The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien's Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings


Fleming Rutledge - 2004
    R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has long been acknowledged as the gold standard for fantasy fiction, and the recent Oscar-winning movie trilogy has brought forth a whole new generation of fans. Many Tolkien enthusiasts, however, are not aware of the profoundly religious dimension of the great Ring saga. In The Battle for Middle-earth Fleming Rutledge employs a distinctive technique to uncover the theological currents that lie just under the surface of Tolkien's epic tale. Rutledge believes that the best way to understand this powerful "deep narrative" is to examine the story as it unfolds, preserving some of its original dramatic tension. This deep narrative has not previously been sufficiently analyzed or celebrated. Writing as an enthusiastic but careful reader, Rutledge draws on Tolkien's extensive correspondence to show how biblical and liturgical motifs shape the action. At the heart of the plot lies a rare glimpse of what human freedom really means within the Divine Plan of God. The Battle for Middle-earth surely will, as Rutledge hopes, "give pleasure to those who may already have detected the presence of the sub-narrative, and insight to those who may have missed it on first reading."

Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers


Ed Stetzer - 2010
    A much-needed resource, this book will inform, guide, and even catalyze today's many church planting leaders. The authors clearly show leaders how to plant churches that create a multiplication movement and offer inspiration for them to do so. The book addresses their questions about what to do next in their church planting strategies, in light of research on what's actually working best.Author Ed Stetzer heads up LifeWay Research Provides reliable, credible information about what church planting strategies work best A volume in the Leadership Network Series Offers a definitive guide for church planting and the burgeoning movement it is part of.

Finding God in the Shack: Seeking Truth in a Story of Evil and Redemption


Roger E. Olson - 2009
    Many have identified with the main character's Great Sadness, the terrible burden of grief that often accompanies and follows a deep loss, for the Great Sadness is part of the human condition. And it compels us to ask, Where is God? Who is God?Roger Olson, who has faced his own Great Sadness, finds a good deal of comfort in this much beloved, story as have so many others. Some may ask, however, Is God really like that? Is that really how God responds to evil? Can God be trusted?Olson also views The Shack with a theologian's eye and finds much sound truth. He delves into many of the significant issues raised by the book such as forgiving those who have done us great evil, how God acts in the world, how God is three persons in one and what difference this makes to us. While he offers his own criticisms of the book, he largely finds the truth about God in The Shack.

Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less


Dave Browning - 2006
    And more is better. This is the new equation for church development, a new equation with eternal results.Rejecting the “bigger is better” model of the complex, corporate megachurch, church innovator Dave Browning embraced deliberate simplicity. The result was Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK), an expanding multisite community church that Outreach magazine named among America’s Fastest Growing Churches and America’s Most Innovative Churches. Members of the CTK network in a number of cities, countries, and continents are empowered for maximum impact by Browning’s “less is more” approach. In Deliberate Simplicity, Browning discusses the six elements of this streamlined model:• Minimality: Keep it simple• Intentionality: Keep it missional• Reality: Keep it real• Multility: Keep it cellular• Velocity: Keep it moving• Scalability: Keep it expandingAs part of the Leadership Network Innovation Series, Deliberate Simplicity is a guide for church leaders seeking new strategies for more effective ministry.

The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis


C.S. Lewis - 1994
    Lewis was a profound thinker with the rare ability to communicate the philosophical and theological rationale of Christianity in simple yet amazingly effective ways. In The Pilgrim's Regress, Lewis records his search for meaning and spiritiual satisfaction that eventually led him to Christianity. God in the Dock contains forty-eight essays and twelve letters that cover topics as varied as the logic of theism, good and evil, miracles, and ethics. And in Christian Reflections, he addresses Christianity and literature, Christianity and culture, petitionary prayer, modern theology, and biblical criticism.

The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus


Bruxy Cavey - 2005
    Believers and seekers alike will discover anew the wondrous promise found in our savior. And Christ's eternal call to walk in love and freedom will resonate with readers of all ages and denominations.

