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Jesus Brand Spirituality: He Wants His Religion Back [Hardcover]

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Item Number 86670  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   230
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.41" Width: 5.74" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 27, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849920531  
EAN  9780849920530  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
An exploration of four dimensions of the spirituality Jesus left in his wake engages those drawn to the fascinating figure buried in the messy field of religion.

Publishers Description

"Jesus wants his religion it can be "for" the world again"

So begins this expertly written book by Ken Wilson, a pastor, practitioner and pilgrim to engage those drawn to the fascinating figure buried in the messy field of religion. Jesus Brand Spirituality is for those disillusioned by the current swirl of cultural conflict, moralism, and religious meanness that amounts to a form of trademark infringement on the movement that bears his name.

Combining candor, curiosity and rare insight, the author explores four dimensions of the spirituality Jesus left in his wake--active, contemplative, biblical, and communal. Practical, engaging and compelling, this fresh illumination of an ancient path is both moving and thought provoking. Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department at Publisher's weekly calls Wilson "one of America's most gifted evangelicals, a thoughtful, unflinching pastor for thinking Christians; but he has outdone even his own reputation here. Candid, confessional, and full of stories, these conversational chapters from a man enthralled with Jesus are shot through with the passion and the realism of an eternally-vital romance."

Buy Jesus Brand Spirituality: He Wants His Religion Back by Ken Wilson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780849920530 & 0849920531

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More About Ken Wilson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ken has written nearly 30 ELT titles for various publishers, some of which were designed for specific regions of the world, including China, Spain and Central Europe. He has also written more than a hundred BBC radio and TV programmes and was an adviser on the Channel 4 ELT series Extr@ English. Until 2002, Ken was artistic director of the English Teaching Theatre.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A creative overview of Christian spirituality  Feb 11, 2010
"He wants his religion back." Those were the words appearing on the front cover of this book, which persuaded me to buy the book. In an age when Christianity seems to be so widely misrepresented as a set of conservative political beliefs and a rigid code of behaviour enforced by disapproval and negativity, any message about grace and abundant life is to be welcomed.

The author explains the Christian faith in four dimensions. The active dimension is about repairing the world and finding healing along the way. The contemplative dimension is about being mystically wired and communing with God through prayer. The Biblical dimension is about finding our place in God's story and understanding how Jesus transformed that story. The communal dimension is about the importance of relating to other people and what is really meant by love.

The book presents a gentle and creative overview of Christian spirituality which is certainly more true to the original than are popular assumptions about Christianity. I am not a big fan of the author's use of "Jesus brand", but he does explain that the false claims that some people make about what Jesus stands for are like trademark infringements. This book is well worth reading.
"One step closer to knowing"  Jul 17, 2008
This is an original presentation of the Jesus path by a pastor who does his own thinking, often in pictures and near poetry:

"the world is a mystical playground where life seemed to blossom wherever [Jesus] went" . . . "something as deep as the ocean seems to be awakened within us" . . . "heaven is what happens when all our connections here on earth light up with love" . . . "open your eyes and your heart toward the wonder that the world is an expression of" . . . "what is the fire in the equation by which the universe came into being?"

But it's not all pictures and poetry. There is solid content for deep thinking, as in his exploration of how we know what we know, and his probing the different biblical views of the atonement, especially the substitutionary one.

Orthodox in belief, Wilson arrives at his conclusions in his own original and thoughtful ways. He reclaims and continues his own fresh journey begun in the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and 70s, distinguishing it from more dogmatic approaches to the right and left. He is a centrist who, similar to Richard Foster in Streams of Living Water, maps current Christianity in several great traditions and sees the Spirit moving separated believers toward the center where all the treasures blend and wonderful things happen. Jesus is the great treasure buried in the messy field of religion. We are not to worry about the destiny of people of other faiths who will never hear of Jesus. We have heard, and our task as pilgrim believers is to take one step closer to knowing him.

Writing with an evangelist's heart, Wilson deplores mean-spiritedness in religion and anything else that puts people off from moving toward Jesus. "We should bristle less and listen more." There is ultimate respect for the reader: "you decide" is a frequent refrain.

Like most believers over the centuries, Wilson trusts the portrait of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. He clearly distinguishes that portrait from the one in the Gnostic gospels. And without saying so, he distances himself from the Jesus Seminar approach. His approach is very much in line with recent centrist scholarship, as in Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (2006).

