity that rendered it distinctive and objectionable in Roman eyes have now become so commonplace in Western culture as to go unnoticed. Christianity helped destroy one world and create another. ; PrefaceIntroductionChapter 1. Early Christians and Christianity in the Eyes of Non-ChristiansChapter 2. A New Kind of FaithChapter 3. A Different IdentityChapter 4. A "Bookish" ReligionChapter 5. A New Way to LiveConclusionAppendixNotesIndex of Ancient SourcesIndex of Subjects and Modern Authors

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2016

      Reading Backwards

      Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness

      by Richard B. Hays

      In Reading Backwards Richard B. Hays maps the shocking ways the four Gospel writers interpreted Israel's Scripture to craft their literary witnesses to the Church's one Christ. The Gospels' scriptural imagination discovered inside the long tradition of a resilient Jewish monotheism a novel and revolutionary Christology.Modernity's incredulity toward the Christian faith partly rests upon the characterization of early Christian preaching as a tendentious misreading of the Hebrew Scriptures. Christianity, modernity claims, twisted the Bible they inherited to fit its message about a mythological divine Savior. The Gospels, for many modern critics, are thus more about Christian doctrine in the second and third century than they are about Jesus in the first.Such Christian "misreadings" are not late or politically motivated developments within Christian thought. As Hays demonstrates, the claim that the events of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection took place "according to the Scriptures" stands at the very heart of the New Testament's earliest message. All four canonical Gospels declare that the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms mysteriously prefigure Jesus. The author of the Fourth Gospel puts the claim succinctly: "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me" (John 5:46).Hays thus traces the reading strategies the Gospel writers employ to "read backwards" and to discover how the Old Testament figuratively discloses the astonishing paradoxical truth about Jesus' identity. Attention to Jewish and Old Testament roots of the Gospel narratives reveals that each of the four Evangelists, in their diverse portrayals, identify Jesus as the embodiment of the God of Israel. Hays also explores the hermeneutical challenges posed by attempting to follow the Evangelists as readers of Israel's Scripture—can the Evangelists teach us to read backwards along with them and to discern the same mystery they discovered in Israel's story?In Reading Backwards Hays demonstrates that it was Israel's Scripture itself that taught the Gospel writers how to understand Jesus as the embodied presence of God, that this conversion of imagination occurred early in the development of Christian theology, and that the Gospel writers' revisionary figural readings of their Bible stand at the very center of Christianity. ; Introduction1. "The Manger in Which Christ Lies": Figural Readings of Israel’s ScriptureThe Fourfold Witness2. Figuring the Mystery: Reading Scripture with Mark3. Torah Transfigured: Reading Scripture with Matthew4. The One Who Redeems Israel: Reading Scripture with Luke5. The Temple Transfigured: Reading Scripture with JohnConclusion6. Retrospective Reading: The Challenges of Gospel-Shaped Hermeneutics

    • Humanities & Social Sciences

      Light in the Darkness

      Four Christian Apologists

      by Jon Elsby

      Christian apologetics is an important area of intellectual endeavour and achievement, standing at the boundaries between theology, philosophy and literature. Yet it has been largely neglected by historians of literature and ideas. In these essays, the author attempts to establish apologetics as a subject deserving of respect in its own right. He analyses the apologetic arguments and strategies of four of the greatest Christian apologists of the twentieth century – Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and C. S. Lewis. He shows how different lines of argument support each other and converge on the same conclusion: that what Chesterton called ‘orthodoxy’ and Lewis ‘mere Christianity’ represents the fundamental truth about the relations between human beings, the universe, and God.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      January 2017

      Orthodoxy

      With an Introduction by Jon Elsby

      by G. K. Chesterton

      G. K. Chesterton wrote of Orthodoxy that it represented an attempt ‘to state the philosophy in which I have come to believe’ and to do so ‘in a vague and personal way, in a set of mental pictures rather than in a series of deductions’. For most of its readers, it is the wittiest and most rollicking defence of the Christian faith ever written. Anticipating much modern theology, Catholic and Protestant, Chesterton’s apologia is more personalistic than propositional. He understands that, in order to be credible, a belief system must appeal to the heart as well as to the mind. No one has set out more engagingly the reasons for believing in Christianity as the timeless truth about who we are, and rejecting the alternatives as fads and fashions. Jon Elsby, author of Light in the Darkness and Wrestling With the Angel, has written extensively on Christian apologists and apologetics, and has penned an illuminating introduction for this edition of Orthodoxy, which also contains brief notes and an index.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2015

