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Materialism. Greed. Loneliness. A manic pace. Abuse of the natural world. Inequality. Injustice. War. The endemic problems facing America today are staggering. We need change and restoration. But where to begin? In Shalom and the Community of Creation Randy Woodley offers an answer: learn more about the Native American 'Harmony Way,' a concept that closely parallels biblical shalom. Doing so can bring reconciliation between Euro-Westerners and indigenous peoples, a new connectedness with the Creator and creation, an end to imperial warfare, the ability to live in the moment, justice, restoration -- and a more biblically authentic spirituality. Rooted in redemptive correction, this book calls for true partnership through the co-creation of new theological systems that foster wholeness and peace.
In The Harmony Tree, an old grandmother oak tree is spared when loggers come through and clear-cut a forest. Grandmother Oak finds herself alone until new houses start showing up on the land, along with new trees. Grandmother Oak tries to make friends with these trees, but they are shallow and focused only on themselves. As Grandmother Oak shares her stories and how she came to have such deep roots, she finds hope and healing. The other trees, seeing the value of Grandmother Oak’s history with the land, begin to find strength too. The inspiration for this story comes from the author’s own fifty-acre farm, where all the virgin trees were logged except for a large, white oak tree that sat at the top of a hill. Randy Woodley, says, “I was always grateful the loggers left that one 300-year-old tree for us to enjoy.” That and the tragic circumstances that caused the Woodleys to lose their land and farm just because they were Native Americans inspired Randy to write this story. Under such circumstances, Randy wondered, “How could this one tree bring about healing and friendship in the world? If we can change our minds about our current views of progress, ecology, and the relationship between settler and host peoples, then maybe that one grandmother oak tree, left uncut, offers some hope for everyone.”
The second volume of an exciting new series exploring global theology. Though the global center of Christianity has been shifting south and east over the past few decades, very few theological resources have dealt with the seismic changes afoot. The Majority World Theology series seeks to remedy that lack by gathering well-regarded Christian thinkers from around the world to discuss the significance of Christian teaching in their respective contexts. The Trinity among the Nations focuses on Christian understandings of the character and work of God in various contexts. The contributors highlight global trends in trinitarian theology in relation to historic Christian confessions, especially the Nicene Creed, and draw out the rich implications of the doctrine of God for the church and Christian living today.
Jesus is calling his church to be a multiethnic and missional people who listen and learn from the many voices of world Christianity. Graham Joseph Hill issues a moving call for churches to be missional by being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Hill does this by exploring the thinking of twenty-five Asian, African, Latin American, Indigenous, African American, diaspora, Caribbean, Oceanian, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern pastors and theologians. These are as diverse as Melba Padilla Maggay, Emmanuel Katongole, Lamin Sanneh, Oscar Muriu, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Pope Francis, Richard Twiss, Lisa Sharon Harper, Willie James Jennings, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Soong-Chan Rah, and Mitri Raheb. These voices show us the future of missional churches in world Christianity. When churches are conformed to Christ they make disciples, heal a broken world, and witness to Jesus and his gospel. Jesus forms us in his image and moves us to be a people of shalom, humility, character, justice, peace, wisdom, prayer, beauty, and witness. The church has had a Reformation but now it needs a Conformation. Hill explores biblical themes and the voices of world Christianity to show that a missional church is conformed to the image of the incarnate, crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ. Conformity to Christ is the heart of missional ecclesiology and discipleship.
John McConnell Jr. was the famed founder and visionary of Earth Day. McConnell's vision was one of creating a day of remembrance, solitude, and action to restore the broken human relationship to the land. Little acknowledged are McConnell's religious convictions or background. McConnell grew up in a Pentecostal home. In fact, McConnell's parents were both founding charter members of the Assemblies of God in 1914. His own grandfather had an even greater connection to the origins of Pentecostalism by being a personal participant at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906. Earth Day, thus, began with strong religious convictions. McConnell, seeing the ecological demise through his religious background, envisioned a day where Christians could "show the power of prayer, the validity of their charity, and their practical concern for Earth's life and people." In the spirit of McConnell, today's Pentecostal and Charismatic theology has something to say about the earth. Blood Cries Out is a unique contribution by Pentecostal and Charismatic theologians and practitioners to the global conversation concerning ecological degradation, climate change, and ecological justice.
