Christian Practice of Everyday Life

Overview

This series of books presents specifically Christian perspectives on some of the most prevalent contemporary practices of everyday life. It seeks to address some of the central concerns in The Ekklesia Project’s declaration — especially its hope that Christians might more actively demonstrate the ways in which their allegiance to the God of Jesus Christ takes priority over secular structures that compete for our loyalty — including the state, the market, race, class, gender, and other functional idolatries. The books in this series examine these competing allegiances as they play themselves out in particular day-to-day practices. The books will also provide concrete descriptions of how the Christian faith might play a more formative role in our everyday lives.

Each book offers both an analysis of contemporary culture and a description of how the Gospel might better inform the Christian life as lived within that culture. The series is intended for a broad audience — including clergy, interested laypeople, and students.

The books may be useful in parish-based study groups; in training programs for lay ministry, Christian educators, and deacons; for retreats and clergy conferences; for courses at some high schools and colleges, particularly church-related ones; and in university-based study groups.

Developed by The Ekklesia Project and published by Brazos Press.

General Editors

David S. Cunningham
William T. Cavanaugh

Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear

Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear coverScott Bader Saye, 2007

In this work, Bader-Saye draws insights about fear from medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of sharing our fears in ecclesial communities, where we can develop courage. Most important, the author notes that a reclamation of God’s sovereignty will help us reframe our lives; the doctrine of providence not only assures us that the fragments of our lives will cohere into a narrative unity but also demonstrates that God is our Provider.

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Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers

Untamed Hospitality CoverElizabeth Newman, 2007

Today’s society has reduced hospitality to hosting elaborate dinner parties and exchanging niceties in conversation with friends. In Untamed Hospitality, Elizabeth Newman seeks to reclaim the true meaning of Christian hospitality as an extension of the abundant and extravagant generosity of God. She argues that Christian hospitality calls for welcoming not only friends but also strangers who will challenge us and enhance our lives in unexpected ways. In doing so, we are prepared to embrace the ultimate stranger: God.

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Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight

Living the SabbathNorman Wirzba, 2006

Our traditional understanding of Sabbath observance is resting from our otherwise harried lives one day a week. But in Living the Sabbath, Norman Wirzba leads us deeper into the heart of Sabbath with a holistic and rewarding interpretation of what true Sabbath-keeping can mean in our lives today. Wirzba teaches that Sabbath is ultimately about delight in the goodness that God has made–in everything we do, every day of the week.

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What About Hitler?: Wrestling With Jesus’s Call to Nonviolence in an Evil World

What About Hitler? CoverRobert W. Brimlow, 2006

Jesus’s admonition to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us is a difficult injunction to put into practice. Is it ever permissible for Christians to respond to or retaliate against unmitigated evil? Robert Brimlow grapples with this thorny question in What about Hitler? Throughout the book, he elegantly weaves together scriptural meditations, personal vignettes, and lucid philosophical thinking on various Christian stances toward war and violence.

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Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine

Reclaiming the BodyJoel James Shuman and Brian Volck, M.D., 2006

In our age of advanced medical technology that emphasizes health and well being, the human body has become the near-exclusive province of the professional health care industry. The solutions it proposes, the assumptions it takes for granted, and the judgments it pronounces are taken as gospel. But as Christians, we are called to view all of life–including medicine–through the lens of faith. After all, it was God who created our bodies.

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The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity from Itself

The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity from ItselfMurray Jardine, 2004

The advance of modern technology is certainly ambiguous. It has promised less work and more leisure, but we actually work longer hours than premodern peasants and villagers. Present-day Western societies are facing a moral crisis, argues Murray Jardine, and our inability to make ethical sense of technology is at the root of this crisis. Jardine shows how Christianity fostered an ethic of progress that led to our technological expertise. However, Christians never fully grasped the implications of technological progress and failed to create an ethic that embraced unconditional grace. Jardine advocates a Christianity that fully understands technology, its responsibilities, and its possibilities.

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The Good Life: Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class

The Good Life CoverDavid Matzko McCarthy, 2004

Intimate friendships, loving families, good food, and beautiful homes–middle-class Westerners enjoy so many gifts. Christians often feel guilty about their enjoyment of these gifts, but David McCarthy suggests that God provides these things for our enjoyment. In contrast to consumerism, which encourages shallow relationships, McCarthy explains how the love of God fosters a deep attachment to the world. He describes this in relation to marriage, family, friendship, hospitality, and work. A right ordering of our desires will lead Christians to an enjoyment of life that require less “stuff.” This book will be appreciated by all Christians trying to live well in an affluent culture.

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Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith

Sidewalks in the Kingdom CoverEric O. Jacobsen, 2003

There has been much ink spilled in the evangelical community about “claiming our cities for Christ” and plenty of lip service paid to the need to address urban concerns. But according to author and pastor Eric Jacobsen, this discussion has remained far too abstract. His Sidewalks in the Kingdom challenges Christians to gain a practical, informed vision for the city that includes a broad understanding of the needs and rewards of a vital urban community. Building on the principles of New Urbanism, Jacobsen emphasizes the need to preserve the nourishing characteristics of traditional city life, such as shared public spaces, mixed-use neighborhoods, a well-supported local economy, and aesthetic diversity and beauty.

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The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism

The Sacred Cosmos CoverTerence L. Nichols, 2003

Christianity and science are not mutually exclusive. Discover the wonderful ways a Christian can understand modern science and learn how to better share your faith in a secular age. Chapter titles include: “Creation and Big Bang”, “Evolution: The Journey into God” and “Christianity and Science: Conflict or Complimentary?”

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Good Eating: Animals, Diet, and the Bible

Good EatingStephen H. Webb, 2001

How can one’s diet be a witness? How did the early church define fasting? How might one practice Christian vegetarianism? Stephen H. Webb addresses these and other questions in Good Eating. Without a hint of moral superiority, Webb advocates cultivating a biblical view of animals and practicing compassionate stewardship of them. He develops the “first modern systematic theology of diet,” touching on topics such as animal sacrifices, the Lord’s supper, pacifism, and the place for animals in heaven.

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