‘Islam’

A Religion, A Culture, A Society

“Islam: A Religion, A Culture, A Society.” Bill Schwartz. Leicester, UK: Christians Aware, 2014. 133 pp.

“Islam: A Religion, A Culture, A Society.” Bill Schwartz. Leicester, UK: Christians Aware, 2014. 133 pp.

“Islam: A Religion, A Culture, A Society” (Christians Aware, 2014) by the Ven. Dr. Bill Schwartz, OBE, is intended to help Christians understand Islam on a personal level. Schwartz, who has lived among Muslims in the Middle East for more than 40 years, presents his perspective that studying Islam simply as a religion, or simply as a culture will result in a less-than-authentic understanding of Islam as Muslims themselves practice their faith. Unlike the way Western secular society segregates religion from other aspects of our culture, Islam, culture and society are all interrelated.

Schwartz writes about Muslims who are serious in their religious practice and who are greatly affected by religious trends in their midst. The text not only draws on sources of Christian scholars who have studied Islam, but heavily draws on Islamic sources beyond the Qur’an and Hadith to include books and journal publications by Muslims who themselves debate the true nature of Islam in modern society.

Christians, who too often know Islam only from tragic headlines and inappropriate stereotypes, are introduced to complex Islamic traditions through parallels and comparisons to Western culture. Subjects such as holy war, human rights and the nature of revelation are given clear and approachable explanations. This book provides much food for thought, and insight for those who hope to develop friendships or dialog with Muslims.

“Islam: A Religion, A Culture, A Society” can be ordered here.

“Written from his perspective as an American Christian of the Anglican tradition, [Schwartz] takes the reader beyond a discussion of the five spiritual foundations of Islam to grasp how Arab Muslims view their world, their religion and the influences of the secular world upon their approach to life. Through his conversational style, he helps the Christian reader to reflect upon the basic principles of our own thought and how that approach differs from how Arab Muslims see the world and one another. … Bill’s book is a welcome addition to helping to remove the very filters which cloud our vision.” — The Rev. Canon Robert D. Edmunds, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s Middle East Partnership Officer

‘Reclaiming Your Soul’

Wisdom from the Gospel of Luke

“Reclaiming Your Soul: Wisdom from the Gospel of Luke.” Daniel Schroeder. BeneVentura, 2015. 276 pp.

“Reclaiming Your Soul: Wisdom from the Gospel of Luke.” Daniel Schroeder. BeneVentura, 2015. 276 pp.

Daniel Schroeder’s “Reclaiming Your Soul: Wisdom from the Gospel of Luke” (BeneVentura, 2015) is a collection of reflections on the entire Gospel of St. Luke. It was initially written for monastics to enhance the Sunday gospel readings, but can be used by laypeople and clergy as well. As current guardian of a monastic Episcopal community, Schroeder works to build a formation journey based on the power of prayer, reflective study and personal service to others.

“Reclaiming Your Soul,” a resource for one’s spiritual journey, offers insights into discovering one’s true inner self, reclaiming what may have been lost or covered up by the demands of secular living. As we go through life we are shaped by many things that cause us to lose our way, our purpose and our happiness. The gospel wisdom found in St. Luke provides a foundation to begin the journey toward spiritual health and well-being. Readers will see how the teachings of Jesus apply to us even today.

Schroeder is the founder and current guardian of the Community of the Gospel, a Christian community officially recognized by the Episcopal Church. He holds a degree in Hebrew Studies from the University of Wisconsin, an M.B.A. in finance from Concordia University and a master’s degree in Adult Education Psychology from Northern Illinois University. His other book is “Reclaiming Eden: Taming the Serpent Ego” (Westview, 2009).

“Reclaiming Your Soul” can be ordered here.

‘A Place to Breathe’

Building the World That God Intended – And Still Does

“A Place to Breathe: Building the World That God Intended – and Still Does.” Lloyd Edwards. Createspace, 2014. 198 pp.

“A Place to Breathe: Building the World That God Intended – and Still Does.” Lloyd Edwards. CreateSpace, 2014.
198 pp.

Lloyd Edwards’ “A Place to Breathe: Building the World That God Intended – And Still Does” (CreateSpace, 2014) offers a “big picture” view of the church’s call to ministry, intended for laypeople, clergy and bishops seeking to renew themselves in their ministries.

Edwards, a retired Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, points out that the Kingdom or reign of God is the key to the church’s ministry, and too often churchgoers say “Blessed be [God’s] Kingdom,” without realizing that it is the members of the church who are called to make God’s Kingdom a reality in the world.

