Guide Intentional Parenting : Kingdom Perspective on Raising Revivalists

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My Mountaintop Moment

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Telling others about the miracles in your life makes God more real to them. As people hear about God's supernatural acts, they start to expect and see the extraordinary happen in their own lives. As you share your miracle stories, you actually release the spirit of prophecy and declare into the atmosphere, "The Jesus who transformed my circumstance will do the same for you! Two premier renewal leaders help inspire and equip believers to receive and minister healing, stressing that God's miraculous healing is part of the Good News.

Supernatural Ways of Royalty reveals your true identity as a child of the King of Kings, royal heir to the eternal Kingdom of God. Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson denounce the pauper mentality many Christians have and present your royal inheritance through Christ's ultimate act of redemption. The Authors personal, supernatural experiences will convince you of your own royal status and inspire you to claim your personal inheritance gift from your Father, the King of Kings. Bill Johnson, respected pastor, best-selling author, and senior leader of Bethel Church, lives in a culture of the miraculous.

In his groundbreaking new book, The Way of Life, he shares not as a theological spectator, but as an active participant in a historic move of God that has been sweeping the nations. It is truly possible for people to walk in the divine, and Christ came to show us the way. It is by rediscovering our true identity in him that we can begin to move into the promises of God regarding the miraculous.

Bill Johnson not only teaches the supernatural, he imparts it by changing the way we think. Today's believer is faced with situations unknown 50, 30, even 20 years ago. To stand in victory and enter our hour of promotion is to learn how to Strengthen Yourself in the Lord. You will learn how to: Encourage yourself, overcome seriously bad days, stay connected to your destiny, access Heaven's open door, and disarm hell with thanksgiving.

Buzzfeed takes the time to dig into Bethel Church and gets this complex story right — GetReligion

In his unique teaching style, Pastor Bill Johnson delivers a message to help listeners pursue God for greater measures of His presence than they have ever known before. In Face to Face with God, readers will learn: How to "set up an ambush" to apprehend God rather than just waiting on God, what it means to enter "the favor of His face," and how it changes history. But for many Christians today, this tradition can be a confusing ritual. Are we missing something in this ancient sacrament? Beni and Bill Johnson - best-selling authors and senior leaders of Bethel Church in Redding, California - had a miraculous revelation while celebrating communion.

In this feature message from The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind , Bill Johnson discusses mental and spiritual strategies for waging victorious spiritual warfare on the most important battle front: your mind.

Intentional Parenting Kingdom Perspective on Raising Revivalists

In a world of fear, disease, crisis, torment, uncertainty, and hopelessness, what you believe about God's goodness reveals how you will respond to the trials and circumstances of everyday life. Your view of God impacts everything! With honesty, humor, and keen biblical insight, best-selling authors Bill and Beni Johnson help you discover the keys to successful parenting in God's kingdom.

With this guide, you will gain the wisdom, kingdom concepts, and practical tools you need to help raise your children to their best. You'll discover how to parent to their uniqueness, gifts, and strengths, as well as how you can demonstrate and reveal who God is to your kids. God has promised us miracles. Are you willing to do what it takes to see them through? We all desire the favor of God on our lives. We eagerly pray and hope for his miracles, promises, and blessings. But carrying the promises of God often means being stretched, being inconvenienced, and being patient to nourish those promises until it is God's time for them to be born.

If you could sit down and talk privately with two world-renowned leaders in healing ministry - away from the spotlights, stages, and eager crowds - this is the conversation you would have! Best-selling authors Randy Clark and Bill Johnson witness the miraculous regularly and see thousands touched by God each year. Translating God serves as an inspirational guide book that puts God's great love back into prophetic ministry as a primary goal full of real life stories that articulate the culture of love behind God's heart for the prophetic. So much of the prophetic ministry is esoteric, but this book brings balance without taking away the desire to see the powerful nature of God displayed.

On top of that, it's biblically based and is supported by scripture throughout each story. It's one of the most dividing words in the church. Some pastors use it to tell their congregations that God will make them all rich, rich, rich! Others spurn the word and insist that true Christlikeness is found in forsaking all worldly riches and possessions. The truth is, both are right - and both are wrong. With refreshing honesty, humor, and keen insight, best-selling author and pastor Kris Vallotton mines the Scriptures in an eye-opening study of what the Bible really says about money, poverty, riches, and wealth.

With insight and passion, Bill Johnson gives over 80 simple ways we can experience the impossible and unleash heaven's power in our world. Heavenly resources have only one purpose - that Jesus Christ would receive his full reward and inheritance in our age.

