Description: Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor take a provocative look at life with God in the twenty-first century, particularly what the Christian faith has to offer. They do not merely put a spin on old beliefs but show that there are actually new ways of looking at the Christian message—free from the confines of religion and open to the possibility of a radical new incarnation and manifestation. Drawing on wide-ranging sources from theology, history, popular culture, and music, Burke and Taylor explore new postmodern forms of spirituality and conclude that religion’s dominance over issues of faith may be over. A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity asks challenging questions about institution-based expressions of faith: Do we need church or temple anymore? Are there other ways to practice faith communally? Does any faith community have the power and the right to condemn, judge, and decide the destiny of others? Why do so many religious institutions often become bastions of exclusivity and hatred rather than love? What does it mean to be spiritual? How can we have an authentic relationship with God? With its focus on the limitless grace of God, this book offers a new way of seeing an old faith, of practicing “mystical responsibility” and understanding that salvation is something that happens between God and people, not something regulated by institutions and gatekeepers. A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity is filled with surprising insights into and encouraging thoughts about how to live a spiritual and moral life in today’s complex world. Burke and Taylor may be asking heretical questions, but they are deeply committed to the teachings of Jesus, guiding readers to see those teachings afresh and, as a result, live more passionately and thoughtfully.
Description: Imagine coming to a crossroads where you’re no longer sure who you are, why you do what you do, why you believe the way you do. You’re not even sure you care. Where do you go? Follow the stories of people who were steeped in their beliefs–a former fundamentalist, a former Pentecostal, a former liberal, a former feminist, a former communist, and several other “formers”–and walk with them on their journeys out of those beliefs. See what twists and turns arise before them, and find out what they learned (about faith, themselves, their beliefs, the world) as they emerged on the other side. This diverse group of Christian leaders discloses and shares in vulnerable, uncommon ways, allowing you full access into their doubts, fears, convictions, and unanswered questions.
Description: Our culture is rapidly changing and people are searching for new models and paradigms to find meaning in their lives. As in all transitional periods, this search takes place in grass-roots conversations where the “new” is taking form. No other place so uniquely captures this struggle more than the message boards at theOoze.com, the premier melting pot of emerging spiritual conversation. Making Sense of Church is a snapshot of this “community conversation” as it tries to make sense of God in the emerging worldview. It represents a gathering of individuals with different points of view, theologies, life contexts, and feelings. Author Spencer Burke, creator of theOoze.com, provides the framework writing for each chapter and acts as a “guide” to the accompanying e-mail postings that supplement the chapters.
Description: We need more than statistics. In a day when millions of people are walking out of church and more churches are closing their doors than opening them, we need to discover what is really happening. Spencer Burke, creator of TheOoze.com, brings you face-to-face with pastors and elders, committed attendees, back-pew sitters, and people who have walked out of the church looking for something more. Their unlikely love letters give you an opportunity to hear firsthand from the whole body of Christ.