Essential Easter E-Books for $1.99 Each
“Compassion—love—is utterly central to the message and life of Jesus, and justice is the social form of compassion. To put the same thought in different language, love is the soul of justice, and justice is the body, the flesh, of love. All of this is what Easter, the ultimate climax of Holy Week, is about.”
—The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan
In celebration of the season, these great Easter-themed books are available in e-book format for just $1.99 each. Offer expires 4/2/2018. Valid only in the US.
The Day the Revolution Began by N. T. Wright
The renowned scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author widely considered to be the heir to C. S. Lewis contemplates the central event at the heart of the Christian faith—Jesus’s crucifixion—arguing that the Protestant Reformation did not go far enough in transforming our understanding of its meaning.
In The Day the Revolution Began, N. T. Wright once again challenges commonly held Christian beliefs as he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope. Demonstrating the rigorous intellect and breathtaking knowledge that have long defined his work, Wright argues that Jesus’s death on the cross was not only to absolve us of our sins; it was actually the beginning of a revolution commissioning the Christian faithful to a new vocation—a royal priesthood responsible for restoring and reconciling all of God’s creation.
Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright
For years Christians have been asking, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?" It turns out that many believers have been giving the wrong answer. It is not heaven.
Award-winning author N. T. Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian's future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright, who is one of today's premier Bible scholars, asserts that Christianity's most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection. He provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus and shows how this became the cornerstone for the Christian community's hope in the bodily resurrection of all people at the end of the age. Wright then explores our expectation of "new heavens and a new earth," revealing what happens to the dead until then and what will happen with the "second coming" of Jesus. For many, including many Christians, all this will come as a great surprise.
Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation—and if this has already begun in Jesus's resurrection—the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life.
Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life, not only after death but before it.
The Last Week by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
Top Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join together to reveal a radical and little-known Jesus. As both authors reacted to and responded to questions about Mel Gibson's blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, they discovered that many Christians are unclear on the details of events during the week leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.
Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus's final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. The Jesus introduced by Borg and Crossan is this new moral hero, a more dangerous Jesus than the one enshrined in the church's traditional teachings.
The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a model for others to do the same when they are confronted by similar issues. Informed, challenged, and inspired, we not only meet the historical Jesus, but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.
Convictions by Marcus J. Borg
On the occasion of his seventieth birthday, the renowned scholar Marcus J. Borg shares how he formed his bedrock religious beliefs, contending that Christians in America are at their best when they focus on hope and transformation and so shows how we can return to what really matters most. The result is a manifesto for all progressive Christians who seek the best path for following Jesus today.
With each chapter embodying a distinct conviction, Borg writes provocatively and compellingly on the beliefs that can deeply ground us and guide us, such as: God is real and a mystery; salvation is more about this life than an afterlife; the Bible can be true without being literally true; Jesus's death on the cross matters—but not because he paid for our sins; God is passionate about justice and the poor; and to love God is to love like God.
Borg calls all American Christians to reject divisiveness and exclusivity and create communities that celebrate joy, possibility, and renewal. Throughout, he reflects on what matters most, bringing to earth the kingdom of God Jesus talked about and transforming our relationships with one another. Rich in wisdom and insight, Convictions is sure to become a classic of contemporary Christianity.
The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg
In The Heart of Christianity, world-renowned Jesus scholar and author of the bestseller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time argues that the essential ingredients of a Christian life—faith, being born again, the kingdom of God, the gospel of love—are as vitally important today as they have always been, even during this time of conflict and change in the church.
Borg wants to show us, as today's thinking Christians, how to discover a life of faith by reconceptualizing familiar beliefs. Being born again, for example, has nothing to do with fundamentalism, but is a call to radical personal transformation. Talking about the kingdom of God does not mean that you are fighting against secularism, but that you have committed your life to the divine values of justice and love. And living the true Christian way is essentially about opening one's heart—to God, and to others. Above all else, Borg believes with passion and conviction that living the Christian life still makes sense.
The Greatest Prayer by John Dominic Crossan
In The Greatest Prayer, foremost historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, bestselling author of The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, intimately explores the revolutionary meaning of the cornerstone of Christian faith: The Lord’s Prayer.
Who Killed Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan
The death of Jesus is one of the most hotly debated questions in Christianity today. In his massive and highly publicized The Death of the Messiah, Raymond Brown—while clearly rejecting anti-Semitism—never questions the essential historicity of the passion stories. Yet it is these stories, in which the Jews decide Jesus' execution, that have fueled centuries of Christian anti-Semitism.