The increasing interest in postcolonial theologies has initiated a vital conversation within and outside the academy in recent decades, turning many "standard theologies" on their head. This book introduces seminary students, ministry leaders, and others to key aspects, prevailing mentalities, and some major figures to consider when coming to understand postcolonial theologies. Woodley and Sanders provide a unique combination of indigenous theology and other academic theory to point readers toward the way of Jesus. Decolonizing Evangelicalism is a starting point for those who hope to change the conversation and see that the world could be lived in a different way.
Craig Nessan's important new work retrieves biblical metaphors of the body of Christ and, following Dietrich Bonhoeffer, sees church today as "Christ existing as community." To theological probing Nessan then adds contextual analysis and describes the four chief imperatives that mark Christ's presence in the world today: peacemaking, justice-making, care for creation, and engagement with the other. He then unfolds the real-life implications of this paradigm of Christian community for the local church structure, strategies for partnering, public witness, and interreligious engagement.
"We would never give Picasso a paintbrush and only one color of paint, and expect a masterpiece," writes Randy Woodley. "We would not give Beethoven a single piano key and say, 'Play us a concerto.' Yet we limit our Creator in just these ways." Though our Christian experience is often blandly monochromatic, God intends for us to live in dynamic, multihued communities that embody his vibrant creativity. Randy Woodley, a Keetowah Cherokee, casts a biblical, multiethnic vision for people of every nation, tribe and tongue. He carefully unpacks how Christians should think about racial and cultural identity, demonstrating that ethnically diverse communities have always been God's intent for his people. Woodley gives practical insights for how we can relate to one another with sensitivity, contextualize the gospel, combat the subtleties of racism, and honor one another's unique contributions to church and society. Along the way, he reckons with difficult challenges from our racially painful history and offers hope for healing and restoration. With profound wisdom from his own Native American heritage and experience, Woodley's voice adds a distinctive perspective to contemporary discussions of racial reconciliation and multiethnicity. Here is a biblical vision for unity in diversity.
This project attempts the development and implementation of a spiritual formation process which facilitates the experiencing and expressing of shalom. If successful, this process will be made available to First Baptist Church of Turner, in Kansas City, Kansas, as a means of integrating spiritual formation and congregational growth and community development. The project is made up of three phases. Phase one is the development of a three session spiritual formation exercise titled, "Experiencing and Expressing Shalom." In phase two, the Lay Advisory Committee is guided through the three sessions. The major component in each of these exercises is a "Shalom Safari" in which the participants go to a place in the Turner community in search of shalom. They are encouraged to utilize all of their senses to experience shalom. In the third phase, the process is evaluated for its viability and potential use at First Baptist Church of Turner. This project is developed on the panentheistic premise of a primordial spark of Divinity within all things that draws all of creation toward shalom. Both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are used to offer a biblical and theological foundation for the relevancy of shalom. In considering shalom as primordial, experiential, and expressive, this project also re-imagines both sin and salvation as they relate to shalom as being spiritually formative.
Stimulus Books are volumes co-sponsored by the Stimulus Foundation and Paulist Press that deal with topics of vital interest to the Jewish-Christian dialogue. This latest Stimulus Book, A Story of Shalom is, in the words of the author, an "experiment". In it he takes the dawn of the millennium as an opportunity to retell the Christian story (the origins of the church, its purposes, its doings over the centuries and its goals for the future) in a way that envisions a positive relationship between the Christian and Jewish peoples. He rejects the "old" story of creation as "supersessionist", (believing that Christianity has replaced Judaism as God's chosen people). And he tells the Christian story in a way that promotes "Shalom" by affirming Judaism's covenant with God and the validity of Jewish self-understanding.