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Just as God held nothing back from Solomon, who longed to build a tabernacle for God on earth, God will hold nothing back from a generation of people who long to bring Jesus everything that belongs to him! God is about to release finances and resources to reshape the Body of Christ on the earth.

Are you hungry for an encounter with Jesus? Do you want to make an impact on the world? In this power-packed book, Bill Johnson discusses how you can be a person who hosts the Presence of God. Though all believers obviously have the Spirit of God within them, there is more that enables you to be so full that you overflow his Spirit into your world. Take a journey and meet many great prophets and kings from the Old Testament who were known as people of the Presence - people who, in Johnson's words, "God wanted to be with". In this succinct and powerful book, Johnson encourages you toward a pursuit of the Presence of God above all else.

In this book, you will discover:. Bill Johnson writes: "We are enabled to partner with the Kingdom of Heaven and see it released here on earth! The Presence of God within us will bring reformation to the world around us - encountering a loving God! As always Bill's content was wonderful, but I was so easily distracted by the pronunciations and the reading. Very dry and confusing for me. Did the narration match the pace of the story? Very dry. No touch of excitement or any emotion where it would have been very helpful to keep one engaged and awake.

I bought this book as an accompaniment to the physical copy. I slowed it down to.

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I plan on getting my credit back for this one. In this undertaking, hosting The Holy Spirit becomes Abundantly clear in importance and direction. To which aim it is my own heart's desire to be a hosting vessel. Bill Johnson has amazing incite from the Bible and his experiences. I loved the book! However, the narration had some odd moments of pronunciation. It was very odd. Maynell is well suited for writing this book.

He has lived in Europe and in Africa. His evangelical faith mentored by John Stott allows him to speak passionately about the basics of the gospel and about the contours of culture. He was a pastor, after all. But in other chapters he is doing fine cultural criticism and incisive social critique.

This is a very good book and I very highly recommend it. You will be invited into a better story than the damages caused by our dubious culture and a better story than many churches proclaim. Many resurrectionary Christians believe God is making all things new, and certainly that includes a public faith, a commitment tot he common good, a passion to work for the suffering and oppressed.

Persevering hope. This brand new one is beautifully written and full of wonder, as such a book should be, so I wanted to list it here as a sign of hope, a gift of shalom, a result of the realities of Easter. I hope you know the wonderful writer, Luci Shaw, who has spent a lifetime working in publishing, offering many volumes of poems and good books of thoughtful prose.

She is an artful and vital author and person we esteem and enjoy, and we hope you do to. She is one of the best. A longing for beauty is inherent to being human. Novelist Brett Lott writes,. Luci Shaw is a treasure, and Thumbprints in the Clay shows us again precisely why: this book is wise beyond measure, the writing beautiful beyond compare, and its heart a reflection of the one true God… This is a beautiful, ruminative and necessary book.

Listen to Leslie Leyland Fields, herself a great writer who works in the Alaskan fishing industry as she colorfully commends this author and this new book:. Luci has thrown clay upon a wheel yet once more and fashioned it into a delightful vessel filled with my favorite drink: the ambrosia of art, faith, and creativity. Yes, I am besotted: but who can turn away from the poetry of a life lived so beautifully in service to God. She is both a farmer and vintner as well as a theologian and spiritual director. To explore the spirituality of wine she interview many serious vitners in Europe and the US, from Bordeaux to Napa Valley.

Although Kreglinger is a contemplative and deeply spiritual writer, this really is a book about wine — in the Bible, in church, in culture, and on our own daily tables and special occasions. Gisela Kreglinger writes with good humor and real piety about the transformative power of good wine. This is a thoughtful, prayerful, wide-ranging book, reminding us on every page that spirituality and gastronomy are inextricably linked.

Alice Canlis of the famed Canlis Restaurant in Seattle says, beautifully,. I wept upon reading The Spirituality of Wine. Profound and potent, intertwined with practical and tangible application, this book has completely astonished me. Yes, yes, yes. Happy resurrection folks!

See our order form link, below. Perhaps you have been taken in by the stories of law, politics and political campaigns in shows like The Good Wife or one of the best shows ever on TV, The West Wing, or even the comedy hit Veep. For a bunch of reasons, Beth and I have been really enjoying Madame Secretary. How cool is it that the show features a major character who is, among other things, a religion professor and Aquinas scholar at the Army War College?

Kudos those who are doing reasonable work on this, but I have hardly been able to bear it. The first, especially, is somewhat of a backstory, written in anticipation of the release of YAWYL ; the second also included a bit more of my take on how Smith came this recent project and why I care so much about it, and then dove into a fuller review, chapter by chapter. If we hope to re-calibrate our attitudes and practices in our civic life we must deepen our discipleship by allowing our hearts to be changed.

