Saint Augustine is one of the most influential figures in all of Christianity, yet his path to sainthood was by no means assured. Born in AD 354 to a pagan father and a Christian mother, Augustine spent the first 30 years of his life struggling to understand the nature of God and his world. He learned about Christianity as a child but was never baptized, choosing instead to immerse himself in the study of rhetoric, Manicheanism, and then Neoplatonism - all the while indulging in a life of lust and greed.
This volume of The Dancing Hand of God explores God's fullness, fatherhood, otherness, acceptance, burden, glory, rule, and availability. Each of the chapters concludes with an outline that lists the main insights offered by each of the sections in the chapter, making the book useful both for one's personal reflection and for shared conversation. When you take stock of your spiritual life, you might find yourself confronting a series of challenges, such as loneliness, anxiety, and a lack of godliness.
The Dancing Hand of God offers its stories and its teachings as resources for anyone who recognizes that his or her life can become burdened by forces - isolation, fear, and unholiness - that hinder the blossoming of one's spiritual life. If you see yourself in this description, then The Dancing Hand of God will serve as a kind of mentor, guiding you through its narrative and its teachings to find God as both source and inspiration for your own ministry that works miracles, wonders, and apostolic signs.
In this honest appraisal of his journey from believer to atheist, the author carefully explains the experiences and the reasoning process that led him to reject religious belief. The original edition of this book was published in 2006 and reissued in 2008. Since that time, Loftus has received a good deal of critical feedback from Christians and skeptics alike. In this revised and expanded edition, the author addresses criticisms of the original, adds new argumentation and references, and refines his presentation.
Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber is a book about an unconventional pastor's journey through the peaks and valleys of life as a Christian. Nadia Bolz-Weber uses stories from her life and others' lives to convey messages about Christianity. The accounts deal with her own imperfections, how she tries to reach out to others in need, regardless of their background, and how others' love and wisdom have helped her become a better Christian....
Dubbed the "Dumb Ox" by his classmates for his shyness, Saint Thomas Aquinas proved to be possessed of the rarest brilliance, justifying the faith of his teacher, Albertus Magnus, and sparking a revolution in Christian thought. Chesterton's unsurpassed examination of Aquinas' thinking makes his philosophy accessible to listeners of any generation.
In his 95 years, Norman Vincent Peale made a profound difference. The son of a minister in Lynchburg, Ohio, he went on to preach the Lord's word at Manhattan's now-famous Marble Collegiate Church, where he served as pastor for 52 years and oversaw the church's growth from 600 members to more than 5,000. He had a popular radio program for more than half a century and appeared regularly on television.
From Catholic schoolgirl to punk rocker to emergent church planter, Angela Doll Carlson traveled a spiritual path that in many ways mirrors that of a whole generation. She takes us with her on a deep and revealing exploration of the forces that drove her toward Orthodoxy and the challenges that long kept her from fully entering in.
For the last 60 years, J. I. Packer has exerted a steady and remarkable influence on evangelical theology and practice. His many books, articles, and lectures have shaped entire generations of Christians, helping elevate their view of God and enliven their love for God. In this new biography, well-known scholar Leland Ryken provides listeners with a compelling overview of Packer's interesting life and influential legacy.
In The Expository Genius of John Calvin, Dr. Steven J. Lawson delves into the practices, commitments, and techniques that made John Calvin, the great Reformer of the 16th century, such an effective preacher during his long pastorate at Saint Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Lawson identifies 32 distinctives of Calvin's preaching, providing comments from Calvin's writings, quotations from Reformation scholars, and examples from Calvin's own sermons to reinforce his points.
Few luminaries in Jewish history, particularly in modern times, have made as lasting and profound a contribution to our spiritual heritage as Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812). His works embrace the entire spectrum of Jewish thought - mysticism, philosophy, psychology, ethics, and law - and represent an expression of unparalleled creative genius.
In this beautiful spiritual travelogue, New York Times best-selling author George Weigel leads listeners through the historic streets of Kraków, Poland, introducing one of the world's great cities through the life of one of the most influential Catholic leaders of all time.
