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What Do You Do With a Chocolate Jesus?: An Irreverent History of Christianity

“What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?” is the funny and skeptical, yet genuine exploration of the Christian history they don’t teach in Sunday school. It finds humor, irony, and occasional insight amid the inconsistencies, absurdities, hypocrisies, and flat out weirdness that too often passes for eternal truth. Like a history of religion as done by The Daily Show, it humorously explores the facts, the history, and the big ideas in an engaging and entertaining story. Pitting actual Scripture against pious propaganda, Thomas Quinn treks through chapter and verse of the New Testament, explores the sordid saga of medieval beliefs (including End-of-the-World panics and fights about what kind of stuff Jesus was made of), and reveals some of the shocking attitudes of America’s founders toward religion. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s usually good for a laugh. If war is too important to leave to the generals, religion is too important to leave to the preachers. Skeptics need evangelists, too.

The Invention of the Jewish People

A historical tour de force that demolishes the myths and taboos that have surrounded Jewish and Israeli history, *The Invention of the Jewish People* offers a new account of both that demands to be read and reckoned with. Was there really a forced exile in the first century, at the hands of the Romans? Should we regard the Jewish people, throughout two millennia, as both a distinct ethnic group and a putative nation—returned at last to its Biblical homeland?
Shlomo Sand argues that most Jews actually descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered far across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The formation of a Jewish people and then a Jewish nation out of these disparate groups could only take place under the sway of a new historiography, developing in response to the rise of nationalism throughout Europe. Beneath the biblical back fill of the nineteenth-century historians, and the twentieth-century intellectuals who replaced rabbis as the architects of Jewish identity, *The Invention of the Jewish People* uncovers a new narrative of Israel’s formation, and proposes a bold analysis of nationalism that accounts for the old myths.
After a long stay on Israel’s bestseller list, and winning the coveted Aujourd’hui Award in France, *The Invention of the Jewish People* is finally available in English. The central importance of the conflict in the Middle East ensures that Sand’s arguments will reverberate well beyond the historians and politicians that he takes to task. Without an adequate understanding of Israel’s past, capable of superseding today’s opposing views, diplomatic solutions are likely to remain elusive. In this iconoclastic work of history, Shlomo Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision of Israel’s future.

Sense and Goodness Without God

If God does not exist, then what does? Is there good and evil, and should we care? How do we know what’s true anyway? And can we make any sense of this universe, or our own lives? *Sense and Goodness* answers all these questions in lavish detail, without complex jargon. A complete worldview is presented and defended, covering every subject from knowledge to art, from metaphysics to morality, from theology to politics. Topics include free will, the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, and much more, arguing from scientific evidence that there is only a physical, natural world without gods or spirits, but that we can still live a life of love, meaning, and joy.

Pulling Back the Shades

**Christian women don’t have to choose between being sexual and spiritual.** They have legitimate longings that the church has been afraid to talk about, and books like  *Fifty Shades of Grey*  exploit and distort them. We need the truth on the matter. Whether you are single or married, sexually dead or just looking to revive your sex life,  *Pulling Back the Shades*  will address your desire to be both sexual *and* spiritual. With solid biblical teaching and transparent stories, trusted authors Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery offer an unflinching look at the most personal questions women ask. The book offers practical advice for women to address five core longings: * to be cherished by a man * to be protected by a strong man * to rescue a man * to be sexually alive * to escape reality
God designed women with these longings and has a plan to satisfy them. It’s time for women to identify their intimate longings and God-honoring ways to fulfill them.

How to Practice Shamatha Meditation

In 1988, Gen Lamrimpa, a Tibetan monk, led a one-year retreat in the Pacific Northwest, during which a group of Western meditators devoted themselves to the practice of meditative quiescence ( *shamatha* ). This book is a record of the oral teachings he gave to this group at the outset of the retreat. The teachings are brought to life by Gen Lamrimpa’s warmth, humor, and extensive personal experience as a contemplative recluse. An invaluable practical guide for those seeking to develop greater attentional stability and clarity, this work will be of considerable interest to meditators, psychologists, and all others who are concerned with the potentials of the human mind.

