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Abingdon Pillars of Theology is a series for the college and seminary classroom designed to help students grasp the basic and necessary facts, influence, and significance of major theologians. Written by major scholars, these books will outline the context, methodology, organizing principles, primary contributions, and major writings of people who have shaped theology as we know it today.Reinhold Niebuhr understood the tensions and complexities of the Christian Life. His approach became to theology became known as "Christian realism." Through his life and work we can see the importance of paying attention to what is really happening and the witness we can make when we look at events with a wisdom shaped by a biblical understanding of history and human nature. An excerpt from the Circuit Rider review: "In the face of recession and a troubled economy, global warming and environmental peril, war and the AIDS pandemic, contemporary Christians would be well served to ponder again the work and witness of Reinhold Niebuhr. His work urges Christians and the church to define and claim our voice in the public arena. Faithful and prophetic witness rooted and grounded in true Christian hope are needed now more than ever. We are grateful to Prof. Lovin for this important contribution to the life of thoughtful faith and faithful living." (Click here to read the entire review.)
A committee is not the same thing as a team. To become a great team, a group must have a goal that is deeply challenging, a leader who is creatively empowering, and a willingness to work within a collaborative community that honors the Bible. The Bible is full of examples of great things accomplished through teaming leaders. Scripture also provides a compelling model from which church communities and teams can learn to live and serve in light of the "Divine Team" - the Trinity. Author Robert C. Crosby provides several innovative ways in which biblical teams reflect the workings and nature of the Trinity and thus the image of God. Revealing what he calls "The Four C's of Great Teams" - The Character, The Carrot, The Coach, and The Context - Crosby shows how successful teams reach their goals more effectively. Conversely, he also addresses the "Four Fatal Teaming Errors" and how to avoid unnecessary, time-consuming missteps. This book provides biblical motivations, vivid examples, and practical approaches for creating a teaming culture in any faith community. Crosby, a leader who has built teams as a senior pastor, youth leader, and university administrator, is now training and mentoring a new generation of pastors and leaders.
A wealth of prayers & litanies for the Lent/Easter season.Pastors and worship leaders are faced each year with the prospect of finding a new way to communicate the message of the Holy Season. This book of prayers and litanies will help them do just that. The author uses the metaphor of gleaning to take the reader through Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Written with thoughtful, lyrical language, Donna Schaper offers an insightful look at the value of the often overlooked.
"Commissioned by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for use in United Methodist doctrine/polity/history courses." This in-depth analysis of the connection between United Methodist polity and theology addresses ways in which historical developments have shaped--and continue to shape--the organization of the church.This revised edition incorporates the actions of The United Methodist General Conference, 2004. The book discusses continuing reforms of the church's plan for baptism and church membership, as well as the emergence of deacon's orders and other changes to ordained ministry procedures. The text is now cross-referenced to the Book of Discipline, 2004, including the revised order of disciplinary chapters and paragraph numbering. Denominational statistics are updated, along with references to recent works on The United Methodist Church and American religious life.
How major-release films use religion to tell stories and convey messages Focusing on American major-release films since World War II, the authors show how films use religious imagery, characters, and symbolism from primarily Christian, but also, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Islamic traditions. Ideal for classroom use, each chapter analyzes significant contextual issues through the lens of select films. The authors post their ongoing ideas in their blog at http://filmandreligion.blogspot.com.
An introduction to pastoral care for pastors of small membership churches."If you spend your whole life serving small membership churches and doing it well, yours will have been a life well spent." Small membership churches have a real advantage when it comes to incorporating people into a fellowship where they are known and where their needs are met. These churches and their pastors have an opportunity for excellence in this area, and should make the most of it. Good pastoral care can be the key to effectiveness in all of the other ministries of the church.From getting acquainted with your congregation, weddings and funerals, picking up on subtle cues in a conversation to not-so-subtle conflicts, Killen shares insights from years of ministry in a small membership church setting.James L. Killen, Jr. is a retired elder of the Texas Conference, contributor to Circuit Rider, and author of Who Do You Say That I Am? A Personal Reader.
