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Our world is awash in sex. We are bombarded with it everywhere we turn--TV, newspapers and magazines, music, movies and the Internet. When this ever-present temptation mixes with human weaknesses and unmet needs, many get pulled into addiction to sexually sinful behavior. They may detest their own habits, but they can't seem to break free. Is there any hope? Russell Willingham speaks from his own experience and that of the many he has counseled. His answer? "Yes There is hope. Jesus offers forgiveness and healing." True stories show how the principles in this book can be put into action. The essentials are spelled out in practical steps that can help people begin to break free. Willingham deals with such issues as what all addicts have in common the hunt of the malnourished heart where to find the courage to face the dark side wrestling with shame and grace the healing effect of radical honesty This realistic yet hopeful book offers a new way to see the world for every person who wants to understand and break free from sexual addiction.
To many Christians theology is something alien, overly intellectual and wholly unappealing. Even seminary students are known to balk at the prospect of a course on theology. Yet theology--most simply, the knowledge of God--is essential to the life and health of the church. In this short introduction, Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson, two theologians who care deeply about the witness of ordinary Christians and the ministry of the church, show what theology is, what tools theology uses, why every believer (advanced degrees or not) is a theologian and how the theological enterprise can be productive and satisfying. Their clear, easily understood book is ideal for students, church study groups and individual Christians who want to strengthen understanding, belief and commitment by coming to know God more fully.
Throughout their history, the Amish communities of North America have tried to remain separate from the currents of progress that swirl in the larger society. The authors and others argue that although the nation's nearly 140,000 Amish continue to resist the influence of worldly institutions, the communities have nonetheless acquiesced to modernity in significant ways. Such change has not been easy and The Amish Struggle with Modernity examines on a national scale dilemmas that arise when a people devoted to plain living face the complexities of modern life.
Long dismissed as conventional and antiquarian, church records are actually unparalleled sources for historians offering information on a wide range of topics, such as the founding and evolution of churches, popular involvement in religious institutions and practices, modes of church governance, deviance, and resistance, and the interactions of churches--not to mention revealing information on significant moments in the lives of laity and ministers alike. This volume includes two of the finest sets of church records from the colonial era of Massachusetts history thus far unpublished. The Reading church records, in particular, are unique because they cover the entire period prior to the American Revolution, while the Rumney Marsh records cast light on the often-neglected period of 1715 through 1757. In addition, these records illuminate the otherwise unknown lives and activities of common folk, white and black, men and women, who debate, bicker, admonish, exhort, and uplift each other.
The aesthetics of everyday life, as reflected in art museums and galleries throughout the western world, is the result of a profound shift in aesthetic perception that occurred during the Renaissance and Reformation. In this book, William A. Dyrness examines intellectual developments in late Medieval Europe, which turned attention away from a narrow range liturgical art and practices and towards a celebration of God's presence in creation and in history. Though threatened by the human tendency to self-assertion, he shows how a new focus on God's creative and recreative action in the world gave time and history a new seriousness, and engendered a broad spectrum of aesthetic potential. Focusing in particular on the writings of Luther and Calvin, Dyrness demonstrates how the reformers' conceptual and theological frameworks pertaining to the role of the arts influenced the rise of realistic theater, lyric poetry, landscape painting, and architecture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Perfectionist Politics is the story of an important, but overlooked, antebellum reform movement: ecclesiastical abolitionism. Douglas M. Strong examines those radical evangelical Protestants who seceded from proslavery denominations and reorganized themselves into independent antislavery congregations.
Mirroring political abolitionist activity -- particularly in the "burned-over district" of New York State -- the ecclesiastical abolitionists formed a network of abolition churches and became the primary focus of Liberty Party electioneering strategy.
Ecclesiastical abolitionists justified this clear connection between church and state through the ethical experience of evangelical perfectionism. A vote for the Liberty Party became a mark of one's holiness. Perfectionist concepts also provided ecclesiastical abolitionists with a theological compass that enabled them to steer a middle course between two poles of U.S. democratic society -- the need for institutional structure on one hand and the desire for greater individual liberty on the other.
Strong contends that Liberty Party politics can be understood only as part of a broader perfectionist religious culture and specifically as an antebellum reflection of the popularized theological principle of "entire sanctification".
This volume is made up of the autobiographical writings of thirty of the women who lived in the major North American Moravian settlement of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at varying points in the eighteenth century. What follows are their memoirs, fascinating documents that contain insights into the lives of the women and men who lived in the Moravian communities in North America.... These Moravian women's memoirs reveal the intersection of the private and the public spheres of their lives. They are records of their spiritual paths in a world that in most cases challenged the bounds of knowledge inherited from their parents. However, whatever private insights these memoirs afforded the writers they were written to be shared with the congregation as a public relation of the author's spiritual and secular path through life. These memoirs formed part of the discourse of faith within the Moravian church.
