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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.
A strong Christian woman embarks on a radical life experiment-a year of biblical womanhood. Strong and committed in her faith-but frustrated by the inconsistencies she saw in her evangelical culture's view of women-Rachel Held Evans became an independent woman. But, intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans had a crazy idea:What if I took "biblical womanhood" literally for a full year? In the next twelve months Rachel: Wore a scarf over her head to pray Called her husband "master" and stood on the roadside with a sign that said "Dan is Awesome" Adopted a computerized baby Perched on the roof for an afternoon of penance for gossiping Camped out in her front yard during her period Visited an Amish schoolhouse, a pig farm in Bolivia, and a Benedictine monastery Took up baking and knitting Interviewed a polygamist, a Quiverfull daughter, and a courtship couple With just the right mixture of humor and insight, Evans takes readers along with her on a lively adventure. In the process she discovers that the journey itself leads her right to the heart of God.
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.
A deeply moving and life-affirming account of wrestling with faith and God and finding miracles in the most unexpected places. In the brief instant Sarah Bessey realized that her minivan was, inevitably, going to hit the car on the highway on the bright, clear day of the crash, she knew intuitively that it would have life-changing consequences. But as she navigated the winding path from her life before the accident—as a popular author, preacher, and loving wife and mother—to her new life after, inhabiting a body that no longer felt like her own, she found that the most unexpected result wasn’t the way this shook her body, but how it shook her deeply rooted faith, upending everything she thought she knew and held so dearly. Weaving together theology and memoir in her trademark narrative style, Sarah tells us the story of the moment that changed her body and how it ultimately changed her life. The road of healing leads to Rome where she met the Pope (it’s complicated) and encountered the Holy Spirit in the last place she expected. She writes about her miraculous healing, learning to live with chronic pain, and the ways God makes us whole in the midst of suffering. She invites us to a path of knowing God that is filled with ordinary miracles, hope in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and other completely reasonable things. Insightful, profound, and unexpected, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things is a wild, spirit-filled story of what it means to live with both grief and faith, suffering and joy, as we wrestle with God.
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.
Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

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