Ebook Special for Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner

Now through August 3, the ebook for Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation by David G. Benner is only $2.99 (85% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

“A challenging multidisciplinary analysis of psychological change and spiritual development. . . . Blending insights from psychology, theology, anthropology, his own clinical practice, and other disciplines, the author suggests that the adventurous journey of the ‘awakening self’ is one of experiencing the possibility of ‘radical’ transformation leading to oneness with God. Throughout the book, stories from the Christian mystics and other spiritual tutors provide a rich array of examples of communion with the divine as the writer presents his vision of the self as it moves from one stage of consciousness to the next. . . . [Readers] will find this profound journey into spiritual and psychological growth provocative, enriching, and full of insights that will stay with them after they have put down the book.”
Publishers Weekly

Being human is a lifelong journey of becoming. This journey defines our humanity, for it is a journey toward our source and our fulfillment, described in Christian theology as union with God. If we remain open to God as our sense of self awakens, we experience a deeper consciousness of being in him. The self that emerges during this process is larger, more enlightened, and whole.

David Benner has spent thirty-five years integrating psychology and spirituality. Following his acclaimed book Soulful Spirituality, Benner offers readers a deeper understanding of the self and its spiritual development in Spirituality and the Awakening Self. Drawing on a broad range of Christian traditions, he shows that the transformation of self is foundational to Christian spirituality.

This book will appeal to professors and students in ministry development and spiritual formation courses; professionals engaged in pastoral care, counseling, and spiritual direction; and readers interested in a psychologically grounded, fresh exploration of Christian spirituality. Questions and answers for individual or group use are included at the end of each chapter.

The Weekly Hit List: July 25, 2014

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, appeared on C-SPAN 2′s Book TV.

The interview was conducted at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and was part of Book TV’s College Series. 

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, wrote “Smiling for ‘Auschwitz selfies,’ and crying into the digital wilderness” for CNN’s Belief Blog.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R. was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, was interviewed by Ann Swindell.

A Beautiful Disaster was reviewed on Life in Slow Motion.

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was recommended by Evangelicals for Social Action.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was referenced on The Pathway and recommended by Natasha Crain.

A Peaceable Psychology by Alvin Dueck and Kevin Reimer was reviewed by Abram Kielsmeier-Jones.

Esther & Daniel (BTCB) by Samuel Wells and George Sumner was reviewed on Examiner.com.

 

Ebook Specials:

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung is only $1.99 (89% off) from participating retailers through July 28.

Ebook Special for Glittering Vices by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

Now through July 28, the ebook of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung is only $1.99 (89% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

Winner of a C. S. Lewis Book Prize

“A serious, scripturally based revisitation of the perils conservative Christians face from the traditional deadly sins. . . . Suitable for many [collections].”
Library Journal

“Christian readers and readers of other deistic faiths will benefit from the reminder that a divinity is offended by those who act in loveless and other destructive ways; agnostic and atheist readers will be edified by this exhaustive compendium of the ways in which ‘vice’ is glorified and even celebrated in media, literature, and contemporary life.”
ForeWord

Glittering Vices is a felicitous blend of the scholarly and the hortatory. DeYoung is too sophisticated–and too much of a Thomist–to reduce sin to sociology or therapy. . . . This book is full of subtlety. DeYoung is very good at explaining why ‘deadly’ sins are not always the sins that threaten violence and danger.”
Commonweal

“Moral formation” and “character development” are popular buzzwords, but they are ineffective concepts without an understanding of what good character is and how to cultivate it. The traditional teachings on the “seven deadly sins,” or capital vices, compiled by saints such as Augustine, Pope Gregory I, and Aquinas, offer a strong foundation for recognizing virtues to cultivate and vices to avoid.

Unfortunately, contemporary culture trivializes, psychologizes, or even dismisses the seven vices as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications. Glittering Vices clears that misconception with a brief history of the vices and an informative chapter on each “deadly sin.” Readers gain practical understanding of how the vices shape our culture and why gluttony, lust, sloth, and others are, in fact, incredibly destructive. Through this eye-opening book, readers will be able to correctly identify and eliminate the deeply rooted patterns of sin that are work in their lives.

Winsome and wise, Glittering Vices is intriguing for any reader interested in spiritual disciplines and character formation. Its rich content makes it useful in undergraduate and seminary ethics courses as well.

Lectionary Reflection for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Matthew (BTCB) by Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52:

Jesus’s great sermon on the parables can be read as a commentary on his claim that those who do the will of the Father are his brother, sister, and mother. You do not become a brother or sister to Christ through birth, but you become his brother and sister by learning to be his disciple.

As we shall see, the parables become one of the ways in which Jesus trains his disciples to constitute this new family. In particular, he uses parables to help the disciples discern how the kingdom of heaven is established.