Visionary pastor Michael Slaughter calls all aspiring leaders to a life of faith, balance, and purpose. Operating on the principle that all leadership begins with self-leadership, the book outlines five crucial disciplines: * Devotion to God * Readiness for lifelong learning * Investing in key relationships * Visioning for the future * Eating and Exercise for life. Readers will gain insights and advice for enriching the spiritual, intellectual, interpersonal, missional, and physical areas of their lives, all of which are integral to effectiveness as a leader.
"Mission" has become, for many North American Christians, an ambiguous and often uncomfortable term. To many it brings to mind a past in which western culture was identified with the gospel in missionary practice and programs. Distressed with this history and uncertain about how to overcome it, many prefer to ignore the New Testament mandate that the church must be in mission if it is to be the church. Others swing the other way, declaring that everything the church does is mission, depriving the idea of mission of its power to define those specific actions of God which proclaim the gospel and build God's kingdom. "The church exists by missions, just as fire exists by burning." With these words of Emil Brunner, the author reminds us that to be the church is to be in mission. After describing the various "captivities of mission" which plague North American Christianity, the author argues for a robust and engaged practice of mission, beginning in congregations and extending to the broader community.
Abingdon Pillars of Theology is a series for the college and seminary classroom designed to help students grasp the basic and necessary facts, influence, and significance of major theologians. Written by noted scholars, these books will outline the context, methodology, organizing principles, primary contributions, and key writings of people who have shaped theology as we know it today. "Martin Luther would be shocked to hear that he is appearing in a series called pillars of theology. To be sure, the professor of biblical interpretation with a doctorate in theology was a theologian. In fact, teaching theology for thirty-four years at the University of Wittenberg brought into Luther's large household, managed by his wife Katharina von Bora, the only salary he ever earned. Still, like most theologians, Luther never thought of himself as having a theology. A theologian becomes a pillar of the discipline in the estimation of admiring readers, but they are not the focus of this book. My purpose is to lay the groundwork and identify the pieces that were later used to construct what is now called Luther's theology." From the book
Literature and Theology is a volume in the Horizons in Theology series. It offers a highly engaging essay on the major concerns and questions regarding literature (fiction and poetry) as it intersects with theology--past and present. Ralph Wood is a senior scholar in this field, one who is able to address in a clear and concise style the scope and contours of this question as it relates to theological inquiry and application. He opens the broader lines of discussion in suggestive, evocative, and programmatic ways by focusing on representative and core literary texts. Horizons in Theology serve as supplements and secondary required texts in colleges and seminaries, as well as the interested nonspecialist reader.
The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries provide compact, critical commentaries on the books of the Old Testament for the use of theological students and pastors. The commentaries are also useful for upper-level college or university students and for those responsible for teaching in congregational settings. In addition to providing basic information and insights into the Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful interpretation, to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed and critical engagement with the biblical texts themselves.Leviticus is one of those OT books that modern readers tend to avoid on the basis of an undeserved reputation alone. Many assume that its laws and instructions - especially those concerning animal sacrifices - are irrelevant to the religious life of Western readers. This assumption does not take into account the theological principles demonstrated by these teachings and demonstrated in the cultic rituals and affairs of daily life mentioned in the book. Within the narrative arc of the Pentateuch, the laws of Leviticus represent a program for restoring the original created order, an order that has been disrupted by human sin. Leviticus prepares for and presents a world that is to be dominated by life, which is manifested by humans in cultic purity and daily holiness. As such, the book constitutes a challenge and an encouragement to believers of every generation, as they strive to live the life that God originally intended for humanity.
