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There is deep disagreement about what The United Methodist Church should teach about homosexuality, same gender marriage, and the ordination of LGBTQ persons. In 2019, a special session of General Conference will be held to consider these issues and how they will be addressed by The United Methodist Church in the future. Living Faithfully is designed to help you understand the shape of this debate and what it means for the present and the future. Each chapter includes background on the Bible, Christian theology, history, stories from diverse viewpoints, and United Methodist structure and practice to guide reflection and conversation. You’ll also find definitions of key terms and information about upcoming events. The four chapters are: 1. Is the Practice of Homosexuality Incompatible with Christian Teaching? 2. Is Same-gender Marriage Compatible with Christian Teaching? 3. Is Ordaining Practicing Homosexuals Compatible with Christian Teaching? 4. Where Are We Now? This four-week study will help you understand and grapple with various views about the ministry and teaching of The United Methodist Church around issues of human sexuality. It will lead you to have honest, well-informed, and grace-filled conversations with others about these matters and the calls for change. And it will help you discern, in prayer and conversation, how you can respond faithfully in love of God and neighbor. A Leader Guide is included with lesson plans to help facilitate a four-session small group study. From the Faultlines collection, resources intended to inform conversations around human sexuality and the church.
Bestselling author Timothy Keller and legal scholar John Inazu bring together a thrilling range of artists, thinkers, and leaders to provide a guide to faithful living in a pluralistic, fractured world. How can Christians today interact with those around them in a way that shows respect to those whose beliefs are radically different but that also remains faithful to the gospel? Timothy Keller and John Inazu bring together illuminating stories--their own and from others--to answer this vital question. Uncommon Ground gathers an array of perspectives from people thinking deeply and working daily to live with humility, patience, and tolerance in our time. Contributors include: Lecrae Tish Harrison Warren Kristen Deede Johnson Claude Richard Alexander Shirley Hoogstra Sara Groves Rudy Carrasco Trillia Newbell Tom Lin Warren Kinghorn Providing varied and enlightening approaches to reaching faithfully across deep and often painful differences, Uncommon Ground shows us how to live with confidence, joy, and hope in a complex and fragmented age.
Living Faithfully is for anyone interested in education and education policy, whether parent, community member, teacher, student of leadership or policy maker. It looks at school leadership and reform in an alternative way, following the story of change at Washington School, a troubled grades 56 center in a small town in Western Oklahoma. Not only does the book address a neglected population, the more than 1/3 of the nation’s children who go to school in small towns and rural areas, it uses the occasion to invert thinking about school reform. It argues that in today's policy climate where guaranteed, standard outcomes are touted as goals of education, leadership schemes, even those designed to challenge topdown, bureaucratic models, are quickly coopted to produce the appearance of learning. Prevailing leadership theories beg the question of who is being transformed and to what end, failing to challenge assumptions and dominant ideas of contemporary education and leadership thinking. Drawing on Philip Phenix’s idea of the faithful life, the book proposes an alternative way forward. Phenix talks about connections between school and life. According to Phenix, the faithful life is concerned with the normative question of what is good, true, right, just, beautiful, and holy. This is not the vocabulary of current education policy. But it describes the kind of community created at Washington School despite its history of failure. And it describes what most families want for their children whether they live in the city or country, America or elsewhere: an education that matters.
The faith we proclaim on Sunday is just as relevant to the rest of the week. However, too often the teaching and support that church life offers us can seem aimed at deepening our personal commitment to Christ and our involvement in church activities, rather than enabling us to live out our faith at work and in the world. We need to close the gap between sacred and secular, and that's what this book aims to help us do. Each chapter identifies an issue, explores how we might respond and encourages us - through practical ideas, stories, humour, quotes, Scripture, questions and prayer - to seek to make a difference.
We all struggle with anxiety at various points in life, some of us more than others. In fact, some 40 million Americans are treated for anxiety disorders each year. Anxiety is a real and present threat. And for some of us, anxiety is a crippling condition. It strikes us down physically and spiritually. We feel isolated, weak, and hopeless. But there is hope. When we see our anxiety in the context of our relationship with God, we can learn more about how he is using it to shape us. Rather than spending all of our time, energy, and resources trying to eliminate this alleged "weakness," we can accept the truth that anxiety is a mighty tool in the hands of God. Through it, he will do more in us that we thought possible. In the weakness of anxiety, God gives us his strength. In Struck Down but Not Destroyed, you will learn how to Turn your greatest enemy (anxiety) into your greatest asset; Be confident in the spiritual purpose for your anxiety and suffering; Inspect your own habits and behaviors in light of Scripture; Accept your anxiety as a spiritual tool in the hands of God. It's time for us to focus on the spiritual purposes God has for our anxiety. It's time for us to realize God's strength in our weakness. It's time for us to revel in the amazing truth that the best part of being struck down is realizing that we will never be destroyed, not with God on our side.
