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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices

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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices Cover

ISBN13: 9780849901140
ISBN10: 0849901146
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Shines a practical light on the spiritual disciplines that have been in use since the time of Abraham.

In a sense, every day of our lives is labor. It is questionable if you can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual practices that have been in use for centuries, everything from fixed-hour prayer to fasting to sincere observance of the Sabbath. What is causing this hunger for deeper spirituality?

Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these ancient disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

Why have certain spiritual disciplines been in use for centuries and why is it important?

It is questionable if one can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual practices, such as fixed-hour prayer, fasting and sincere observance of the Sabbath. What is causing this hunger for deeper spirituality?

Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

Review:

"Prolific author and pastor McLaren is a big-picture guy. One of the most influential thinkers in the emergent church movement, he likes to analyze and categorize. This book, which inaugurates a series about traditional spiritual practices, paves the way for future installments by elaborating the big-picture rationale for spiritual disciplines: they cleanse us, enlighten us and bring us closer to God. As the title signals, they will also help us find our way past the unsatisfactory alternatives of secularism, dangerous fundamentalism and 'mushy spirituality.' The former English teacher has a gift for the pithy phrase that nails a concept: 'faithing our practices' is seeing the sacred value of everyday activities, for example. McLaren fans will enjoy his usual breadth of vision, easy style of exposition and synthesis of big ideas. His more conservative detractors may find him too generous in his references to the other two Abrahamic faiths in discussing spiritual practices. This book nicely opens the door for a series as well as a more disciplined Christian life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

McLaren explains spiritual practices that go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, readers discover the beauty of these ancient disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

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wranglerdani, February 25, 2011 (view all comments by wranglerdani)
I was drawn to this book because I’ve always been curious about monks and nuns and of course, the ancient ways that go hand-in-hand with such a life. As a child, my mom was taught by nuns in a Catholic school, most of whom she didn’t particularly like – yet when I read St. Francis or Brother Lawrence I’m astonished by the depth and richness of their faith.

How can we have gone so far that such practices are remembered for their austerity (as with the nuns in my mom’s experience) instead of the love of the Savior that they claim to promote? And, conversely, does our non-denominational easy-going Christianese-spouting faith need a commitment overhaul?

Brian McLaren doesn’t answer these questions. In fact, he does so little answering that occasionally I felt a little frustrated – but comforted, as though I’d just spent a few hours wrestling a very difficult question with a trusted mentor. I don’t agree with everything he asserts – he is determined to include the ancient practices of Muslims in with our own devotions, for instance – but he states his case in a way that brings light and clarity to an overly mystified subject.

He also treats every sect of Christianity with an even brush. While many current Christian writers slip into elevating young, social-activist, Relevant-reading hipster Christians above the staid, hymn-singing, self-controlled and self-reliant faith of their grandparents, McLaren gives every trend an equal chance, and reminds us that such waves of public opinion do not matter to God, do stop His love and should not keep us from following Him.

I also appreciate that McLaren writes about deeply spiritual things without ever lapsing into Christianese. This book is accessible to any seeker and gives credence and hope to those aching for more than a faith of trends and politics, but one that stretches back in time and serves a God who is bigger than any box we can possibly create for Him.

Towards the end of the book, after laying out some practices and ways to “find our way” McLaren writes this:

"..I recall a Celtic prayer I once came across, a prayer to be used each morning as one stirs the embers in the hearth: ‘As I stir the embers of my daily fire, I ask you, living God, to stir the embers of my heart into a flame of love for You, for my family, for my neighbor, and for my enemy.’ And there was another old Celtic prayer – to be said as faithful Christians splashed cold water on their faces three times in a simple morning ritual: ‘Let me awaken to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ My new considerations turn out, as they always do, to be a rediscovery of something very old and very precious.

The ancient way is about joining God in the spending of every day. When we spend our days this way, we truly save them."

Isn’t that it? I’m drawn to monks and nuns and tales of ancient ritual because I want to save my days, only to find that I need not cloister myself away or enter some mystical code. All I have to do is join God at the grocery store, in my work, at the gym, in conversations with friends. He’s already at work – I just have to practice the art of watching for His hand.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780849901140
Author:
Mclaren, Brian
Publisher:
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Author:
McLaren, Brian
Subject:
Spirituality - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Spirituality
Subject:
Christian Life - General
Subject:
Christian Life - Spiritual Growth
Subject:
Spirituality -- History.
Subject:
Spiritual direction - History
Subject:
Christianity-Spiritual Growth
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
8.58x5.70x.88 in. .80 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Religion » Christianity » Christian Life » Spiritual Growth
Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Christianity » Featured Titles
Religion » Christianity » Inspirational
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Emergent and Postmodern

Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 216 pages Thomas Nelson Publishers - English 9780849901140 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Prolific author and pastor McLaren is a big-picture guy. One of the most influential thinkers in the emergent church movement, he likes to analyze and categorize. This book, which inaugurates a series about traditional spiritual practices, paves the way for future installments by elaborating the big-picture rationale for spiritual disciplines: they cleanse us, enlighten us and bring us closer to God. As the title signals, they will also help us find our way past the unsatisfactory alternatives of secularism, dangerous fundamentalism and 'mushy spirituality.' The former English teacher has a gift for the pithy phrase that nails a concept: 'faithing our practices' is seeing the sacred value of everyday activities, for example. McLaren fans will enjoy his usual breadth of vision, easy style of exposition and synthesis of big ideas. His more conservative detractors may find him too generous in his references to the other two Abrahamic faiths in discussing spiritual practices. This book nicely opens the door for a series as well as a more disciplined Christian life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , McLaren explains spiritual practices that go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, readers discover the beauty of these ancient disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.
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