And that, my friends, happens best in church. As we become more Christ-like and long for His Kingdom ways, then all of life will begin to be seen as inherently religious, with the possibility of Godly transformation, starting with our own convictions and lifestyles. Including our understanding and involvement in politics as citizens. I have written a number of BookNotes columns for our bookstore blog over the years inviting us to think more faithfully and live more graciously in the public square, and I have named my favorite books on faith and politics.

One book that just came in to our shop last week that ought to be mentioned as similar to those on those previous book lists is Power Made Perfect? Here we have the resource many citizens have longed for…Christians who are tempted to give up on political engagement will be refreshed by the wise and practical counsel contained within. I myself am looking forward to reading this, as I very much respect the author, a Professor of Political Science at Gordon College.

But there is another new one I must tell you about, and I am jazzed about it for several reasons, not least of which is that one of the shining parts of this multi-authored, back and forth volume, is the contribution by James K. Sometimes well, quite often, actually I wonder how some of these authors do it. As Smith was writing the profound and beautiful YAWYL he was also writing a long and great chapter on Reformed views of Christian politics, and responding astutely to four other co-authors from other Christian traditions, replying to their own claim of what Christian politics looks like for a brand new volume.

If you are a James K. Smith fan, you will want to read him in here. He is a remarkably well-read scholar and he is spot on in bringing just the right insight at just the right time. I would guess that had this been a live debate, most of the other conversation partners might have been nervous being in counterpoint with him; in this, though, they all are exceptionally cordial and more than civil.

This book was a model of pleasant, if at times pointed, discussion and a great learning experience. Each author obviously knows their theological tradition quite well. The five views represented in this volume were pulled together and helpfully introduced by Dr. Amy Black, herself a serious political scientist with degrees from Claremont and MIT who now teaches at Wheaton College and is widely published. The five perspectives and traditions presented are:. A feature of this book that should make it widely appealing for thoughtful church classes or book groups or even in colleges and seminaries is how it is shows how the views of the church and the basic ethos of each theological tradition shapes how they then tend to approach public life.

In many ways Five Views on The Church and Politics is as much about church and theology, adding to a needed ecumenical conversation between and among us church folk as it is on Christians as citizens or those active in political life. The authors are not political scientists, it should be noted, which, I suppose, is both a strength — making the book more widely interesting for any who care about the wider church, but may therefore be a little weak in terms of its goal of nurturing the Christian mind in politics as such.

Yes, each chapter does get around to thinking Christianly about politics as such, eventually, but the chapters are by design as much about theology as they are political science, and as much about church history as political history. Five Views on The Church and Politics will thrill church history fans and will be a boon to any of us who long for greater ecumenical awareness and inter-denominational dialogue. I think that all but the most focused politicos will find its broad themes — how various church traditions have related to the world, to culture, to public life — a great place to start rather than digging too deeply into nuances of political theory as such which it mostly does not do.

For some of us we might wish for a bit more specificity about politics and the messiness of voting well, party involvement, policy proposals and such, but for most of us this big-picture view will bring us up to speed quite nicely. Bring us up to speed? You see, I suspect that most of us — even the sharp and well-read fans of BookNotes — are woefully unaware of the ways in which great Christian thinkers that have come before us have written and taught about Christian political life. This is why I have offered lists like the ones mentioned above, or done extensive reviews of the very, very important historical overview of Christian thinking about the state, The Good of Politics: A Biblical, Historical, and Contemporary Introduction written by James W.

John Wesley

Do check out my review of that, here. Skillen helps us see — through his own particular lens and opinions, of course — the strengths and weaknesses of many great public thinkers who wrote about politics and justice down throughout history. Who knew? A fifth tradition, that of the Black Church, is specifically rooted in the United States and represents a distinctive theological perspective, not to mention forms of communal practice, that is too often discussed in isolation or simply ignored.

In telling about the rich and diverse views represented in this five-way conversation, Black notes that each tradition has developed and evolved. What a good spectrum of views, and what a good way to learn about some of the strengths and weaknesses of these five enduring faith traditions. I commend such inter-denominational conversations to you. Especially in this season when Christians are courted as a voting block and evangelicals are routinely cited in the news for supporting candidates who are pretty obviously not very Christian in tone or substance.

What the heck is going on? Some are, Dr. Of course, with these theological impulses or tendencies or postures made more forthright, they then explain what their tradition or church might say about how ordinary Christians should be involved in political life and the role of churches in addressing political questions. In a helpful move, each chapter in Five Views on The Church and Politics ends with a case study, asking how that faith tradition might address the situation of domestic poverty.

