the good and beautiful life putting on the character of christ apprentice ivp books

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The Good And Beautiful Life

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 9780830878765
Genre : Religion
File Size : 69. 71 MB
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"I have never met a person whose goal was to ruin his or her life. We all want to be happy, and we want it all of the time." So begins James Bryan Smith in The Good and Beautiful Life. The problem is, he tells us, we have bought into false notions of happiness and success. These self-centered decisions lead us further into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, worry and judging. Eventually we find ourselves living a beautifully packaged life of self-destruction. Following the Sermon on the Mount, this follow-up to The Good and Beautiful God guides us to look behind these character flaws and to replace our false beliefs with Jesus' narratives about life in the kingdom of God.

The Good And Beautiful God

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 0830878343
Genre : Religion
File Size : 44. 60 MB
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"God wants me to try harder." "God blesses me when I'm good and punishes me when I'm bad." "God is angry with me." We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true—but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind. At the end of each chapter you'll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Because the best way to make a complete and lasting change is to go through the material in community, small group discussion questions also accompany each chapter. Those who are leading apprentice groups will also find additional help and opportunities to interact with other leaders at the Apprentice website, www.apprenticeofjesus.com. This deep, loving and transformative book will help you discover the narratives that Jesus lived by—to know the Lord he knew and the kingdom he proclaimed—and to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.

The Good And Beautiful Community

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 9780830861255
Genre : Religion
File Size : 28. 89 MB
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In this third book in the Apprentice Series, James Bryan Smith helps us know how to live in relationship with others as apprentices of Jesus. "Apprentices of Jesus are not part-time do-gooders," he writes. "They live in continuous contact with the kingdom of God, and are constantly men and women in whom Christ dwells. They do not sometimes tell the truth, sometimes live sacrificially or sometimes forgive. There are myriad opportunities for us to impact the world in which we live." Yet many times we've gotten it wrong, tending to emphasize personal faith over social justice or vice versa. In these pages Jim Smith shows us how to bring spiritual formation and community engagement together, and then once again offers spiritual practices that root new, true narratives about God and the world in our souls. His insight and humility as a fellow learner with us will lead us to live in authentic ways as a good and beautiful community of Christ-followers, shining the light of the Spirit into every relationship.

The Kingdom And The Cross

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 9780830868339
Genre : Religion
File Size : 77. 68 MB
Format : PDF
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We believe a lot of false narratives about the nature of God, things like "God helps those who help themselves"; "God blesses the righteous"; "God might not be out for your good, and you might be missing something." But pastor and professor James Bryan Smith, author of the Apprentice Series, points us to the truth of who God is, revealed by Jesus: A God who loves to help the helpless. A God who doesn't play favorites, whether righteous or unrighteous. A God who is, in his essence, self-sacrificing—even to death—to save a people he loves. In six short chapters, The Kingdom and the Cross zooms in on Christ's work on the cross and what it all means about who God is and how we're to live as his people. A soul training exercise is included for each chapter to help the new true narrative take root in our hearts. And a discussion guide at the end makes this complement to The Apprentice Series perfect for groups to work through together, especially during the season of Lent. Understanding Christ's work on the cross is crucial for any apprentice of Jesus. Here is a resource to help you see—and believe—more fully, that you might live more faithfully in his kingdom.

Hidden In Christ

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 9780830895458
Genre : Religion
File Size : 85. 58 MB
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A Deeper Sort of Devotional Words are powerful. They contain ideas and shape the way we see God, ourselves and all of reality. We're transformed, in particular, by God's Word, and by "the Word," the Logos—Jesus himself—as described by John in the first chapter of his Gospel. Memorizing and studying a passage in depth can offer a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. In this unique introduction to the hidden life in Christ, James Bryan Smith walks readers through a thirty-day immersion in Colossians 3:1-17. Each of the thirty short chapters of this book bring out the main truth of just one word or phrase of this rich passage. You'll also find a very simple daily practice to take up, reflection questions and a guide for five weeks of group discussion. The chapters are short in length, making this book an ideal daily devotional. Since there are thirty chapters, it could be used for a one-month introduction to the hidden life in Christ. Though brief in terms of length, each chapter tries to unearth some very deep truths. For those who have read and practiced the exercises in the Apprentice series, this book will be a helpful refresher as you continue your sacred journey. Each chapter also contains an exercise or practice ("Living into the Truth"), as well as an affirmation that summarizes the main point of the chapter and a written prayer designed to move you deeper into the truths of the Word. In addition, each chapter concludes with a few reflection questions that can be used either by individuals or in a group discussion. The only way to tell a story is to use words. May the words of Colossians 3 become a companion to you as God continues to write your story.

