Grace Without God

Grace Without God
  • Author : Katherine Ozment
  • Publisher : Harper Perennial
  • Pages : 256
  • Relase : 2017-06-13
  • ISBN : 0062305131

Grace Without God Book Review:

Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion. Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging. So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent. Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion. Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

What Do We Mean When We Talk about Meaning?

What Do We Mean When We Talk about Meaning?
  • Author : Steven Cassedy
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Pages : 225
  • Relase : 2022
  • ISBN : 9780190936907

What Do We Mean When We Talk about Meaning? Book Review:

"This book explores the word meaning as it is used in such expressions as "the meaning of life," "the search for meaning," "ultimate meaning." In many of the "metaphysical" contexts where we find the word meaning, it appears to mean "purpose," "value," "goal," "direction," and even "God." The book answers the following questions: How did the English word meaning come to carry these various sub-senses, given that its original sense has to do with signifying? When did the notion of a "meaning of life" arise in English and other languages? How does the English word meaning, which is a verbal noun, differ in these usages from the roughly equivalent words in other European languages? How did the word evolve in usage over time? How has it been used in recent decades? The book's chapters show that the usage is relatively recent, arising in the late eighteenth century in German romanticism and passing into English in the early nineteenth century; that the English word functions differently from the way its European near-equivalents do, thanks to its ability to suggest signifying and hence interpretation; that it is seldom defined and hence ambiguous and polyvalent; that it functions today in a wide variety of contexts, including psychotherapy and the continuing conversation between secularism and religion; and that ambiguity and polyvalence are actually the source of its power, since those qualities allow for flexibility in the way the word is understood"--

The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life

The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life
  • Author : Iddo Landau
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Pages : 545
  • Relase : 2022
  • ISBN : 9780190063504

The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life Book Review:

"The volume presents 32 essays on a wide array of topics in modern philosophical meaning in life research. The essays are organized into six sections: Section I, Understanding Meaning in Life, focuses on various ways of conceptualizing meaning in life. Among other issues, it discusses whether meaning in life should be understood objectively or subjectively, the relation between importance and meaningfulness, and whether meaningful lives should be understood narratively. Section II, Meaning in Life, Science, and Metaphysics, presents opposing views on whether neuroscience sheds light on life's meaning, inquires whether hard determinists must see life as meaningless, and explores the relation between time, personal identity, and meaning. Section III, Meaning in Life and Religion, examines the relation between meaningfulness, mysticism and transcendence, and considers life's meaning from both atheist and theist perspectives. Section IV, Ethics and Meaning in Life, examines (among other issues) whether meaningful lives must be moral, how important forgiveness is for meaning, the relation between life's meaningfulness (or meaninglessness) and procreation ethics, and whether animals have meaningful lives. Section V, Philosophical Psychology and Meaning in Life, compares philosophical and psychological research on life's meaning, explores the experience of meaningfulness, and discusses the relation between meaningfulness and desire, love, and gratitude. Section VI, Living Meaningfully: Challenges and Prospects, elaborates on topics such as suicide, suffering, education, optimism and pessimism, and their relation to life's meaning"--

From Sh!tshow to Afterglow

From Sh!tshow to Afterglow
  • Author : Ariel Meadow Stallings
  • Publisher : Seal Press
  • Pages : 288
  • Relase : 2020-07-21
  • ISBN : 9781580059626

From Sh!tshow to Afterglow Book Review:

Rebound after loss, grief, and the other cruel crises life throws your way with this irreverent guide -- the perfect anti-self-help book. Sometimes your foundation crumbles. Sometimes you realize there wasn't a foundation to begin with. Maybe your relationship ended in a breakup or divorce, or you lost your job, or a loved one died. Whatever crisis showed up to screw with you, it brought everything else crashing down, and suddenly life became confusing, disorienting, out of control. A total shit show. You. Need. Help. Therein lies the problem: Traditional self-help guides just aren't for you. You're an individualist, an iconoclast, a follow-your-own-drumbeat kind of person. The typical sunshine-and-rainbows, "live your best life!" books in the "personal growth" aisle aren't going to speak to your worldview -- you need an embrace-your-weirdness vision for growth and rebuilding. Enter Ariel Meadow Stallings, who has experienced a few life catastrophes of her own and emerged from them with newfound clarity and strength. In From Sh!tshow to Afterglow, she offers a lifeline of support and outside-the-box thinking for times of crisis and confusion, sharing plenty of tactical tips for getting your shit together. Along the way, she never lets readers forget that sometimes a life has to be taken apart before it can be put back together better than ever. Without sugar-coating how deeply it sucks to have your world shattered, From Sh!tshow to Afterglow gives readers a reassuring plan to for putting the pieces back together and emerging stronger than ever.