Where Heaven Begins

SUMMARY: With rough miners for shipmates, Elizabeth Breckenridge sets sail to search for her brother in Alaska, wild with the 1890s gold rush. When she falls overboard midjourney, she is rescued by a man very unlike her minister brother— Clint Brady, a cynical bounty hunter who shoots to kill. Together, this unlikely couple struggles to survive the rugged dangers of the beautiful Alaskan frontier. Unexpectedly, Clint comes to love her, and proposes. Elizabeth returns his love, but unless she can help Clint see that heaven is no abstraction in the sky, the grip of the past could cost them a future together—.

Vrin: Ten Mortal Gods

SUMMARY: Jason Tardin is trapped within a virtual world. He is sure of this- because he has seen the program. But if this is a computer generated world, how can he reconcile the complexity of its strange inhabitants, people capable of frustration, joy, and pain? Are they computer simulations- or more? And what about the power which allows him to create or control whatever he wishes? Is he a god, as the people of Vrin believe? Caught up in the politics of this mysterious world, haunted by a conversation with scientists on the outside, and stalked by a mad god, Jason Tardin must unravel the mystery to save a world- that is not his own. Woven with rich characters, and inextricably filled with secrets about dreams and the afterlife, ten mortal gods is a glimpse into the complex nature of human suffering, and the inescapable reality of eternal truth.

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership by Nancy Ortberg
*Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands* is an engaging and insightful look into the qualities, attributes, and practices that turn ordinary leaders into extraordinary ones. Nancy Ortberg’s unique twist on vision casting; managing tensions; nurturing healthy conflict; motivating those around you; fostering creativity, passion, and trust is unlike anything you’ve ever read before! At times challenging, at times candid, but always inspiring, *Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands* will bring out the best in even the most seasoned leaders.

Three Philosophies of Life

“I’ve been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs.” These are the opening lines of Kreeft’s Three Philosophies of Life. He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosophies of life and each one is represented by one of these books of the Bible-life is vanity; life is suffering; life is love.
In these three books Kreeft shows how we have Dante’s great epic The Divine Comedy played out, from Hell to Purgatory to Heaven. But it is an epic played out in our hearts and lives, here and now. Just as there is movement in Dante’s epic, so there is movement in these books, from Ecclesiates to Job, from Job to Song of Songs. Love is the final answer to Ecclesiastes’ quest, the alternative to vanity, and the true meaning of life. Finally, Kreeft sees in these books the epitome of theological virtues of faith, hope and love and “an essential summary of the spiritual history of the world”.
**
### Sinossi
“I’ve been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs.” These are the opening lines of Kreeft’s Three Philosophies of Life. He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosophies of life and each one is represented by one of these books of the Bible-life is vanity; life is suffering; life is love.
In these three books Kreeft shows how we have Dante’s great epic The Divine Comedy played out, from Hell to Purgatory to Heaven. But it is an epic played out in our hearts and lives, here and now. Just as there is movement in Dante’s epic, so there is movement in these books, from Ecclesiates to Job, from Job to Song of Songs. Love is the final answer to Ecclesiastes’ quest, the alternative to vanity, and the true meaning of life. Finally, Kreeft sees in these books the epitome of theological virtues of faith, hope and love and “an essential summary of the spiritual history of the world”.

The Myth of a Christian Religion: Losing Your Religion for the Beauty of a Revolution

SUMMARY: The kingdom of God is a beautiful revolution. Marked by the radical life, love, servanthood, and humility of Jesus, it stands in stark contrast to the values and ways of the world. Regrettably, many who profess to follow Christ have bought into the world’s methods, seeking to impose a sort of Christianized ethical kingdom through politics and control. In this illuminating sequel to his bestselling book The Myth of a Christian Nation, Dr. Gregory Boyd points us to a better way-a way of seeing and living that is consistent with the gospel of Jesus and his kingdom. Between the extremes of passivity on the one hand and political holy war on the other lies the radical, revolutionary path of imitating Jesus. In twelve areas ranging from racial and social issues to stewardship of the planet, this book will convince and inspire you to live a Christlike life of revolt and beauty-and it will help you attain a practical lifestyle of kingdom impact.