Where will you find your next team of capable, committed leaders for your congregation? Churches across the country search for committed people with a heart for ministry, people who are ready to use their gifts in the ministries of the church. Your best potential leaders may already be in your congregation. This resource, used as a study tool or a desk reference, will help men and women in the church find the tools, direction and inspiration they need to become the best leaders they can be. Leadership Essentials offers practical skills, worksheets, and practice exercises in areas including: What Kind of Leader Will You Be?Making DisciplesBuilding and Sustaining TeamsMeetings that WorkDeveloping Vision, Mission, and Values StatementsStrategic PlanningEffective Communication Managing Conflict Leading Change and Encouraging InnovationDeveloping the Next Generation of Leaders Keeping It All in PerspectiveLeadership Essentials offers direction distilled from years of experience in church known for its vibrant lay leadership. With tested and real-life techniques from COR's leadership development team, Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile, this book can be used by individuals as a continual study or by topic or by groups who are working together to build their leadership skills. Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile have created a series of valuable resources that you can use to implement more effective recruitment, training, inspiration and mentoring of lay leadership in your congregation. Their first resource, Serving from the Heart: Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service, guides participants to find their spiritual gifts as well as their passion and talent for ministry. In the second resource, Leadership from the Heart: Learning to Lead with Love and Skill, lay leaders continue their learning experience in ten areas of servant leadership. Carol Cartmill is the Director of Leadership Development for The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. She and her team launched the spiritual gifts ministry in 1998. Carol has led workshops relating to equipping ministries on both the local and national level. She resides in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband Jim and their two teenage daughters. Yvonne Gentile is Divisional Vice President of Merchandising for Helzberg Diamonds, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. Since joining the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in 1996, she has used her passion for equipping and developing emerging leaders by serving on the Spiritual Gifts team, the Committee on Lay Leadership, and theStrategy Team for Leadership Development. Yvonne and her husband Franklive in Overland Park, KS. What people are saying about Serving from the Heart? Discovering one's spiritual gifts is a liberating experience. Serving from the Heart is an instrument of liberation. The creative, gifted folks at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection developed a very useable resource for congregations who want to release the God-given human resource for creativeministry." Herb Mather, Center for Christian Stewardship
Explore together how congregations can change to become more fruitful for the purposes of Christ. Remember the Future: Praying for the Church and Change prepares leaders of congregations and conferences for courageous new conversations with readings that draw us toward renewed vision, cultivate hope and keep us attentive to the mission of Christ. Read together as leadership teams, boards and covenant groups to understand more clearly the "why" of congregational ministry and the internal resistances and external challenges to the mission of the church.
Abingdon Pillars of Theology is a series for the college and seminary classroom designed to help students grasp the basic and necessary facts, influence, and significance of major theologians. Written by noted scholars, these books will outline the context, methodology, organizing principles, primary contributions, and key writings of people who have shaped theology as we know it today.Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) "foresaw, the power of mass culture to numb the human spirit has only waxed in strength and virulence. The prostitution of religion to legitimate self-aggrandizing ideologies has become a veritable global industry. The reduction of neighbor-love to the most minimal standards of decent behavior has devolved to the point where slightly altruistic celebrities are heralded as Christ-like saints. The deep yearnings of the human heart are being suffocated by trivial amusements, technological toys, and the manipulation of the psyche. Now, perhaps more than ever, Christianity needs an aggravating Socrates to disturb its complicity with a culture of individual self-gratification and corporate self-deification." from the bookLee C. Barrett, III is Mary B. and Hanry P. Stager Chair in Theology, Professor of Systematic Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
A tale of love won and love lost, and the faith to find it again. From the banks of the Potomac to the misty moors of England, Darcy follows a path where the secrets of the past slowly rise to the surface in this dramatic saga that began in Before the Scarlet Dawn. She meets Ethan Brennan, an aspiring English horse breeder, who embraces her independent spirit and marvels at the simplicity of her faith. Ethan and Darcy fall in love, but are kept apart by a promise to another and a sworn oath to a dying woman whose long-hidden secret threatens Darcy's and Ethan's lives.
Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family's tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert's fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father's sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that the boy has never known.
Abingdon Pillars of Theology is a series for the college and seminary classroom designed to help students grasp the basic and necessary facts, influence, and significance of major theologians. Written by noted scholars, these books will outline the context, methodology, organizing principles, primary contributions, and key writings of people who have shaped theology as we know it today. Dr. Donald Shriver tells us that H. Richard Niebuhr wrote about God in a serious yet joyous exploration. This book summarizes Niebuhr's faith journey as seen through the lens of his major works. While Neibuhr did mean to move his readers to think, struggle, argue, and even pray, he expected nothing less from himself. It is the hope of the author that by reading this book, readers will be better prepared to travel a path of their own.
