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    $10.36 $8.50 list($12.95)
    1. God Is Near Us: The Eucharist,
    $12.57 $11.85 list($17.95)
    2. The Spirit of the Liturgy
    $24.95 $16.37
    3. Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets
    $11.53 $10.00 list($16.95)
    4. The Secret History of Freemasonry
    $17.79 $17.77 list($26.95)
    5. Turning The Hiram Key: Rituals
    $8.09 $5.00 list($8.99)
    6. Catechism of the Catholic Church
    $13.57 $11.97 list($19.95)
    7. The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as
    $10.88 $10.25 list($16.00)
    8. The Seven Storey Mountain
    $13.59 $13.12 list($19.99)
    9. Book of Common Prayer (1979, Personal
    $57.00 $39.00
    10. Anthology of Living Religions,
    $9.74 $8.10 list($12.99)
    11. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship:
    $22.00 $17.88 list($27.50)
    12. Crowns : Portraits of Black Women
    $10.20 $8.68 list($15.00)
    13. Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History
    $8.96 $5.97 list($9.95)
    14. The Cloud of Unknowing : and The
    $6.99 $1.95
    15. Dianetics: The Modern Science
    $9.74 $6.50 list($12.99)
    16. A Divine Revelation of Hell
    $9.99 $6.41
    17. Praise Habit: Finding God In Sunsets
    $12.89 $12.42 list($18.95)
    18. Hiram Key: Pharoahs, Freemasons
    $13.57 $12.39 list($19.95)
    19. Swear to God : The Promise and
    $10.19 $9.79 list($14.99)
    20. Emerging Worship: Creating Worship

    1. God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life
    by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Stephan Otto Horn, Vinzenz Pfnur, Henry Taylor
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0898709628
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
    Publisher: Ignatius Press
    Sales Rank: 47608
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Second Vatican Council says, "We ought to try to discover a new reverence for the Eucharistic mystery. Something is happening that is greater than anything we can do. The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is the font from which all her power flows."

    This profound statement about the Eucharist stands at the center of this book by Cardinal Ratzinger. He compellingly shows us the biblical, historical, and theological dimensions of the Eucharist. The Cardinal draws far-reaching conclusions, focusing on the importance of one's personal devotion to and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for the personal reception of Communion by the individual Christian, as well as for the life of the Church. For Ratzinger, any transformation of the world on the social plane grows out of the celebration of the Eucharist. He beautifully illustrates how the omnipotent God comes intimately close to us in the Holy Eucharist, the Heart of Life. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sparkling and Moving
    Cardinal Ratzinger never fails to satisfy the reader hungry for insight and depth. In this small book, which is a collection of past homilies and addresses on the Eucharist, Ratzinger discusses the Eucharist from many perspectives. For Catholics, the Eucharist is the "heart of life," as the book's subtitle states. So to deepen knowledge of the Eucharist is life-changing. For Protestants, there is no better way to see the Catholic difference, a Catholic difference shared with the Eastern Orthodox.

    You can see the Catholic difference in this excerpt: "The church is not just a space in which something sometimes happens early in the morning, while for the rest of the day it stands empty, 'unused'. There is always the 'Church' in the church building, because the Lord is always giving himself, because the eucharistic mystery remains present . . . ." (p. 89). This excerpt is from the address entitled "The Presence of the Lord in the Sacrament," which, in my view, is the most compelling of all the addresses in the book. ... Read more

    2. The Spirit of the Liturgy
    by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, John Saward
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0898707846
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
    Publisher: Ignatius Press
    Sales Rank: 125273
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Let's Get Ready to Worship!
    This book is simply a must-have for educated Catholics, and even for non-Catholics who want to find a rational (and Scriptural) basis worship, especially the sacramental.

    Cardinal Ratzinger shows that worship is not merely something we do to show gratitude to God or to appease his wrath. Rather, worship is where we find the meaning of our existence, and live it to the fullest. Perhaps this book would be best read in conjunction with Josef Pieper's "Lesisure: The Basis of Culture."

    The book is pretty deep, and sometimes hard to follow (this is to be expected from any work that is a translation from another language). Still, even those less intellectually inclined can get something out of it.

    If you want to see where Modernist liturgical experimentation has gone awry, and what needs to be done, and what principles need to be rediscovered, to get back the magnificent worship most of us have been deprived of, then read this book. And give it to others who need it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Key To Understanding
    In this book, Cardinal Ratzinger has raised and answered some of the most essential issues any Catholic, or for that matter any Christian, can face. He treads where only a deep faith founded in clear understanding can lead him, and through him, us. The essential nature of this book is seen right from the beginning. On page 17 he introduces the critial necessity of worshiping God as God desires, not as man desires. It is why God led Israel through the desert, why He prescribed precisely how He was to be worshiped, and why this is true for us today. God has an absolute right to be worshiped as He chooses. Our response is to obey. This creates the relationship between man and God. When we decide to worship God as we want, when we make worship, we clutch empty space and create a self-affirmation, a form of entertainment instead of a faithful worship of God. How God demands we worship Him, and why, is the central thread of this book, and is a critical point for every Christian to understand. If we do otherwise, we unbalance our relationship with God by injecting too much self, putting entertainment and "feeling good" ahead of the will of God, and in doing so we create disorder in all else we do. Every Christian needs this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Spirit of the Liturgy: A Big Dose of Sanity
    I am old enough to have witnessed what was called "Liturgical Renewal" post Vat II style as a non-liturgist amongst the many others in the pews. We scratched our heads and wondered at the nonchalance with which changes were instituted: "That's old hat and it has to go." Since that time, I was ordained a Deacon(1975), and somewhat to my own surprise, I was forced to truly become a student of Vat II because of the challenges with which I was continually being confronted.

    What as an amateur I had always suspected, Cardinal Ratzinger in THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY has, as a professional, proven to me to be true. Full Liturgical renewal has yet to happen. And it cannot be so until all are aware of what it is that we are about when we celebrate the Liturgy.

    THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY gives us(clergy and laity alike) the foundation and raison d'etre for our most solemn moment of prayer, the Eucharistic Sacrifice. He solidly and with obvious expertise grounds our appreciation for the Mass in Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Fathers of the Church. One example: The Eucharistic Celebration's close ties to the Jewish Synagogue Service helps tremendously to understand its division into Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist and at the same time explains the age old practice of priest and people facing in the same direction(ad orientem). One could walk through this little book citing example after example, page after page, of how ones appreciation of the Mass could not fail to be deepen with the turning of yet another page. It has hugely enhanced my own appreciation for the richness of the Liturgy.

    It is a must read for all clergy; a sine qua non for Liturgists especially. At the same time, I cannot too highly recommend it to the Laity to help them understand that some of the silliness they see in the Liturgy is just that, silliness, and in some cases much worse. This book comes as a big dose of sanity and reasonableness.

    The Spirit of the Liturgy is interestingly presented in a quite readable format. It is not a "Sunday afternoon" novel but for anyone with a modicum of ability and tenacity, it is very manageable.

    Most of all, it is obviously written by a man of deep faith and a sense of piety; one for whom worshipping in spirit and truth is a reality. May it be so for me(and you) as well!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Important step towards the restoration of reverence
    Inspired by Romano Guardini's classic of the same name, the importance of this book cannot be overstated -- not just because the author is one of the church's foremost theologians and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but mainly because its rich content provides profound insight into the interplay between the transcendant and the immanent in the liturgy. This man's brilliant mind, his deep grasp of humanity, history and scripture, and his humility and respect for all sides in the liturgical reform movement shine through in John Saward's crisp translation from the German original. Divided into four parts (The Essence of the Liturgy, Time and Space in the Liturgy, Art and Liturgy, Liturgical Form), the cardinal's reflections will benefit liturgists and worshippers alike. This book should be read by every catholic adult, but especially by bishops, priests, and deacons (and those in formation). After 30 years of drift into banality, the church still awaits the implementation of Vatican II's vision of the liturgy. This book provides impetus in that direction. ... Read more

    3. Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
    by John J. Robinson
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $24.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0871316021
    Catlog: Book (1989-12-01)
    Publisher: M. Evans and Company
    Sales Rank: 25056
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Lively...illuminating. A refreshing example of scholarly detective work." DSKirkus Reviews ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating historical speculation. But there's more.
    Robinson does his homework and writes well. I read this book several years ago, and it sparked my long-term interest in reading about Freemasonry's verifiable origins. Recently, this led me to read 'The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590-1710', by David Stevenson, which I now recommend more highly than 'Born in Blood'.

    'Scotland's Century' is the only work on the origins of Freemasonry I have ever seen that ignores the movement's vast myth-making literature and focuses instead on the surviving records of the earliest known Masonic lodges. Stevenson--who teaches history at the University of St. Andrews--paints a solid, sober, believable portrait of Freemasonry's rather prosaic origins in the operative masonic lodges of early 17th-century Scotland.

    Stevenson's book is a welcome and refreshing antidote to all the junk that has been written about Freemasonry in the past three centuries. It explodes Masonic authors' extravagant claims for an origin in ancient civilizations and possession of powerful supernatural secrets. It also undermines anti-Masonic authors' equally bizarre accusations of pacts with supernatural forces of evil. It replaces these fanciful images with the story of a remarkable human institution whose recent, humble, workaday origins are far more interesting than its myths.