“A Place to Breathe” is structured as an extended reflection on three questions: What is God doing in the world? How can we best respond cooperatively with God’s initiative? And how does the creative purpose of suffering influence our response? The answers to these questions may lead to a surprising re-interpretation of the call to follow Christ, using the gifts God has given us. Or they may put words to what was already known or suspected.

Readers will gain an overview of the Christian faith and call that is biblical, reasonable and progressive. It is this faith and this call that always leads to a place to breathe.

Edwards, a Licensed Professional Counselor and spiritual director for many years, earned a Ph. D. in physics and taught and did research before attending seminary. His other books include  “Discerning Your Spiritual Gifts” (Cowley Publications, 1988) and “How We Belong, Fight, and Pray: The MBTI As a Key to Congregational Dynamics” (Alban Institute, 1993).

“A Place to Breathe” may be ordered here.

‘Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles’

“Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles.” C. K. Robertson. New York: Morehouse, 2010. 129 pp.

“Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles.” C. K. Robertson. New York: Morehouse, 2010. 129 pp.

“Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles” (Church Publishing, 2010) by C. K. Robertson presents a well-researched, yet highly readable exploration of the story of Jesus’ earliest followers, from their call to be his witnesses “to the ends of the earth,” through their initial days of concord and numerical success, to the challenges they faced as unfamiliar newcomers entered the scene and the coming of a champion who, against the odds, became the church’s chief protagonist. Complete with discussion questions, this is a helpful resource for individuals and small groups alike.

“Conversations with Scripture: Acts of the Apostles” can be ordered here.

“Robertson has created that most difficult of things – a genuinely engaging commentary. His judicious blend of sound scholarship, peppery insights, and conversational language makes for an informative book upon a book that is as refreshing as it is as rare.” — Phyllis Tickle

“This insightful study of the triumphs and struggles of the early church is especially relevant for Christians today, and equally engaging for individuals and small groups. It reminds us again of the practical lessons we can draw from our rich and ancient heritage.” — Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona

‘Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers’

“Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers” (Church Publishing, 2014) by Ian Markham and C. K. Robertson is an accessible Q&A introduction to the Episcopal Church, providing a quick, easy and non-threatening way to learn about some of the most central and compelling elements of Christian faith. A wonderful resource for today’s busy lifestyle, it is ideal for use with new members, as a confirmation resource and in youth and adult study groups. “Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers.” Ian Markham and C. K. Robertson. New York: Morehouse, 2014. 104 pp.

“Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers.” Ian Markham and C. K. Robertson. New York: Morehouse, 2014. 104 pp.

“Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers” (Morehouse, 2014) by Ian Markham and C. K. Robertson is an accessible Q&A introduction to the Episcopal Church, providing a quick, easy and non-threatening way to learn about some of the most central and compelling elements of Christian faith. A wonderful resource for today’s busy lifestyle, it is ideal for use with new members, as a confirmation resource and in youth and adult study groups.

“Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers”  can be ordered here.

“Insightful and helpful introduction to the Episcopal ethos – who are those strange folks, why do they think the way(s) they do, and act the way they do – in church and in the world? Even the cradle-born will learn something in these pages, and all will find fodder for reflection and motivation in the questions that follow each section.” — the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop  and Primate, the Episcopal Church

‘The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest’

“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest.” C.K. Robertson. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths,, 2013. 208 pp.

“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest.” C.K. Robertson. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2013. 208 pp.

“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest” (SkyLight Paths, 2013) by C. K. Robertson offers a unique presentation of selections with facing-page commentary. Organized by themes such as “Blessings in Times of Joy and Pain,” “Called to Serve” and “Praise and Petition,” this volume in the SkyLight Illuminations series provides spiritual riches for all who are interested in deepening their life of prayer, building stronger relationships and making a difference in the world.

“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest” can be ordered here.

“A gift to the larger ecumenical community. The Book of Common Prayer … continues to offer spiritual formation to Christians of many traditions … this remarkable guide will enrich our pursuit.” — Kathryn Mary Lohre, president, National Council of the Churches of Christ USA

“One of the great classics …. Christians of every tradition can appreciate its majestic yet concise style, and draw upon it for inspiration and insight. Most welcome and of benefit to those seeking to deepen their Christian faith.” — The Rev. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, associate director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C.