Available for the first time in trade paperback, this authoritative biography of the great religious leader was hailed by Time magazine as "the most readable Luther biography in English". This edition showcases the intricate woodcuts and engravings that enhance the text and give the flavor of the era in which Martin Luther lived. More than 100 woodcuts and engravings.
A major new account of the most intensely creative years of Luther's career The Making of Martin Luther takes a provocative look at the intellectual emergence of one of the most original and influential minds of the sixteenth century. Richard Rex traces how, in a concentrated burst of creative energy in the few years surrounding his excommunication by Pope Leo X in 1521, this lecturer at an obscure German university developed a startling new interpretation of the Christian faith that brought to an end the dominance of the Catholic Church in Europe. Luther's personal psychology and cultural context played their parts in the whirlwind of change he unleashed. But for the man himself, it was always about the ideas, the truth, and the Gospel. Focusing on the most intensely important years of Luther's career, Rex teases out the threads of his often paradoxical and counterintuitive ideas from the tangled thickets of his writings, explaining their significance, their interconnections, and the astonishing appeal they so rapidly developed. Yet Rex also sets these ideas firmly in the context of Luther's personal life, the cultural landscape that shaped him, and the traditions of medieval Catholic thought from which his ideas burst forth. Lucidly argued and elegantly written, The Making of Martin Luther is a splendid work of intellectual history that renders Luther's earthshaking yet sometimes challenging ideas accessible to a new generation of readers.
Their revolutionary marriage was arguably one of the most scandalous and intriguing in history. Yet five centuries later, we still know little about Martin and Katharina Luther's life as husband and wife. Until now. Against all odds, the unlikely union worked, over time blossoming into the most tender of love stories. This unique biography tells the riveting story of two extraordinary people and their extraordinary relationship, offering refreshing insights into Christian history and illuminating the Luthers' profound impact on the institution of marriage, the effects of which still reverberate today. By the time they turn the last page, readers will have a deeper understanding of Luther as a husband and father and will come to love and admire Katharina, a woman who, in spite of her pivotal role, has been largely forgotten by history. Together, this legendary couple experienced joy and grief, triumph and travail. This book brings their private lives and their love story into the spotlight and offers powerful insights into our own twenty-first-century understanding of marriage.
Drawing on archival material from Shaker members, observers, and apostates, noted historian Suzanne R. Thurman offers a scholarly yet eminently readable study of life in two of the oldest, most prominent American Shaker villages: the Harvard and Shirley communities of massachusetts.
Even as she delves into the complex fabric of Shaker social life, Thurman challenges traditional perceptions of gender roles within the community. Shaker spiritual and social ethics, she points out, strongly favored women. Celibacy and an androgynous theology, for instance, allowed androgynous social roles to evolve. Another key factor was the lively arena of nineteenth-century reformers and intellectuals in nearby Boston. With admirable detail, Thurman documents the relationship that grew between these forward thinkers and the Believers. Their influence, she argues, enlightened Shaker consciousness and empowered their women of Harvard and Shirley with opportunities denied them in the world at large.
The author also explores links, particularly economic, between Shakers and the greater American society. Treating Harvard and Shirley Believers as an idiosyncratic part of the nation rather than a fringe group, Thurman sheds new light on their constant struggle to be in the world but not of it.
Powerful, Practical Guide to Interpreting God's Messages in Dreams and Visions Dreams and visions can be revelations from God that connect straight to our hearts. Spoken in the language of heaven--the language of our spirits--you first need to learn the language before you can truly understand the power and purpose of these messages. With wisdom and insight, pastor and author Sandie Freed helps you do just that. Laying out a biblical framework for interpreting dreams and visions, she shows how God uses these to reveal your future, heal your heart, draw you closer to him, impart direction and guidance, expose strongholds, and empower you to step into your true purpose and destiny. In these pages you'll discover how to * prepare to hear from God * discern the source of your dreams * recognize the type, category, and context of dreams you've had * interpret symbols, numbers, colors, and objects * protect, battle, and bless your dreams * and more Here is everything you need to understand your dreams and unlock God's messages to you.