    'Born in Blood' is lots of fun to read, and I still recommend it highly. But the tale told in 'Scotland's Century' is probably a lot closer to what really happened.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating historical speculation. But there's more.
    Robinson does his homework and writes well. I read this book several years ago, and it sparked my long-term interest in reading about Freemasonry's verifiable origins. Recently, this led me to read 'The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590-1710', by David Stevenson, which I now recommend more highly than 'Born in Blood'.

    'Scotland's Century' is the only work on the origins of Freemasonry I have ever seen that ignores the movement's vast myth-making literature and focuses instead on the surviving records of the earliest known Masonic lodges. Stevenson--who teaches history at the University of St. Andrews--paints a solid, sober, believable portrait of Freemasonry's rather prosaic origins in the operative masonic lodges of early 17th-century Scotland.

    Stevenson's book is a welcome and refreshing antidote to all the junk that has been written about Freemasonry in the past three centuries. It explodes Masonic authors' extravagant claims for an origin in ancient civilizations and possession of power supernatural secrets. It also undermines anti-Masonic authors' equally bizarre accusations of pacts with supernatural forces of evil. It replaces these fanciful images with the story of a remarkable human institution whose recent, humble, workaday origins are far more interesting than its myths.

    'Born in Blood' is lots of fun to read, and I still recommend it highly. But the tale told in 'Scotland's Century' is probably a lot closer to what really happened.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Look at the evidence
    Folks, the evidence that the Templars are the forerunners of the Masons is enormous. Lynn Picknett's book The Templar Revelation, the works of Baigent and Lincoln, and more just can't be ignored. Those who say that Freemasonry was founded by workingmen in Great Britain are people who are more emotionally comfortable with simple explanations.
    One of the most interesting aspects of this whole Templar-Magdalene-alternate to standard Christian worldview genre is this: the importance of Egypt in the development of Western culture. We were taught as children to think of ancient Egypt as a bizarre hotbed of mummies and Sphinxes, with sideways drawings of cool people and animals, as having captured our spiritual forefathers (the Hebrews) but as hopelessly benighted pagan ignorami. This just won't cut it any more!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Excellence!
    This is a compelling example of how one man's passion and dedication to history can result in a masterful piece of work.

    The author does a fantastic job of composing a well researched historical peice along with his deductions and speculations on the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. This proves to be especially difficult due to both the limited ammount, and antiquity of written source material on these subjects.

    This book is a must for the library of both a dedicated mason, or anti-mason seeking enlightenment on the Knights Templar or Freemasonry.

    Read this work with an open mind and draw your own conclusions.

    5-0 out of 5 stars - A Journey with a Surprising Ending ! -
    In Masonic circles, legend and myth often overshadow actual, verifiable truth. As a published Masonic researcher, I find few books which rate this highly in scholarship value. Robinson began this project as a non-Mason, and died as one of its prime apologists and as a brother Mason. There's nothing more wondrous than to embark on a fairly predictable journey and end up at a totally different destination! Unlike the Hiram Key (sensational, yet questionable in basis of fact ), Robinson provides excitement without actually trying to do so. If you like this book, please read Robinson's " A Pilgrim's Path " - it's an answer to the religious right- who try to scare people with anything they consider to be "non-Christian" ( or competing for their donation dollars!) Solid stuff for inquiring minds... ... Read more

    4. The Secret History of Freemasonry : Its Origins and Connection to the Knights Templar
    by Paul Naudon
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 159477028X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
    Publisher: Inner Traditions
    Sales Rank: 6097
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    Book Description

    Historian Paul Naudon reveals the intimate connection between the Masons and the Knights Templar, origins of Freemasonry in ancient Rome, and the traditions of the brotherhoods of builders. These traditions are the source of Masonic symbolism, providing the missing link between the Masonry of the medieval cathedral builders to the spiritual principles of modern speculative Masonry. ... Read more

    5. Turning The Hiram Key: Rituals Of Freemasonry Revealed
    by Robert Lomas
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1592331343
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
    Publisher: Fair Winds Press (MA)
    Sales Rank: 7844
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The latest book from Robert Lomas takes readers beyond The Hiram Key to reveal the secrets of the actual Masonic rituals. By deconstructing these rituals, Lomas discovers the true message behind them, a message that is as valid today as it was when the rituals were created. Not only will readers get a step-by-step, insider's look at each of these timeless rituals, they'll learn how they can benefit from them in today's world.

    With Lomas as their guide, readers will learn:

    • the hidden meanings behind the rituals
    • the true purpose of the spiritual journey that is freemasonry.
    • the truth behind the postures, symbols, and tools of this fascinating craft
    • how to incorporate the inner mysteries of freemasonry into their daily lives
    Turning the Hiram Key also explores how these rituals have helped history's most accomplished men to reach their goals, from Louis Armstrong and Charles Lindbergh to George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt to John Wayne and Buzz Aldrin. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not uncovering secrets, but explaining the meaning behind...
    Robert Lomas brings us yet more masonic information that get's mixed reviews from Masons.As a Freemason myself (32 degree Scottish Rite, Master Mason belonging to two blue Lodges) I don't feel he gives away any secrets persay.I know you will get much more out of this book if you are a mason because...

    ...What Robert's goals was is to bring out the definition and meaning behind the allegory and esoteric work that Freemasonry is based on.Many who are not Masons would look into this and say "this makes no sense" or "I don't understand the relation.."Freemasonry teaches good will towards man, Charity, Hope, Faith, and Brotherhood through a storyline and context of examples and symbols.This tradition is what has been kept alive by Freemasons for thousands of years.All He did was bring out the meaning from it so you can better understand it.

    As I said before, perhaps it is better understood by masons than non-masons who are picking up this book to find out some James Bond type secrets they think are happening "Behind the door".That is not what this book is about, nor was it's intent.It is a fraternal organization that is non-profit and does not recruit, so those that join know it is what's for them.
    When you first join you are excited to learn and study, but many things seem over your head at first.It's simply because there is so much information to obsorb and it is the ulitmate "invisible college" because it really is a lifelong learning process, a craft and skill that you constantly hone and practice.This book would be perfect for the beginning mason, or say, someone who just completed the 3rd degree to be entered into a blue lodge as a "master mason".Below is a publisher's note/review of the book that may be of help to you.

    the hidden meanings behind the rituals the true purpose of the spiritual journey that is freemasonry.

    the truth behind the postures, symbols, and tools of this fascinating craft.

    How to incorporate the inner mysteries of freemasonry into their daily lives.

    Turning the Hiram Key also explores how these rituals have helped history's most accomplished men to reach their goals, from Louis Armstrong and Charles Lindbergh to George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt to John Wayne and Buzz Aldrin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stepping out from the shadows
    "Turning the Hiram Key" is yet another fine offering from Dr Robert Lomas continuing his quest to uncover the reasons behind the rituals employed in Freemasonry and to seek a deeper understanding of what the Brethren are or were supposed to be about. In this tome, the first of his works published by Lewis Masonic, he considers the purpose and practice of the ritual from practical, scientific and then spiritual angles giving the reader an insight into what it actualy feels like to be a Freemason.

    The publication itself is presented in such a way as to be easy on the eye, and lends a flow in print to the thoroughly well crafted narrative. From a historic and Scientific viewpoint, Dr Lomas backs supposition and theory with hard evidence, and avoids the classic text book drone by relating to events and experiences of his own.

    Personally, I was surprised to be able to learn so much from this work regarding Freemasonry and as a non-Mason with a view coloured perhaps by the typical prejudicial reportage that is normally associated with the secrecy and practice of Freemasonry, I find myself intrigued and wanting to learn more. Dr Lomas' book has opened my eyes to the other side of the argument and made Freemasonry far more accessible to the 'average joe'.

    I await Robert Lomas' next book with the anticipation of surprise, wonder and fascination.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Last a Sensible Challenge to a Culture of Mindless Secrecy
    Freemasonry is a personal thing, and Brother Lomas's personal testament is well worth reading as it deals with the emotional impact of being made a Mason and the value of that experience.

    The United Grand Lodge of England, where Dr Lomas swore his obligation, defines the 'secrets' as the passwords and grips of the various degrees and Lomas does not reveal those. The UGLE rules say that all the myths, rituals and symbols can be discussed, and Lomas does this in a thoughtful and sensitive manner. Not since W. L. Wilmshurst's books and lodge papers of the 1920s and 30s has there been such a positive and serious study of Freemasonry as a system of spiritual philosophy. Lomas is not only a follower of the teaching of W.L Wilmshurst, he also belongs to the Lodge which Wilmshurst founded and it shows in his careful explanation of Wilmshurst's teachings.

    The response of the previous reviewer does make me wonder what 'secret's' he thinks he is trying to hide or protect, by falsely accusing a Brother Mason of breaking his obligation? If that is how he practises the Freemasonry he claims to be part of then, small wonder he wants to keep it a secret. Is he ashamed of the Masonic rituals?

