Item description for Soaring in the Spirit (Faith in an Emerging Culture) (Faith in an Emerging Culture) by Charles J. Conniry, JR...
Overview This is a thoughtful, stirring, and ground-breaking book on the neglected topic of soaring through discerning discipleship.
Publishers Description This is a book about Christian spiritual growth. A gentleman named James McClendon observed four key elements of the church's communal practice: preparation (marked by catechesis), conversion (marked by baptism), following (marked by the Eucharist) and Christian soaring (marked by communal discernment). The claim of this book is that ongoing spiritual growth Christian soaring is the birthright of every follower of Jesus and that the church's historic practice of communal discernment is the principal means by which disciples grow. It's about how can the church recover corporate discernment and thus achieve spiritual soaring in the realization of its three-fold purpose of worship, discipleship and witness.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.49" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.51" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2007
Publisher AUTHENTIC UK
ISBN 1842275089 ISBN13 9781842275085
Reviews - What do customers think about Soaring in the Spirit (Faith in an Emerging Culture) (Faith in an Emerging Culture)?
excellent first effort - humorous, profound, and hopeful Sep 5, 2008
I found Charles Conniry's book to be a delightful mix of story telling, theological reflection and spiritual encouragement. Soaring in the Spirit, for this reason, is difficult to categorize in that it is at once popular in form and theologically substantive, full of stories but also profound ideas, personal and yet universal in its application.
Conniry intersperses a number of personal stories throughout the book, reciting key episodes of spiritual significance in his own journey with God beginning with his Catholic upbringing, then his teenage rebellion and exploration of the "dark side", next his enthusiastic embrace of his born-again experience as a young man and finally his more mature experience of God as a seminary professor and dean at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Though theologically substantive, he has a knack for keeping the book "light" by including a generous helping of humor along the way. Overall, the book begins with more story-telling and slowly transitions into more prose-style theologically oriented material at the end. Nevertheless, each chapter, at 10-20 pages each, revolves around one or two spiritual and theological themes, often using his personal story as a point of departure.
The title, Soaring in the Spirit, captures well the overall spirit of Conniry's book - it is intended to encourage and offer hope to both "churched" and "de-churched" alike. While often painfully honest about the shortcomings of the church (in both its Catholic and Evangelical versions), facing squarely its sins with a fresh breath of realism, Conniry ultimately ends on a note of genuine commitment to and love for the church as the bride of Christ. For Conniry, the simultaneous experience of the church as "holy" and "hypocrite" parallels and reflects the reality of our own experience of being simultaneously "saint" and "sinner". In other words, the uneasy sense of hypocrisy runs not only through the church in either its institutional or non-institutional forms, but ultimately through each of our own hearts. Coming to grips with this central fact is the first step toward experiencing the mystery of the grace of God in a new and deeper manner personally while simultaneously enabling us to be reconciled once again to the church, the body of Christ, warts and all. In many ways the entire project of this book is summarized in his closing remarks of chapter 12, "Church's Dual Citizenship" when he reflected on Jesus' saying in connection with the Lord's Supper, "This is my body, broken for you". Conniry wrote, "Jesus Christ sacramentally presents himself to us in the imperfections of his body so that we may love him as he loves us." This is worth pondering as its implications for life and faith are immense!
I recommend this book to anyone who loves to think deeply about their own experience with Christ and with the church. It would be a great book to read devotionally or to use in a small group. Overall, this is a solid first effort by Charles Conniry.