Walking on Water

Walking on Water
  • Author : Robert P. Vande Kappelle
  • Publisher : Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Pages : 196
  • Relase : 2020-02-03
  • ISBN : 9781725259744

Walking on Water Book Review:

How did Jesus do it? we wonder. How did he walk on water? To which we can imagine Jesus responding, “O ye of literal faith. Walk with me on the waters of life; explore with me the depths of reality.” Walking on water is not, as one might think, about staying on the surface of things, but rather about going deep into the ordinary aspects of our lives and finding gold. It is not about exotic miracles or blind faith, but about “living into a new way of thinking.” Most of us experience a continual flow of ideas, images, and feelings, clinging to these as if they were us. They are us, but not our True Self. They represent the atomized self, our small imperial ego. While this egocentric False Self is necessary, its role is temporary, a warm-up rather than the adventure itself. To ascertain our True Self, we must lose the false images that no longer serve us, images of God that are insufficient and images of ourselves that are similarly inadequate. Bringing to life tales about labyrinths and quests for the Grail, Walking on Water encourages us to go with Jesus into death and resurrection, encountering the universal Christ there, the True Self that gives all humans final meaning and definition. Such living “saves” us from our smaller and untrue selves, transforms our consciousness, and transports us from limited first-half-of-life living and thinking into second-half-of-life possibilities. The dynamic approach to spirituality described in this book—a transformational journey nourished by myth, metaphor, and mystery—will promote the wisdom, compassion, maturity, and connectedness we all need and desire.

The Rise and Fall of Faith

The Rise and Fall of Faith
  • Author : Drew Bekius
  • Publisher : Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
  • Pages : 208
  • Relase : 2017-07-01
  • ISBN : 9781634311113

The Rise and Fall of Faith Book Review:

The story of religion in the twenty-first-century West has been defined, in part, by the stories of once-zealous pastors moving beyond their faith to embrace a life of reason. But too often and too quickly ardent believers dismiss such accounts as aberrations and fail to consider the real-life implications for those who make this transition. Atheists and other skeptics, meanwhile, struggle to understand what took these individuals so long to make such a journey—and why others aren't lining up more quickly to do the same. As a result, the questions posed by one side inevitably mirror those asked by the other. Why do believers trust in God the way they do? But what factors lead atheists to dismiss religious beliefs so easily? How can believers have faith in the face of known science and history? But what allows anyone to be so sure their beliefs are based in reality? What would it take for believers to stop believing in God? But what would it take for nonbelievers to start to believe? Drawing on the author's own story as a former evangelical pastor powerless to stop his turn to atheism, The Rise and Fall of Faith touches on these and other questions, inviting readers into a long-overdue conversation between Christians and atheists. While the aim of the book is to initiate this much-needed discussion, the author encourages all who care about the future of humanity to carry the dialogue forward—whether in the evaluation of our own inner thoughts, in the assumptions we make about the other side, or in how we work together in the pursuit of understanding and common ground as we navigate the world's ever-changing and increasingly challenging religious and cultural landscape.

Building Resilience

Building Resilience
  • Author : Alice Updike Scannell
  • Publisher : Morehouse Publishing
  • Pages : 177
  • Relase : 2020-10-16
  • ISBN : 9781640653764

Building Resilience Book Review:

How do we develop the resilience that empowers us to be ourselves in the face of change? How do we learn to be courageous when days are difficult? How do we build our capacity for healing and growth when we can no longer do the things we once did that gave our lives satisfaction, meaning, and purpose? Building Resilience offers a path toward creativity in responding to change in your life, regaining some control over your circumstances, and overcoming feelings of helplessness. Whether you’re 17 or 75, if life has thrown you a curve ball, this book can help you get on track toward being yourself in your new normal. With a foreword by Stephanie Spellers.