    Brother Lomas is obviously proud of them, and true Masons are proud of his attempt to understand, teach and explain them. Read and judge for yourself. He will inspire you, just as he has inspired me. And what better recommended could you have than the fact 99.9% of the 'it's a secret' fanatics, don't want you to read it. Don't be put off.

    This work extends well beyond the narrow confines of Masonic ceremony covering a wide-ranging, and timely, scientific account of what is known about the effects of spirituality and sexual arousal on the mind and body. In spite of the breadth of topic the subject matter is concise, surprisingly deep, and able to hold the interest of the non-scientist reader. It gives an extensive list of learned references for those wishing to pursue matters further. This book meets a great need to explain modern brain research and its implications for spirituality. Lomas is a scientist with the skill to communicate with the general public, rather than just with fellow scientists.

    2-0 out of 5 stars more Lomas claptrap

    Folks, don't spend too much time in fantasy land!While purporting to be an "insider", Robert Lomas has alienated himself from most of The Fraternity by breaking his obligation and detailing his experience of initiation.If he's willing to break an obligation like that, just think of the crap he's willing to publish.Fortunately, his is a gross mischaracterization of the experience and ritual varies widely in different regions.

    The experience of initiation is meant to be very personal and is different for each individual - so it's a disservice for Lomas to give his interpretations to the world in this way.One would walk away with Lomas' view of Freemasonry and not the view of 99.99% of Masons.

    Suffice it to say, if you're speaking with Masons I wouldn't mention Lomas' name - you might get a weary look and be quickly labelled as an oddball.There are plenty of other good books that are more factual and would be a better use of your time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best Masonic Book in Print
    I thought I understood Freemasonry. For me this book was a breath of fresh air. Suddenly everything clicked into place. It was so clear. I have learned much from this title. It is a must for any one interested in freemasonry. It is the first time I have ever read a convinced Mason explaining why he enjoys his Masonry and then explaining why Masonic ritual can make this happen
    If you liked the Hiram Key you really have to buy this book. It is so much better and more personal ... Read more

    6. Catechism of the Catholic Church
    by U.S. Catholic Church
    list price: $8.99
    our price: $8.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385479670
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
    Publisher: Image
    Sales Rank: 3532
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    Catechism of the Catholic Church is the first new edition of the catechism in 400 years. Catechism means "instruction," and this text will remain the standard reference for Catholics for many future generations. It is the authoritative summary of Catholic belief regarding the Church creeds, sacraments, commandments, and prayers. To get some idea of the level of detail with which the Catechism engages Catholic doctrine, consider that 17 pages of explanation accompany the opening words of the Apostle's Creed ("I Believe in God the Father"). The book is exceptionally well organized, with line-by-line explanations of every conceivable aspect of orthodox Catholic belief. Extensive cross-referencing, indexing, footnotes, and "In Brief" summaries of each section further ease the project of finding the precise answers to any questions a reader might have. Even the layout of information on the page is easy on the eyes, with wide margins for readers who wish to make notes. Furthermore, the back cover features a true rarity in the annals of world literature: a blurb by the Pope. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

    Reviews (98)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every Christian should own this book!
    Every Christian -- Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox -- should have a copy of this book.

    It is more than just an excellent reference book. It is a history of the Church, a prayer book and a book on spirituality. When reading about any of the hundreds of topics covered, one gets the impression that a synopsis of the Holy Spirit's workings throughout history is being conveyed to the reader. It is very easy, fun and informative reading. And it flows. Intertwined throughout the text are thousands of quotes and references to Scripture, Council documents and popes' encyclicals, letters and speeches. A topic is covered in totality and supported with a tremendous amount of easy-to-understand references. Each circumstance is very well evidenced and footnoted. (For this reason, I would also recommend the "Companion To The Catechism Of The Catholic Church" which has the complete text referenced in the Catechism.) The Index is exhaustive.

    A wonderful book for all followers of Jesus to read!

    Why not buy a bunch of these books and give them away to all your friends that question their faith or yours? I guarantee they will devour the book and come to see what it is we believe as Christians.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The church teaches....
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official summary of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet it is so much more than a summary. It explains the Church's teachings in a way that is both profound and accessible to readers with no formal training in theology.

    It contains four major parts. The first part explains what Catholics, as Christians, believe. It uses the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed as models. The second part explains how Catholics worship God, with special attention to the seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The third major part explains how Christians should live their lives, and the Catholic teachings about right and wrong, as well as grace and sin. It explains how the Catholic Church interprets the Ten Commandments. The fourth part teaches Christians how to pray.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church is written in a way that inspires true love towards God. The language is abstract, but does not always explain the reasons for the teachings either. If one wants to deepen one's spiritual life, the Catechism is a great place to start. If one wants to learn what the Catholic Church teaches in general, the Catechism is also excellent. However, one should not use the Catechism to look up answers to specific questions, nor should it be used to answer the question, "Why be Catholic?"

    The book reflects the official teachings of the Church. It was written by a group of bishops under close supervision of a Vatican committee, and was approved by Pope John Paul II.

    The Vatican has issued a revision of the Latin text of the Catechism. Future English-language editions will reflect these changes. However, the edition currently in print is the 1994 one. The new edition should be published in the spring of 2000.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Protestant's Point of View
    Being a Protestant, yet deeply respectful and, at the same time, curious about the Catholic Church, I was looking to learn more about Her. Regrettably, there are many misguided people out there who have very one-sided, skewed, and often just plain incorrect views of the Catholic Church. Sometimes, as a Protestant who just didn't know any better, it was difficult for me to seperate the fact from the fiction.

    That's where this book came in. I found that if you want answers on something, go to the source. And the Catechism of the Catholic Church is just the source I needed. I found this book extremely useful in learning exactly what the Catholic Church believed without all that outsider bias.

    For anyone outside the Catholic faith who really wants to know more true, bare facts about what it is to be Catholic and hold Catholic beliefs, this is book is a great start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding catechism, if used properly !
    Some reviewers have given one star to this book because they misused it. Obviously, this book contains the whole teaching of the Catholic Church, and is therefore a condensed book with lots of useful references. If one buys this book for a child or for an adult new to the Catholic Church, it would be like feeding a 2-month old child with solid food. There are different levels of books on the market to introduce the Catholic faith to newcomers.

    This book is a rich source of information for both Catholics and non-Catholics, who want to go deep in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mannys catholic experience
    The book Catechism of the Catholic Church is a real good informational book. You gain a lot by just reading this book. It answers some questions for example: Why prayer is so important in our lives or why some people critizise what we believe. By reading this book it can help you gain some knowledge that you havent inquired before. youl enjoy this book if your interested in learning about your catholic faith. ... Read more

    7. The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth
    by Scott Hahn
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385496591
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-09)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 2239
    Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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    The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth reawakens a surprising ancient view of the Eucharist, as the harbinger of the supernatural drama described by the New Testament book of Revelation. Catholic theologian Scott Hahn thinks that many worshippers receive the sacrament of communion without ever considering its links to the end of the world, the Apocalypse, and the Second Coming. Hahn wants to change our minds; he wants us to know that "The Mass--and I mean every single Mass--is heaven on earth." Literally. So, Hahn declares, "Now heaven has been unveiled for us with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ... Jesus Christ Himself says to you: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me' (Rv. 3:20)." Hahn's enthusiasm, as evident even from these short quotes, is considerable--and infectious. Furthermore, he delivers his arguments with great levity (demonstrated in chapter titles such as "Oath Meal"), which makes The Lamb's Supper quite a tasty read. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

    Reviews (92)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very refreshing scripture-based interpretation of the Mass
    Those who read Scott Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper" will enjoy a discourse/meditation on the importance of the Mass itself, and one that encourages Catholics to take interest in the most important actitivity of their lives. After giving an overview of the origins and history of the Eucharist, Hahn compares the Mass with the imagery in the Book of Revelation, which he discusses in great detail. Each Mass parallels the worship offered to God by the choirs of angels and saints, Hahn observes. At Mass, heaven and earth meet before the eyes of the faithful Catholics throughout the world. Hahn's Scripture-based interpretation of the Mass is refreshing, especially in our time, when the sacred character of the Mass is often neglected, if not ignored outright.

    Exploring the New Testament "eschaton" in order to explain the Eucharist not only reinstills in readers some knowledge of biblical imagery and symbolism, but also, more importantly, connects these images with the liturgy. An understanding of this relationship between the liturgy of the Eucharist and biblical motifs can develop one's awareness of the cosmic and eternal dimensions of Mass, since, as many Catholic liturgies emphasize today, the Scriptures reveal an eternal God working in and through time. As Hahn points out, the celebration of the Mass turns the images about which we read into the realities that we experience first hand. Hahn also establishes a connection between an authentic understanding of the liturgy and an authentic practice of the liturgy. Faithful Catholics need to hear that the Mass is "heaven on earth"; but they also need to see this in the manner and disposition of the priest, the music selected, and in all other elements in the celebration of the liturgy.

    Hahn's book, with its strong emphasis on the biblical symbolism as realized in the Mass, is highly recommended, particularly for prospective converts, and for Catholics re-learning their faith.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Calvinist who loved it!
    I just finished Hahn's new book 'The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth'. I thought I was in a special camp since I considered historic liturgy to be the key to understanding Revelation, but I was suprised to find that it is historic catholic teaching.

