5 Books | by Ryan Miller
The Ragamuffin Gospel
Are you bedraggled, beat-up, burnt-out? Most of us believe in God’s grace—in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet. Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we’ve done. We come to Him as ragamuffins—dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His “furious love.” Brennan Manning’s now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. Now with a Ragamuffin’s thirty-day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too. Includes a 30-Day Spiritual Journey Guide! “Brennan Manning does a masterful job of blowing the dust off of shop-worn theology and allowing God’s grace to do what only God’s grace can do—amaze.” -Max Lucado, Bestselling author of The Gift for All People
Jesus for President
Amid all the buzz of politics and elections, Jesus for President is a refreshing reminder that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in the Jesus who gave his life for us. Politics for ordinary radicals who want to love the world into the kingdom of God.
The Unlikely Disciple
No drinking. No smoking. No cursing. No dancing. No R-rated movies. Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional. Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war. His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life. Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike. Ebook exclusive: Bonus quiz
How (Not) to Speak of God
With sensitivity to the Christian tradition and a rich understanding of postmodern thought, Peter Rollins argues that the movement known as the “emerging church” offers a singular, unprecedented message of transformation that has the potential to revolutionize the theological and moral architecture of Western Christianity. How (not) to Speak of God sets out to explore the theory and praxis of this contemporary expression of faith. Rollins offers a clear exploration of this embryonic movement and provides key resources for those involved in communities that are conversant with, and seeking to minister effectively to, the needs of a postmodern world. “Here in pregnant bud is the rose, the emerging new configuration, of a Christianity that is neither Roman nor Protestant, neither Eastern nor monastic; but rather is the re-formation of all of them. Here, in pregnant bud, is third-millennium Christendom.” —Phyllis Tickle “I am a raving fan of the book you are holding. I loved reading it. I have already begun widely recommending it. Reading it did good for my mind and for my soul. It helped me understand my own spiritual journey more clearly, and it gave me a sense of context for the work I’m involved in. In fact, I would say this is one of the two or three most rewarding books of theology I have read in ten years.” —Brian McLaren, from the Foreword
Sex. God. You know the two subjects are connected; you just don't have the words for how they are connected. And they cannot be separated. Where the one is, you will always find the other. When you actually live and feel and engage, you discover that the physical things around us are like windows into more. And when you talk about sexuality, you quickly end up in the spiritual---because 'this' is always about 'that.' Something deeper. Something behind it all. You can't talk about sexuality without talking about how we were made. About how we relate to each other. About how we were made to relate to each other. And that will inevitably lead you to who made us. At some point you have to talk about God. To make sense of the one, we have to explore the other. That is what this book is about.