He explores Jesus brand spirituality under four headings--active, contemplative, biblical and communal. Wonderful stories abound. Care for creation and openness to good science permeate the book. Each section ends with study questions for individual or group use.

This book is sure to provoke thought, discussion, growth, and some reaction.

Jesus Brand Spirituality---refreshing & helpful.  Jun 27, 2008
It seems like just 15 or so years ago, the term "Christian Spirituality" would have been met with some raised eyebrows and perhaps an incredulous stare or two. That Wilson uses three often culturally confusing words in his title: Jesus, Spirituality, & Religion--- is a hint toward the kind of unpacking and clarifying that he does in the pages between the covers of this refreshing and helpful book. Refreshing, because it feels like a breath of fresh air to read a book that takes the corruption of the Jesus brand to task, yet offers gracious understanding for the messiness that it has been these past 2000 or so years since Jesus launched a movement. He says that "Jesus is a presence distinct from the religion that represents him. We are drawn to him (or not) for reasons that deny easy explanation. But being drawn to Jesus doesn't necessarily mean buying the package of faith as defined by those with the biggest bullhorn..."
Wilson writes from the perspective of a self professed non-recovering Jesus Freak from the late 1960's which makes me think that when Ken Wilson says that "Jesus brand spirituality" is the path a pilgrim might take that is earthy, mystical, and curious---I believe him. The believability of his storied life and the storied life of "brand Jesus" as they mingle together with the cultural shifts of the past 30 or so years is refreshing too. In short, it is refreshing to hear a baby boomer admit the difficulties of the American church while at the same time not willing to draw a fresh new bath of water and get a new baby, if I may stretch the metaphor a bit.
Jesus Brand Spirituality is helpful on so many levels but foremost is the helpfulness it will be to my own mother-in-law in sorting out why her postmodern son-in-law wants to pray the daily offices and work for social justice issues while still considering himself (on most days) to be in the evangelical camp. Wilson does a fine job providing an overview of the landscape, noting that American Christianity has formed in the context of four quadrants: liturgical, social justice, evangelical, & renewal. The tug toward the center, where there is a blending and a shaping of us all, is where Wilson sees the movement of God's spirit and the kind of spirituality that Jesus modeled and "branded." Wilson draws from his own experience, the life of his friends and foes, the four quadrants of the spiritual landscape, and the life of Jesus to provide a full picture of what the "identity package" for the Jesus brand really is, humbly noting that this center place where traditions get blended is the place where Jesus gets his religion back, it is "a place we cannot find but is finding us."
Lastly, It seems as though Ken Wilson has been very careful to season his words with the salt of postmodernity---which has brought out the flavor of his thesis ever more so. Ken writes with an understanding of the changes to the epistemological and sociological milleu since he came into the Jesus Movement. And, unlike many who perhaps waded through the same four decades, Wilson has emerged not fighting on the battle-ground for things like "certainty" and "absolutes," but humbled and encouraged that we do in fact see through a glass dimly, in part, and not in full. His friendship with Phyllis Tickle (who writes the foreward) and his pastoral passion are not easy to miss. Not only is this book an explanation of where things are and where they're headed---it's an invitation to jump into the swirling center and get dirty a bit, healing, and getting healed, praying and being prayed for, going some place to find that God is there--- and is there to transform us all.
Bringing clarity, not rigidity  May 31, 2008
Conservative or liberal, nondenominational or mainline, I think most of us have a sense that the church in North America is in a bit of an identity crisis. And it this point, the jury's still out as to how it will emerge from this time of transition.

Everyone has there opinion as to what the church needs to be and do. In the end, my prayer is that it is books like this one that shape the conversation. For one thing, even as it remains deeply committed to the path of Christ, there's a real spirit of generosity to Wilson's work. He has engaged other Christian traditions, not in attempt to prove where they're wrong, but to learn. And he's learned much.

And, like any good pastor, he demonstrates an ability to present his learning in a way that's accessible and compelling for others. The book in fact enters into heavy duty theological territory. But you hardly know it because of how engagingly and incisively Wilson navigates through it.
A fascinating journey across the Christian landscape  May 30, 2008
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