    Scott Hahn was a calvinistic presybterian who went to Gordon-Conwell TS but later converted to Rome. I read his first book (Rome Sweet Home) and thought it was stupid. But this one is really good. He gives the best explanation of Revelation I have yet to read.

    Revelation is a book containing presbyters in vestments, altars, incense, saints in heaven interceding for saints on earth, hidden manna, sacrifice, chalices, a wedding feast, food imagery, liturgical formulas, judgement, angels, martyrs, and all this in the context of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ and His parousia. Sounds a little 'Romish' doesn't it? I found it very illuminating and enjoyable.

    I was not convinced by Hahn's Catholicism by 'Rome Sweet Home', but this one is much more tempting. As a Protestant, this book scares me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A real eye-opener
    I remember several years ago, when I first became interested in my faith, that being the Catholic faith, and I decided that if I am to call myself Catholic, and if I am to practice my faith, and identify myself with the tag "Catholic", then I am to know what my Church teaches. I was also very clear with myself, in making sure that I didn't choose wishy-washy Catholic writers, such as Paul Wilkes (author of the horrible book "Seven Secrets of Successful Catholics") or the controversial Hans Kung, but with those who are dubbed, how shall I say this, orthodox in their presentation of that which we call Catholic. Scott Hahn definitely falls into that boat called "orthodox".
    I am what people would call a cradle Catholic, yet, somehow, this teaching of the Church seemed to slip by me over my years of catechism. With the state of the Church in America, that shouldn't strike one as too odd, though. I do seem to remember at one point in high school, though, hearing a friend of mine allude to the theology presented so eloquently by Mr. Hahn. Other than that tiny reference to it, for eighteen years of my life, I was all unawares about the Mass (or Divine Liturgy) being heaven on earth.
    So, initially, the book was over my head. I had no real holding place in my mind for what Hahn was presenting in his book. I was so used to hearing Protestant mumbo-jumbo about the book of Revelation in reference solely to that which is yet to happen; I was conditioned, as they say. So, I had to read it slowly. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. For me, though, it was definitely an odd thing, for I am definitely not a slow reader; but it was, alas, a good thing. I call it good, for I came away with a much keener appreciation for the Divine Liturgy.
    Not long after I read this splendid book, I paid a visit to a local Byzantine Catholic Church. In Eatern Churches (at least Byzantine Churches), Catholic or Orthodox, the marriage of Heaven and Earth is represented in a beautiful, symbolic way. The area where the congregation sits is referred to as Earth, and where the altar is is referred to as Heaven. Between the two is an icon screen, called an iconostasis. It is literally a wall covered with icons, separating Heaven from Earth. In the center are the Royal Doors, adorned with an icon of the Annunciation. On either side are the Deacons Doors, adorned with either icons of Deacons who are recognized as Saints or icons of angels. Some Byzantine Churches go so far as to have curtains also, to ensure that one can't see on the other side of the iconostasis. As soon as the Divine Liturgy (what Eastern Christians call the Mass) begins, with the Great Doxology, the Royal Doors open, symbolizing that Heaven and Earth are now one and the same, as Heaven has now touched down.
    Anyways, I apologize for my digression. In short, this book was wonderful. I have now read it four times, my most recent time being in one day. Some may view this book as one that shouldn't be recommended to anyone unless they're either Catholic or Orthodox, for it may come across as too strange for Protestant minds. I wholeheartedly disagree. This book contains splendid apologetics for the Eucharist, and also demonstrates quite beautifully that what Protestants call "New Testament worship" is anything but what is found in their Churches. Yet, Hahn demonstrates so with charity and, might I add, clarity. Read this book!

    Joe Muir

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
    Gentle and informative. It deepens and inspires your understanding of Mass.

    5-0 out of 5 stars God bless this author
    My husband (a Protestant) and I (a fairly recent convert to Catholicism) both read this book this spring. We could not put it down! The sometimes silly chapter headings notwithstanding, this book is an incredible interpretation of both the Mass and the book of Revelation. I was aware that the book of Revelation certainly could be interpreted on four levels (what it says about our personal religious journey, what it says about the world of the Christians living at the time it was written, what it says about the future of this world, and its symbolic interpretation of God and heaven itself), but I had never made a connection between it and what we do at Mass (both Catholic and Episcopal/Church of England) and what the ancient Hebrews did in the Temple. This book is a gift from God. I plan to read and reread it many times. ... Read more

    8. The Seven Storey Mountain
    by Thomas Merton
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0156010860
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 3668
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. This edition contains an introduction by Merton's editor, Robert Giroux, and a note to the reader by biographer William H. Shannon. It tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and faith leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders-the Trappist monks. At the Abbey of Gethsemani, "the four walls of my new freedom," Thomas Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has fully immersed himself in it.The Seven Storey Mountain has been a favorite of readers ranging from Graham Greene to Claire Booth Luce, Eldridge Cleaver, and Frank McCourt. And, in the half-century since its original publication, this timeless spiritual tome has been published in over twenty languages and has touched millions of lives. ... Read more

    Reviews (61)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Contemplative Speaks
    This mystic speaks with the sincerity of a saint and the pen of a poet. Every page - and there are many of them - is delight to read, and feels, somehow, like they are the memories of the reader, not just Merton's.

    It's important to remember, however, that Merton disowned this book later in his live. He said it was not "disciplined enough" or something like that. I would only object to his rigid stances of Catholicism in relation to other Christians. I too believe in "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church". However, it is this believe that compells me to approach the multitude of Protestant churches with compassion and not condemnation, which unfortunately Merton sometimes does. Perhaps this is why he felt he had to disown it.

    Either way, it is a beautiful book, a spirtual book, and a wonderful conversion story of the rare type of person who actually and legitatmely managed to find peace in this life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I love you, Merty!
    It has been a couple of years since I read this autobiography. From the perspective of an always aspiring writer and poet, I applaud this piece of literature for capturing the interest of even the most adamant unbeliever or un-anchored agnostic simply for the raw and accessible story which it conveys. From the stand-point of a spiritual seeker, a self-censoring #4 on the Enneagram (read "Merton: An Enneagram Profile", by Suzanne Zuercher), and a religious tolerant (which Merton certainly became in his later life), I connected with it instantly on a very intimate level.

    I can honestly credit Merton for inspiring me to investigate Christianity much more deeply without the usual repugnance and negative bias I had approached it with before, and has since become one of my favorite writers, artists, thinkers, and Christians... period!

    Merton was a very "human" being. His struggles with pride, ego, Biblical understanding, lust, vanity, etc. may help the spiritually inclined reader to accept his or her own flaws in a more forgiving light. He reminds us that nobody is perfect.

    I highly recommend this book to both the fan of compelling autobiography, and to the aspiring contemplative.

    5-0 out of 5 stars food for the soul
    Most reviewers have touched on my own reflections. The book is not meant to be a scientific journal (re: one reviewer wrote Merton should have studied Newton's laws of motion). The story is one man's own spiritual journey---take it or leave it---but don't dismiss it because it doesn't cover the disciplines you find most fulfilling and awarding. Science is grand---but it does little to account for the life and light in the soul; that is why Merton turns to the poets and contemplatives in his yearning for truth or for some kind of answer to the longing in the deepest parts of him. Anyone satisfied with believing only what they can touch,see, feel may not enjoy this book. It is the transcendents Merton is concerned with when he realizes time and again materialism and atheism leave him empty and spiritually bankrupt.

    Take Merton's book for what it is. A man's spiritual journey. If you want a man's scientific journey or a man's journey from religious dogma to secular dogma---read something else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great autobiography of this important Monastic figure
    Just about anyone interested in purchasing this book is more than likely somewhat familiar with some of Merton's other works. He was perhaps the 20th century's greatest Christian contemplative mind we had the privilege of reading. This is due to the fact that so many people have expressed over the years that Thomas Merton is the reason they were drawn to the Christian faith. Even people of other religions respect this man's skilled and wise approach to otherwise dogmatic dialogues. One of the reason's this autobiography is so wonderful, is that most of us can relate to it's contents. This is not a person who just achieved some sort of "holy lifestyle" without going through some tribulations in his earlier years.

    What draws one to Thomas Merton is his simplistic writing. In this book we find out what causes produced the effect of wanting to join the Abbey of Gethsemani down in Kentucky for him. From his years growing up in France, then on to England. Back to new York. And then, he found his home. That home was the Abbey of Gethsemani. Merton is able to bring people closer to Jesus, because he makes the story alive. Relevant to this very life in a modern era, not just a society that we are all too disconnected from by now (the society during the times of Jesus). This book is so applicable to 2004, not withstanding the fact that there are a great many of his years not documented in this work stemming from it's publication to his Death in Thailand.

    Recalling a sad time soon after his acceptance of Christianity, Merton quotes God's caution to the Israelites, "For the Land which thou goest to possess is not like the land of Egypt," and remarks that he had "made the terrible mistake of entering the Christian life as if it were merely the natural life invested with a kind of supernatural mode by grace." He slowly and nervously was to learn God was dreadfully more than some mere underwriter of value. In this book Merton shows a hungriness, a drive to understand the meaning of life. The secret to living a completely holy life, immersed in servitude to our Creator. This hungriness we can all relate to, it is the drive to understand truth.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very open, shareful. Makes you want Merton for a friend.
    Merton knew how to plow through his past life so that the grace of God, the spirit of Christ would become so apparent in all that happened to him and through him in this autobiography.

