Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)

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9781501808289: Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)
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Have you left the faith you used to have but don’t know what to move toward? When you can’t see the road ahead, do you feel lost and alone? Do you wish you had a group of companions willing to wander with you?

Welcome to the Dark Wood.

As you journey through the unknown, you may feel tempted, lost, and uncertain. Though commonly feared and avoided, these feelings of uncertainty can be your greatest assets on this journey because it is in uncertainty that we probe, question, and discover. According to the ancients, you don’t need to be a saint or spiritual master to experience profound awakening and live with God’s presence and guidance. You need only to wander.

In clear and lucid prose that combines the heart of a mystic, the soul of a poet, and the mind of a biblical scholar, Dr. Eric Elnes demystifies the seven gifts bestowed in the Dark Wood: the gifts of uncertainty, emptiness, being thunderstruck, getting lost, temptation, disappearing, and the gift of misfits.

This is a book for anyone who feels awkward in their search for God, anyone who seeks to find holiness amid their holy mess, and anyone who prefers practicality to piety when it comes to finding their place in this world.

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About the Author:

Eric Elnes (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor, speaker, and media host. He is the author of The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity and Igniting Worship: The Seven Deadly Sins. His book Asphalt Jesus: Finding a New Christian Faith on the Highways of America was the result of his 2,500-mile walk from Phoenix to Washington, DC, that promoted awareness of progressive/emerging Christian faith and inspired a feature-length film called The Asphalt Gospel. Since then, his interactive weekly webcast “Darkwood Brew” has gathered people from around the world for an engaging exploration of Convergence Christianity. Elnes lives with his wife and daughters in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also serves as senior pastor of Countryside Community Church (UCC).

Review:

Many of us have known Eric Elnes as a brilliant theologian, daring communicator, and creative genius. But in Gifts of the Dark Wood, we get to know Eric as a sensitive pastor and wise spiritual director or guide. In his care through these pages readers will be touched by insight, humility, inspiration, consolation, and profound joy, and they will find themselves discovering rich treasures in most unexpected places - in their failures, their darkness, their disappointment.- Brian D. McLaren, author and activist, brianmclaren.net

This is a remarkable book, as well as a remarkably timelyone. Part autobiography and part non-doctrinaire, but deeply pastoral wisdom,DARK WOOD is a perfect guide for any soul making its way through 21stcentury reality.
Eric Elnes is one of post-liberal Christianity's most thoughtful, effective, and influential leaders. An informed and teaching pastor to both his local congregation and to his communion-at-large, he ministers also to the thousands from around the world who worship with him each week in the cyber-church, Darkwood Brew.- Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

As both a friend of Eric's work and of the man, let me say that Gifts of the Dark Wood is his finest achievement. Eric writes with a the fierce honesty of a mystic, the soul of a true priest - one who truly ministers to others - and the pen of a prophet. This is a road map giving us a path for following the Spirit.- Frank Schaeffer, author of Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God

Whether the dark time that concerns you is personal, due to private suffering, or public, due to widely shared afflications such as war and social injustice and environmental devastation, you will find wise guidance in these pages.- Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works: Selected Essays

From beginning to end, this book is an affirmation that God will find us. When we get lost, get empty, grow uncertain, those are just the openings God needs to find us and use us. Whether you call it the Dark Wood, the wilderness, 'the dark night of the soul,' or 'the cloud of unknowing,' this book is an excellent companion for anyone journeying through that difficult terrain. It has blessed me and it will bless you too.
- Jennifer Mills-Knutse, blogger and United Church of Christ pastor

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