In complementary ways, these authors have emphasized the eschatological character of Christianity in a way that does justice both to the transcendent and this-worldly implications of the gospel. This book brings their work into a unique dialogue, drawing on their respective contributions to the international journal Concilium, of which they are both editors.
Multiculturalism: A Shalom Motif for the Christian Community is an attempt to engage the Christian community on the ongoing discussion of cultural diversity and its implications for the church and the entire Christian community of the twenty-first century. Written for Christian schools and churches, this book confronts the fact that, for the Christian church in North America to remain vibrant and relevant in the twenty-first century, it must engage with the idea of multiculturalism and all other forms of diversity that now characterize the contemporary society. While the nature of this engagement will vary from case to case, cultural diversity must become a growing face of the church in America. This book uses a combination of philosophy, educational theories, and biblical theology to provide Christian educators and churches with a critical understanding of multiculturalism, as well as practical steps for engaging this issue within the Christian community.
In 1984, Ron Sider challenged that until Christians are ready to risk everything in pursuit of peace, we dare never whisper another word about pacifism . . . Unless we are ready to die developing new nonviolent attempts to reduce conflict, we should confess that we never really meant that the cross was an alternative to the sword. From this challenge, Christian Peacemaker Teams was born. Nearly thirty years later, Michael McRay too explored Sider's challenge, interning with CPT in the West Bank city of Hebron. Alongside local and international peacemakers, McRay learned how to resist the violence of occupation, sharing in the stories of a suffering people as he struggled to embody the peaceable spirit of the rabbi from Nazareth. This book tells those stories. Drawing on his personal experience with the land and its history, McRay's raw letters home tackle critical issues relevant to peacemakers everywhere: What is really happening in Palestine that mainstream media fails to report? How are Palestinians' lives being affected? How can one be peaceable amidst such violence and oppression? How should Christian discipleship influence one's pursuits of peacemaking and reconciliation? McRay's letters illustrate both the challenge and promise of the cross in today's world.
How do we find God in a world where God often seems to be hidden? How do we love one another and seek social justice? This series of theological and spiritual reflections on family and community helps readers see spirituality in daily life, exploring current issues such as global warming, environment, racism, child rearing, and sexism in relation to the church to offer readers new insights and directions for living as faithful Christians. This book's brief, daily reflections on universal concerns give voice to what many people feel but struggle to articulate, bringing emotions to the surface to help readers apply theology in their everyday lives. The book's thirty entries make it ideal for a month of daily personal devotions or group study and discussion.
Drawing from Scripture, church history, and the author's own ministry experiences among those who live on the margins, Vulnerable Faith bridges the often enormous gap between the conceptual ideal of faithfulness we talk about in church and a genuine, practical, radical obedience to Jesus. "This book is an invitation to radical faithfulness found in willing vulnerability. Jamie Arpin- Ricci guides readers through a process of transformation, which exposes our pretense and promises new life through and beyond the cross of Christ.” —Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking "The urgency of the invitation to each of us in Vulnerable Faith cannot be ignored. In a world of terror and hatred, of protection and retaliation, it is a bold and important reminder to Christians of the radical nature of our witness as followers of Jesus. He is the Word made flesh, the vulnerable incarnation of God's love for each and every one of us." —Jean Vanier, from the foreword "In Vulnerable Faith the life of St. Patrick meets the spirituality of the Twelve Steps. It is a surprising, potent and challenging combination, one that Jamie Arpin-Ricci uses to profound effect in setting before us a vision of Christian community characterized by loving vulnerability, sacrificial generosity and a radical welcome of the stranger into the Shalom of God's Kingdom. An inspiring and life-changing book." —Richard Beck, author Unclean and Slavery of Death "If you are intrigued by the life of early Celtic leader St. Patrick, and if you see a need for transformation in your own life, Vulnerable Faith is your invitation to take some time to explore what greater faithfulness in the