We’ve been reading some great books in the past year! We’ve tested our Biblical Literacy, talked about Naked Spirituality, learned about The People’s History of Christianity, explored the interface of religion and science, and most recently learned that we are just beginners on the 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life.
In good protestant fashion, we are again re-forming our group. Everyone is invited to read Marcus Borg’s “The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith. (182 pages)” Since it’s original publication date in 1997, this book has become a modern day classic. Marcus Borg is a scholar who communicates with integrity some of the essential questions of faith to a popular audience.
“In this trenchant theological work, Marcus J. Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) challenges us to re-imagine God, spiritual practice, justice, and salvation. It is a subtle, flexible, intelligent, and mature reframing of Christianity for this age of heated-up religious pluralism.”–Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (read rest of this review here)
Please sign up below and join us Mondays at 6:30 pm.
Everyone is invited to participate by reading the book and either coming to discussions or joining our Facebook Group. Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. beginning on January 23rd. (you can order a book or begin at anytime)
From Confucius to Oprah, people have preached compassion for centuries. But how often is it put into practice? Karen Armstrong believes religion, which should advocate for compassionate living, is often part of the problem. In Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life, she describes ways to add kindness to daily routines.
Armstrong admits compassion isn’t a very popular virtue. “People often prefer to be right,” she says. And though she offers these 12 steps, it’s not a get-compassionate-quick scheme. “This is a struggle for a lifetime, because there are aspects in it that militate against compassion.” –from a Jan. 10, 2011 “Talk of the Nation” segment entitled, Twelve Concrete Ways To Live A Compassionate Life.
25-30 of us are reading “The Language of God” by Francis S. Collins. Collins, the current Director of the National Institutes for Health, is a former head of the Human Genome Project as well as a Christian.
If you want to read the book, feel free to come and discuss Mondays at 6:30 pm at the church.
Collins writes about the historic divide between science and faith and attempts to bridge that gap using his own story. Whether or not everyone comes to the same conclusions as he does, the questions he raises and the accurate, contemporary scientific knowledge he presents are fascinating.
Monday, November 28th at 6:30 pm we’ll discuss through the end of Chapter 4 (p 107)
Comments on the content of the book are welcome. Let’s discuss!
Like the summer itself, summer book groups are a little slow in coming this year! If you’d like to read and discuss one of the books below, take a look at the details below then send me an email (email@example.com) My thought is that the Biblical Literacy group would meet mid-day on Tuesday, and the Naked Spirituality group would meet on Monday evenings at 6 pm. Both books contain too much to cram into an already short summer, so the groups could continue into the fall. You can find more information by clicking on the links below, or take a look at copies on the table in the narthex at the church. As always, we have an extra copy, so let me know if you need it.
Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know, by Timothy Beal. Recent surveys indicate that the Biblical literacy of Americans- whether churchgoers or not- is abysmal. In his introduction, the author makes a case for knowing the stories of the Bible not only because they allow us to be more culturally literate (we can interpret songs by Bob Dylan, speeches of US Presidents, etc…), but also because the writings contained in the Bible are inspiring. “The Bible engenders creative thought and action. It generates new meanings, new ways of seeing ourselves and the world.” Beals is a religion professor at Case Western Reserve University. The book is $11.00.
Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words, by Brian D. McLaren. “At their best, religious and spiritual communities help us discover …pure and naked spiritual encounter. At their worst, they simply make us more ashamed, pressuring us to further enhance our image with the best designer labels and latest spiritual fads, weighing us down… I hope this book will help you strip away distractions and discover that precious hidden treasure, that primal gift underneath.” (p. viii.) McLaren is a prolific writer, pastor, and has been at the forefront in describing the changes in Christianity over the past 20 years. This book is $15.00.