The Homeplace

SUMMARY: As the year 1928 begins, fourteen-year-old Lanie Belle Freeman of Fairhope, Arkansas, has bright hopes for the future. Her father has launched a new business, and her mother is expecting her fifth baby. Lanie has dreams of going to college and being a writer. Then tragedy strikes. Book One in the Singing River Series.

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper: Woman of the West

SUMMARY: This Wild West adventure just might be the life she was meant to live.The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man. As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her. “The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper is a fast-paced story full of fun, action, drama, and love.”–Mary Connealy, author of Calico Canyon, Petticoat Ranch, and Gingham Mountain            “If you loved Cathy Marie Hake, give yourself a treat with The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.”–Lauraine Snelling, author of the Red River Series and One Perfect Day

The Assassin’s Song

From Publishers Weekly

The tension between India’s centuries-old spiritual traditions and contemporary religious militancy drives this memorable, melancholy family saga by two-time Canadian Giller Prize–winner Vassanji (who won for The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall). Karsan Dargawalla is destined from boyhood to succeed his father and his father’s father as avatar of Pirbaag, a 13th-century Sufi shrine. As the novel unfolds in fits and starts, Karsan rejects his spiritual inheritance and decamps for Harvard in 1970, against his chagrined father’s wishes. The three decades of stubborn self-exile that follow represent a sorrowful generational rift between father and son that ends when Karsan returns home after his ascetic father’s death, announced at the book’s opening. Though Sufism is a Muslim tradition, Karsan’s father considered himself neither and both Muslim and Hindu, and we, says Karsan at one point, are respected for that. Yet Karsan finds the shrine destroyed by a mob of Hindu hard-liners, while his younger brother, Mansoor, militantly calls himself a Muslim and may be involved in Islamist terrorist activities. Frequent shifts in time and perspective (including flashes of the shrine’s early history) heighten Vassanji’s evocative depiction of India’s ongoing postcolonial tumult, mournfully personalized by the fate of the fractured family at the novel’s heart. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From

This resplendent novel traces the path of Karsan Dargawalla, who is brought up, as generations of his forefathers have been, to be the “gaadi-varas, the successor and avatar” of a seven-hundred-year-old Sufi shrine in Gujarat, a mausoleum of Muslim origin but for centuries open to all religions. Karsan, rebelling against “the iron bonds of history,” leaves for Boston and Canada, though he ultimately returns to India to “research, recall, and write about” his abandoned heritage. Vassanji eloquently details the sufferings of Karsan’s family as the price of his individual freedom, but suggests that this abandonment was necessary, and that tradition, in the face of India’s “ancient animosities,” must be engaged with critically and in the context of the wider world.
Copyright © 2007

Sushi For One?

‘Sushi for One? is an entertaining romp into the world of multi-culturalism. I loved learning the idiosyncrasies of Lex’s crazy family—which were completely universal. Enjoy!’ —Kristen Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants ‘In Lex Sakai, Camy Tang gives us a funny, plucky, volleyball-playing heroine with way too many balls in the air. I defy anyone to start reading and not root for Lex all the way to the story’s romantic, super-satisfying end.’ —Trish Perry, author of The Guy I’m Not Dating Lex Sakai’s family is big, nosy, and marriage-minded. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the oldest single cousin in the clan. Lex has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the perfect man. But the one man she keeps running into doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex starts to let God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.
(source: Bol.com)

Sophie’s World

Sophie’s World (Faithgirlz!: The Sophie Series #1) by Nancy Rue, Kristi D. Holl, Melody Carlson
When future film director Sophie LaCroix visits Williamsburg, Virginia, her imagination sends her straight into the eighteenth century. An unlikely heroine, Sophie’s forced to use her new-found war tactics to foil a heinous plot and save a friend from impending humiliation by the popular girls.