Now, in his most controversial book, John Dominic Crossan shows that this traditional understanding of the Gospels as historical fact is not only wrong but dangerous. Drawing on the best of biblical, anthropological, sociological and historical research, he demonstrates definitively that it was the Roman government that tried and executed Jesus as a social agitator. Crossan also candidly addresses such key theological questions as "Did Jesus die for our sins?" and "Is our faith in vain if there was no bodily resurrection?"
Ultimately, however, Crossan's radical reexamination shows that the belief that the Jews killed Jesus is an early Christian myth (directed against rival Jewish groups) that must be eradicated from authentic Christian faith.
The Sins of Scripture by John Shelby Spong
The Bible contains many passages that believers and nonbelievers alike would recognize as appalling theology. Whether these texts are used to discriminate, oppress, or condemn, they distort the truth of Christianity and cast doubt upon the love of God. Now, legendary Episcopal bishop and advocate for liberal Christianity John Shelby Spong addresses these passages, shattering our misconceptions and delivering a new vision of how Christians today can use the Bible.
The Easter Moment by John Shelby Spong
The Easter Moment tells the moving story of Spong's friendship with a young physician dying of cancer and how that relationship shed new light on the years of study the author has devoted to the great mystery of what actually happened on that long-ago Easter when the whole history of the human race was changed. Spong is willing to ask tough and searching questions and to come up with startling and significant answers to what happened after death that first fateful Easter, and what that means for thinking about life after death today.
Did God Kill Jesus? by Tony Jones
The popular Patheos blogger wants to restore the cross as primarily a symbol of God’s overwhelming love for us and to rescue Christians from the shame and guilt from seeing our situation as “sinners in the hands of an angry God,” which was an invention of the medieval church and became enshrined as orthodox Christianity.
Many Christians believe that God the Father demanded his only Son die a cruel, gruesome death to appease His wrath, since humanity is so irredeemably sinful and therefore repugnant to God. Tony Jones, popular progressive Christian blogger, author, and scholar, argues that this understanding is actually a medieval invention and not what the Bible really teaches. He looks beyond medieval convictions and liberates how we see Jesus’s death on the cross from this restrictive paradigm. Christians today must transcend the shame and guilt that have shaped conceptions of the human soul and made us fearful of God, and replace them with love, grace, and joyfulness, which better expresses what the cross is really about.
How we understand the cross reflects directly what kind of God we worship. By letting go of the wrathful God who cannot stand to be in our presence unless he pretends to see Jesus in our place, we discover the biblical God who reaches out to love and embrace us while “we were yet sinners.” Jones offers a positive, loving, inclusive interpretation of the faith that is both challenging and inspiring. Did God Kill Jesus? is essential reading for modern Christians.
The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop
"This is a book about the most dramatic day in the history of the world, the day on which Jesus of Nazareth died. It opens at 6 PM, the beginning of the Hebrew day, with Jesus and ten of the apostles coming through the pass between the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Offense en route to Jerusalem and the Last Supper. It closes at 4 PM the following afternoon, when Jesus was taken down from the cross. . . . The fundamental research was done a long time ago by four fine journalists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest has been added in bits and pieces from many men whose names span the centuries." ––from the Foreword
If Grace Is True by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland
Why Everyone Will Be in Heaven
Two pastors present their controversial belief in eternal salvation for all through God's perfect grace. Long disturbed by the church's struggle between offering both love and rejection, they discover what God wants from us and for us: grace for everyone.
Not Less Than Everything by Catherine Wolff
In Not Less Than Everything, Catherine Wolff gathers the world's best contemporary Catholic writers, including Alice McDermott, Tobias Wolff, and Ann Patchett, to share their thoughts on brave men and women such as Joan of Arc and Oscar Romero—heroes who've challenged the dogma while holding steadfastly to their faith.
In each of these thought-provoking essays, these greatly respected writers and thinkers engage personally with his or her favorite heretic, exploring the tensions that arise from conflicting demands of conscience and authority, of inspiration and orthodoxy, and from the challenge of living one's faith in the real world.
Will There Be Faith? by Thomas H. Groome
A Modern Manual for Sharing a Relevant, Vibrant, Enduring Faith
In the face of mounting obstacles, parents and educators find themselves increasingly challenged by the task of leading people toward lives of faith. Now Thomas Groome, a world-renowned authority on religious education, has created a contemporary, holistic approach to teaching Christian beliefs and values that offers real, effective solutions for today’s parents and teachers. His guide to religious education—which aims to “bring life to Faith and Faith to life”—is a hopeful road map for re-energizing the faith community and family from the bottom up.