2. Logical Background

How might their perspective address policy questions if they do at all about this? And, of course, then there are the rebuttals — often mostly affirming what the diverse authors appreciate about each other and what they share in common. I am not sure I am remembering correctly, but it seems to me that Professor Smith is the most pointed — gracious, always — but clear about differences.

Behind this assessment of government and politics is a problematic theology of creation that seems to write off swaths of creation as not only fallen, but almost diabolical. There is a kind of all-or-nothing take on government and politics here that is problematic. I cite this not to underscore any particular animosity Smith may have against Mennonite brothers or sisters close readers know my own personal appreciation for some Anabaptist thought and practice but to clarify how clarifying this book at its best really is.

It is a good theological and spiritual exercise and very, very informative. To be honest, there are times in this book when the debate might have been a bit more feisty. And while Dr. Bruce Fields, the black theologian and professor, cited many great sources such as Cheryl J. Deotis Roberts, and Peter Paris it would have been interesting to have this dialogue with somebody like a James Cone or Cornel West or someone more overtly connected to the historic civil rights movement.

To put a better spin on my small frustration I can assure you that the book is exceedingly fair, civil, no-nonsense, studious and is hardly contentious at all. Five Views on The Church and Politics is a fine introduction to key theological traditions, to trans-denominational conversations, and to various models and approaches to the big question of faith and culture, social change, politics and the common good.

But, again, I think it is best seen as a guide to understanding and appreciating differences among the church, and becoming more alert and wise and in some ways appreciative of each other. We stand within a great diverse tradition and within the communion of saints; from within the big Body of Christ we can learn from each other and honor one another, even as we sometimes disagree with one another. This book is, therefore, as much about ecclesiology, about church and theology as it is about government, legislation, policy or politics.

But it is an example of mature conversation, an invitation to join in learning more and broadening our views. That book, too, offers five noted contributors who each offer a major chapter and then respond to the other four positions. It seems a bit more eager to jump to the political science, but is, like Dr.

The five traditions represented in that book edited by Dr. Philip Wogaman. Church, State, and Public Justice: Five Views edited by Professor Kemeny, is deeper, a bit more heady, not primarily written by theologians but by politicos, and is therefore exceptionally useful for those serious about thinking about political questions, as such. We have focused on these differences to help readers think more deeply about the dynamics of Christian witness in the public sphere and consider alternative perspectives. But the purpose of this book is not to convince readers they must choose a side as if in the midst of a raging debate.

Instead, we invite readers to compare and contrast central ideas and themes from each tradition to help them develop a more thoughtful, careful, and Christ-centered approach to politics and government. And that is an urgent need. Because if you think the characters and politics and campaigning in The Good Wife is outrageously flamboyant, welcome to US politics in real time circa We who follow Jesus simply must be discerning and thoughtful about how we can most faithfully respond. These books can help. The endorsements on the cover of the nice hardback are stellar. It is doubtlessly one of the best books of the year.

Read on. Please notice the handy order link at the bottom of this BookNotes column that takes you to our certified secure order form page. We hope you value the reviews we offer and we trust that if you want to buy the books you will send the order our way. Thank you, warmly. I hope you enjoyed my long essay about what I called the backstory of James K. Some of these, in fact, were also significant influences, friends, conversation partners, and teachers of James K. Every one of the books I mentioned is important to his project and I hope you paid attention. This shifted the tone of our faith conversations and our understanding of discipleship towards a more culturally engaged and wholistic vision, a transforming vision.

We started using the phrase world-and-life-view , shortened it to worldview and regularly explained how bad ideas like the pagan Greek notion adopted from Plato by the early church of a big divide between the so-called secular and sacred and the subsequent general disregard for culture, work, the arts and sciences could deform our discipleship and harm our witness in the world. Alas — and it is a lot more complicated than I am putting it here, and more complicated than I described in that BookNotes — other folks started using the word worldview, too, sometimes hitching it to a far-right dominionist agenda, and usually using it to merely categorize the wrong ideas of others about the nature of the world.

Suggesting this is, in my view, a small mis-step made by Andy Crouch in his splendid Culture Making and it is a trope in Smith especially in Desiring the Kingdom that ought to be clarified somewhere along the line. But I digress. Call it worldview 2. I explained a few reasons why a new way of talking about worldview developed and a few books in which some like Brian Walsh and Jamie Smith made a bit of a postmodern turn and came to realize the limits of overemphasizing the role of thinking, the notion of the Christian mind being developed mostly by depositing new ideas into our brains.