Johnny Cornflakes


Denise George - 2010
    The narrative offers hope even in difficult places, challenges our attitudes toward others and shows how God can work in the most unexpected ways through the most unlikely, unloved people.Denise George is an internationally popular writer and speaker best known for creative Biblical application. Denise is married to Dr. Timothy George, executive editor of Christianity Today and founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama."A tale of pathos and need, of joy and pain, of poverty and glorious abundance."Dr Calvin Miller ~ author, poet, artist."The deep things in this simple story tug hard at the heart."J I Packer ~ Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada

Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support (Re:Lit)


Brad House - 2011
    Attention spans are dwindling, noise levels are increasing, and we can't seem to find time for real relationships.The answer to such social fragmentation can be found in small groups, and yet the majority of small groups--at least in the traditional sense--are often not the intentional, transformational community we really want and need. Somehow we need to get our groups off life support and into authentic community.Pastor Brad House helps us to re-imagine what gospel-centered community looks like and shares from his experience leading and reproducing healthy small groups. With wisdom and candor, House challenges us to think carefully about our own groups and to take steps toward cultivating communities that are able to glorify Jesus, bless one another, and participate in the mission of God.

The Orthodox Heretic And Other Impossible Tales


Peter Rollins - 2009
    The Orthodox Heretic is his most accessible and engaging work to date." - Phyllis TickleIn this bold new book Peter Rollins presents a vision of faith that has little regard for the institutions of Christendom. His uncompromising critique of religion, while often unsettling, is infused with a deep and abiding love for what it means to genuinely follow Christ.Pete Rollins writes with clarity and compelling conviction." - Frank Schaeffer“I remember driving around Belfast with Pete, sitting in the front seat listening to him tell these parables that he'd written—thinking, ‘Everybody needs to hear these.’ And now you can.” —Rob Bell, author of Jesus Wants to Save Christians

The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth: Images of Christ's Threefold Office in The Lord of the Rings


Philip Graham Ryken - 2017
    R. R. Tolkien s classic, The Lord of the Rings. It is well known that Tolkien disliked allegory. Yet he acknowledged that his work is imbued with Christian symbolism and meaning.Based on the inaugural Hansen Lectureship series delivered at the Marion E. Wade Center by Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth mines the riches of Tolkien s theological imagination. In the characters of Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, Ryken hears echoes of the one who is the true prophet, priest, and king. Moreover, he considers what that threefold office means for his service as a college president as well as the calling of all Christians. Guided by both Tolkien and Ryken, things of first importance come alive in a tale of imaginary prophets, priests, and kings.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)


SparkNotes
    Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes provide: Chapter-by-chapter analysis Explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols A review quiz and essay topics Lively and accessible, these guides are perfect for late-night studying and writing papers.

On Pastoring: A Short Guide to Living, Leading, and Ministering as a Pastor


H.B. Charles Jr. - 2016
    For pastors just starting out, those needing a little rebalancing, or those growing tired in the trenches, a short guide to the basics is a welcome relief.In On Pastoring, H. B. Charles gives 30 instructive reflections on the pastor’s heart, leadership, and public ministry, covering topics like:Cultivating personal godlinessPrioritizing your familyGuarding your ministry effectivenessPlanning, preparing, and preaching sermonsBalancing pastoral roles and dutiesBeing a pastor means wearing many hats, weathering lots of pressure, and bearing great responsibility. Let H. B. Charles be a trusted advisor as you do the serious work of shepherding a flock of God.

God's Lavish Grace


Terry Virgo - 2004
    This concise survey of the impact and outworking of God's grace in the life of the believer will revitalize the most threadbare faith.

Albert Camus's The Stranger


Harold Bloom - 2000
    -- Presents the most important 20th-century criticism on major works from The Odyssey through modern literature-- The critical essays reflect a variety of schools of criticism-- Contains critical biographies, notes on the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's life, and an index

Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith


Benjamin L. Corey - 2017
    In the wake of this realization came newfound insights—from reading the Bible to re-examining American life and the church's role in the wider world. Corey learned that what he had been taught was a distorted version of Christianity that was not only untrue but caused real spiritual harm.He also discovered that he wasn’t alone. Many Christians are yearning to distinguish between the Christianity that has become a rigid American civil religion and the authentic Christian faith embodied in Jesus. As he recounts his own spiritual journey, Corey offers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for every Christian increasingly frustrated with the church today. Do not be discouraged, he assures them. You do not need to give up your faith; you can rediscover the reality of a vibrant Christianity that delivers us from fear and inspires and guides us all today.