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A Faith Worth Believing: Finding New Life Beyond the Rules of Religion [Paperback]

By Tom Stella (Author)
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Item description for A Faith Worth Believing: Finding New Life Beyond the Rules of Religion by Tom Stella...

A popular meditation and retreat leader shows how people can move from the literal faith of their childhood to a deeper, more thoughtful trust in God.

Publishers Description

How can we have an authentic faith when we no longer have well-defined, codified beliefs? Where do we turn to better understand our relationship with God when the messages of the Church seem simplistic? This book is for all those who are asking the tough questions and are not satisfied with the answers they are receiving.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   211
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.08" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2005
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  006075057X  
ISBN13  9780060750572  
UPC  099455014953  

Availability  0 units.

More About Tom Stella

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tom Stella, a former Catholic priest, is author of "A Faith Worth Believing" and "The God Instinct". He is a hospice chaplain, visiting professor of religion at Colorado College, a retreat facilitator, spiritual director and cofounder of Soul Link, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring spiritual seekers together.Tom Stella is available to speak on the following topics: CPR for the SoulLiving in the "I" of the HurricaneThomas Merton: Guide for a Seeker's SoulA Community of Mystics: A New Old Way of Being ChurchBecoming Our True Self AgainMeaning In the MadnessReligion: Help or Hindrance on the Spiritual Path?A Spirituality for MenClick here to contact the author.

Tom Stella currently resides in Colorado Springs.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Faith Worth Believing: Finding New Life Beyond the Rules of Religion?

Doubt is a part of faith  Jan 12, 2005
Tom Stella brings us a very readable introduction into key themes of the Christian Faith (God, Jesus, the trinity, heaven and hell) that will help those who have doubts about their faith to know that they are not alone.

Tom's writing would make the disciple of Jesus named Thomas (often referred to as `doubting Thomas') feel included. Faith, according to Stella "has more to do with God incarnate in life and relationship that it does with affirming the existence of a Supreme Being".

His writing style comes across as if you told `Father Stella' that you had serious doubts about the creeds of the Catholic Church, at which point he would smile, sit you down, and say, "Doubt is a part of faith, and there is no reason to think of yourself as deficient if you have doubts." Then one by one he goes through key theologies telling you about how he has doubts too, and how he now believes.

However, about half way through the book you realize that Stella is still very much `Father' Stella and is still a priest of the Church (unlike Karen Armstrong, ex-nun, who questions and rejects the Catholic Church, Stella chooses to stay in and with the church). Though, in this book he questions the creeds of the church by the end of the text you know he is still very much a man of the cloth. This attempt to mix water and oil can be a bit confusing, and sometimes noticeably contradicting. On one hand he states that "God is not definable, confinable, not a person", but rather.... "who I am". Thus, you and God are one. However, in his chapter on `Prayer' he changes nothing from the church's teachings. Thus, you pray to a God `out there', "we must be willing to express to God who and how we are." You will find these discrepancies throughout the book..

The book is a fast, easy read that will help those that are struggling with their faith (regardless if they are Catholic or Protestant). In the New Testament the disciple Matthew wrote that, after the resurrection, the disciples went to meet Jesus, they fell on their face and worshiped him "but some doubted" 28:17. If there is a single core message it is: Don't hide your doubts, rather `doubt' boldly.
Guilt Unexplained And More  Dec 14, 2004
I hoped to find a great amount of content from this Catholic Priest. I have long suffered the issues of guilt in the same religion and the fear of God was about being afraid of messing up in life rather than having a healthy fear of the Lord.
Father Tom accurately describes that guilt issue. However, instead of expressing how he found the Lord to be a forgiving God and that we are in need of accepting His grace, Tom moves into a diatribe of Panentheism and peppers most of the book with this type of theology that has proven inconsistent in and of itself. If you don't know, Panentheism is a way of explaining that "Everything is in God". At the surface that sounds great. But there is more to it. It also ascribes that God is so intertwined in the creation that he cannot live apart from it. Man. That is a leap...since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and He was so BEFORE he made the earth.
OK> you see. Tom moves away from a real answer to the guilt issue to explain a theology that has no foundation in truth.
If you want the guilt answer...doooo noooott buy this book. Instead, buy a bible. Holman Press just came out with a great one. Read the first few verses of Romans chapter 8. Then buy a couple of great commentaries that discuss them. If you want the short answer. Hear it is. "We are not ever going to be good enough. And that is OK. God forgives all of us. Just accept that fact." Don't stop trying though. It helps others see the Good in GOD when they see it. Being good is not for going to heaven. It is to help show others that there is a good God to go to heaven to see!
Book Not Representative of Catholic Faith  Aug 25, 2004
This book is pure heresy clothed in feel-good, new age sounding terminology. The author blatantly states that he doesn't believe in the basic dogmas of the Christian faith, such as the virgin birth, the physical resurrection, or what he calls the "traditional" redemption and atonement of Jesus Christ. He also does not take the bible at all literally. Granted, there is much spiritual depth to scripture; however, excessive spiritualizing of scripture can lead to this type of "enlightened" Christianity. His concepts are not Christian, but emphasize the divine nature of mankind while downplaying the role and true divinity of Christ. This is all subtly concealed under the guise of a re-interpretation of the "true" gospel message. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of scripture can see the errors in the author's observations and conclusions.

The author has dabbled in mysticism - unfortunately not Christian mysticism as experienced by the myriad of saints of the Roman Catholic Church. This book should in no way serve as a reflection of catholicism for anyone seeking to discover the true Roman Catholic faith.
The Real Thing  Apr 20, 2004
In his chapter on faith, author Tom Stella points out that it has been said of the people of our culture that we have been innoculated with just enough Christianity to make us immune to the real thing. For cradle Catholics like myself, the Baltimore Catechism served as that first immunization. Apart from imposing a huge guilt trip, the catechism never spoke to me. Stella apparently had a similar experience. In his book A Faith Worth Believing,Finding New Life beyond the Rules of Religion, he tells of how his faith has changed over the years since getting that original indoctrination. This evolution is based on a contemplative spirituality, a belief in the presence of God in all creation and all events. This faith has a tremendous effect on all aspects of religion which he explores in his chapters that correspond to various parts of the Baltimore Catechism. It is a "what I believed then and what I believe now" exposition. Subjects as the Trinity, faith, hope, love, sin, salvation, hell etc are each explored from the standpoint of how his beliefs have changed over time.

In this very readable and personal book, Stella sheds light on the incarnational meaning of our Christian beliefs and does it with honesty, humor and humility. A provocative book, it challenges us as mature Christians to take our faith back into our own hands. I recommend it enthusiastically for those for whom institutional religion has lost its meaning and are looking for a faith worth believing.


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