      Wrestling With the Angel

      A Convert's Tale

      by Jon Elsby

      Who am I? Am I an autonomous being, able to define myself by my own free choices, or a created being with a given human nature, living in a world which, in significant respects, does not depend on me? Are these two views necessarily opposed? Wrestling With the Angel is one man’s attempt to answer those questions. Raised as a Protestant, the author lost his faith in his teenage years, and then gradually regained it – but in an unexpected form. This is the story of a spiritual and intellectual journey from Protestantism to atheism, and beyond: a journey which finally, and much to the author’s surprise, reached its terminus in the Catholic Church.

    • Christianity
      December 2004

      Discovering Girard

      by Michael Kirwan (By (author))

      The work of Rene Girard is hugely influential in literature and cultural studies. But it is in understanding the relationship between religion and violence that his theory has created the greatest impact. Girard’s understanding of mimetic rivalry and conflict and of scapegoating are seen by many to be the key to a completely new understanding of Christianity. Girard’s name evokes curiosity and – often – strong feelings amongst devotees and sceptics. Discovering Girard is the first book to present Girard’s work to a wider audience in a way that not only explains and appraises his work and shows its impact on theology and other disciplines but conveys the sense of excitement that a discovery of Girard’s ideas often generates in readers.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2018

      Following The Celtic Way

      A New Assessment of Celtic Christianity

      by Ian Bradley

      Marking the 25th anniversary of Ian Bradley’s classic The Celtic Way – the scholarly and accessible popular introduction to Celtic Christianity – Following the Celtic Way is a completely new book that replaces the original. It incorporates the wisdom garnered by Bradley over more than thirty years of research, lecturing, broadcasting and retreat-leading, and identifies the themes of the Celtic Way which are most relevant to and can be followed today by twenty-first century Christians. The core chapters are: ‘Marks of the Church and the Faithful’, ‘Attributes of God’, ‘Our Appropriate Responses’ and ‘Ways Forward for the Church’.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2017

      Found Out

      Women’s faith in sexuality

      by Alison Webster

      More than twenty years after Found Wanting, her acclaimed critique of the Church and women’s sexuality, Alison Webster presents a positive book of practical theology that gives voice to the experiences of marginalised women. In response to the challenges of today, including people trafficking, greater exposure to internet pornography, a rise in mental ill-health, she puts forward a new model of faith identity based on Jesus as fundamentally a boundary-crosser (divine/human), reclaiming as positive the often painful place of being ‘in-between’, of not belonging.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      June 2017

      Hidden Wings

      Emerging from troubled times with new hope and deeper wisdom

      by Margaret Silf

      Hidden Wings is a superb book of spiritual transformation and hope for the future, by Margaret Silf, the bestselling author of Landmarks and At Sea with God. As the world around us moves into a period of immense and tumultuous change, and the structures and values by which we have charted our lives seem to be collapsing around us, many people are struggling to plot their spiritual path through an unfamiliar landscape or to believe in tomorrow. Using the analogy of the caterpillar entering the devastating, world-altering stage of the chrysalis, before emerging - transformed - as the butterfly, Margaret Silf demonstrates that this moment could be an opportunity for immense spiritual transformation and hope for the future.

