Ordinary Saints: Lessons in the Art of Giving Away Your Life
How does God manifest himself in the world? Through the righteous lives of his holy people (the saints). As a religion of witnesses, Christianity is dependent upon its saints (defined as activated disciples) to --testify-- to the grace of Christ...
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How does God manifest himself in the world? Through the righteous lives of his holy people (the saints). As a religion of witnesses, Christianity is dependent upon its saints (defined as activated disciples) to --testify-- to the grace of Christ and the kingdom of God. Their lives are walking billboards of the value of Jesus' teaching and authenticity of Christianity as an ancient spiritual pathway. This is a book about saints who are alive now, and whose everyday acts of kindness and goodness announce that God is at work in the world. Like Jesus, their Master, they are the message, the messenger, and the working model of the kingdom of God, in a lesser key. In following Jesus, ordinary saints are willing to give away their lives in order to convey the substance of their faith to a watching world. If ever there was a time when saints need to live courageously for Christ in the world, it is now. But it will take conviction, credibility, and a great deal of audacity. Ordinary Saints explores what it means to be a saint in the twenty-first century, by exploring the depth-dimensions of saints' lives, bodies, emotions, values, and relationships. --What most of us want to know is how can we live an authentic and sustainable spiritual life in our post-secular context? In Ordinary Saints, Stuart offers a creative re-formulation of the ancient vocation of sainthood, which for the Christian faith has long been a classic role and way of being. Drawing on biblical teaching, the mystical tradition, and a deep spiritual awareness, the book invites its readers to live their lives adventurously as saints. Stuart has made sainthood a viable vocation for us twenty-first-century people.-- --Phil Daughtry, Director, the Centre for Contemporary Spirituality, Tabor College of Higher Education, Adelaide --Here is a book that speaks to the present situation. Christianity has been bumped from the center to the margins of society largely because of its ill-disciplined legalism and infighting. Jesus called us to something far more compelling. In Ordinary Saints, Devenish calls us to become the energized disciples Jesus called us to be. The opening parable of the book diagnoses our present situation, and is alone worth the price of the book. The remainder of the book presents a simple solution: act like Jesus and the message will be more readily 'heard' by our contemporary audience. The author is calling for a new age of saints, whose lives are transparent, humble, peaceful, joyous, and surprisingly overflowing with love. If that happens, Christianity will once again become an irresistible force.-- --Gary W. Moon, Executive Director, the Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center, Westmont College, California Stuart C. Devenish is Director of Postgraduate Studies at Tabor College, Adelaide, Australia. He is a teacher, practitioner, and researcher in the field of Christian spirituality. He holds a PhD in the meaning of religious experience, and is author of Seeing & Believing and editor of two volumes: Beyond Well-Being and Spirited Youth Work.