Renovation Of The Church

Author : Kent Carlson
ISBN : 9780830868582
Genre : Religion
File Size : 69. 55 MB
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Copastors Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken tell the story of how God took their thriving, consumer-oriented church and transformed it into a modest congregation of unformed believers committed to the growth of the spirit--even when it meant a decline in numbers. As Kent and Mike found out, a decade of major change is not easy on a church. Oak Hills Church, from the pastoral staff to the congregation, had to confront addiction to personal ambition, resist consumerism and reorient their lives around the teachings of Jesus. Their renewed focus on spiritual formation over numerical growth triggered major changes in the content of their sermons, the tenor of their worship services, and the reason for their outreach. They lost members. But the health and spiritual depth of their church today is a testimony of God's transforming work and enduring faithfulness to the people he loves. Honest and humble, this is Kent and Mike's story of a church they love, written to inspire and challenge other churches to let God rewrite their stories as well. Read it for the church you love.

God And Evil

Author : Chad Meister
ISBN : 0830866469
Genre : Religion
File Size : 88. 67 MB
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The question of evil--its origins, its justification, its solution--has plagued humankind from the beginning. Every generation raises the question and struggles with the responses it is given. Questions about the nature of evil and how it is reconciled with the truth claims of Christianity are unavoidable; we need to be prepared to respond to such questions with great clarity and good faith. God and Evil compiles the best thinking on all angles on the question of evil, from some of the finest scholars in religion, philosophy and apologetics, including Gregory E. Ganssle and Yena Lee Bruce Little Garry DeWeese R. Douglas Geivett James Spiegel Jill Graper Hernandez Win Corduan David Beck With additional chapters addressing "issues in dialogue" such as hell and human origins, and a now-famous debate between evangelical philosopher William Lane Craig and atheist philosopher Michael Tooley, God and Evil provides critical engagement with recent arguments against faith and offers grounds for renewed confidence in the God who is "acquainted with grief."

The Good And Beautiful Series

Author : James Bryan Smith
ISBN : 0830835407
Genre : Religion
File Size : 83. 63 MB
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James Bryan Smith believes the gospel is about change in our lives today, not just our eternal destiny. In The Good and Beautiful Series he aims to help Christians develop a robust discipleship by helping them understand who God is, what it means to be a Christian and what it means to live in community as a part of God's kingdom. Throughout the series, which includes The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautful Life and The Good and Beautiful Community, Smith encourages you to read, journal, pray, discuss and participate in weekly spiritual exercises to help you engage with the text. As you work through the books individually (or more ideally in a group setting) you'll discover your heart being shaped by the truth of Christ—and your life being changed. Get to know the God Jesus knew and the Kingdom he proclaimed. The transformation you seek will come as a direct result of spending focused time with him and his people. A Renovaré Resource.

Slow Church

Author : C. Christopher Smith
ISBN : 9780830841141
Genre : Religion
File Size : 22. 42 MB
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Suggests that modern religion is too fast paced and that a slower approach should be used so that parishioners get a more fulfilling experience.

The Relational Soul

Author : Richard Plass
ISBN : 9780830896516
Genre : Religion
File Size : 20. 81 MB
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What does loneliness tell us? "Be it chronic or acute, slight or significant, loneliness is proof of our relational design. At the core of our being is this truth—we are designed for and defined by our relationships," former pastors Plass and Cofield write. "We were born with a relentless longing to participate in the lives of others. Fundamentally, we are relational souls." Our ability to make deep and emotionally satisfying connections rests on the capacity to trust, and we all know trust can be difficult. Early-life relational "programming" and patterns of attachment can serve as blueprints for relationships later in life, whether good or bad. But no matter our conditioning, God is out to reclaim and restructure the deepest terrain of the human soul by helping us shed our reactive "False Self" and put on our receptive "True Self." Through spiritual disciplines and a conscious participation in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, we transform our self-awareness and our connection with other people. Authored by counselor Dr. Richard Plass and spiritual director James Cofield, The Relational Soul brings together concepts from psychology and spiritual formation. Each chapter includes introductory stories and practical "If this is true, what about you?" questions to help readers engage in relationships in more life-giving ways. When the presence of Christ and community connects with a soul that is open, we witness the miracle of transformation.

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