Together on Retreat by James Martin, SJ
How can we find God? How can we pray? What can we learn about Jesus from the New Testament stories about his ministry around the Sea of Galilee? In this innovative e-book, Rev. James Martin, S.J. invites us on an actual retreat to answer those questions and to encounter God's presence in prayer and meditation.
Martin, an experienced spiritual guide, teaches you how to pray with Scriptures and answers your questions about prayer in ways that are accessible to both doubtful seekers and devout believers. This fresh, insightful and personal retreat experience is a must for anyone looking to explore this ancient practice in a contemporary way.
Includes reflection questions for personal study or reading groups, as part of the full retreat experience.
A Big Heart Open to God by Pope Francis
The world was shocked when Jesuit magazines across the globe simultaneously released an exclusive interview with Pope Francis, just six months into his historic papacy. Within minutes of its release, the interview dominated the worldwide media. In a wide-ranging conversation, Pope Francis spoke movingly about his spiritual life, his hopes for church reform, his open-minded stance toward gays and lesbians, his views on women, and even his favorite movies.
America magazine, where the idea for the interview originated, commissioned a team of five Italian-language experts to ensure that the pope's words were transmitted accurately into English. Now this remarkable, historic, and moving interview is available in book form.
In addition to the full papal interview conducted by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, on behalf of the Jesuit journals, A Big Heart Open to God includes an introduction by the editor in chief of America, Matt Malone, SJ, describing the genesis of the interview, a series of responses by a diverse range of Catholic voices, and a spiritual refection on the interview by James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. In his refection, Father Martin helps readers use the pope's powerful comments as a foundation for personal prayer.
In this historic interview, Pope Francis's vision for the church and humanity itself is delivered through a warm and intimate conversation, and he shows us all how to have a big heart open to God.
Christ Among Us by Anthony Wilhelm
Since it was first published in 1967, Anthony Wilhelm's Christ Among Us has become America's most popular guide to modern Catholicism. Perfect for both new Catholics and those returning to the faith, this classic presentation of the Catholic faith provides a thorough, up-to-date discussion of Catholic theology, traditions, and practices and traces Church teachings from Vatican II to Pope John Paul II.
The sixth revised edition of Christ Among Us has been fully updated to reflect the Church's teaching on current social issues and including excerpts from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. Including discussion questions with modern relevance as well as suggestions for personal reflection, Christ Among Us is the ideal handbook for anyone interested in the practice of Catholicism today.
The Big Book of Women Saints by Sarah Gallick
Most books about the saints are thin on women, especially contemporary women. Even Butler's Lives of the Saints, the "bible" of this category, lists far more men than women. No book about the saints could ignore such beloved early martyrs as Agnes of Rome and Lucy of Syracuse, but this new book will introduce readers to many new women who have been canonized or beatified by Pope John Paul II. Of the more than 377 women mentioned in the book, 159 have been canonized or beatified since 1979. Approximately 100 of them lived in the twentieth century.
This new book is also unique in that it uses the saint's own words wherever possible, taking advantage of newly discovered archives, memoirs, and other primary sources. It will contain resources such as internet shrines and other websites, as well as little–known information on the canonization process.
The New American Bible
The New American Bible revised edition is more than a mere Bible translation. Authorized by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the New American Bible seeks to provide the best resource for understanding the church's sacred Scripture.
To begin with, the translation beautifully and accurately conveys the word of God in English, using the most recent scholarly resources available and translating directly from the original languages. While the Bible plays a central role in the church's life, it is also important to remember that it is an ancient book written over several centuries. It carries a rich tradition of interpretation over even more centuries.
That is why the many scholars and church teachers who worked years on this project did more than provide a clear and accessible translation; they also sought to provide additional help and guidance for those who truly want to understand what they are reading:
Each book of the Bible begins with an introduction, providing the historical context of the work, its literary style, its main themes, its use in the history of the church, as well as an outline of the contents.
As you read the Scriptures, notes have been provided at the bottom of the page offering explanations for particular passages, terms, and concepts.
Since Scripture often refers to itself, a system of cross-references are provided so you can see where else historical figures, particular stories, or similar concepts are also treated in the Bible.
At the end of the Bible, sixteen pages of color maps are provided to help orient the Bible's stories in their geographical context.
The New Revised Standard Version is the "standard" translation used by mainline Protestant churches, Orthodox churches, and by many Catholics. The NRSV debuted in 1989 and is owned by the National Council of Churches, which is the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States representing thirty–five denominations with forty–five million members in more than 100,000 churches across the country. They have chosen HarperCollins to be the exclusive licensor of the translation for the world (nonexclusively in the UK).