Walsh, Midddleton and Smith were not the only ones in evangelicalism to write favorably of postmodernism, but they were pioneering and prescient. They started to write more about the role of the heart and the imaginative stories that conscript us into visions of the good life. Perhaps we should talk more about stories and visions, and less about worldviews and ideas. Maybe, as Saint Augustine said, we are not primarily creatures who firstly think, but creatures who primarily love. The decisive question is not so much what we believe, but what we love. I wrote that last BookNotes column so you can see, again, a bit of our backstory, our own journey, the ideas and visions that excite me and that inspired Beth and I to start our bookstore nearly 34 years ago.

And because I think some of that backstory and naming of titles illumines the great passion and urgency with which James K. Throughout the book he switches the words around, rephrasing his basic points so often that one is not only learning these new ideas about the role of habits that shape our loves, but we are acquiring new ways to talk about these things, ways to describe our faith, our discipleship, our worldviews, and our worship with language that seem to now carry fuller, richer meaning.

When we situate our households in the wider household of God and extend the liturgies of worship to shape the ethos of our homes, we re-situate even the mundane. When we frame our workaday lives by the worship of Christ, then even the quotidian is charged with eternal significance. Our affections are stirred and our hearts enlarged. We are carried into a better story, inspired to feel differently about church and worship, life and times. This truly is a book for hearts and minds.

Is this itself a contradiction, saying that a book can get to us like this? If Smith is saying that our worldviews, our practices of daily discipleship, our truest desires, are shaped more by rituals of worship and habits that are less didactic and more imaginative, can a non-fiction book about all that be effective and truly transformative? Books about big ideas really can be formational and our whole-hearted engagement with them — maybe doing something like lectio divino , processing the content — can be transforming. Especially if it is read and processed together, in community. He is a professor and writer of non-fiction books, after all.

You can be assured that You Are What You Love is a thrilling book to read, substantive and stimulating, but it is not so academically rigorous to be tedious or inaccessible. It is much, much more than an abridged and simplified version of the admittedly complex Imagining the Kingdom and Desiring the Kingdom although I suppose that is one way to describe it: accessible summaries of the gist of those two exceptional works.

Educated, ordinary readers will find YAWYL a pleasurable read and will enjoy it with ease; I am sure many will be moved deeply by some of it. I am confident that its inviting, clear style will make it widely used and a game-changer for many. Grimsley grew up in rural North Carolina, one of the students at one of the schools in the late 60s that were the first to become racially integrated.

Without excessive flourish Grimsley described how he was born and bred to be a racist, by otherwise good people in his small, religious town. Although the book is not heavy-handed, it seemed to me a spot-on parallel to one of Mr. Such dis ordering character mis formation must be countered by other sorts of better rituals and more powerful liturgies which embody and cultivate within us other sorts of habits of heart that will, in turn, shape and form our sense of what story we are a part of, re-indexing our desires in more wholesome ways. Add to this the background wallpaper of overt racism in the Jim Crow south, separate but not equal, and one can easily see just how toxic such seemingly innocent childhood play could become.

As Mr. Grimsley narrates his own life, we see ourselves, if we have eyes to see, that common habits, small phrases, typical customs, rituals and games and stories and social forces shape us deeply, encoding in us ways of seeing and ways of being. It is brave of him to tell his own story, and it illustrates much of what Smith is getting at in the first portion of You Are What You Love. The same can be said about a business, a counseling center, an art gallery, a school, or a church. Smith has analyzed things like this in helpful ways for quite some time and at the risk of redundancy allow me to point you to the excellent chapter written as an open letter to modern praise bands and worship leaders in his anthology Discipleship in the Present Tense where he wonders if the forms of modern entertainment the rock concert have subtly influenced how contemporary worship is structured and perceived and experienced.

Even if a pastor or church school teacher verbally instructs more nuanced and proper views of worship, the ritual of how worship is experienced trumps. Their hearts will have already been captured by ways of seeing and serious dreams that were subconsciously absorbed from the secular liturgies in which they have participated. Here is how Smith puts it, more eloquently and helpfully then my descriptions.

In talking about healthy, historic forms of worship in contrast to the ubiquitous seeker-sensitive services, he writes,. The forms themselves are pedagogies of desire that teach us to construe and relate to the world in a loaded way. So when we distill the gospel message and embed it in the form of the mall, while we might think we are finding a fresh way for people to encounter Christ, in fact the very form of the practice is already loaded with a way of construing the world. The liturgy of the mall is a heart-level education in consumerism that construes everything as a commodity available to make me happy.

So, whether we are absorbing assumptions, which lead to disordered desires, from our habits of taking in secular liturgies, or absorbing those same bad assumptions by their being imported unwittingly by how we do church, we need to be vigilante. We need character and worldview formation of the deepest sort which include must deconstructing the influence of our secular liturgies and being intentional about how our imaginations might be sanctified by more appropriate, truly Christian liturgies, in church and in all of life. Yes, we need to be on guard, and discerning out the habit-forming, love-directing, heart-capturing impact of modern life.