The first edition of Living Faithfully in a Fragmented World became one of the founding and guiding texts for new monastic communities. In this revised edition, Jonathan Wilson focuses more directly on lessons for these communities from Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue. In the midst of the unsettling cultural shifts from modernity to postmodernity, a new monastic movement is arising that strives to be a faithful witness to the gospel. These new monastic communities seek to participate in Christ's life in the world and bear witness by learning to live intentionally as the church in Western culture. This movement is about finding the church's center in Christ in the midst of a fragmented world, overcoming the failure of the Enlightenment project and our complicity with it, resisting the temptation to Nietzschean power, and building communities of disciples. This new edition is greatly enlarged from the original volume. It includes responses to critics of the new monasticism such as D. A. Carson, an entirely new chapter on the Nietzschean temptation, an afterword on properly understanding the new monastic movement, the dangers it faces, and the work yet to be done, as well as an appendix on the supposed post-modern agenda of Jonathan Wilson and Brian McLaren. For those striving to understand the path the church should take in this fragmented world, this book is essential reading.
This book describes several aspects of contemporary culture that create both opportunities and threats to Christian mission. It offers insights and practices that the church today must embrace in order to live faithfully and witness effectively to the gospel. Following a presentation of the church's history in relation to Western culture, several chapters draw upon specific suggestions in Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue--that we live in a fragmented rather than a pluralistic world; how the church has compromised its faithfulness by accommodating the mainstream of morality; implications stemming from the collapse of "the Enlightenment project"; and the need for a "new monasticism" together with forms the life of the church must take to sustain a faithful witness in contemporary culture. Jonathan R. Wilson is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, and the author of Theology as Cultural Critique.
Episcopalians consider themselves to be people whose individual and corporate lives are shaped by the Book of Common Prayer, but aside from worship on Sunday morning, few know what fills its nearly 1,000 pages. John Westerhoff, Episcopal priest and Christian educator, walks readers through the ways in which the contents of the Prayer Book can (and should) shape the life of those who call themselves Episcopalians. An excellent resource for parish study or reading in advance of seminary training, Westerhoff explores a brief history of the Prayer Book, and the ways in which it shapes us as pilgrim and prayerful people. How Episcopalians live into their baptism, live a Eucharistic and reconciling life, as well as a life of wholeness and health are explored in detail. All of this, as Westerhoff writes, helps us lead a holy life, and one day, to a holy death. John H. Westerhoff is an Episcopal priest, the former professor of theology and Christian nurture at Duke University, the author of many books about Christian education and life. For the last decade he has been theologian-in-residence at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
A practical approach to address spiritually crippling disappointment with the church! Feeling disappointment with your church can be spiritually devastating. Living Faithfully with Disappointment in the Church gives you a theological and family therapy approach to disillusionment in the church that is practical and realistic. The author, an ordained minister and a licensed family therapist, discusses with sensitivity and hope the problems and the ways to resolve issues of spiritual disappointment. Living Faithfully with Disappointment in the Church uses a theological basis to lay a foundation of understanding, and then provides real strategies from a family therapy perspective to deal with personal disappointments in the church. The book sensitively discusses real problems using real examples of how church dynamics can unwittingly cause spiritual disillusionment within even the most faithful, even in diligent attempts to serve God. Honest, reverent, and written from the perspective that each of us needs the church to cultivate our faith, this book provides non-simplistic yet hopeful answers to the most difficult of problems. Find comfort in these pages. Living Faithfully with Disappointment in the Church discusses: idealism about the church how churches function according to the dynamics of family systems how a controlling family affects church dynamics people who become codependent to the church adjustment to belief structures within the church addictive processes in organizations the psychological danger zone of failed beliefs how to recognize when to stay and when to move on to another church considerations for someone in a denominational crisis the uses of spirituality and religion in psychologically healthy ways a theoretical model that gives priority to building a relational church Living Faithfully with Disappointment in the Church is for ministers, chaplains, seminary students, pastoral counselors, Sunday school teachers, or anyone that is facing a spiritual crisis in their church. Each chapter includes questions for reflection and discussion.
More than half of Americans live in the suburbs. Yet for many Christians, the suburbs are ignored, demeaned, or seen as a selfish cop-out from a faithful Christian life. What does it look like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs? Ashley Hales invites you to look deeply into your soul as a suburbanite and discover what it means to live holy there.