    No sentimentalism. No archaic language. His descriptions of the Eucharist and the other sacraments are clean and fresh and deep and vivid, touching the reader with a strange, immediate conviction. His words pulsate with faith. He makes you say, "well, maybe I don't know..."

    I think Merton brings the worldly closer to the church and the churchy closer to the world. People don't know where to place him. You cannot stick a label on him.

    This book is great for just anyone. Those who are cradle Catholics will benefit greatly from this man who came into the church, this man who was so biased against anything Catholic, and yet who came in no contact with any "crisis" that suddenly made him say, "LORD! LORD!". No. That is, no crisis of the "world". It was spiritual. The account of "something" that happened to him while laying in his bed is simple and vivid.

    He makes you realize that what is spiritual has to do with what is human. ... Read more

    9. Book of Common Prayer (1979, Personal Size Economy, Black)
    by Church of England
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195287134
    Catlog: Book (2000-03)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 6718
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This luxuriously bound edition makes a lovely gift for Confirmation or other special occasions. Includes a Family Record section with certificates for the rites of Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage. Black deluxe imitation leather, cross blind-stamped on front, colored page edges, 1 ribbon marker. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great
    As an Anglican, I am always honoured and overwhelmed by the church, its history, and its Book of Common Prayer. What more can I say!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Utilitarian BCP
    This is a complete and unabridged version of the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. It differs from the pew version only in size and the color of its binding (black with gold cross).

    The advantages of this volume are its size and inexpensiveness.

    This BCP's compact size makes it easy to drop into a briefcase, desk drawer, backpack or duffle bag - making it perfect for daily devotions when away from home. Legibility is not affected by the size. If you have no problem reading the full-size version, you should have no problem with this one.

    "Inexpensive" in this case does not mean "cheap." The imitation leather binding is well-done and handsome. The paper is the familiar thin "onion-skin Bible" paper. The pages are not gold-edged.

    A presentation page and pages to record baptism, confirmation and marriage represent the only "frills" in this book. Because of this plainness, you might want to pass this one by if you're looking for a presentation or gift BCP.

    On the other hand, if you want a BCP that you can use every day, travels well, and is easy to carry or pack, this book's for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You know , there might be a future for this book!
    Don't wait for the movie!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful classic prayerbook
    This edition of the classic 1662 Prayerbook is beautifully illustrated, giving it the perfect feel for mediation and contemplation. It includes the entire BCP with the exception of the Psalter, the Ordinal, the prayers on the anniversary of the Sovereign's accession, and the lectionary for the daily office. With these minor deficiencies noted, you should not be disappointed. The text is beautiful and immortal, and a treasure trove of inspiration. If you don't want it for mediation, then it is worth it to own one of the great classics of all time. ... Read more

    10. Anthology of Living Religions, An
    by Mary Pat Fisher, Lee W. Bailey
    list price: $57.00
    our price: $57.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130156574
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-02)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 160659
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This anthology provides each of the major world religions with an opportunity to explain itself in its own terms, creating a sensitive and accurate picture of its teachings and beliefs. It allows readers to gain an “inside” understanding of origins, founders, and practices—and presents the religions as living faiths.Selected extracts relate religion to such current issues as gender, environment, and politics. Chapters explore indigenous sacred ways, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and more.For individuals desiring to learn more about the major world religions, and their impact around the world today. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars it has good selections from various religions... but
    It is baptized in feminist views.That would be okay except it isn't supposed to be a platform for feminists; it is suppose to show the richness of the various religions.

    It is overly concerned with defending or proving the importance of women; this often takes up to much space pushing out writing that would be more informative of the actual heart of the religion (which would be better then the dispute over women which is such a small fraction of what religion is about.I would be just as unnerved if it focused on how important men where to religions.... it seems to miss the point; the point being the religion itself be it female or male.)

    That said; it does have some good excerpts.Many worth reading again and again.But there is to much of it that comes across as feminist propaganda(can you be truly sympathetic to a religion if you take modern feminist propaganda to say Islam or past Christian monasteries where women were not allowed or where at least kept separate from the males?)

    The book is corrupted by (as written on the back of the book)"Coverage of important issues such as the role of women and the relationship between religion and politics."

    Your expecting a loving look into religion on the religions own terms... then why, I ask, is their a reading included dedicated to the idea of God as a female within the Christian Religion?It might as well be including excerpts from the writings of Martin Luther as representative of Catholicism; they are clearly not apart of the Religion except as fringes that are better understood as protesting what is taught in the religion itself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Survey of Religions of the World
    In "An Anthology of Living Religions," Fisher and Bailey provide the reader with a great survey of the religions of the world.Each of the traditional religions, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism,Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and Sikhism are explained in great detailthrough contemporary writers who are experts in the religion they arewriting about.Other religions, such as New Religious Movements and TheInterfaith Movement, are also dealt with generally. This is a great text ifyou are looking for a survey of religions.It also satisfies the needs ofthose who wish to have a reference guide which outlines the basics of worldreligions readily available for easy reference.After explaining thebasics of each religion, and including writings of those familiar with thereligion, Fisher and Bailey include a reference to pertinent terms, holydays, a historical outline, and a section listing further readings. Thereis also a chapter which specifically deals with The Religious Response,defining the philosophy of religion and the need to have religion in ourworld today. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

    11. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for Life
    by Kathleen Chapman
    list price: $12.99
    our price: $9.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0801091535
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
    Publisher: Baker Books
    Sales Rank: 87512
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, Relevant, Revealing, Required Reading
    Teaching kids authentic worship presents a refreshing return to the basic principles of what worship means. Kathleen Chapman not only provides a meaningful presentation of corporate and individual worship, but provides it in the deft context of raising children. This is not a book about styles of worship, or styles of music. Kathleen provides principles of worship which can be applied in every context, in every style, in every generation. She demonstrates the applicable relevance of her approach with countless examples she draws from her years of experience. What Kathleen presents as authentic worship is a solidly focused time of considering and appreciating who God is. It is artfully crafted time of considered God and God alone, and can be done in a variety of settings, with or without music or song, in homes or at church. This approach has a clear impact on the minds of children--not only in how they think about God, but about life as well. It frees children from overbearing legalistic views of God and religion and excites them about the God they serve. I say this not only from having read the book, but by having seen my children experience the application of the principles in this book. Reading this book will perhaps challenge the reader by revealing how we allow self-centered activities and songs to replace our worship of God. A child raised with the principles in this book will learn to consider God before their own fears or concerns. They will be empowered to consider God's capacity in them before considering their own situations and their limits. As a father of four and former pastor and Christian missions staff, I consider this book as invaluable recommended reading for all parents, pastors, and Sunday School teachers. There are very few books that I recommend with such high regard. We must be challenged and empowered by Kathleen's return to a clear Biblical presentation of worship. As parents and teachers we often know what we want to accomplish in raising our children, but lack the ideas of how to effectly implement it. This book is repleat with examples of how to integrate authentic worship into your Sunday School classes, home life and Church. Kathleen does not wallow in theological abstracts, but presents solid Biblical principles which she applies over and over again, and then illustrates with example after example. In the end, a child who has been raised to know God in this way will be equiped with a foundation from which to ask the challenging question of life and God that we ask as we mature. When the foundation is solid, so the building endures the storm. If you are considering this book, then you likely understand who the foundation is. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship will show you how to best lay that foundation for lifetime endurance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars NOT JUST FOR KIDS
    I started reading this book to teach worship to my grandchildren. After all I was raised in the church and a Christian school, what did I need to learn? I needed to learn WORSHIP! I realize that I was doing some worship but it was all related to what God had done for me. I have learned to just worship God for who He is. What a wonderful blessing it has been. Recommend this for everyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    Kathleen Chapman has a simple, though profound way of communicating. Her research and expertise on why children move from God, jarred my senses. I also appreciated the easy-to-practice Worship Moments found at the book's end.
    This book is a must for all who have children in their lives. ... Read more

    12. Crowns : Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $22.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385500866
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-31)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 37798
    Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Countless black women would rather attend church naked than hatless. For these women, a church hat, flamboyant as it may be, is no mere fashion accessory;it's a cherished African American custom, one observed with boundless passion by black women of various religious denominations. A woman's hat speaks long before its wearer utters a word.It's what Deirdre Guion calls "hattitude...there's a little more strut in your carriage when you wear a nice hat. There's something special about you." If a hat says a lot about a person, it says even more about a people-the customs they observe, the symbols they prize, and the fashions they fancy.