    • Christianity
      February 2009

      I Loved Jesus in the Night

      Mother Teresa of Calcutta

      by Paul Murray (By (author))

      I Loved Jesus in the Night is one priest’s compelling memories of the icon of compassion. Sharing anecdote and firsthand experiences, Fr. Paul Murray gives a glimpse into why Mother Teresa had feelings of being a “saint of darkness.” This very personal, yet powerful book is an attempt to understand the dark night experiences that she endured in the light of the Gospel and of the mystical teachings of St. John of the Cross. And something else as well…revelations of Mother Teresa’s sense of humour! Through this intimate look at her “private writings,” Paul Murray illumines the meaning of a life that is only now beginning to be understood.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      February 2018

      Lasting Happiness

      The journey towards wholeness and fulfilment

      by Andrew Parnham

      The creator of The Happiness Course explores what it means to be happy, why being happy is so important to us, and what it may require from us to attain happiness. Andy Parnham shows that finding happiness means searching for wholeness and fulfilment, and is a journey that may not be easy and may not be the path we expected. The book includes a section for people of faith, but has been written for everyone.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      May 2017

      Prayers for Depression

      And how best to live with it

      by Fay Sampson

      Prayers for Depression presents prayers and advice for people suffering from depression, and those living with them. The book is divided into three parts. Part A is targeted at those with depression and includes reassuring Bible quotations and prayers. Part B is for partners and includes practical advice for living with depressives as well as prayers. Part C is for wider family and friends and attempts to contextualise depression and is matched with appropriate prayers. There is also a Resource section with helpful contacts and further reading as well as blank pages for readers’ own prayers. ;

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      May 2017

      Prayers for Dementia

      And how to live well with it

      by Fay Sampson

      Prayers for Dementia presents prayers and advice for people living with dementia, and those caring for them. The book is divided into three parts. Part A is targeted at those with dementia and includes reassuring Bible quotations and prayers. Part B is for carers and includes practical advice for caring for dementia patients as well as prayers. Part C is for family and friends, indeed the wider community and attempts to contextualise dementia in terms of what it can mean for those beyond patient and carer matched with appropriate prayers. There is also a Resource section with helpful contacts and further reading as well as blank pages for readers’ own prayers. ;

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2018

      Prayers for Anxiety

      And how to live best with it

      by Fay Sampson

      This simple book offers Bible verses and poems of hope and comfort, and short items of information, support and advice about anxiety. Each is accompanied by a suggested prayer. It is divided into three sections. The first group is for the use of those with anxiety. The second is for carers. And the final prayers are for the use of family, friends and the wider community. But you can use any of them with, or on behalf of, someone else.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2018

      Prayers for OCD

      And how to live well with it

      by Fay Sampson

      This simple book offers Bible verses and poems of hope and comfort, and short items of information, support and advice about OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Each is accompanied by a suggested prayer. It is divided into three sections. The first group is for the use of those with OCD. The second is for carers. And the final prayers are for the use of family, friends and the wider community. But you can use any of them with, or on behalf of, someone else.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2017

      Reclaiming the Common Good

      How Christians can help re-build our broken world

      by Virginia Moffatt

      After decades of political consensus, we are entering a time in which everything about the way we live today, and about how our society and communities are structured, is up for discussion. Many people are feeling empowered to ask: What kind of world do we want to live in? One that works for a few, or one that works for the common good? What part can Christians play in building a future of hope, peace, equality an justice? Reclaiming the Common Good is a collection of essays which consider these themes. Beginning with an explanation of the history and meaning of the term ‘common good’, it explores how the sense of working for this ideal has been lost. Focussing, biblically, on issues such as welfare, austerity, migration, environment, peace and justice, it provides a compellingly fresh and insightful analysis on the state of the world today, and offers a realistic vision of how it could be better. This vision is rooted in the idea of a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem, as suggested in the book of Revelation. This collection has been compiled and edited by Virginia Moffatt, a writer, community activist and former Chief Operating Officer of the belief and values think-tank, Ekklesia. Its other contributors are: Dr Patrick Riordan SJ, John Moffatt SJ, Simon Barrow, Bernadette Meaden, Dr Simon Duffy, Rev. Vaughan Jones, Savitri Hensman , Ellen Teague, Edward P. Echlin, Henrietta Cullinan, Susan Clarkson and Rev. Dr Simon Woodman.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      June 2017

      The World According to Theologygrams

      Making sense of Christianity through badly-drawn diagrams

      by Rich Wyld

      A follow-up to Theologygrams, this second book follows the same structure – theology themed diagrams plus commentary on each double-page, taking the reader deeper into the meaning and interpretation of the subject matter with wit and humour. ;

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