On the 500th anniversary of Luther's rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world. Five hundred years ago Protestant Christianity began with one stubborn monk. Today, it includes a billion people across the globe. The upheaval Martin Luther triggered inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. Protestants is the story of the men and women who made and remade this quarrelsome faith. Fired by life-changing encounters with their God, they set out for every corner of the world, demanded alarming new freedoms and experimented in new systems of government. Inspired by their newly accessible Bibles, they transformed their inner lives, a transformation that spilled over into social upheavals and political revolutions. In the process, they have played decisive roles on both sides of the great ideological battles of modern times. Protestants have been both for and against liberalism, imperialism, slavery, Nazism, communism, apartheid and women's rights. Yet beneath it all is a shared passion for God, a vital belief in the principle of self-determination and a readiness to fight for their beliefs. Protestantism's global story is still only just beginning. As this ever-changing faith puts down deep roots across contemporary China, Africa, and Latin America, Alec Ryrie's dazzling history explores how its restless energy made and is still making the modern world.
James Wm. McClendon, Jr. (1924a2000) was the most important "baptist" theologian of the twentieth century. McClendon crafted a systematic theology that grew out of the immediacy of preaching the text, refused to succumb to the pressures of individualism, and lamented the stunted public witness of a fractured Protestant ecclesiology. This third and final volume of his Collected Works provides a compendium of McClendon's sermonsaexamples of what he called "first-order" theology in action. While McClendon was predominantly known as a philosophical theologian, he persisted in the belief that the theology that mattered most occurred in ordinary congregations seeking to bear faithful witness in the world. The sermons in this collectionamany rarely seen and never before publishedaprovide an important window into McClendon's own theology and witness to his convictions about theology's purpose and end. This third volume serves as an invaluable resource for ministers, students, and theologians who seek a fuller understanding of McClendon's "baptist" theology.
"This is a wonderful anthology . Its texts not only span the whole of Luther's reforming career, but also cover the theological, political, and social issues that mattered most to him and his age. Best of all, the original integrity of the texts remains perceptible, even when abridged. This valuable collection will be a great teaching tool and also a most useful resource for anyone interested in Luther or the Protestant Reformation." -Carlos Eire, Yale University, author of Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 (Yale University Press) CONTENTS: Thematic Table of Contents General Introduction 1. Preface to the Complete Edition of the Latin Writings (1545) 2. Disputation on the Power of Indulgences (The Ninety-Five Theses) (1517) 3. Sermon on Indulgence and Grace (1518) 4. Disputation Held at Heidelberg (1518) 5. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520) 6. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520) 7. On the Freedom of a Christian (1520) 8. Preface to the New Testament (1522) 9. Preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans (1522) 10. On Married Life (1522) 11. On Secular Authority: To What Extent It Must Be Obeyed (1523) 12. That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew (1523) 13. Against the Heavenly Prophets Concerning Images and the Sacrament (1525) 14. Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants (1525) 15. The Bondage of the Will (1525) 16. The German Mass and Order of Divine Service (1526) 17. How Christians Should Regard Moses (1527) 18. Concerning Rebaptism (1528) 19. Hymns (pre-1529) 20. On the War against the Turks (1529) 21. The Small Catechism (1529) 22. Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (1535) 23. The Schmalkald Articles (1537) 24. Letter to Landgrave Philipp of Hesse (1539) 25. On the Jews and Their Lies (1543) Suggestions for Further Reading Index
"The quest for aliveness is the heartbeat that pulses through the Bible . . . It's why we gather, celebrate, eat, abstain, attend, practice, sing, and contemplate."
Based on his book We Make The Road By Walking, Brian D. McLaren presents a 52-week devotional to inspire and activate you in your spiritual journey. If you're a seeker exploring Christianity, if you're a long-term believer feeling downtrodden, if your faith seems to be a lot of talk without much practice, here you'll find a reorientation from a fresh and healthy perspective.
Brian D. McLaren shows everything you need to explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in your life and in our world today. Through 52 weeks of thoughtful readings, SEEKING ALIVENESS gives an overview of the message of the whole Bible and guides you through a rich study of interactive learning and personal growth.
On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg. More than any other event, this has the best claim to be the starting gun that set the Reformation in motion.Five hundred years later, the Reformation still has important things to say. In this clear, incisive and accessible survey, Michael Reeves and Tim Chester show how the Reformation helps us answer questions like: How do we know what's true? Can we truly know God? How does God speak? What's wrong with us? How can we be saved? Who am I?That many people today find the Reformation strange and remote exposes our preoccupation with this material world and this momentary life. If there is a world beyond this world, and a life beyond this life, then it doesn't seem to matter very much to us.At its heart, the Reformation was a dispute about how we know God and how we can be right with him. At stake was our eternal future - and it still is.
