The Various Disciplines
of a Well-Ordered Life

 
A Feature Review of 

Acedia and its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire
R.J. Snell

Paperback: Angelico Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
 
Reviewed by Tyler Campbell
 
 
No shortage of ink has been spilled surrounding the spiritual ramifications of our culture’s need for constant entertainment. Often times these didactic moments begin by addressing the material things that we spend considerable amounts of time with, and conclude with a call to disregard this type of lifestyle and return to a more disciplined religious life. But what of our metaphysical makeup implies the tension between discipline and lethargy? In his latest book, Acedia and its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire, R.J. Snell uses a variety of sources to create a modern definition of the Latin word acedia, which is generally translated as the noun sloth. Through his investigation Snell establishes that defining acedia as mere laziness misses out on the true character of the term, as seen within historical theology and scripture. By looking at acedia through a metaphysical lens and applying examples of contemporary distraction, Snell shows that the antithesis of acedia is found in a deeper understanding of the ways in which the Divine’s self-communicative love permeates into the mundane work of our life, making all that we do beautiful and important.

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Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
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1984: A Novel

George Orwell

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Bringing Coherence to
our Scattered Spiritual Lives.

A Review of 

Lectio Divina: From God’s Word to Our Lives
Enzo Bianchi

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Reviewed by Andrew Stout

 

Theological interpretations of Scripture are very much in fashion. These methods emphasize the Church’s interpretive role through typology, creeds, and liturgical use. Plenty of good books are available that call for reappropriations of premodern and precritical interpretive methods (in addition to a host of individual authors, book series like the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, Intervarsity Press’ Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, and Baker Academic’s Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality could be mentioned). However, as Rowan Williams notes in the Foreword to Lectio Divina, “We have plenty of good scholarship and plenty of good popular summaries of that scholarship – but very little on the actual theology of reading the Bible, very little on reading the Bible as a central form of our discipleship” (vii). Enzo Bianchi understands the scholarship, and he provides a helpful orientation for the layperson. More than this, however, Bianchi shows that proper interpretation requires the faithful entrance into an active dialogue with the Word.

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Augustinus

 

Today is the Feast of St. Augustine.  

In honor of the occasion, here are three poems by the saint from Hippo.

*** You might also enjoy Longfellow’s poem
The Ladder of St. Augustine.

In Praise of Dancing
St. Augustine

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Allowing Grace to Move us Forward
 
A Review of 

Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life
Colette Lafia

Paperback: Sorin Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Paul D. Gregory
 
 
Our lives are filled with numerous starts and stops, ups and downs and thrilling and devastating experiences. For most of us, the view from the summit is sublime and easy to negotiate. However, how do we handle the disappointment and loss that invariably arrive at our doorsteps? Some are able to quickly adept on their own, while others spend days, months and yes, sometimes years, learning how to survive the valleys. For many of us, the challenges life throws at us can be overwhelming, shattering our beliefs in friendships, family, as well as God.  Colette Lafia’s book entitled Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life beautifully tackles these issues.
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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

Rising Strong

By Brené Brown

Read three crucial excerpts from the book

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Today is the release date for Brené Brown’s new book…

 

Rising Strong:
The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution

Hardback: Spiegel and Grau, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Here are three crucial excerpts from the book:

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#1 – The Rules of Engagement for Rising Strong:

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El_Greco_-_St._BartholomewToday is the Feast of
St. Bartholomew…

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He has been identified with Nathanael (alternatively spelled Nathaniel), who appears in the Gospel according to John as being introduced to Christ by Philip (who would also become an apostle),[Jn 1:43-51] although most modern commentators reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew. (via Wikipedia)

 

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
by Edward Henry,
Bishop of Exeter Bickersteth

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A Parable of Authenticity and Hope
 
A Feature Review of 

Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate: Crafting a Handmade Faith in a Mass-Market World
John J. Thompson

Paperback: Zondervan, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jennifer Burns Lewis

 

John J. Thompson’s Twitter profile describes him as a “music lifer from the faith-fueled underground to Capitol CMG publishing in 20 short years.”  Thompson’s first book, Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate is part autobiography, part Christian living, part cultural commentary. It is a thoughtful and reflective parable of authenticity and hope.
 
Conversational in style, Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate reviews Thompson’s personal journey as a son, a spouse, a parent and a follower of Jesus. A musician by background and vocation, Thompson has found both meaning and delight in so much of what adds zest and a holistic appeal to the organic, “homemade” movement. With chapters that compare homemade bread, small batch chocolate, home-roasted coffee, craft beer, gardening and artisanal music with faith and American trends in worship.  Rooted in his own experience as a child and young person healing from the hurt of domestic violence in his family of origin, Thompson recalls the role of the Church and the faith of his mother and step-father in moving him towards music, and a faith he could claim as his own.  We journey with Thompson from a difficult childhood toward a fulfilling and challenging career in the music industry, a personal relationship with the God he meets in Jesus Christ, and the family he creates with his spouse and children.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Peter Enns, Cheryl Strayed, Bill McKibben, AJ Heschel, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader…
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

The Evolution of Adam, What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins

Peter Enns

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