The New Revised Standard Version is recognized in scholarly circles as the most accurate translation into English of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. In the tradition of its predecessors, the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version, the NRSV was designed to be the "standard" version for English–speaking people across all denominations, which in many ways it has become. None of the new, more sectarian translations have approached its standards of elegance and accuracy.
This unique one–column setting allows people to read the Bible as work of literature. Each book is introduced with an original wood–cut. Overall, this special easy–to–read setting makes the Bible a wonderful reading experience. It also includes a concordance index to help people find key passages.
25 Books Every Christian Should Read by Renovaré
From the creators of Devotional Classics and Spiritual Classics comes 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, the definitive guide to the most spiritually influential and important books for Christians to read. Renovaré, a community of Christians promoting personal and spiritual renewal, put together a prestigious editorial board including Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, and Richard Rohr, resulting in this wonderful resource for exploring the richness of the Christian tradition.
The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns
The controversial Bible scholar and author of The Evolution of Adam recounts his transformative spiritual journey in which he discovered a new, more honest way to love and appreciate God’s Word.
Trained as an evangelical Bible scholar, Peter Enns loved the Scriptures and shared his devotion, teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary. But the further he studied the Bible, the more he found himself confronted by questions that could neither be answered within the rigid framework of his religious instruction or accepted among the conservative evangelical community.
Rejecting the increasingly complicated intellectual games used by conservative Christians to “protect” the Bible, Enns was conflicted. Is this what God really requires? How could God’s plan for divine inspiration mean ignoring what is really written in the Bible? These questions eventually cost Enns his job—but they also opened a new spiritual path for him to follow.
The Bible Tells Me So chronicles Enns’s spiritual odyssey, how he came to see beyond restrictive doctrine and learned to embrace God’s Word as it is actually written. As he explores questions progressive evangelical readers of Scripture commonly face yet fear voicing, Enns reveals that they are the very questions that God wants us to consider—the essence of our spiritual study.
Biblical Literacy by Timothy Beal
“The Bible…is a locked treasure for those unfamiliar with the Scriptures…. Beal offers a key with his accessible guide.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“With skill and insight, Timothy Beal has given us a great gift: a lucid and engaging introduction to the most important book ever published.” —Jon Meacham, author of American Lion, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
In the tradition of Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy, and with the deftness of Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, Timothy Beal’s Biblical Literacy is a one-stop course in the Bible passages and background information that everyone needs to know to navigate our nuanced cultural landscape—from devout believers to decided atheists, average citizens to pop-culture aficionados. Like Religion in America, Religion and its Monsters, and other of his highly acclaimed books, Beal’s Biblical Literacy is a must-have handbook for understanding today’s world.
The Final Days of Jesus by Shimon Gibson
“No one knows more about the history and archaeology of ancient Jerusalem than Shimon Gibson.... This book is destined to become the standard in the field.” —Prof. James D. Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty
A world renowned archaeologist reveals the historic footprint of Jesus in Jerusalem and what really happened during the final days. Fans of Elaine Pagels and of John Dominic Crossan and Marcus J. Borg’s The Last Week will find a wealth of new information in The Final Days of Jesus, the first book of its kind to present a detailed archaeological footprint of Jesus.
Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand––and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alterations by scribes.
In this compelling and fascinating book, Ehrman shows where and why changes were made in our earliest surviving manuscripts, explaining for the first time how the many variations of our cherished biblical stories came to be, and why only certain versions of the stories qualify for publication in the Bibles we read today. Ehrman frames his account with personal reflections on how his study of the Greek manuscripts made him abandon his once ultra–conservative views of the Bible.
Forged by Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are willing to admit. A controversial work of historical reporting in the tradition of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan, Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stunning explication of one of the most substantial—yet least discussed—problems confronting the world of biblical scholarship.
The Gospels of Mary by Marvin Meyer
Marvin Meyer, one of the foremost scholars of the Gnostic Gospels:
Translates and introduces the Gnostic and New Testament texts that together reveal the story and importance of Mary Magdalene.
Includes new translations of the Gospels of Mary, Thomas, Philip, and related texts about Mary Magdalene.
Discloses, with Esther A. De Boer, the long-suppressed story of Mary's vital role in the life of Jesus and in the formative period after his crucifixion.
Presents as authentically as possible the real Mary Magdalene.
The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss
In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.
According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity's inspirational heroes, are still venerated today.
Moss, however, exposes that the "Age of Martyrs" is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches.
The traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes, celebrated in sermons, and employed by church leaders, politicians, and media pundits who insist that Christians were—and always will be—persecuted by a hostile, secular world. While violence against Christians does occur in select parts of the world today, the rhetoric of persecution is both misleading and rooted in an inaccurate history of the early church. Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and, rather, embrace the consolation, moral instruction, and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.