    Photographer Michael Cunningham beautifully captures the self-expressions of women of all ages-from young glamorous women to serene but stylish grandmothers. Award-winning journalist Craig Marberry provides an intimate look at the women and their lives. Together they've captured a captivating custom, this wearing of church hats, a peculiar convergence of faith and fashion that keeps the Sabbath both holy and glamorous.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Symbols of Reverence
    "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats" is a genuine treasure and a breathtaking illustration of fine art. Photographer Michael Cunningham and journalist Craig Marberry exemplify the meaning of a queen with their artistry. The first portrait invites you to begin a journey that will lead you page by page through history with the inspirational and candid stories of each woman bearing a Sunday worship service crown. Truly this book extends to all religions by exploring one simple, but ever important symbol of showing reverence to God.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Insight into why "We" wear hats!!! It's me all over!!!
    I am called the "Hat Lady". I relate to the queens in the book. In fact, some of the ladies made comments that I found to be very profound, i.e, wearing a hat in a coffin. I wear hats and love them. Like the ladies, when I put on a hat I stand taller, walk with a strut, and feel I am invincible. It's something about a hat that seems to add to my stature. "Crowns" gives a lot of insight into why we look so good in hats. It's true it's all about attitude and self-esteem. I try to wear them at all times. "Crowns" is relative. I felt so good about myself after reading it. The queens really put hats in their proper perspective in relation to African-American women. I always get a compliment like, "Girl, you're wearing that hat" from one of my sisters and from strangers I hear, "That's a bad hat you got on." (Mostly males) Several times I saw myself in those. I smiled and shook my head at the comments. It is a story that needed to be told. I commend the author & photographer, for I found no fault with "Crowns". A good read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Hats !
    The black and white photos are as expressive as the wonderful stories about how these charming ladies began their love affairs with hats. Each story is unique and also very much like the others. There is lots of unexpected humor. I have been inspired to continue wearing and buying more hats. Love the book. Thank you Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Marberry and all the ladies who shared their thoughts and their hats.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous elegance
    "Crowns: Portraits of Women in Church Hats" brought to memory many Sundays in church when I was a child. Women walked with regal grace when wearing their church hats. I saw some of these women during the week and many were plain and quite ordinary in appearance. But at 11:00 on Sunday morning, they were elegant and stately as they strutted, in their church hats, towards their seats in the sanctuary. The photgraphs are as beautiful as the women they portray. This is a "must have" book for any woman who loves gorgeous hats and the women who wear them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for Students of American History
    This is THE book that friends will pick up FIRST from the top of your coffee table at home or at work.

    Beautiful message, pictures and content. ... Read more

    13. Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
    by Jim Marrs
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060931841
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 3967
    Average Customer Review: 3.61 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this astonishing book, celebrated reporter and New York Times -; bestselling author Jim Marrs painstakingly explores the world's most closely guarded secrets, exposing clandestine cabals and the power they have wielded throughout time.  Defiantly rooting out the truth, he unearths starting evidence that the real movers and shakers covertly collude to start and stop wars, manipulate stock markets and interest rates, maintain class distinctions, and even censor the six o'clock news.  And they do all this under the mindful auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the CIA, and even the Vatican.

    Drawing on historical evidence and his own impeccable research, Mars carefully traces the mysteries that connect these modern-day conspiracies to humankind's prehistory.  The eye-opening result is an extraordinary synthesis of historical information -; much of it long hidden from the public -; that sheds light on the people and organizations that rule our lives.

    Disturbing, provocative, and utterly compelling, Rule by Secrecy offers a singular worldview that may explain who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (117)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly-entertaining conspiracy primer
    I was amazed at the multitude of subjects and conspiracies that Marrs touches on - from the Reagan assasination attempt, to JFK, to Vietnam and Korea, Pearl Harbor, the Fed, the rise of international bankers, freemasons, Knight Templar crusaders, Merovingians, etc. Amazingly enough, Marrs is able to link much of it together in, if nothing else, rough-shod form. However, although much of the content is glossed over, this book is invaluable because of all of the references he draws from which enable the beginning conpiracy-student to stake-out on their own continued research in-depth. It seems that Marrs brings up few original thoughts, but takes the content from a vast multitude of conspiracy research, all the while citing the sources. Naturally, the more Marrs goes back into history, it seems the more speculative and less concrete the material becomes. When Marrs reaches back into antiquity, covering Judaism and Sumer, the book becomes markedly more entertaining, yet almost pure speculation at that point.

    For those new to conspiracy-studies and seeking an alternative view of history, this book is a great starting point. For that, it must be read with a critical and discerning eye. Marrs himself frequently interjects a cautionary tone to remind us of exactly that.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Marrs does it again, in black, white and 'Grey'...
    Jim Marrs brings his usual insight to this book, more than any other one the easiest to understand of all of the "Total Truth" books (volumes that aren't just focused on one area, persay). He begins with a basic panoramic view of the world today, and then he brings us, one backstep at a time, throughout history, explaining Wars, Revolutions, myths, (I learned about the origins of the sinister connotations of Friday The 13th here before I read The Da Vinci Code) and, of course, Secret Societies and their hidden agendas. It is all here, probably as well researched as any of this information can be, for you to decide for yourself. The Icke-ish Reptillian theory maybe the hardest for people to buy, but, as one reviewer somewhere pointed out, if we can evolve from Monkeys, why not another animal? And if you have trouble believing huge Reptiles once ruled the earth, go talk to a Palentologist. Four Stars instead of Five because the Civil War chapter doesn't build a strong enough case for the possibility Rothschild influence. Definite must read, great place to start for Hidden Agendas

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good over view
    It presents a good overview of the various conspiracy theories and elite organizations, but I think it tries to crunch on too many at the same time and falls a little short of the mark in wrapping it all up in the end. I don't think anybody could wrap it all up at the end because it is just too big. But that doesn't detract from the individual sections before that. Jim Marrs is one of the best writers in the genre, and this another good read from the author.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Beginning, Inexplicable Conclusion
    This book is truly brilliant over its first three sections. One might say that it views the history of western civilization through a lens that most of us would rather avoid. That lens is the notion that we are not really free, but are being manipulated by powerful individuals who only have their own best interests at heart. It is very disconcerting to contemplate the possibility that the work we do, the living we make, benefits the power elite more than it will ever benefit us. Moreover, the idea that the living we make, or try to make, actually makes us more subservient to the power elite, would sound like insane paranoia to most people. This is an idea that the vast majority of the middle and working class would never, ever entertain, much less seriously consider. Marrs suggests that such ideas are probably true. In the first three sections he articulates the methods and motives of those that own the political and economic engines that power western civilization. Is Homo Sapiens essentially a pack animal that naturally organizes itself into social pecking orders; and does this pack animal mentality make it almost impossible for most of us to seriously question and defy authority? Can we accept the description of political power that Jim Marrs offers in this book? If you don't seriously believe that such control of the masses is possible you will never be convinced by any argument. Marrs goes beyond mere paranoid conspiracy by describing in great detail the history of political control in western civilization.
    If the book stopped after section three it would be a brilliant piece of alternative history. Unfortunately, Marrs inexplicably enters Chariots of the Gods territory to find an origin for the control of human societies by the power elite. He suggests that Sitchen's interpretation of Sumerian creation myths is the most "compelling" explanation for the origin of homo sapiens as well as the origin of the secret societies that currently control the shape and purpose of our society. In a few dozen pages he destroys the credibility of an argument meticulously constructed in the first three hundred or so pages. Why? Perhaps he just didn't know when to stop. It almost seems that the last section of the book is purposefully meant to undermine what preceded it. There is simply no need to extend the "rule by secrecy" argument into aliens-genetically-manipulated-us territory. Why, Jim, why? I can accept the possiblity that humans have developed highly advanced cultures in prehistoric times, since our species has existed with the same capacity for languistic and intellectual expression for tens of thousands of years. I can believe that we have risen to great technical and philosophical heights many, many times only to destroy ourselves. There is no need to bring ET into the equation. We can be as brilliant, stupid, wonderful and ugly as we need to be to create and ruin our societies, and rise from our own ashes time and time again. The hidden history of human evolution and cultural expression is probably fascinating enough without having to turn it into bad science fiction.
    Having said that, I highly recommend Rule By Secrecy to anyone that wants to understand who runs the show we call western civilization, how they do it, and why. Come to your own conclusions about the last section; but don't let it sour you on the brilliance of the text that precedes it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Conspriacy theory, little support, suprise?
    Author makes a number of very interesting claims. His support for the claims is minimal, often quotes apparently taken out of context. Does the author understand Greek|Roman|Babylonian|Sumerian mythology? I have to disagree with many of the mappings made by the author trying to pigeonhole these different ways to organize the world as a surjection. I particularly dislike the sparse evidence of alien ancestors and previous nuclear wars on earth. I hope you don't think that my review is a spoiler because I told you that. If there was a previous atomic bomb detonation, show me the evidence. This should not be difficult, there should be a LOT of it. I also wish there were more solid evidence for these secret societies. What really needs to be done is to create a hypertext document with assertions that you can verify by clicking on them and reading the entire relevant sections of supporting documents and judge for yourself. ... Read more

    14. The Cloud of Unknowing : and The Book of Privy Counseling (Image Book Original)
    by Huston Smith
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385030975
    Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
    Publisher: Image
    Sales Rank: 19921
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    "God can be loved but he cannot be thought. He can be grasped by love but never by concepts. So less thinking and more loving."