people of God might look like. Jamie juxtaposes the life of St. Patrick with lessons learned from AA’s Twelve Steps in a way that is refreshing and challenging. This is not for the faint-hearted but for those who want to take steps deeper into the love of God. I loved it, was inspired by it and recommend it to all who take their faith seriously.” —Christine Sine, author of Return to Our Senses "Using an array of examples that is both wide and deep, Jamie Arpin-Ricci draws us into a very deep place. This place of questions, trembling, fear, hope, faith, is at the heart of our vulnerability. It is in this very place that we most intimately find God and one another"—Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, Catholic blogger, contributed to Homilists for the Homeless "Jamie is an expert storyteller who with compassion and imagination seamlessly weaves together the old and the new, the saint and the sinner, the practical wisdom of the 12 Steps with the timeless wisdom of the Scriptures. But his greatest feat in Vulnerable Faith is showing how transformative spirituality can be woven into the context of restorative community, where it belongs. Using the life of Saint Patrick as his guide, Jamie paves a way for all of us – on our own and in community – to approach a vulnerability worthy of our redemption. Vulnerable Faith is a primer on authentic community, a personal devotional book, and an insightful look into the human heart, all in one" —Amy Hollingsworth, author of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers and Runaway Radical "Jamie Arpin-Ricci knows only too well that spiritual growth and transformation are the result of God’s grace. In 'Vulnerable Faith', he masterfully shows how the 12 Steps help facilitate an openness to God with the life of St. Patrick as our guiding example. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in teaching that has stood the test of time."—Albert Haase, O.F.M., author of Catching Fire, Becoming Flame: A Guide for Spiritual Transformation "In Vulnerable Faith, Jamie Arpin-Ricci has found a unique way to blend the life struggles of St Patrick to help us restore our own dilemma of neglected discipleship. Referencing the 12 Steps model, the reality of Patrick's life and the need for Christ in our own lives slowly unfolds into an understanding of how Christ fulfills shalom in all the areas of our lives. We all need this book".—Randy Woodley, author of Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision "Vulnerable Faith is a wonderfully creative exploration of missional life that draws from the story of St. Patrick as well as contemporary culture. The artful retelling of the story of St. Patrick is done with imagination and care. Each chapter's installment of the story of the beloved saint is followed by theological reflection that probes and prods the reader toward holiness. This book is a fine resource for clergy, congregations, and missional communities."—Elaine Heath, author We Were the Least of These "In this age of self-reliance and faux invincibility, the spiritual discipline of vulnerability is a rare thing indeed. Gently and yet provocatively, Jamie Arpin-Ricci uses the life and teaching of St Patrick to show us that it is only through accepting our common weakness, our brokenness and our unequivocal need for grace that we can find the opportunity for fullness of life and true freedom." —Michael Frost, author of Incarnate "With creativity, skill, vulnerability, and insight Jamie Arpin-Ricci reintroduces readers to the risk of Christian faith, the hope of prophetic witness, and the true reward of costly grace for our time. St. Patrick and the tenets of the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous serve as new and inspiring companions as Arpin-Ricci guides us along the path toward renewing our commitment to be missionary disciples of Christ.” —Daniel P. Horan OFM, author, The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton
This book is a brilliant use of metaphor that makes clear why the world leaves us feeling so uneasy!
The Bible promises the renewal of all creation--a new heaven and earth--based on the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For centuries this promise has been sidelined or misunderstood because of the church's failure to grasp the full meaning of biblical teachings on creation and new creation. The Bible tells the story of the broken and restored relationship between God, people, and land, not just God and people. This is the full gospel, and it has the power to heal the church's long theological divorce between earth and heaven. Jesus' resurrection in the power of the Holy Spirit is the key, and the church as Christ's body is the primary means by which God is reconciling all things through Jesus Christ. Jesus' ultimate healing of all creation is the great hope and promise of the gospel, and he calls the church to be his healing community now through evangelism, discipleship, and prophetic mission.

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