The Global Bible Commentary invites its users to expand their horizon by reading the Bible with scholars from all over the world and from different religious persuasions. These scholars have approaches and concerns that often are poles apart. Yet they share two basic convictions: biblical interpretation always matters; and reading the Bible "with others" is highly rewarding. Each of the short commentaries of the Global Bible Commentary is a readily accessible guide for reading a biblical book. Written for undergraduate and seminary students and their teachers, as well as for pastors, priests, and Adult Sunday School classes, it introduces the users to the main features of the biblical book and its content. Yet each short commentary does more. It also brings us a precious gift, namely the opportunity of reading this biblical book as if for the first time. By making explicit the specific context and the concerns from which she/he reads the Bible, the scholar points out to us the significance of aspects of the biblical text that we simply took for granted or overlooked. Need more info? Download Global Bible Commentary Marketing Brochure PDF Free Adobe Acrobat Reader! If any book demonstrates the value of cultural criticism and the importance of particularity in interpretation, this is it! Scholars from diverse social locations in every continent bring their distinctive context to bear on the act of interpreting. In so doing, they shed eye-opening light on the biblical texts. The resulting critical dialogue with the Bible exposes the oppressive as well as the liberating dynamics of the texts while at the same time showing how the Bible might address the social, political, cultural, and economic dynamics of our world today. This collection can change the way you read the Bible--scholars and students, clergy and laity alike. -David Rhoads, Professor of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, IL Contributors: Daniel Patte, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA. A French Huguenot (Église Réformée de France), he taught two years in Congo-Brazzaville, and "read the Bible with" people in France, Switzerland, South Africa, Botswana, the Philippines, as well as in the USA. His publications include books on hermeneutics and semiotics (such as Early Jewish Hermeneutics, 1975; The Religious Dimensions of Biblical Texts, 1990); on Paul and Matthew (such as Paul's Faith and the Power of the Gospel, 1983; The Gospel according to Matthew: A Structural Commentary on Matthew's Faith, 1987), as well as, most directly related to the GBC, Ethics of Biblical Interpretation (1995), The Challenge of Discipleship (1999), Reading Israel in Romans: Legitimacy and Plausibility of Divergent Interpretations (ed. with Cristina Grenholm, 2000), The Gospel of Matthew: A Contextual Introduction (with Monya Stubbs, Justin Ukpong, and Revelation Velunta, 2003). José Severino Croatto,. Professor of Exegesis, Hebrew, and Religious Studies, at Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos (ISEDET). A contributor to Revista de Interpretación Bíblica Latinoamericana (= RIBLA) and the Movement of Popular Reading of the Bible, he published 22 books, including three volumes on hermeneutics, Exodus, A Hermeneutics of Freedom (1981); Biblical Hermeneutics. Toward a Theory of Reading as the Production of Meaning (1987); Hermenéutica Práctica. Los principios de la hermenéutica bíblica en ejemplos (2002); three volumes on Génesis 1-11 (1974; 1986; 1997), the last one, Exilio y sobrevivencia. Tradiciones contraculturales en el Pentateuco; three volumes on the book of Isaiah (1988; 1994; 2001), the last one, Imaginar el futuro. Estructura retórica y querigma del Tercer Isaías (Isaías 56-66); two volumes on Religious Studies (1994; 2002), the last one, Experiencia de lo sagrado y tradiciones religiosas. Estudio de fenomenología de la religión (2002). Rev. Dr. Nicole Wilkinson Duran, after teaching New Testament in the USA, South Africa (Zululand), in Turkey, is currently te...
One poll declared him the most influential American church leader of the last 100 years. Lyle E. Schaller has written literally millions of words of insight and advice for church leaders. His books alone number nearly 60 titles and span 40 years of publication, beginning in 1964. Now, this single volume makes available his best insights, organized by topic and framed with fascinating background perspective of Schaller himself. This volume both introduces Schaller to a new generation of church leaders and is a handy resource for those who grew up on Schaller's writing and count him as a major ministry influence.