Warrior: A Spiritual Odyssey consists of the life stories of a modern day mystic. Rev. Bill McDonald takes the listener on a journey with these told-from-the-heart life experiences. This is his autobiography and follows his life before going off to war in Vietnam - in Vietnam and afterwards. The combination of the author's supernatural and mystical stories and powerful reading give the listener a truly spiritual listening experience.
William burst into the house. "I have found my destiny!" he shouted. "I have found a place where there is so much human misery in such a small space that there is a lifetime's worth of work there for me!" Horrified by the poverty and suffering most people took for granted in industrial England, William Booth dedicated his life to bringing the Gospel to the outcasts of society who would never enter a church and weren't welcome there.
Scotland's beloved storyteller, George MacDonald, 19th-century Scottish novelist and poet, was reintroduced to 20th century Christians by C. S. Lewis, whose reading of MacDonald's Phantastes triggered his own spiritual awakening and conversion. Other renowned writers have voiced similar acknowledgements. G. K. Chesterton said of MacDonald, "If we test the matter of originality of attitude, George MacDonald was one of the three or four greatest men of the 19th century."
St. Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history.
This book collates 40 of Mother Teresa's inspiring lessons into one volume, and they can be applied to a variety of everyday situations. Mother Teresa believed in the power of spirituality, love, and caring, and these lessons teach us how to follow her example to enjoy a more fulfilling life.
In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to the enormously successful Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history's greatest women, all of whom changed the course of history by following God's call upon their lives - as women.
"Seven Mini Biographies"
In this comprehensive biography, David Willey explores the religious and personal background of the inspirational Pope Francis, his stunning impact on the Catholic Church, the hopes he has raised, and the legacy he will leave behind.
From the beloved author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, deeply moving and illuminating reflections on what it means to live a good life. Distilling the wisdom of an extraordinary career, this profoundly inspiring yet practical guide to well-being is truly the capstone to Kushner's luminous oeuvre.
A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.
From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.
"Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
The Dalai Lama will tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that "the very motion of our life is toward happiness." How to get there has always been the question. With the help of a psychiatrist, he now gets the message across in a context we can easily understand.
"very good listen"
If you think ghosts are only responsible for hauntings, think again. The Demonologist reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you. Used as a text in seminaries and classrooms, this is one book you can't put down. For over five decades, Ed and Loraine Warren have been considered America's foremost experts on demonology and exorcism. With over 3,000 investigations to their credit, they reveal what actually breaks the peace in haunted houses. Don't miss the Warrens in the new blockbuster movie The Conjuring.
"WARNING!: THIS IS BASED ON REAL CASES,TERRIFYING!"
In this recorded account of near-death experiences, we learn about the miracles of the millennium, the return of the Ten Tribes, the building of the New Jerusalem and temple, and many other astonishing events long prophesied in scripture but never before described in such vivid detail. Visions of Glory is a mesmerizing and fascinating read that you will not be able to put down.
"Amazing and Life Changing"
What makes a great man great? Seven Men offers answers in the captivating stories of some of the greatest men who have ever lived. In this gallery of greatness, seven historical figures come to life as real people who experienced struggles and challenges that probably would have destroyed the resolve of most other men. What was their secret?
"Good or Great?"
A holy man to Hindus, a hero to Muslims, and a criminal to the British, Mohandas K. Gandhi was an inspiring figure of the 20th century, a man whose quest to live in accord with God’s highest truth led him to initiate massive campaigns against racism, violence, and colonialism.
"Great book, Good enough narration."
Saint Augustine's contributions to Christian theology are second to no other post-apostolic author in the whole sweep of church history. Yet along side his doctrinal treatises, Augustine tells a story of his life devoted to Christ as his only satisfaction. The Confessions is at once the autobiographical account of Augustine's life of Christian faith and at the same time a compelling theology of Christian spirituality for everyone.
"Impressions on first listening to the book."
This best seller tells of the young Dutch factory worker's incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders - and the miraculous ways in which God provided for him every step of the way. Brother Andrew's story remains as inspiring today as it was 35 years ago, and with this new release, it will motivate a whole new generation to risk everything to follow God's call.
"A True Inspiration... Must-Read Classic!"