The parables, therefore, like the Sermon on the Mount, have always been crucial for the church to imagine the kind of community that we must be in order to survive in a world that assumes that biological kinship is more determinative than our kinship with Christ. The boat on which Jesus sits to deliver his parabolic sermon on the parables is the church that the parables bring into being.

Matthew does not tell us when or why Jesus is in a house, but only that on the same day in which his disciples are accused of breaking the Sabbath Jesus leaves the house and sits beside the sea. As soon as he leaves the house a great crowd gathers around him.

Indeed, the crowd was so great that Jesus must get into a boat in order to address the crowd, who stand on the beach while he sits in the boat to instruct them. We have, therefore, a situation quite similar to that in which Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

When Jesus delivers the sermon, the crowd hears Jesus, but the disciples are the ones to whom Jesus directs the sermon. In a like manner, Jesus instructs the crowd through some of the parables, but he explains the parables to the disciples because they are the ones who must learn to live in the light of the world revealed by the parables.

 

©2006 by Stanley Hauerwas. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

“The Sin of Gluttony” – an Excerpt from Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm

The following is an excerpt from “Gluttony: Thought for Food,” chapter 2 from Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins: Learning from the Psychology of Ancient Monks by Dennis Okholm.

——————————————————

Gluttony is more than simply overeating and it is not merely fatness. Nor does gluttony merely consist of our desire for food, the consumption of it, or the pleasure we derive from eating it.

The sin of gluttony has to do with the manner in which we consume food, involving inordinate desire and immoderate pleasure. To be more specific, Evagrius, Cassian, Gregory, and Aquinas all delineate several aspects of gluttony that we can reduce to six. They involve both acts and thoughts (or attitudes).

One has to do with what we commonly think of as gluttony: gorging ourselves and not savoring a reasonable amount of food.

A second involves timing: eating at any other time than the appointed hour. For the eremitic monk this usually involved the one meal at none (i.e., 3:00 p.m.) or later. For the cenobite this involved eating with the community at the prescribed times.

The third aspect is anticipating eating with preoccupied, eager longing. The hermit who had his desires under control would not be checking the angle of the sun every fifteen minutes.

A fourth aspect was eating expensively—consuming costly foods.

A fifth aspect of gluttony involved discontent with common food—seeking after delicacies. Since nutritional values of foods were not known, it was considered unnecessary and distracting to seek variety in one’s diet. Being a “fussy eater” who is not satisfied with three varieties of cereal at hand might be a modern variation of this. These last two aspects are especially concerned with being content with what we have (cf. Phil. 4:11).

The final aspect of gluttony involved paying too much attention to food. While this last is not what we typically equate with gluttony, it certainly applies to our contemporary situation, perhaps even more so than gorging ourselves, for it informs us that it is as gluttonous to be overscrupulous about the food we eat (and how our body looks) as it is to overindulge ourselves. In fact, this overconcern can become idolatry of the creation.

One can see, then, that the evil of gluttony lies not in food itself nor in our need to eat it (with accompanying sensations of the palate), but in how we go about our eating and in the thought (or lack of thought) we give to our eating.

©2014 by Dennis Okholm. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: July 18, 2014

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Dr. Conrade Yap.

This is a remarkable book that tries to build bridges of understanding instead of fences of distrust. VanderWal-Gritter tries to encourage us to adopt the attitude of humility, hospitality, and honesty. 

“There are already many hurts and hurting people. The Church has already been divided and people are causing unnecessary harm and hurt on people when what they need is healing and a loving heart.

In an age where people often see the homosexuality issue as black and white, or with binary clarity, VanderWal-Gritter reminds us that we are to love our neighbour regardless of their sexuality.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by Michael J. Kruger for The Gospel Coalition.

“Blomberg has produced a deeply valuable and much-needed defense of the authority of Scripture in our modern age. While I disagree here and there, I appreciated his willingness to engage modern scholarship head-on over a wide range of significant issues.

“In a world where evangelicals are regularly denigrated in the academy, Blomberg has offered a helpful tool to encourage Christians that God’s Word really can be trusted.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

Quick Hits:

Congratulations to Craig Detweiler! iGods won Silver in the Popular Culture category of Foreword Reviews‘ IndieFab Book of the Year Awards.

iGods was also recommended by Pastor Jason Esposito.

Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, was reviewed on the Every Child podcast, which was linked to on Bill Blacquiere’s Christian Post blog.

Jim Wallis was also written about in Christian Today: “Jim Wallis at Synod: ‘Politics and markets are riddled with sin’”

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, was interviewed by Faith & Leadership.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by Merv Budd.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Dan McDonald.

A Beautiful Disaster was excerpted on Litfuse, who are also giving away a copy.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R. was recommended on Sizemores in Honduras.

 

Ebook Specials:

Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World: A Little Direction by Daniel de Roulet is on sale for $3.99 (50% off) through July 31.