The apparent disappearance of mysticism in the Protestant world after the Reformation used to be taken as an example of the arrival of modernity. However, as recent studies in history and literary history reveal, the "Reformation" was not experienced in such a drastically transformative manner, not least because the later Middle Ages itself was marked by a series of reform movements within the Catholic Church in which mysticism played a central role. In Mysticism and Reform, 1400-1750, contributors show that it is more accurate to characterize the history of early modern mysticism as one in which relationships of continuity within transformations occurred. Rather than focus on the departures of the sixteenth-century Reformation from medieval traditions, the essays in this volume explore one of the most remarkable yet still under-studied chapters in its history: the survival and transformation of mysticism between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. With a focus on central and northern Europe, the essays engage such subjects as the relationship of Luther to mystical writing, the visual representation of mystical experience in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century art, mystical sermons by religious women of the Low Countries, Valentin Weigel's recasting of Eckhartian gelassenheit for a Lutheran audience, and the mysticism of English figures such as Gertrude More, Jane Lead, Elizabeth Hooten, and John Austin, the German Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, and the German American Marie Christine Sauer.
A major new account of the most intensely creative years of Luther's career The Making of Martin Luther takes a provocative look at the intellectual emergence of one of the most original and influential minds of the sixteenth century. Richard Rex traces how, in a concentrated burst of creative energy in the few years surrounding his excommunication by Pope Leo X in 1521, this lecturer at an obscure German university developed a startling new interpretation of the Christian faith that brought to an end the dominance of the Catholic Church in Europe. Lucidly argued and elegantly written, The Making of Martin Luther is a splendid work of intellectual history that renders Luther's earthshaking yet sometimes challenging ideas accessible to a new generation of readers.
From the turn of the twentieth century until the end of the Irish Civil War, Protestant nationalists forged a distinct counterculture within an increasingly Catholic nationalist movement. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Conor Morrissey charts the development of nationalism within Protestantism, and describes the ultimate failure of this tradition. The book traces the re-emergence of Protestant nationalist activism in the literary and language movements of the 1890s, before reconstructing their distinctive forms of organisation in the following decades. Morrissey shows how Protestants, mindful of their minority status, formed interlinked networks of activists, and developed a vibrant associational culture. He describes how the increasingly Catholic nature of nationalism - particularly following the Easter Rising - prompted Protestants to adopt a variety of strategies to ensure their voices were still heard. Ultimately, this ambitious and wide-ranging book explores the relationship between religious denomination and political allegiance, casting fresh light on an often-misunderstood period.
A fresh account of the life of Martin Luther The sixteenth-century German friar whose public conflict with the medieval Roman Church triggered the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther was neither an unblemished saint nor a single-minded religious zealot according to this provocative new biography by Scott Hendrix. The author presents Luther as a man of his time: a highly educated scholar and teacher and a gifted yet flawed human being driven by an optimistic yet ultimately unrealized vision of "true religion." This bold, insightful account of the life of Martin Luther provides a new perspective on one of the most important religious figures in history, focusing on Luther's entire life, his personal relationships and political motivations, rather than on his theology alone. Relying on the latest research and quoting extensively from Luther's correspondence, Hendrix paints a richly detailed portrait of an extraordinary man who, while devout and courageous, had a dark side as well. No recent biography in English explores as fully the life and work of Martin Luther long before and far beyond the controversial posting of his 95 Theses in 1517, an event that will soon be celebrated as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
A panoramic new history of Puritanism in England, Scotland, and New England This book is a sweeping transatlantic history of Puritanism from its emergence out of the religious tumult of Elizabethan England to its founding role in the story of America. Shedding critical new light on the diverse forms of Puritan belief and practice in England, Scotland, and New England, David Hall provides a multifaceted account of a cultural movement that judged the Protestant reforms of Elizabeth's reign to be unfinished. Hall's vivid and wide-ranging narrative describes the movement's deeply ambiguous triumph under Oliver Cromwell, its political demise with the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, and its perilous migration across the Atlantic to establish a "perfect reformation" in the New World. A breathtaking work of scholarship by an eminent historian, The Puritans examines the tribulations and doctrinal dilemmas that led to the fragmentation and eventual decline of Puritanism. It presents a compelling portrait of a religious and political movement that was divided virtually from the start. In England, some wanted to dismantle the Church of England entirely and others were more cautious, while Puritans in Scotland were divided between those willing to work with a troublesome king and others insisting on the independence of the state church. This monumental book traces how Puritanism was a catalyst for profound cultural changes in the early modern Atlantic world, opening the door for other dissenter groups such as the Baptists and the Quakers, and leaving its enduring mark on what counted as true religion in America.
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