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Faith As a Way of Life: A Vision for Pastoral Leadership [Paperback]

By Christian Scharen (Author)
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Item Number 84996  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   137
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.07" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 3, 2008
ISBN  0802862314  
EAN  9780802862310  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Christian ministry is deeply concerned with proclaiming the transforming power of God's gift of faith in the daily lives of disciples. How is it, then, that so often Christian faith fails to orient our lives? Christian Scharen offers the compelling argument that such a way of life needs communities and leaders that build and communicate faith as foundation. Pastors will be able to impart this vision of faith, he cautions, only if they themselves are compelled by it and if their parishioners find that the model helps them make sense of life as a whole. Faith as a Way of Life is one response to this call for reflection on Christian faith as an orienting force impacting every aspect of daily life. Scharen examines the powerful languages that can replace faith language - emotion-driven therapeutic and results-driven managerial models - and shows how their domination leads to faith becoming a weak sibling. He directly engages the problems these languages often lead to with the hope of fostering pastoral leadership grounded in a vision of faith as a way of life. Faith as a Way of Life is an engaging and encouraging examination of how pastoral leaders can model and mediate faith as the beating heart pumping life-blood through every sphere of life.

Publishers Description
Christian ministry is deeply concerned with proclaiming the transforming power of God's gift of faith in the daily lives of disciples. How is it, then, that Christian faith so often fails to be an orienting force that impacts every aspect of our lives?

In Faith as a Way of Life Christian Scharen articulates a vision of pastoral leadership grounded in substantive faith language. He examines other powerful languages in our culture - emotion-driven therapeutic and results-driven managerial models of leadership - and shows how their domination leads to faith becoming a weak sibling. Highlighting concrete examples of excellent pastoral leadership in action, Scharen offers creative practical theological reflection on how faith can truly inform our family life, our work, our politics, our leisure - literally all of life - and how pastoral leaders of all kinds can foster faith as a way of life.

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More About Christian Scharen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christian Scharen (PhD, Emory University) teaches worship and contemporary culture at Luther Seminary and leads the research project on Learning Pastoral Imagination at Luther's Center for Faith and Life. He has authored a number of books, including Public Worship and Public Work. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Scharen has served congregations in California, Georgia, and Connecticut.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry   [4391  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Good Primer on Practical Theology  Dec 10, 2008
Inspired by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture's "Faith as a Way of Life Project" of 2003-07, this book is an attempt to summarize its findings; its main gist is to encourage Christian pastors with ways to help develop holistic faith and practice in their congregations. Scharen's biggest cultural critique falls upon the common compartmentalization of our lives, since people tend to place "religion" or "faith" into one of those many compartments, rather than letting it act as the overarching metanarrative that guides one's life.

Challenging both the results-oriented "managerial" model and the felt-needs/highly individualistic "therapeutic" approach adopted by many American churches, Scharen builds his case for a faith that is trans-compartmental utilizing both established social theory (Weber, Bellah) and theology (predominately Lutheran/Reformed) to show how Christians can engage one another and the broader society in faithful and transformative ways. This isn't a how-to book in the classical sense, but Scharen does a good job at balancing theory and real-life examples to suggest how one can work towards his paradigm. I also appreciate the relative balance of his views; where many similar social-engagement books seem to be as captive to Leftist politics as others are to the Religious Right, Scharen's work seems to be more Christ-centered, allowing more room for alternate views and acknowledging "grey areas," and is thus more applicable to a broader audience, allowing for greater impact, especially among his diverse pastoral audience.
Gathering and Scattering as Pastoral Leadership  Dec 4, 2008
The above editorial review gives a good overview of the topics covered however it misses the one thing that sets Scharen's book apart from others of its kind. What Scharen accomplishes that others do not is to display the "interconnection and coherence of the whole". By approaching the topic from an admittedly generalist viewpoint he is able to take the reader through a hermeneutical circle of 1) observing the obstacles that prevent faith from impacting daily lives in various spheres, 2) reflecting on these situations theologically and 3) sharing stories of Christian leaders who have tried out ideas with varying degrees of success. The image that Scharen uses to pull these activities together is that of gathering and scattering. Like the process of breathing, collecting inward in community and then expanding outward in daily life are not two separate activities that we do but rather God's life giving rhythm for our lives.

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