But, mostly, we need to very wholistically and liturgically enter a better story. There is really very little in print that opens all of this up so richly, and I want to suggest this book is nearly singular in its clarity and wisdom and importance. If you liked those, you will love You Are… And if you are a Smith fan, you must know those two. James Smith cites, more than once, a lovely bit of counsel from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of The Little Prince that summarizes and captures much of the point.

De Saint-Exupery writes,. You see as Jamie explains ,. We crave it. We desire it. This is why our most fundamental mode of orientation to the world is love. We are oriented by our longings, directed by our desires. Perhaps you can see why Smith dedicated this book to two of our most important writers and activists for worship renewal in our time, John Witvliet founder of the highly regarded, exceptionally ecumenical, Calvin Institute on Christian Worship and the late, great Robert Webber.

He calls Witvliet a co-conspirator, and of Webber Smith writes,. If I can help a few people board the mother ship, my work here is done. I did not know Webber well at all; I was with him on two occasions, including once at a long and leisurely dinner that lead to a serious late-night conversation. I was very grateful for our conversations. Smith then does two major things in the remaining rich chapters. First he writes wonderfully and wisely about worship.

I have almost every sentence of every paragraph underlined and thought of many friends mostly professional clergy or others involved in church work would love it.

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If just some of our pastors and worship leaders across the denominations could articulate this stuff in the way Smith does, or would articulate it, I think more and more folks would hunger for worshiping well, and would more deeply appreciate renewed forms and styles and aspects of worship renewal. Heck, pastors, get your flocks yearning for more conversation and deeper appreciation of this stuff and they might free up more monies from the budget to send you to something like the annual Symposium on Worship of the Calvin Institute on Worship from which Smith has learned much of his insight about healthy, robust worship.

I respect so many pastors, including my own, and have been drawn to deeper worship by so many good liturgists, preachers, and worship leaders, that I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not trying to sound critical and certainly not cynical. But it is notable to me how little of this kind of stuff I have heard spoken out loud in our churches, in worship classes or adult forums.

I really wish pastors and elders and worship planners would read this book, at least chapters 4. Yep, there it is, a basic irony of this book — it is a book demanding to be read and discussed by thinkers and explained, even taught, in churches. The role of the mind in all of this which Smith affirms clearly on pages 6 and 7 is a bit of a mystery, but dare not be minimized even if Smith perhaps unwittingly nearly does so throughout the book.

It is my own contention that rituals in this case, the habits and practices of deep Christian worship might have a more powerful effect upon us if we understands what they are supposed to do to us. Perhaps it is a bit of a cycle — we are shaped by the pre-theoretical power of habits and liturgies, but those can impact us more fruitfully when we understand something about them. I assume Smith agrees that learning about how this gut-level stuff works is key, since he wrote such an impassioned and informative book for us to think about.

Hearts and minds, after all; hearts and minds and bodies. Of course we learn stuff by reading and thinking it is what Smith is paid the big bucks to do, after all. His astute philosophical considerations such as the embrace of a Dooyeweerdian view of worldview rooted in the human heart which set the stage for his embrace of the postmodern turn which rejected Cartesian dualism and the idol of autonomous rationalism led him quite naturally to this realization that humans whom God has made as lovers are shaped also by — perhaps he is correct to say primarily by — dreams and visions, habits and rituals, rather than mere ideas deposited in the noggin.

But that surely surely! We need to learn this stuff. Start a book club, even if it is just on the worship chapter, ready by your own worship planners or pastors, for starters. Implore them to explain this to the worshipers in your congregation. Help the ritual aspect of worshipful practices be more effective by helping the people of God understand. Maybe I should watch what I write, question what values are implicit even in how we talk, eh?

Yeah, you can take that to the bank! Wink, wink. Although he has written a whole book somewhat about that, a heavy philosophy work published by Routledge called Speech and Theology. She has a big heart and a lot of skills in home economics, hospitality seems to come natural to them, and she slowly got Jamie interested in eating more wholesome food and appreciating the finer tastes of a more normative diet.

This is shared in a lovely, helpful way, and he had already written nicely about his own need to change his diet, exercise and — of course — learn to want to do this. So his wife gets a whole lot of credit as helping guide the Smith household in Grand Rapids into new flavors, new tastes, new hungers, new lifestyles. It is fun and helps makes the point remarkably well. Oh, how I long for this kind of thing to be better known, to be in the bones and on the lips of my fellow Christians and the church leaders we know.