Atheism and Agnosticism: Exploring the Issues

Atheism and Agnosticism: Exploring the Issues
  • Author : Peter A. Huff
  • Publisher : ABC-CLIO
  • Pages : 247
  • Relase : 2021-08-31
  • ISBN : 9781440870835

Atheism and Agnosticism: Exploring the Issues Book Review:

This is the age of atheism and agnosticism. The number of people living without religious belief and practice is quickly and dramatically rising. Some experts call nonreligion, after Christianity and Islam, the third largest "religion" in the world today. Understanding the origins, history, variations, and impact of atheism and agnosticism is crucial to getting a grasp of the meaning of the present and gaining a glimpse of the future. Exploring some of the most extraordinary people, events, and ideas of all time, this book provides a fair, comprehensive, and engaging survey of all aspects of contemporary atheism and agnosticism. An overview essay discusses the background and social and political contexts of unbelief, while a timeline highlights key events. Some 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries follow, with each providing fundamental, objective information about particular topics along with cross-references and suggestions for further reading. The volume closes with an annotated bibliography of the most important resources on atheism and agnosticism.

Truth Is Law, Faith Is Flaw

Truth Is Law, Faith Is Flaw
  • Author : Dr. Ahmed Sayeed
  • Publisher : Nitya Publications
  • Pages : 408
  • Relase : 2021-01-01
  • ISBN : 9789390699704

Truth Is Law, Faith Is Flaw Book Review:

The knowledge of truths, unlike the knowledge of things, has an opposite, namely error. So far as things are concerned, we may know them or not know them, but there is no positive state of mind which can be described as erroneous knowledge of things, so long, at any rate, as we confine ourselves to knowledge by acquaintance.

Seeking Common Ground

Seeking Common Ground
  • Author : Andrew Fiala,Peter Admirand
  • Publisher : Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Pages : 294
  • Relase : 2021-08-26
  • ISBN : 9781725275294

Seeking Common Ground Book Review:

Seeking Common Ground is a dialogue between an atheist philosopher and a Catholic theologian. It is about religion and nonreligion, as well as about dialogue itself. The book provides a framework for dialogue grounded in seven key values: Harmony, Courage, Humility, Curiosity, Honesty, Compassion, and Honor. Unlike typical “debates” about religion and atheism, Fiala and Admirand show that atheists and theists can work together on projects of mutual understanding. They explore the terrain of religion and nonreligion, discussing a range of sources, topics, issues, and concerns, including: adventures in interfaith dialogue, challenging ethical issues, problems interpreting biblical texts, the growth of secularism, and the importance of ritual and community. The authors show that it is possible to disagree about religion while also seeking common ground. The book includes a foreword by Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the U.S. Interfaith Alliance.

Converting the Imagination

Converting the Imagination
  • Author : Patrick R. Manning
  • Publisher : Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Pages : 176
  • Relase : 2020-05-15
  • ISBN : 9781725260535

Converting the Imagination Book Review:

For two thousand years countless people around the world viewed reality through a Christian lens that endowed their lives with meaning, purpose, and coherence. Today, in an era of unprecedented secularization, many have ceased to find meaning not only in Christianity but in life in general. In Converting the Imagination, Patrick Manning offers a probing analysis of this crisis of meaning, marshalling historical and psychological research to shed light on the connections among the disintegration of the Christian worldview, religious disaffiliation, and a growing mental health epidemic. As a response Manning presents an approach to religious education that is at once traditionally grounded in the model of Jesus’ own teaching and augmented by modern educational research and cognitive science. Converting the Imagination is an invitation to transform the way we teach about faith and make sense of the world, an invitation that echoes Jesus’ invitation to a fuller, more meaningful life. It is sure to captivate scholars and practitioners of religious education, ministers seeking to reengage people who have drifted away from the faith or to support young people suffering from existential anxiety, and anyone in search of deeper meaning in their religious traditions or in their own lives.

In the Grip of Grace -

In the Grip of Grace -
  • Author : Max Lucado
  • Publisher : Thomas Nelson
  • Pages : 256
  • Relase : 2011-01-09
  • ISBN : 9781418515904

In the Grip of Grace - Book Review:

Exchange the pressure of accomplishment for the peace of God’s grace When the world demands: achieve, succeed, earn, God says: lean on me, trust me, believe me. That is grace. And that is what God offers: unconditional acceptance of a believing heart. Your heavenly Father loves you enough to hold you in his grace. Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado will help you release a false sense of self-sufficiency. rest in God’s unbending and unending gift of grace. remember that God is for you and will carry you through every circumstance. Today, leap from the cliff of self-sufficiency and land in the strong arms of the Father who loves you . . . the Father who catches you—every time—in the grip of his grace.