In the year since he was elected, Pope Francis' simple message of mercy, service, and renewal has spread to every corner of the world. Through his gentle demeanor, selfless actions, and welcoming call for service to others, he has captured the attention of a world longing for an authentic message of hope - we want to hear what he has to say. Collected from Pope Francis' speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church.
"A must for all Christians"
The dramatic autobiography of one of China's dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders. This is the gripping story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and placed him on the front line for Jesus, in the face of impossible odds. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus.
"Great book, one of my old time favorites."
Sharing memories from early childhood through her life as a Carmelite nun, Therese opens her heart to us. This bride of Christ reveals her passion and longing for union with God. Her simplicity is charming and we begin to believe that we can travel the path to salvation that she points out to us.
King's Cross is Timothy Keller's revelatory look at the life of Christ as told in the Gospel of Mark. There have been many biographies of Jesus, but few will be as anticipated as one by Keller, the man Newsweek calls "a C. S. Lewis for the 21st century." In it, Keller shows how the story of Jesus is at once cosmic, historical, and personal, calling each of us to look anew at our relationship with God. Like Keller's other books it has tremendous crossover appeal, but it is also ideal for the faithful.
"Narrator voice -- not quite Tim Keller"
Martin Luther entered a monastery as a youth and as a man shattered the structure of the medieval church, speaking out against the corrupt religious practices of the time. His demand that the authority for doctrine and practice be scriptures, rather than popes or councils, echoed around the world and ignited the great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade to eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith.
"An Excellent Book and Biography!!!"
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) is known to millions today as the grandfather of the new age. A medical clairvoyant, psychic, and Christian mystic, Cayce provided medical, psychological, and spiritual advice to thousands of people who swore by the effectiveness of his trance-based readings.
"Open approaches to healing"
In The Truth about Muhammad, New York Times best-selling author and Islam expert Robert Spencer offers an honest and telling portrait of the founder of Islam -- perhaps the first such portrait in half a century -- unbounded by fear and political correctness, unflinching, and willing to face the hard facts about Muhammad's life that continue to affect our world today.
"Lebanon" Levi Stoltzfus, star of the hit Discovery Channel reality show Amish Mafia, delivers a sizzling tell-all about Amish life today. From the forbidden joyrides to the senseless shunnings to the colorful family feuds, he shares his frank insider's view of this fascinating and secretive society.
"Absolutely a awesome FABULOUS READ."
During the German occupation of Rome from 1942-1944, Irishman Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty ran an escape organization for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. Safe within the Vatican state, he regularly ventured out in disguise to continue his mission, which earned him the nickname 'The Pimpernel of the Vatican'. When the Allies entered Rome, he and his collaborators - priests, nuns, and laypeople of numerous nationalities and religious beliefs - had saved the lives of over 6,500 people.
Missionary, theologian, and religious genius, Paul is one of the most powerful human personalities in the history of the Church. E.P. Sanders, an influential Pauline scholar, analyzes the fundamental beliefs and vigorous contradictions in Paul's thought, discovering a philosophy that is less of a monolithic system than the apostle's convictions would seem to suggest. This volume offers an incisive summation of Paul's career, as well as his role in the development of early Christianity.
The medieval Catholic Church, widely considered a source of intolerance and inquisitorial fervor, was not anti-science during the Dark Ages - in fact, the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day. Called The Scientist Pope, Gerbert of Aurillac rose from peasant beginnings to lead the church. By turns a teacher, traitor, kingmaker, and visionary, Gerbert is the first Christian known to teach math using the nine Arabic numerals and zero.
"I liked the second half better than the first"
Palden Gyatso was born in a Tibetan village in 1933 and became an ordained Buddhist monk at 18 just as Tibet was in the midst of political upheaval. When Communist China invaded Tibet in 1950, it embarked on a program of "reform" that would eventually affect all of Tibet's citizens and nearly decimate its ancient culture. In 1967, the Chinese destroyed monasteries across Tibet and forced thousands of monks into labor camps and prisons.
From the 1950s until his death in 1994, Menachem Mendel Schneerson - revered by his followers worldwide simply as the Rebbe - built the Lubavitcher movement from a relatively small sect within Hasidic Judaism into the powerful force in Jewish life that it is today. Swept away by his expectation that the Messiah was coming, he came to believe that he could deny death and change history. Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman paint an unforgettable portrait of Schneerson.
