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One Woman’s Journey Back to Loving the Bible If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too. Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture’s mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world.
Preaching is a challenging, privileged, and awesome responsibility. As important as mining the text for its meaning and message and making connections to our twenty-first-century world is the responsibility to engage the imaginations of the people in the pews (or chairs). In this book, Ray Friesen—life-long preacher and retired pastor—has provided twenty examples of how to be creative and engage those imaginations. Most were written under the pressures of bi-vocational ministry (preaching forty times a year as half-time pastor and operating a mediation practice). They are offered to you, not as sermons for you to preach, but as examples of what is possible, even with all the other responsibilities you may have. Each sermon and type of creativity will create an opportunity to set your imagination and creativity free to engage the imaginations, hearts, and dreams of your parishioners.
Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial made a spectacle of Christian fundamentalism and brought national attention to her hometown, Rachel Held Evans faced a trial of her own when she began to have doubts about her faith. Growing up in a culture obsessed with apologetics, Evans asks questions she never thought she would ask. She learns that in order for her faith to survive in a postmodern context, it must adapt to change and evolve. Using as an illustration her own spiritual journey from certainty, through doubt, to faith, Evans adds a unique perspective to the ongoing dialogue about postmodernism and the church that has so captivated the Christian community in recent years. In a changing cultural environment where new ideas threaten the safety and security of the faith, Evolving in Monkey Town is a fearlessly honest story of survival.
We're told that the Bible is beautiful, uplifting and a joy to read - but, while we know this is how we're supposed to feel about it, in reality many of us find the very opposite. On opening the Bible, we are faced with a multitude of problems; from its form and historical content to its sheer size and often distasteful stories, we can be left feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. But the problem is not with the Bible - and it's not with us either. The problem is we've been misinformed. And so, we end up believing things about the Bible that the Bible never claims for itself. But the Bible won't politely sign up to the neat categories and terms we force on it. That's why it's badly behaved. We want to control the Bible and tame it so that we can ride it into battle; but the Bible bucks and rears and throws us off. We want to pin the Bible down so that it proves our theology; but the Bible evades capture and plays hide and seek. We want answers; but the Bible keeps firing questions. We want it to tell us what to do; but the Bible keeps telling us to think. We want to make the Bible dance to our tune: but the Bible has music of its own. The Bible is an invitation and a call. The breath of God lifts its pages, and they rise and fall with his breathing. In his honest and accessible style, Nick Page urges us to re-discover a fresh look at the Bible as the scriptural bedrock of the Christian faith, to learn how we can undo unhelpful ways of reading it and demystifying its purpose and scope. Nick tackles what the Bible is and what it isn't, how we can critically read this inspired text and how we approach the difficulties in its content. Alongside helpful analysis and practical advice - including kickstarting his one-man campaign to ban "Bible study" - Nick helps us re-discover how to rediscover the Bible as Holy Ground, as a place where we meet and encounter God.
Gender roles have been debated for centuries, and now Sarah Bessey offers a clarion freedom call for all who want to realize their giftedness and potential in the kingdom of God. Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices, Bessey shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her.
The stories of Scripture are for everyone. No exceptions.Emmy Kegler has a complicated relationship with the Bible. As a queer woman who grew up in both conservative Evangelical and progressive Protestant churches, she knows too well how Scripture can be used to wound and exclude. And yet, the stories of Scripture continue to captivate and inspire her--both as a person of faith and as a pastor to a congregation. So she set out to fall in love with the Bible, wrestling with the stories inside, where she met a God who continues to seek us out--appearing again and again as a voice, a presence, and a promise.Whenever we are pushed to the edges, our voices silenced, or our stories dismissed, God goes out after us--seeking us until we are found again. And God is seeking out those whose voices we too quickly silence and dismiss, too. Because God's story is a story of welcome and acceptance for everyone--no exceptions.Kegler shows us that even when we feel like lost and dusty coins--rusted from others' indifference, misspent and misused--God picks up a broom and sweeps every corner of creation to find us.
Same-sex marriage may be legal in America, but it's still far from the accepted norm, especially in Christian circles. So where can LBGTQ Christians who desire a lifelong, covenantal relationship look for dating and marriage advice when Christian relationship guides have not only simply ignored but actively excluded same-sex couples? David and Constantino Khalaf struggled to find relational role models and guidance throughout dating, their engagement, and the early months of their marriage. To fill this void, they began writing Modern Kinship, a blog exploring the unique challenges queer couples face on the road from singleness to marital bliss. Part personal reflection, part commentary, and full of practical advice, Modern Kinship explores the biblical concept of kinship from a twenty-first-century perspective. This important resource tackles subjects such as dating outside of smartphone apps, overcoming church and family issues, meeting your partner's parents, deciding when and how to have children, and finding your mission as a couple. Modern Kinship encourages queer Christian couples to build God-centered partnerships of trust and mutuality.

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