His concern is succinct and incisive:. The entrepreneurial independence of evangelical spirituality which is as old as the American colonies leaves room for all kinds of congregational start-ups that need little if any institutional support. Catering to more specialized niches, these start-ups are not beholden to liturgical forms or institutional legacies.

These are, I want to suggest, competing trajectories. For we cannot hope to restore the world if we are constantly reinventing the church. An aside to those few who might care: does this conversation echo concerns of Nevin and Schaff of the 18th century Mercersburg Theology movement from German Reformed folks in Pennsylvania? That spiffy innovation and spirit of entrepreneurialism that marks passionate revivalism, while honorable for missional intensity, may be its own worst enemy? Smith continues,.

The Centrality of the Trinity

The cultural labor of restoration certainly requires imaginative innovation. We need new energy, new strategies, new initiates, new organizations, even new institutions. If we hope to put the world to rights, we need to think differently and act differently and build institutions that foster such action. But if our cultural work is going to be restorative — if it is going to put the world to rights — then we need imaginations that have absorbed a vision for how things ought to be. Innovation for justice and shalom requires that we be regularly immersed in the story of God reconciling all things to himself.

And that happens in worship, and not just any kind of worship. So we are back to the interplay and relationship of the local church and our public faith, good worship and the good life. I cannot tell you how much I loved these last chapters of You Are What You Love , how I long to talk about them with others, to hear what you and your friends and fellowships make of it all. This book is one I want to promote, want to encourage you to buy and study and talk about and — please Lord! It will be a truly great read for those who are interested in cultural engagement and social action but wonder what kind of people we need to be to take up those vocations with lasting faith.

If you were one of the many who viewed the Acton DVDs For the Life of the World , you really need to follow it up with a book just like this. However, more conventional pastors of more ordinary churches will find much about this that will remind them of why they do what they do, how the language and symbols and rituals of the gathering, worshiping body are so very, very important. Does anybody recall the important work decades ago of John Westerhof? Or does anybody use Godly Play curriculum? That is, I think those who work with most common place stuff that goes on in typical churches will find in YAWYL a solace and a proverbial shot in the arm.

I hope it is read among young and old, evangelicals and mainliners, those drawn to simple church and those from more high liturgical traditions. There is something here for everyone. I mean that with all my heart. I hope you have a faith community that does a Maundy Thursday service, and that you take in Good Friday services. In our last BookNotes posted a few days ago I announced A. The brilliance of this Glorious Dark book — it would be fine to read anytime, as the questions are so universal and his Biblical insight so interesting and helpful — is that it gets at these vital, urgent questions by way of a study of the last part of Holy week, what some call the triduum.

The title itself is wonderful, eh? Here is what it says on the back cover: On Thursday as they ate the Passover meal with Jesus, the disciples believed that the kingdom was coming and they were on the front end of a revolution. Then came the tragedy of Friday, and the silence of Saturday. THey ran. They doubted. They espaired. From their perspective, all was lost. And then there was Sunday morning. I have a well-used hardback copy of this that I read portions of every Lent, and upon which I meditate every Holy Week.

A few pages here mean much to me, and Dr. I very highly recommend this. The Undoing of Death is a very precious book, meaty, thoughtful, eloquent, surprising, important. Samuel T. You may recall that we got to met Rev. The result is a treasury of wisdom on the cross of Christ. I will continue to read this book.

I gushed over this at the beginning of Lent as we had her wonderfully literary volume for Advent, Light Upon Light, and the excellent anthology for Ordinary Time called At the Still Point. It invites us to experience the liturgical seasons in the company of poets and novelists from across the centuries and across the globe. We think it would make a much-appreciated gift, too — especially for one who may warm to a re-envisioned sort of devotional.

This is a great, rather brief overview of the gospel story, walking with Jesus through Luke. By the end of the book, readers will have been through the entirety of Luke, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday. Readers really get a lot of content. Not a few people prefer to read prayers instead of devotionals or Bible reflections and this little paperback includes all manner of prayers invocations, confessions, assurances of pardon, pastoral prayers, offertory prayers, benedictions and the like for worship experiences all during Lent and Holy Week. Very useful.

We are fond of much of the up-beat, contemporary, and theologically sound work of this evangelical publisher from the UK. There was once a very good world; we know it know as marred and hurtful; Christ died and rose to bring healing and shalom to his beloved planet. The focus on Christ is clear. This is a very entertaining even at moments, nearly zany , truly educational, and delightfully inviting book for young children.

There is no discussion of penal substitution or why Christ predicted his own death, but the goodness, sorrow and joy of the story is palpable. Very, very nicely done. A couple of folks said it was quite an education, and I enjoyed sharing, again, some of my own significant influences and some of my own favorite books and authors. I do hope you considered it.