From Traitor to Zealot

From Traitor to Zealot
  • Author : Daniel Koehler
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Pages : 377
  • Relase : 2021-11-18
  • ISBN : 9781108842945

From Traitor to Zealot Book Review:

Explore the world of radicalization through the stories of those who switched between extreme political or religious ideologies.

Malthus, Medicine & Morality

Malthus, Medicine & Morality
  • Author : Brian Dolan
  • Publisher : Rodopi
  • Pages : 232
  • Relase : 2000
  • ISBN : 9042008415

Malthus, Medicine & Morality Book Review:

Thomas Robert Malthus's reputation has lately been rehabilitated in the fields of social biology, demography, environmentalism, and economics. In the midst of this current interest and with the chance to mark the occasion of the bicentenary of the first edition of the Essay on Population(1798), the contributors to this volume take this timely opportunity to examine the historical conditions in which Malthus constructed his theory, and in which the concept of a 'Malthusian' and 'Neo-Malthusian' philosophy first emerged. The essays redress the balance between Malthus's original argument, the immediate responses to Malthus by medics and theologians in Britain and on the Continent, and some of the ways that his ideas were later attacked, appropriated, or misrepresented. Included here are essays that not only re-evaluate the development of Malthus's theory, but also offer critical perspectives on the generation of the 'Malthusian league' and debates about birth control in Britain and on the Continent, and Malthus's influence on the emergence of social science and Darwinian evolutionary biology.

Reflections on Grace

Reflections on Grace
  • Author : Thomas A. Langford
  • Publisher : Wipf and Stock Publishers
  • Pages : 126
  • Relase : 2007-06-23
  • ISBN : 9781556350580

Reflections on Grace Book Review:

For about the last fifteen years of his life, Thomas A. Langford pondered how grace is central to Christian theology. This book records his reflections and provides numerous gems of mature Christian insight. From beginning to end, the book is christologically focused. Grace is not something that God gives us; rather, it is the way God gives us himself. Grace is a person--God present to human beings. Grace is not a gift but rather a giver. Grace is Jesus Christ. The central contribution of this work is its personalization of grace, its sharp focus on God present in Jesus Christ. Because its focus on grace gives the reader such a clear and thematically developed entry point, this work is a great introduction to theology and the life of the church, the kind that pastors and parishioners would certainly benefit from confronting.

Feasting on the Word

Feasting on the Word
  • Author : David Lyon Bartlett,Barbara Brown Taylor
  • Publisher : Westminster John Knox Press
  • Pages : 480
  • Relase : 2010-01-01
  • ISBN : 9780664231040

Feasting on the Word Book Review:

With the twelve-volume series Feasting on the Word, Westminster John Knox Press offers one of the most extensive and well-respected resources for preaching on the market today. When complete, the twelve volumes will cover all of the Sundays in the three-year lectionary cycle, along with moveable occasions. The page layout is truly unique. For each lectionary text, preachers will find brief essaysÂ--one each on the exegetical, theological, pastoral, and homiletical challenges of the text. Each volume will also contain an index of biblical passages so that nonlectionary preachers may make use of its contents. The printed volumes for Ordinary Time include the complementary stream during Year A, the complementary stream during the first half of Year B, the semicontinuous stream during the second half of Year B, and the semicontinuous stream during Year C. Beginning with the season after Pentecost in Year C, the alternate lections for Ordinary Time not in the print volumes will be available online at

The Necessity of Secularism

The Necessity of Secularism
  • Author : Ronald A. Lindsay
  • Publisher : Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
  • Pages : 224
  • Relase : 2014-12-01
  • ISBN : 9781939578167

The Necessity of Secularism Book Review:

For the first time in human history, a significant percentage of the world's population no longer believes in God. This is especially true in developed nations, where in some societies nonbelievers now outnumber believers. Unless religion collapses completely, or undergoes a remarkable resurgence, countries across the globe must learn to carefully and effectively manage this societal mix of religious and irreligious. For in a world already deeply riven by sectarian conflict, this unprecedented demographic shift presents yet another challenge to humanity. Writing in an engaging, accessible style, philosopher and lawyer Ronald A. Lindsay develops a tightly crafted argument for secularism—specifically, that in a religiously pluralistic society, a robust, thoroughgoing secularism is the only reliable means of preserving meaningful democracy and rights of conscience. Contrary to certain political pundits and religious leaders who commonly employ the term secularism as a scare word, Lindsay uses clear, concrete examples and jargon-free language to demonstrate that secularism is the only way to ensure equal respect and protection under the law—for believers and nonbelievers alike. Although critical of some aspects of religion, Lindsay neither presents an antireligious tirade nor seeks to convert anyone to nonbelief, reminding us that secularism and atheism are not synonymous. Rather, he shows how secularism works to everyone's benefit and makes the definitive case that the secular model should be feared by none—and embraced by all.!--?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /--

The Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life
  • Author : Rick Warren
  • Publisher : Zondervan
  • Pages : 368
  • Relase : 2012-10-23
  • ISBN : 9780310329336

The Purpose Driven Life Book Review:

Discover and fulfill your God-given purpose by joining the more than thirty-five million others who have embarked on a spiritual journey that started with this #1 New York Times bestselling book by Pastor Rick Warren. Before you were born, God knew what your life had in store for you. His hope for you is to discover the life he created just for you--both here on earth, and forever in eternity. Let Rick Warren guide you as you learn to live out your true purpose. The Purpose Driven Life is more than a book; it's a road map for your spiritual journey. Combining thoughtful verses from Scripture with timely stories and perspectives from Warren's own life, The Purpose Driven Life will help you discover the answer to one of life's most important questions: What on earth am I here for? Throughout The Purpose Driven Life, Warren will teach you to spend time getting to know yourself and your creator in order to live your life to the fullest. Unlocking your true purpose will also reduce your stress, simplify your decisions, increase your satisfaction, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity. Designed to be read over the course of forty-two days, The Purpose Driven Life will help you see the big picture, giving you a fresh perspective on the way that the pieces of your life fit together. Every chapter of The Purpose Driven Life provides a daily meditation and practical steps to help you uncover and live out your purpose, starting with exploring three essential questions: The Question of Existence: Why am I alive? The Question of Significance: Does my life matter? The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for? Each copy of The Purpose Driven Life also includes thoughtful discussion questions, audio Bible studies that go along with every chapter, and access to a supportive online community, giving you the opportunity to dive even deeper into each life-changing lesson.

Let No Man Put Asunder

Let No Man Put Asunder
  • Author : Rachel Whitaker
  • Publisher : iUniverse
  • Pages : 418
  • Relase : 2010-10
  • ISBN : 9781450242882

Let No Man Put Asunder Book Review:

Half of all Christian marriages end in divorce. How does God love women when their men do not? Far from stereotypical advice, Let No Man Put Asunder is both Biblically based and grounded in the real experiences of believers in sacred marriage covenants. Teaching men how and why they matter to their Higher Power and to their wife exposes the root cause as well as a solution that can be a life-or-death miracle for couples, families and communities. The format and discussion questions are inspired!

Waiting for Good News

Waiting for Good News
  • Author : Sally Wilke
  • Publisher : Fortress Press
  • Pages : 160
  • Relase : 2018-08-01
  • ISBN : 9781506434247

Waiting for Good News Book Review:

Support and wisdom when serious illness strikes Sally Wilke gets it. She has lived with and through the serious chronic illness of someone she cared deeply about. And she has provided pastoral care to individuals and families in similar situations. Waiting for Good News captures her hard-won, helpful, and hope-filled wisdom. Wilke organizes this book around seven questions that those who face serious illness often ask. From "What Is the Diagnosis" to "Where Do I Find More Help?" she accompanies readers on their own journey. The heart of the book is the stories--Wilke's own, those of others who have struggled with severe illness, and accounts from the Bible. Here, readers will find strength, support, and a way forward in a difficult situation. As practical as she is wise, Wilke offers tools, tips, ideas, and resources for reflection and for obtaining additional support. Chapters conclude with questions that may be used for personal reflection and discussion with family members, patients, and support groups. Clergy, other pastoral-care providers, and family and friends of those who struggle with serious illness will find examples and helpful practices to guide their efforts as they partner with those seeking to find their way.