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Joyful Exiles: Life in Christ on the Dangerous Edge of Things [Hardcover]

By James M. Houston (Author)
Our Price $ 22.95  
Retail Value $ 27.00  
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Item Number 48239  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   204
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 27, 2006
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830833242  
EAN  9780830833245  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
IVP Print On Demand Title Winner, 2007 World Guild Best Leadership/Theoretical Book Pastor and teacher Jim Houston reviews the insights he has gained over his years of teaching, counseling and mentoring Christians. He passes on what he has come to regard as pivotal concerns for leading a faithful Christian life in current society and culture. This is an advanced discipleship book for those who want to learn from someone with mature spiritual insight who has gone before them. If you are interested in Christian maturity, faithfulness, spiritual formation, and life, and want a guide through the "currents and eddies" of our society and culture, this book is for you.

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More About James M. Houston

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jim Houston (M.A., Edinburgh; D.Phil., Oxford) is founding principal, former chancellor, and emeritus professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of some forty books, including I Believe in the Creator, The Transforming Friendship, In Search of Happiness, The Heart's Desire and The Mentored Life.

James M. Houston was born in 1922.

James M. Houston has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classics of Faith & Devotion
  2. Classics of Faith and Devotion

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith   [4314  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General   [11744  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
christian wisdom from an elder pilgrim  Jan 17, 2007
"Exile has certainly been part of my family's narrative," writes James Houston. After twenty-five years at Oxford University as a student and then a tutor, Houston uprooted his wife and four teenagers to become the founding principal of Regent College in Vancouver. That was thirty-five years ago. Now in his mid-eighties, with forty books under his belt and a lifetime of Christian wisdom to share, Houston wrote this book for his son who asked him to "write out the basic convictions I have sought to live out in my Christian faith." The six essays are organized into three parts: Christian Faith as a Way of Life and a New Identity, The Priority of Personal Calling Over Institutional Life, and then Maturing in Community, Transmitting Faith in Person.

Houston takes his title from a line of Robert Browning, "our interest's on the dangerous edge of things." Unfortunately, many Christians and much of Christendom play it safe. Throughout the six essays Houston laments the professionalization of the clergy and its scholars at the expense of service, careerism over calling, conventional morality over radical discipleship, technical means that eclipse moral ends, and triumphalism rather than repentance. In his view, "the Christian life is truly scandalous to the world." Believers, by definition, must be counter-cultural pilgrims, strangers, and exiles who are nevertheless confident and joyful. We must rediscover a genuinely Christian identity in a pseudo-Christian church and culture. In the words of GK Chesterton, "our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again."

I especially enjoyed Houston's story-telling--about his own life, the people he's known (CS Lewis, Nicholas Zernov, Polanyi, etc.), the poetry he loves (George Herbert and Dante), and the author-mentors to whom he returns again and again (Dostoyevsky and Kierkegaard). He also does a fine job of walking the thin line between bold affirmation and critical caution. The Christian life, for example, is hidden but not privatistic, visionary but wary of self-delusion, transformative but patient because change comes ever so slowly, joyful but fully engaged with the woes of the world, and so on. Near the end of his earthly pilgrimage, and after a lifetime of rigorous study among some of our best Christian scholars, Houston affirms that people are more important than ideas, and that Christian faith belongs to the "amateurs" and the "dilettantes" who "take delight in God" rather than to the so-called experts. That's a cause for joy.
3 stars  Nov 3, 2006
*** Six essays are collected inside this slim tome in an effort to present the author's Christian journey. His main focus is what he has discovered via the discipline of dialectics. Though interesting, the text is somewhat rambling and difficult to glean much in the way of coherent insight. ***

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