As a result of the near-death experiences of many congregations today, denominational leaders are looking for ways to "revitalize" churches. The act of revitalization often starts with the assumption that what was once vital can be vital again, if church leaders simply do the same better. So congregations increase programs, budgets, and formulas. They look back in time, trying to recapture a period when the church's role in society was vital. A church, seeking revitalization, typically does more of the same, but faster. However, the central story of our faith is the story of both death and resurrection. Followers of Christ like to live out the resurrection part of our faith, but they often aren't very comfortable dealing with what must come before resurrection - death.The church must be willing to live out its entire story, from beginning to end. The church needs to trust that God will bring to life what God wants to. This book suggests shifting away from the language of revitalization toward the story of death and resurrection. Escobedo-Frank focuses on ten specific "re-" words to outline a strategy for dying and resurrecting again - for restarting the church: Recognize Realize Restore Review Reform Resensitize Release Reinvigorate Reemphasize Rebirth
Promoting the idea of sermon as narrative, Eugene Lowry's first book, The Homiletical Plot, became one of the most influential preaching books of the latter part of the 20th century. While the sermon as narrative has become conventional preaching wisdom, it is largely misunderstood. Sermons are, by definition, narratives and as such, they have plots. At the same time, the sermon is not a story. While similar in many ways, narratives and stories are distinct. Therefore, to think of narrative preaching as merely one of many homiletical styles is to misunderstand and reduce the nature of the sermon. The sermon is more than just an option for the preacher; rather, it is, by definition, a narrative because it happens in time, not in space. This changes everything because the sermon ceases to be something a preacher constructs, like a thesis or even a painting. Instead, it is more like a piece of music - something a preacher plays within intuitively, to a constant beat - time after time, week after week. In light of this revelation, what are new strategic aims for sermon preparation and delivery?
Many of us long for a faith like the first Christians. We speak ideally of the earliest followers of Jesus and use them authoritatively for current church doctrine and practice. But do we know what that means? What happens if we actually learn what early church leaders wrote? What might they be able to teach us? A variety of contemporary, hot-button issues have surprising context to the early church. In the modern era, church leaders can learn from early church thinking on key ethical issues such as poverty and wealth, war, creation care, social issues and more. Take a peek into a lost era and discover surprisingly relevant insights into contemporary issues. Includes a downloadable study guide.
The current trend in church leadership involves looking for a highly gifted leader who will take over, direct the future, cast a vision, and attract the faithful to a new mission or purpose. This desire for a leader to come to the rescue is eerily reminiscenet of the desire of the Israelites for a king, so they could "be like every other nation." In spite of Samuel's warnings, the people insisted, so God reluctantly gave them King Saul. That didn't go so well. While we always need good, new, and talented leaders, we also need leaders who know how and when to be good followers. Particularly in a culture of distrust, leadership must be granted, earned, and supported by those who are willing to follow. Leading begins with the counter-intuitive command: "Come, follow me." This imperative is far from easy. Many turned away from Jesus, unable to follow. However, one excellent model of "followership" stood out from the rest - the little-known disciple Andrew. In fact, Andrew is the model and paradigm for being a Lead Follower. Excellent Christian leadership is more about following Jesus than it is about learning the latest fads or tricks from business, the marketplace, or the academy. Being an excellent Christian leader involves first and foremost being an excellent and faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
Naomi knows she should be excited about her upcoming wedding but she remains unmoved. Not only are her feelings for her fiance lackluster but she believes he may see her more as a servant than a partner. And he's so controlling. Is it too late to back out of the marriage? While praying for God's guidance, Naomi takes a break from her duties as a quilter and travels with her grandmother to Pinecraft, Florida. Along the way Naomi finds herself becoming attracted to Nick, their Englisch driver and friend, and the two begin to fall in love. The journey soon becomes one in which Naomi explores her most secret dream for love. But can she veer off the "safe" path she'd envisioned for her life to marry Nick?
A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders. While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn't what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana's faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?
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