    This is William Johnston's summary of the message of The Cloud of Unknowing. Nobody knows who wrote the book, or exactly where he lived, or whether he was a member of a religious order, or even, really, whether he was part of any church at all. The text first appeared in Middle English in the 14th century, and it has inspired generations of mystical searchers (from St. John of the Cross to Teilhard de Chardin). The mysterious conditions of its composition, however, focus the reader's attention squarely on the book's message--an almost Zen rendering of Christianity, which has a great deal to teach our querulous, doctrine-obsessed churches: "And so I urge you," the author writes, "go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest."--Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For those who love prayer...
    If you are following a way of prayer, you really should read this book. It is considered foundational to much present-day teaching on Christian meditation and prayer. Although it was written for a monk in 14th-century England, this good translation by William Johnston makes it very accessible.
    Is this book for everybody? No, and the author starts right out by saying so. If you don't care about nurturing your relationship with God in deep prayer, if you have no experience of spending time in God's presence, and don't want to, then you should forget about this book! But, if you want to grow in prayer and experience God in your heart and yourself in God's heart, this is written especially for you.
    Review by Janet Knori, author of Awakening in God

    5-0 out of 5 stars A primer on mystical prayer - knowing the God beyond knowing
    This is the best book I have ever read on the life of prayer, and it has transformed my prayer life. It was originally written as a series of letters to teach mystical prayer to one particular monk. This book tells us that our minds are too small to grasp God, and when we try to approach him intellectually, we freeze up, entering into a "Cloud of Unknowing" which our minds can not penetrate. Yet God is approachable - "Because he may well be loved, but not thought. By love he can be caught and held, but by thinking never." We are told to long for God, to "strike that thick cloud of unknowing with the sharp dart of longing love". This longing love calls us to give up everything else for the sake of God - "a naked intention directed to God, and himself alone, is wholly sufficient".

    5-0 out of 5 stars A mystical gem, fun even for a beginner
    While I am certainly not an expert on mystical literature, I would definitely say that "The Cloud of Unknowing" is the strangest little novelty I have ever encountered with respect to matters of theism and prayer. The author continually contradicts himself and sometimes what he is trying to say is entirely inaccessible:he condemns "the Devil's contemplatives" who seem to view bodily sensations and the exhilaration of the senses as some sign of God's approval in their discipline. And then, a chapter later, he will approve of certain sensate phenomena as true signs of God. This could be merely the confusion of a novice, but I would say the anonymous author approaches agnosticism with his view as the actual CONTACT we can have with God: "the cloud of unknowing" prevents it entirely, although we must "beat upon it" until, eh, something happens. This is the path of spiritual darkness as a way to the Divine, which is indeed fascinating. The author's recognition of the tenuous and error prone nature of human consciousness could be seen as a precusor to the existentialist view of human life. I would recommend reading St. John of the Cross first, but have fun with this one. Who knows, maybe the whole thing will make perfect sense to me one day. But I doubt it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
    It seems only proper to begin a review of this book with the warning given by the anonymous author in his/her prologue. My paraphrase of that warning goes something like this, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and in the bond of love I beg you not to read, copy, or look at this book unless you are ready. Furthermore I beg you not to copy it, loan it out, or give it to anyone else to read unless they, too, are ready for this depth of spiritual growth, lest they misunderstand the things written herein and fall into error."

    In this age of newly rediscovered Christian mysticism I agree with the author. This, almost zen-like book, can lead the novice into an empty, shallow, form of spirituality that misses the substance of our true faith. Do not be misled by sensational experiences. Most people experienced in meditation can put themselves into an "alpha" state almost at will. Do not forget the old saying, "Study without prayer is flat; prayer without study leads to error."


    There is another old saying that is relevant here.

    Let prayer lead to meditation.
    In meditation allow God to grace you with contemplation.
    Contemplation, in God's timing, leads to intuition.
    Intution ushers in oneness with God.

    This book reminds us that if we have the ability to conmprehend all there is to know about God, our God is too small. When I first read this book, I wasn't ready. It didn't make sense. However one day, years later, while I was praying, all the pieces came together and the book made sense.

    If you read this book years ago and didn't like it, read it again. If you are a novice in the contemplative life begin with works by Nouwen and Thomas Merton. Then, dig deeper into the writings of St. John of the Cross. Hold on to The Cloud of Unknowing until you are ready for it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Discerning the Cloud with a pricked heart
    The theme of the writings:
    In short but instructive chapters, the mysterious Briton, who mastered the way of the mystics gave an admirable essay on Christian life and its development through contemplation. Prayer is in fact the core of Christian life, and the backbone of this marvelous work, where he explained conducting oneself with respect to examining and silencing the thoughts with humility. Love is the goal in which a faithful should abide through contemplation.
    His smaller work "the Book of Privy Counseling," is a more mature but moving treatise on attaining salvation by enlightenment through kenosis (self denial). What is left should only be consciousness of the presence of the Lord!

    Apophatic tradition of the Orientals:
    Eastern monastics started the root to mysticism, practicing the Macarian arrow prayer (K. Ware, in Study of Spirituality p176), carried to Europe as "The Jesus Prayer," through the Praktikos of Evagrius Ponticos.In chapter 38 of the Cloud, this holy English mystic speaks of a little prayer of one syllable Kyriya Elaison (Lord have mercy) that is powerful enough to pierce the heavens.
    Origen was the initiator of the Apophatic concept (commentary on song of Songs), carrying over from Philo, based on roots that go all the way to Asaph, Ps 73:21-24. But, the crystallization of the whole theology took final shape in the writings of a Syrian monk of early six century of pseudonym Dionysius the Areopagite (who was probably a student or companion of Severus of Antioch), taking to himself the name of St. Paul's Athenian disciple.

    The wave of Mystical Milieu:
    During 14th and 15th century Europe, a pilgrimage to the unknown God started by Eckhart and his fellow Dominicans Susa and Tauler based on spiritual poverty. In England, Rolle, Hilton, and Julian of Norwich took the same road. These were all disciples in the school of negation. The influence came through John Scotus who in the ninth century translated the corpus Dionysium into Latin, initiating a chain of commentaries from Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Gallus. The English Counselor translated Dionysius' Mystical Theology under the title" Hid Divinity"
    Rowan Williams, wrote in his book (The wound of knowledge); "The unknowing Englishman gave a brilliant little summary of the Dionysian ideas"

    Enjoying the way of Unknowing
    After reading the expert introduction by Wm. Johnston, helpful for a reader of some background on the subject, but the seal of the deal is reading his Privy Counselings. The less informed could attain a better appreciation after reading "The wound of knowledge". Many books on mysticism explain Apophaticism or the way of unknowing in elaboration.

    Companion reading
    The Foundation of Mysticism, Bernard McGinn, The mysticism of Dionysius, pp 157- 182 ... Read more

    15. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 088404632X
    Catlog: Book (1995-05-01)
    Publisher: Bridge Publications (CA)
    Sales Rank: 35877
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    If you've ever felt there was something holding you back in life, ruining your plans and stopping you from being who you want to be, you were right.

    The fact is, there is a single source of all your problems, stress, unhappiness and self-doubt. It's called the Reactive Mind — the hidden part of your mind that stores all painful experiences, then uses them against you. Dianetics gets rid of the Reactive Mind. It's the only thing that does.

    With 20 million copies in dozens of languages, Dianetics has remained a bestseller for more than 50 years. Now used in more than 150 nations, Dianetics brings dramatic and permanent improvement to people all over the world.

    In Dianetics discover:

    - The real reason for unexplained pains, negative emotions and unhappy relationships in your life;

    - Exactly what is destroying your belief in yourself and how Dianetics helps you get rid of it and become more you;

    - The precise technology that blows away the barriers in your life — forever.

    Don't live with insecurity, negative thoughts, depression and irrational behavior. Use Dianetics and get rid of your Reactive Mind. ... Read more

    Reviews (240)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a book that saves lives
    I've read this book at least 3 times. It was a huge best-seller in 1950, and has been a best-seller many times since. I first read it in 1968. I've also applied the data in this book -- done thousands of hours of Dianetic counseling ("auditing") on others. It works. By that I mean that when I applied Dianetics to others, as detailed in this book, their aches, pains, griefs and crazinesses (the ones they wanted to be free of) vanished, usually in moments of insight and laughter. Now I'm not a magician or genius in handling human relations. I did best when I simply followed the instructions in this book. The more I did this, the better I understood the theory -- and the sharper I got in my understanding of human emotion, the mind and the path from insanity to sanity. These basics along with what I later learned from L. Ron Hubbard's later works have been so important to me that I sometimes wonder how anyone does without them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Too Good to Be True?
    I first picked up a copy of this book at a new age bookstore in Santa Fe, NM and read it over a long weekend while camping in Taos. To put it simply, I devoured it! That week I also purchased a "How to Use Dianetics" video from the same store and began using the therapy as described with my girlfiend. We were both amazed! We audited for at least fifty hours over the next two months and our lives began to alter for the better.

    At the time I was a heavy drug user and was wandering a career wasteland with little purpose in life. After using the techniques in the book I began to find my way back into the world of the living. I quite using drugs and found my dream job. I know this book is controversial, or rather, the organization that presents it is, but aside from the controversy, it has a lot to offer.