But, truly, there are wonderful reads and fine authors and helpful publishers; the book world and publishing industry really is a blessing to us all. I know I speak for all our staff here when I say that Beth and I are glad there are readers who care. It means that people care about words, about ideas, about being moved by the art of writing and the habit of reading.

Some new and very good books that I shall list below just might scratch where you itch these days or they might make a good gift to somebody who you may know who needs some pleasurable and helpful resources this very week. Spread the word. Kinnaman and Lyons said very good things about it in that footnote and I made a mental note to be sure we had it on order. It came not long ago and, as I expected, it is remarkable. There are surprising blurbs on the back from David Wells, a serious-minded, no-nonsense and very careful thinker I great admire, a Distinguished Research Professor at Gordon Conwell, and a long, passionate endorsement by Miroslav Volf.

These are impressive signs. You do too. Maybe we need this book so we can be more like them. The author, by the way, has a PhD in education from Boston College, was a Fulbright scholar and worked with the landless poor in Bangladesh. This looks really, really rich. Any title that alludes to Letters to Malcolm by C. And I hear it really is. His wide worldly experience, his service as a pastor, and now as an Oblate Order of Julian of Norwich gives him a rare place in which to describe contemplative prayer to those of us who are not quite so oriented to stillness and solitude and deeper prayerfulness.

It looks like an argument for the contemplative life, but also an invitation to it, written to a young, 21st century seeker. Might even be a slightly deeper version of the lovely Nouwen book called Letters to Marc, which I also loved. This new one looks remarkable — just the footnotes alone show how wide of a reader DeGroat is, citing everybody from evangelical neuroscientist Curt Thompson to poet Mary Oliver, from David Letterman to Thomas Merton. Wholeheartedness has a beautiful style about it, covers very impressive ground, helping us diagnose our unwholeness, awaken to wholeness, and then experience real wholeness.

It seems to me that this is a perfect example of a book that is designed for self-improvement, personal growth, but is mature, sophisticated, beautifully-crafted and nuanced. Allison, Jr. Those of us that have heard him or worked with him know this is true: he is an eloquent and interesting writer, luminous at times, even. Blurbs on the back of this new book include extravagant endorsements by John Burgess Pittsburgh Theological Seminary , the deeply thoughtful Orthodox scholar and writer David Bentley Hart, and Thomas Long, the well known preacher and prof from Candler.

Allison definitely is respected among evangelicals, Orthodox, and more mainline denominational colleagues. When Dale was 23 years old he almost died in a car accident and we are told that that terrifying experience dramatically changed his ideas about death and the hereafter.

He is a first-rate Bible scholar and mystic, and here he engages not only biblical texts but the church fathers and mothers, rabbinic scholars, poets and scientists and philosophers. This is the spiritual and theological guidebook of big questions for the well educated and curious. This very handsome book is a beautifully written story of a Christian mom whose young adult daughter, Katie, an artist, died in a car accident at age There are a number of very moving, even profound, memoirs of this sort and I sense that this is one of them.

I read the excellently-drawn several pages of a foreword by Shauna Niequist a writer who just keeps getting better and better herself who has known September Vaudrey and her husband, and has admired her her mothering for years. Now, we see how her life changed with this grievous loss. Kudos to Tyndale for releasing such a rich, meaningful, valuable story. Harmon with a hefty introductory chapter by G. We stand in the middle of an old world dying and a new creation already born in our midst through Jesus Christ. How does this sense of living between the ages shape our conception of the church, pastoring, and ministry?

In this book two young scholars, with the assistance of Greg Beale, show what it means to be end-times people. They offer some great theological reflections and practical advice on how to lead people who are waiting with patience and purpose for the day when God is all in all. Through his own study and sharing of pain and doubt and darkness and trust, that book moved me deeply and I will re-read it this Holy Week I am sure.

By the way, not only was Glorious Dark one of my favorite books of last year, he also co wrote the significant and commendable Evangelical Ecotheology. Now, in this brand new one with this great, allusive title — The Dusty Ones — Swoboda explores wandering, what it means to be a wandering people, why wilderness matters and how hardships of time in the desert might be formative for us.

One Dress. One Year. It is heartbreaking, evil, and solving global injustices is complex. We need big, structural reforms and, obviously, a healthy establishment of the rule of law. Enter Bethany Winz, who, as a sixteen year old who is now in college at Trevecca Nazarene University , learned about some of this sort of stuff and just decided she had to do something. She tells us that she processes the world and what she learns by blogging and writing, and this fantastic new book emerged from her one-year experience of writing about a social experiment.

Bethany determined to wear the same black dress that she made, by the way every day for a year to focus attention on the lack of choices people in modern-day slavery face and to raise money to help end human trafficking.