Ebook Special for Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World by Daniel de Roulet

Now through July 31, the ebook for Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World: A Little Direction by Daniel de Roulet is on sale for $3.99 (50% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

“Instead of offering consolation for those with doubt, de Roulet alters the landscape by offering consolation to those who struggle with plotlessness or perhaps even meaninglessness. . . . [He has] a gifted pen dipped in the inkwell of graceful prose; [he is] pastoral enough that [he doesn't] scandalize. Instead, [he] offer[s] not some simple answer but the genuine Christian solidity called hope. The hope that sustains a struggle of faith. . . . To lead us into his journey, de Roulet explores the theme of struggling to find a plot within plotlessness by dipping in and out of both biblical plots (Jacob is a favorite of mine in this book) and literary plots. . . . I’d love to see some folks read this and blog about it. It surely deserves it. Maybe my top pick for book of the year on this blog.”
Scot McKnight, jesuscreed.org

“[The author] presents many solid propositions as well as wearied insights from his journey of discovering his son’s autism. . . . The authenticity of his journey and suggestions will undoubtedly resonate with postmoderns.”
YouthWorker Journal

The world fell apart for author Daniel de Roulet the moment his son was diagnosed with autism. In Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World, de Roulet takes a closer look at those devastating moments in everyone’s lives and the journey that follows. What do we do when our sense of God’s plan for our lives crumbles around us? How do we find our plots in a seemingly plotless world?

For answers, de Roulet looks to stories—those of our own culture and the Bible. Along the way, de Roulet encourages readers to be authentic as they tell their own stories and leaves them with hope that God reveals himself through our messy lives. 

Lectionary Reflection for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 139:

Psalm 139 is a psalm of testimony about the limitless capacity for God to know us (v. 1) and to be present throughout all creation (vv. 7-12).

It includes a poignant testimony about God’s mysterious and majestic role in human conception and birth (vv. 13-16).

The psalm then features a dramatic change, asking for God’s vengeance on faithless people (v. 19) and guidance in the way of truth (v. 24).

The opening sections of the psalm are the most often used; the concluding section, however, makes it clear that the psalm is about the choice for righteousness (cf. Ps. 1) and expression of awareness not only of God’s pervasive knowledge about us, but also readiness for God to examine and test us (vv. 23-24).

Prayer for reflection:

Almighty God, creator of all things, you know each of us so intimately
that no thought in our minds or cell in our bodies is hide from your eyes.
Secure in the loving embrace of our brother, Jesus Christ,
we open our hearts and lives to your searching gaze. Amen.

©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Ebook Special for Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World by Daniel de Roulet

Now through July 17, the ebook for Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World: A Little Direction by Daniel de Roulet is only $0.99 (88% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

“Instead of offering consolation for those with doubt, de Roulet alters the landscape by offering consolation to those who struggle with plotlessness or perhaps even meaninglessness. . . . [He has] a gifted pen dipped in the inkwell of graceful prose; [he is] pastoral enough that [he doesn't] scandalize. Instead, [he] offer[s] not some simple answer but the genuine Christian solidity called hope. The hope that sustains a struggle of faith. . . . To lead us into his journey, de Roulet explores the theme of struggling to find a plot within plotlessness by dipping in and out of both biblical plots (Jacob is a favorite of mine in this book) and literary plots. . . . I’d love to see some folks read this and blog about it. It surely deserves it. Maybe my top pick for book of the year on this blog.”
Scot McKnight, jesuscreed.org

“[The author] presents many solid propositions as well as wearied insights from his journey of discovering his son’s autism. . . . The authenticity of his journey and suggestions will undoubtedly resonate with postmoderns.”
YouthWorker Journal

The world fell apart for author Daniel de Roulet the moment his son was diagnosed with autism. In Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World, de Roulet takes a closer look at those devastating moments in everyone’s lives and the journey that follows. What do we do when our sense of God’s plan for our lives crumbles around us? How do we find our plots in a seemingly plotless world?

For answers, de Roulet looks to stories—those of our own culture and the Bible. Along the way, de Roulet encourages readers to be authentic as they tell their own stories and leaves them with hope that God reveals himself through our messy lives. 

The Weekly Hit List: July 11, 2014

iGods by Craig Detweiler was recommended by Neil Stavem on Connecting Faith.

Today the world is literally at our fingertips through amazing technology, but what is all this access and information doing to us?

“Craig Detweiler, professor, filmmaker, cultural commentator and author says how we use technology shapes our faith in more ways than we realize.

In Craig’s book, iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, he gives an overview of the impact of 21st-century technology.”

Read the rest of “How technology shapes our faith” here.

 

Quick Hits:

iGods was recommended by Joy J. Moore on Catalyst.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was recommended on Urban Faith.

Marlena Graves co-wrote “Faith Unsettled: Pushing beyond the easy-believism of evangelicalism” for Her.meneutics.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was mentioned in an article by Jonathan Merritt for The Week.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Guylou.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed on Conversation in Faith.

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was reviewed by Michele Morin.

Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner was quoted on Richer by Far.