“A fresh new set of insights …. A wellspring of encouragement to go deep and wide with this treasure trove of Christian roots and wings. I commend this work and all its potential for invigorating worship and transforming our experience of liturgy.” — Archbishop David Moxon, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See; director, the Anglican Centre in Rome

“Warmly and brilliantly guides us through the spiritual riches of one of Christianity’s most sublime religious texts. Anyone who seeks wisdom, hope and a deeper, more authentic prayer life, both individually and communally, will find this resource immensely rewarding.” — The Rev. Peter Wallace, producer and host, Day1 radio program; author of “The Passionate Jesus: What We Can Learn from Jesus about Love, Fear, Grief, Joy and Living Authentically”

‘Barnabas vs. Paul’

To Encourage or Confront?

“Barnabas vs. Paul: To Encourage or Confront?” C. K. Robertson.  Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 2014.

“Barnabas vs. Paul: To Encourage or Confront?” C. K. Robertson. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 2014.

“Barnabas vs. Paul: To Encourage or Confront?” (Abingdon, 2014) by C. K. Robertson, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu, offers a fresh portrait of Paul, whom we only think we know, and of Barnabas, an otherwise unheralded apostle. The story of these partners in ministry, inseparable colleagues until a conflict tore them apart, will challenge the assumptions we have and bring these great pioneers to life.

“Barnabas vs. Paul” can be ordered here.

“Popular perceptions of Barnabas and Paul are often misleading and prejudicial. In his readable and absorbing book, Robertson has restored the truth about these two Christian workers who – in their distinctly separate ways – cleared the way for the growth of the church and the advance of the gospel around the world.” — Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, USA

“Do you have ears to hear and eyes to see? Leave your preconceptions at the door and learn who Paul and Barnabas really were, and what they actually espoused. Read Robertson’s account of early Christian struggles and see the parallels with your own faith community and its environs. Read and learn to be dangerous – and reinvigorated for what you’ve been sent into the world to do and be!”
— The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, the Episcopal Church

“St. Paul will never have a better apologist than Canon Robertson; nor will there ever be a more insightful and thorough application of a Paulinian apologia to the practical work of the contemporary Church than this one. One may not agree with all the lines and conclusions of Chuck Robertson’s argument, but no one can unsay his thoroughness, the ease and depth of his scholarship, or the sincerity and usefulness of its presentation here. This is an ideal volume for private reading as well as for group study.” — Phyllis Tickle, author of “The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why”

‘Transforming Stewardship’

Transforming Stewardship

“Transforming Stewardship.” C. K. Robertson. New York: Church Publishing, 2009. 177 pp.

“Transforming Stewardship” (Church Publishing, 2009) by C. K. Robertson, part of the “Transformation” series, considers holistic, practical ways for church leaders to address visionary budgeting, newcomer recruitment and retention, leadership development and congregational vitality. “Transforming Stewardship” is a proven resource in congregations throughout the church.

“Transforming Stewardship” can be ordered here.

‘A Dangerous Dozen’

Twelve Christians Who Threatened the Status Quo

“A Dangerous Dozen: 12 Christians Who Threatened the Status Quo.” C. K. Robertson. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2011. 208 pp.

“A Dangerous Dozen: 12 Christians Who Threatened the Status Quo.” C. K. Robertson. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2011. 208 pp.

“A Dangerous Dozen: 12 Christians Who Threatened the Status Quo” (SkyLight Paths, 2011) by C. K. Robertson, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu, introduces readers to twelve fascinating — and at times intimidating — Christian change agents who were unafraid to ask what God would have them do in the face of life’s realities — and unafraid to go ahead and do it. Their words and actions challenged the status quo, and in so doing they showed the face of Jesus to the Church and to the world.

“A Dangerous Dozen” can be ordered here.

‘Hazardous Saints’

Christians Risking All, Changing Everything

“Hazardous Saints: Christians Risking All, Changing Everything.” C. K. Robertson. New York: Church Publishing, 2015. 32 pp.

“Hazardous Saints: Christians Risking All, Changing Everything.” C. K. Robertson. New York: Church Publishing, 2015. 32 pp.

“Hazardous Saints: Christians Risking All, Changing Everything” (Church Publishing, 2015) by C.K. Robertson is an exciting new six-session DVD series with accompanying study guide. A wonderful resource for adult and young adult study groups in mainline Christian churches, clergy and lay leadership teams, such as vestries and boards of elders, and retreat planners and those interested in learning more about some remarkable models of the faith.

“Hazardous Saints” can be ordered here.