2015 Summer Readings The Good and Beautiful God James Bryan Smith The path to spiritual transformation begins here. The author explains that the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind. The Good and Beautiful Life James Bryan Smith "I have never met a person whose goal was to ruin his or her life. We all want to be happy, and we want it all of the time." So begins James Bryan Smith in The Good and Beautiful Life. The problem is, he tells us, we have bought into false notions of happiness and success. These self-centered decisions lead us further into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, worry and judging. Eventually we find ourselves living a beautifully packaged life of self-destruction. The Good and Beautiful Community James Bryan Smith In the pages of The Good and Beautiful Community, Jim Smith shows us how to bring spiritual formation and community engagement together, and then once again offers spiritual practices that root new, true narratives about God and the world in our souls. His insight and humility as a fellow learner with us will lead us to live in authentic ways as a good and beautiful community of Christ-followers, shining the light of the Spirit into every relationship. Celebration of Discipline Richard J. Foster In Celebration of Discipline, Foster explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith to show how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. Foster, helps motivate Christians everywhere to embark on a journey of prayer and spiritual growth. The Gift of Being Yourself David G. Benner Christians throughout the ages have agreed that there cannot be deep knowledge of God without deep knowledge of the self. Discerning your true self is inextricably related to discerning God's purposes for you. Paradoxically, the more you become like Christ, the more you become authentically yourself. In this profound exploration of Christian identity, psychologist and spiritual director David G. Benner illuminates the spirituality of self-discovery. Invitation to a Journey M. Robert Mulholland Jr. In Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland helps Christians new and old to understand that we become like Christ gradually, not instantly. Not every personality is suited to an early morning quiet time, so Mulholland frees different personality types to express their piety differently. This road map for spiritual formation is profoundly biblical and down to earth. In the finest tradition of spiritual literature, it is a vital help to Christians at any stage of their journey. The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave powerful voice to the millions of Christians who believe personal sacrifice is an essential component of faith. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, was an exemplar of sacrificial faith: he opposed the Nazis from the first and was eventually imprisoned in Buchenwald and hung by the Gestapo in 1945. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction Eugene H. Patterson As a society, we are no less obsessed with the immediate than when Eugene Peterson first wrote this Christian classic. If anything, email and the Internet may have intensified our quest for the quick fix. But Peterson's time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same--a long obedience in the same direction. The Divine Conspiracy Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy has revolutionized how we think about the true meaning of discipleship. In this classic, one of the most brilliant Christian thinkers of our times, Dallas Willard, skillfully weaves together biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice, revealing what it means to "apprentice" ourselves to Jesus. Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War II, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.
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