Michael T. Cooper
What were the most important practices in the early church? In this volume, Michael Cooper arranges the writings of the Apostolic Fathers into eight themes that provide deeper understanding about the subjects important to the disciples of the New Testament apostles.
First Christian Voices examines the written testimonies of the late first and second centuries to discover what animated the church in the face of internal and external struggles and growth as the gospel extended to the boundaries of the Roman Empire.
Evan B. Howard and John Woolman
In Mission with Prophetic Power, Evan Howard introduces us to his good friend John Woolman (1720–1772). In this autobiographical record of his life, Woolman describes his charismatic, contemplative, and evangelical spirituality as he practiced a lifestyle of fair trade (justice) and minimalism (simplicity). Encounter testimonies of the “operations of divine love” in Woolman’s record of the goodness of God.
Robert F. Lay
In Books Jesus Read, Robert Lay takes his readers on a guided tour of the Apocrypha—Jewish history, stories, and wisdom written in the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments. These are some of the writings Jesus and other first century Jews would have known. For anyone wanting to better understand Jesus and the New Testament, look no further than the books Jesus himself may have read.
This book provides a wonderful service in making the OT Apocrypha accessible to non-specialists. These ancient Jewish texts are rich devotionally, and they provide essential background for the proper interpretation of the New Testament. There is little doubt that Jesus and his earliest Jewish followers were well acquainted with these works.
Robert Chao Romero and Marcos Canales
Many Christians struggle to connect their faith with social justice. If God is a loving God, then why does he allow injustices to exist? What does God's Word have to say about poverty and racism? If God loves immigrants and the poor, then why do so many Christians actually promote injustice? 1.2 million young people are leaving the church in America every year, many because of the broken witness of numerous Christians toward immigrants, the poor, the disabled, and the incarcerated.
The faithful life witness and writings of Bartolomé de Las Casas offer understandings and answers to the many "why's" being asked by so many young people today. Though he lived five hundred years ago, Las Casas wrestled with many of the same theological questions raised by young Christians today. As a pastor, he was one of the first to write Christian books documenting and condemning racial abuses toward native Americans. Today, we still have much to learn from Las Casas about faithful Christian witness.
Aelred’s Spiritual Friendship focuses on being God’s friend expressed through three conversations with different friends. Aelred draws upon his friendships both with contemporaries and with authors who lived centuries before. This work provides an antidote to our contemporary milieu which, though replete with unremitting communications, propels toward individualism, autonomy, and loneliness. What Spiritual Friendship affords is a guide toward “holy and life-giving” friendships fruitfully marked by joy and happiness.
Professor Hank Voss amplifies a voice from the 12th century that explored Christian friendship in Scripture, in creation (reason), in church teachings (tradition), and in his own practice of spiritual friendship (experience). While acknowledging the work of others, in this edition Voss enables the reader to hear Aelred’s Spiritual Friendship with clarity and vibrancy and provides a suggested framework for deep engagement.
Andrew T. Draper
Christianity is the faith of the poor. As Christians, we worship the Lord Jesus Christ, who “though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). This same Jesus taught his followers that the kingdom of heaven belongs to “you who are poor” and “the poor in spirit” (Luke 6:20; Matt 5:3). He also proclaimed that judgment before his throne will hinge on how his followers treated those who were hungry, thirsty, strangers, unclothed, sick, and in prison—the ones he calls “the least of these my brothers” (Matt 25:31–46).
How do we discern the best responses to poverty? How should we as ministers, church leaders, and businesspeople engage in our communities? What does the Christian faith have to say about poverty? Sometimes it seems that we in the modern American church stand on opposite sides of an impassable gulf as we talk about poverty and justice. Thankfully, there are mothers and fathers of the faith who have thought long and hard about poverty and what Christian mission does and says about it. They are people who, like us, had to figure out how to follow Jesus in their own times and places in regard to these crucial questions. They came to conclusions about poverty and what it means to co-labor with God in God’s mission with the poor.
This book and the series of spiritual classics to which it belongs should be read as if you’re sitting down at a table over a meal or a coffee with leaders of the church from ages past. During this particular gathering, we are going to talk together about poverty. What does Basil or Clare or Martin or Catherine or Howard have to say to us about Christian mission and poverty? What they say may be surprising. It may take us a little bit to get used to how they say it, but when we listen closely we will find that they are thinking about questions similar to the ones we are asking today.
Many of us who are reading this volume, including me, are living and ministering in under-resourced contexts. We may be asking ourselves how we should think about poverty or what we should do to address human need. We may be asking how our commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and our concern for social justice go together. We may be wondering how we should make money or spend money or give money away. We may not be satisfied with many of the answers we’ve gotten from people we’ve talked with or many of the values our societies have offered us. We may realize that we’re lacking something in how we think about Christian mission and poverty. As we sit down with the mothers and father of the faith, they give us a huge gift. They tell us how they thought about similar issues in their times and places and give us clues about how to be faithful Christians today.
Carmen Joy Imes
The Psalms teach us how to pray. Many saints over the past three millennia have come near to God by praying the Psalms, and this volume introduces us to some of their greatest thoughts on them.
Covering all 150 psalms, this companion to the "Prayerbook of the Bible" contains key devotional readings from the Great Tradition as well as space for journaling our own prayers. This book will help us learn to pray as Jesus prayed—after all, He quoted from the Psalms more often than any other book.
The Rules of Benedict and Basil show us how to live in community with one another. Though written for monasteries over 1500 years ago, these Rules contain timeless wisdom about Christian community.
Greg Peters has combined and reorganized the Rule of Benedict and the Rule of Basil for modern readers so that we too can meditate on, enjoy, and apply the insights of two of the most influential Christians ever to have lived.