When most people think of Mother Teresa, they think of a saint - a spiritual hero of extraordinary humanitarian accomplishments, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But Mother Teresa was also the leader of one of the world's largest and most successful organizations: the Missionaries of Charity.
Monologist Mike Daisey presents a dazzling new work: four "bio-logues" about megalomania and desire constructed from the interleaved life stories of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard. Over four nights Daisey explores the nature of genius and wrestles with the pride, insanity, and chauvinism that bind these men together, and reveals how the heights and depths of their gifts have much to teach us about ourselves.
Bishop Juan Gerardi, Guatemala's leading human rights activist, was bludgeoned to death in his garage on a Sunday night in 1998, two days after the presentation of a groundbreaking church-sponsored report implicating the military in the murders and disappearances of some 200,000 civilians.
The world's three largest faiths all find a common root in one man: Abraham. Breaking new ground, David Rosenberg portrays Abraham as a man whose whole life, and therefore his legacy, is informed by the Sumerian culture that produced him. Abraham is a brilliant literary excavation of the ancient cultures from which our modern world has grown.
"One of the best books I have experienced"
In My Struggle with Faith, Girzone recounts the long, complicated, and often painful process he went through as he sought to find peace with his beliefs. He writes about hard decisions that set him on unexpected paths and about the immense feelings of loneliness he experienced in making those choices. In thoughtful and thought-provoking reflections he brings to life the years of searching and the deep, critical thinking that gave him the courage to embrace his beliefs, opening a world of excitement and adventure for him.
"Good message/ questionable narration"
In this compelling portrait of Paul the man, his message, and his world, Robin Griffith-Jones reveals the apostle as a brilliantly entrepreneurial witness to the transforming presence of Jesus himself. This groundbreaking book unlocks Paul′s letters, revealing their purpose and power as never before.
Monologist Mike Daisey presents a dazzling new work: four "bio-logues" about megalomania and desire constructed from the interleaved life stories of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard. L. Ron Hubbard was a bigamist, occultist, and charismatic science-fiction author-turned-guru who took 1950s popular psychiatry by storm and went on to create the Church of Scientology: the most celebrity-driven and litigious organization on Earth.
The fascinating story of a man whose exploration in spiritual existence has not been limited to his life as a rabbi, this autobiography shares Jerry Steinberg’s experience down a path less traveled. Revealing an understanding of God that goes beyond the conventional, the memoir contributes to a different perception of the world today - an open-eyed and open-minded view that will resonate with readers of any religious or spiritual background.
"Unique Story and Perspective"
Miriam Therese Winter, an award-winning musician and four-time Catholic Book Award-winner, shares her experiences of becoming a Sister, working with starving children in Ethiopia and with refugees in Cambodia, of exploring the mysteries of India and the wonders of God in her own backyard, of having breast cancer and having hope. She also illumines new aspects of community, Eucharist, the word and spirit, water and the stars, spiritual blessedness, and much more.
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day.
"Interesting stories, distracting naration"
Al-Hasan al-Wazzan - born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco - became famous as the great Renaissance writer Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian pirates in the Mediterranean and imprisoned by the Pope; when he was released and baptized, he lived a European life of scholarship as the Christian writer Giovanni Leone....
Francis of Assisi is Catholicism's most popular saint. Tens of millions of spiritual seekers summon his name and example. But the real Francis - both his complicated personality and his complex theology - have been misunderstood for centuries. In 1228, Pope Gregory IX rushed to canonize St. Francis only two years after his death. Soon thereafter, the Church eliminated significant aspects of his biography from the public record.
"Ho-hum, didn't grab me."
Here, for the first time, in his new book The Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens, brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens, chronicles his personal journey through disbelief into a committed Christian faith. With unflinching openness and intellectual honesty, Hitchens describes the personal loss and philosophical curiosity that led him to burn his Bible at prep school and embrace atheism in its place. From there, he traces his experience as a journalist in Soviet Moscow and the critical observations that left him with more questions than answers.