Religion & Spirituality

February 16, 2017

A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World


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The New York Times bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul
 
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A Religion of One’s Own, bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.
 
Two decades ago, Moore’s Care of the Soul touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In A Religion of One’s Own, Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery. He recounts the benefits of contemplative living that he learned during his twelve years as a monk but also the more original and imaginative spirituality that he later developed and embraced in his secular life. Here, he shares stories of others who are creating their own path: a former football player now on a spiritual quest with the Pueblo Indians, a friend who makes a meditative practice of floral arrangements, and a well-known classical pianist whose audiences sometimes describe having a mystical experience while listening to her performances. Moore weaves their experiences with the wisdom of philosophers, writers, and artists who have rejected materialism and infused their secular lives with transcendence.
 
At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, A Religion of One’s Own points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection.
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February 13, 2017

Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Abandon dead, dry, rule-keeping and embrace the promise of being truly known and deeply loved. 

Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” The 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours (and 23+ million in a year). The message blew up on social-media, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged.

In Jesus > Religion, Bethke unpacks similar contrasts that he drew in the poem—highlighting the difference between teeth gritting and grace, law and love, performance and peace, despair and hope. With refreshing candor he delves into the motivation behind his message, beginning with the unvarnished tale of his own plunge from the pinnacle of a works-based, fake-smile existence that sapped his strength and led him down a path of destructive behavior.

Bethke is quick to acknowledge that he’s not a pastor or theologian, but simply a regular, twenty-something who cried out for a life greater than the one for which he had settled. Along his journey, Bethke discovered the real Jesus, who beckoned him beyond the props of false religion.

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February 10, 2017

A Comparative View of Religions


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A short introduction to the major world religions from a Christian perspective.


Originally Reprinted by permission and published from "The Religious Magazine and Monthly Review" in 1870.


“The true religion, prepared in Israel, is the Christian, in which man, grown conscious of his oneness with God, is ruled by the divine as an inner power of life, and acts spontaneously and freely while in the fullest dependence upon God. Since Christ, no more perfect religion has appeared. What is true and good in Islamism was borrowed from Israel and Christianity.”


CHAPTER I.


FETICHISM. THE CHINESE. THE EGYPTIANS.


CHAPTER II.


THE ARIAN NATIONS.


CHAPTER III.


THE RELIGION OF THE SEMITES.


Footnotes


“Concise and clear…a convenient summary.” -The American Presbyterian Review


“The Israelitish religion, which reached its highest stage of development in prophetism, but which among the later Jews after Ezra degenerated, with the Pharisees into formalism and worship of the letter, with the Essenes into mysticism and asceticism, and which with the Sadducees, along with the sacrifice of the prophetic ideal of the future, was subordinated to politics, developed in Christianity, but freed from once cherished national expectations and outward forms, into a purely spiritual knowledge and worship of God. Jesus fathomed the deep meaning of the religion of his people, and its original fitness to become, through higher development, the religion of the world. Jesus devoted himself to the end of forming the human race into one great society (the kingdom of heaven), of which religion should be the soul and life, and, convinced of his calling, proclaimed himself as the Son of man, who, as such, belonged not to Israel alone, but to mankind. Jesus combated both the formalism and exclusiveness of the Pharisees, and the unbelief of the Sadducees, and with word and deed preached a religion which, independent of all outward form, took hold of the human heart, and which, developing into an independent principle in man, was to find its commission, not in the authority of Scripture or tradition, not even in that of his name, but in its own power and truth. In him religion appeared as the power of self-sacrificing love, which fears not even death, and to which dying is not the losing of life, but the development of life. In distinction from other religions, in which either God and man are strangers to each other, and opposed to each other, or man's personality is, as it were, sunk in God, Christianity is the religion by which man, in the full enjoyment of individual development, and with the sense of his own strength, lives in the consciousness of the most entire dependence upon God. Religion in its highest form, conceived as the oneness of man with God, is realized in Christianity.”



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February 7, 2017

Done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible


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You are more than a body; you will live forever somewhere; And God is on the divine rescue mission to make sure your "“forever"” is safe with Him! If you enjoy being loved; if you enjoy gifts; if you care about where you will spend forever; and if you want to know the true message of the Bible, then you must read this book. Where will you spend forever? You owe this question some investigation….
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