A Heretic's Guide to Eternity

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9780787983598: A Heretic's Guide to Eternity
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Distinguishing between religion and spirituality, Burke offers what he calls a new way of looking at God, one centered on the idea of grace. He emphasizes a God who is looking to save the world, not a God who seems more intent on condemning certain practices . . . . For Burke, God is to be questioned, not simply obeyed. His challenging thesis will appeal to many people today who have given up on organized religion but still seek some connection to spirituality.

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From the Inside Flap:

"A heretic is someone who sees a truth that contradicts the conventional wisdom of the institution—and remains loyal to both entities"
—Art Kleiner, author, The Age of Heretics

In A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor take a provocative look at life with God in the twenty-first century, particularly what the Christian faith has to offer. They do not merely put a spin on old beliefs but show that there are actually new ways of looking at the Christian message—free from the confines of religion and open to the possibility of a radical new incarnation and manifestation. Drawing on wide-ranging sources from theology, history, popular culture, and music, Burke and Taylor explore new postmodern forms of spirituality and conclude that religion's dominance over issues of faith may be over.

A Heretic's Guide to Eternity asks challenging questions about institution-based expressions of faith: Do we need church or temple anymore? Are there other ways to practice faith communally? Does any faith community have the power and the right to condemn, judge, and decide the destiny of others? Why do so many religious institutions often become bastions of exclusivity and hatred rather than love? What does it mean to be spiritual? How can we have an authentic relationship with God?

With its focus on the limitless grace of God, this book offers a new way of seeing an old faith, of practicing "mystical responsibility" and understanding that salvation is something that happens between God and people, not something regulated by institutions and gatekeepers. A Heretic's Guide to Eternity is filled with surprising insights into and encouraging thoughts about how to live a spiritual and moral life in today's complex world. Burke and Taylor may be asking heretical questions, but they are deeply committed to the teachings of Jesus, guiding readers to see those teachings afresh and, as a result, live more passionately and thoughtfully.

From the Back Cover:

"It's easy for inquisition-launchers to go on fault-finding missions; they have lots of practice and they're really good at it. What's more challenging, and regarding this book, much more worthwhile, is to instead go on a truth-finding mission. And yes, even in a book with 'heretic' in the title, I believe any honest reader can find much truth worth seeking."
—From the Foreword by Brian D. McLaren

"Some Christians have the ability to make you want to be a Christian just by being who they are. They make the gospel alive, real, healing, and utterly attractive. I think Spencer Burke is just one of those people. In his writings he shares himself and his vision,
—Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"If Spencer Burke is a heretic, it's not because he's teaching dangerous doctrine, but because he asks the questions about faith that today's sensibilities naturally raise. Spencer is a winsome walking companion for those who find traditional dogma too narrow. It's a thoughtful conversation."
—Marshall Shelley, editor, Leadership Journal; vice president, Christianity Today

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