    The mental therapy espoused in Dianetics will work if applied correctly. Of this I have no doubts. Dianetics is the original milestone of the human potential movement as many of the founding fathers of self-help in later years were one time ardent students of Hubbard (Werner Erhard of est fame; Paul Twitchel, founder of Eckankar; and Harry Palmer, founder of Avatar).

    I'm not a Scientologist and have no desire to explore it as a religion, but Dianetics worked when I needed it to, and for that, I am greatful.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Cult Propaganda
    A book on mental health by a second rate Sci-Fi author? Put on your tin hat and read how galactic ruler Xenu is the cause of all your problems in life *ROTFL*. People really buy into this garbage?

    This wacko cult has been clearly debunked by the work of an numerous other researchers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally understood my mind and other's
    Amazing. With a very SCIENTIFIC approach, I could understand how the mind works, what is going wrong with it and what are the various effects it could have in my life and other's. Finally, it showed me a precise technique to check out by myself the theory contained in the book and improve conditions in my life and other's.

    I deeply recommed you to buy and read it, and check this out by yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dianetics IS the solution. Read this and find out why.
    I read Dianetics about 5 years ago. Since then I have been applying the data on a daily basis. I am happier, brighter and those things that I felt were pulling me down 5 years ago are no longer present, I am happier because of it. I recommend you read this book and call the 800 number on the back if you have any questions. The people on the other end of the line are so much help!! ... Read more

    16. A Divine Revelation of Hell
    by Mary K. Baxter, Mark K. Baxter
    list price: $12.99
    our price: $9.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0883682796
    Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
    Publisher: Whitaker House
    Sales Rank: 5161
    Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (219)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Got to Be REaL
    First I want to give thanks to Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior to allow Mrs. Baxtor to write this wonderful book. I do believe every word written in her book. There were moments in reading this book I had to cry for and the ones who are suffering, and the ones who will suffer in hell. This book touched my spirit so dramatically I knew it was God,and no other God can touch my heart, soul, spirit and mind so greatly that I had a sympathy that bought tears before my eyes for what I have not seen, nor witnessed. I have experienced many other things in my dreams, when my body is about to rest,and visions. I am a Christian, and I worship the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven,so I know what he has shown Mary, as well as myself are real. God chose Mary cause he seen something special in her, not that no one else is special,but honestly I am glad he chose her,cause I would have been wrapped all around his back, and neck trying to hold on (lol lol). TO TAMORA WHO BELEIVES SATAN TOOK HER TO HELL - THINK AGAIN SISTER!
    The devil will not take someone and show them what he has to offer in hell and be honest about it. The many things that God told and said to Mrs. Mary the devil would not reveal. LETS THINK. The devil is a deciever/liar. THis book changed my life for the good, and when I say good I mean really good. Some will believe and some wont, some will get to go to hell and some will make it into the Kingdom of Heaven. The choice is yours, God does not force anything upon no one, he loves you so much that he allows you to follow whom and/or what you chose. But he would rather you choose him cause he is the way the truth, and the light. The devil has already been defeated, read the book and the Holy word. So what fun in serving a devil who has already lost. THE CHOICE IS YOURS THE BOOK IS REAL!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Doubt? Remember the price Christ paid for our sin!
    I have been a reborn Christian for more than 7 years now. A girl passed this book to me when I was in a time of rebellion against God. In the beginning, I didn't quite believe in the harsh reality portraited in this book. Immediately after a discussion about this book on the phone with my friend, I felt sleepy and went to bed for a nap. It was only 3pm and a sunny afternoon. Then the Lord gave me a vision in my dream. I saw Him in a distance. He was on the cross, so wounded. I couldn't understand where He got all the cuts from. They were all over His body. (I only understood this when I saw the movie The Passion of the Christ recently. No part of His body was sound because of the way the Roman soldiers scourged Him.) When I woke up, I realised that the book was telling the truth. So far, I think, this is the book that has given the most information on hell.

    1-0 out of 5 stars False and Perverse Twist of God's Word
    Anyone who is tempted to believe this woman's story needs to get very acquainted with scripture and they will be able to see the contradictions and the just plain made up stories that are not true. She contradicts the very nature and personality of Christ, whom you can learn about in scripture. Why does she have such a need to be so special that God would choose her? He doesn't choose people for things like this, that also contradicts scripture. She is either an unabashed liar or a nut. Avoid this book. It is heresy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Divine Revelation of Hell
    I was alittle leary of "new visions" others were having until I read in Acts 2:16-21 where it says, God shall pour out of His Spirit in the last days, young men and women shall see visions and older men and women shall shall dream dreams!!! I have perceived unity and a positive consistancy, in the content, in the writings of Mary Baxter and a few other recent books published in the last 10 years, about "Heaven and Hell!"This book is one of the most detailed experiences of "Hell and Heaven" that I have ever read in my 25 years of being in Pentecostal Christian MInistry! This is not just a creative writing on the subject but I literally felt her pain and suffering she experienced as the Lord Jesus allowed her to hear, smell, taste, see and feel the realities of the place the "Bible calls Hell!"
    I found out how high hell may be and how long and what it may be shaped like. Also, after her visits to hell, her days in Heaven balanced out the message of this book, which is,"A Modern Confirmation of Warning, Preparation, Hope, and Justice for Every Person who lives on the Earth!" Through the writings of Mary Baxter and many other Brethern who are writing similar experiences of the "Realities of Heaven and Hell,I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is "Confirming" many of "His Promises and Judgments," to Our Present Generations!!!In my opinion, Mary K. Baxter is one of the most "Credible Ministers of the Gospel, in the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ!!!" For over 20 years she has been a traveling Evangelist and Missionary who has ministered in integrity and humility all over the world. As I read the first few pages I began to feel very secure because "The Forward" is written by her Pastor, Dr. T.L. Lowery! He is one of the "Most Respected" Ministers in the Church of God, in Tennessee!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Deception, Maybe?
    I've never read "A Divine Revelation Of Hell" personally, but as a person who truely recognizes Christ's work at calvary, that it is a complete deception. This woman, wants you to believe that Christ appeared to her, and gave her a tour of hell, where the lost burn forever and ever. Christ came to earth because of his love and justice for us all, and no, we can't judge somebody on an eternal basis, but, the lost will "burn" for their sins and hurts on other people, when they go before the beauty and power of God. Christ talks about His love for everybody, even the most evil, who will never make the choice to repent, or change.
    The lost don't burn in a fire forever, but Christ brings us to God, because of his grace. I sincerely doubt that this person here has any credibility, with this claim, as you won't have any respect at all for Christ if you are afraid of him, to fear God is to show respect and reverence to, which is not being afraid.
    One other thing, and this is for the fundamentalists who give this book positive reviews, this "prophet" is a woman. Paul taught against women teaching, and that they should be silent and ask their husbands questions. Why aren't you outraged? ... Read more

    17. Praise Habit: Finding God In Sunsets And Sushi
    by David Crowder
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1576836703
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-04)
    Publisher: Navpress Publishing Group
    Sales Rank: 28532
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not as amazing as his music but still good stuff
    I finished this book a little while ago, so forgive me if my review isn't horribly detailed, but the beginning and ending of this book have some pretty awesome insights in what God has revealed to David Crowder in his life.It almost reads like a selective journal.You get real insights into God and DC at the same time.My main "problem" (if you want to call it that) with this book is that I kind of would have preferred another translation for the psalms other than the Message: Remix (which includes the phrase "sin saloon" in Psalm 1 among other things).I ended up reading NIV and/or NLT before reading the version he had in the book, and I think that that helped.I understand that the motivation was to get the Palms presented in another perspective for those that are very familiar with them, so I can't honestly argue with his decision.

    As I said, I do like the way he presents the lesson he learned for the rest of us.Overall I think that a lot of Christians need to read the introductory and conclusion chapters to help get a better perspective on real worship (beyond just music).At the same time, I'm sure that there is plenty of other literature that can provide the same message, so this book is probably best for those that wish to gain more insight into the character of David Crowder while getting insight into what God has given DC to say about real worship.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
    The book is entertaining and a relatively easy read.It definitely has a lot of good insight and is worth reading.

    However, I have a few criticisms.First, the scripture is all from the Message.I realize that the Message is easier to understand, but I would personally rather have the NIV or NASB.Those feel more like the "real thing."Second, some of Crowder's stories seems somewhat irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    Also, know that the book turns into more of a commentary on Psalms than what you may have expected.You might want to look at it in a book store.

    But I nonetheless still enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    I have just started reading this book and i must say so far, so good. i love the way he writes the book. it is a serious subject matter but he is not afraid to have fun with it. i love all of his music and cannot wait for the bands new cd. i love the book and can not wait to get to the end. i strongly recomend you read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars I don't know where I stand!
    This book is well written, and Crowder does a good job of going deeper then I think most people will expect. I sensed a strong connection between Crowder's work and that of Dave Eggers, and while that connection is odd I am pretty sure it is there. I occasionally sensed excellence in his work, but also occasionally thought he was trying too hard. If nothing else, I thank him for actually putting his brain into his work, which is something I think is few and far between in most modern christian books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is entertaining, hysterically funny and profound
    I recently finished reading it (and I'm an avid reader) and was constantly finding myself struggling between audible laughter and being inspired to a deeper appreciation and gratitude, a fresh savouring of the sweetness of this Savior-God. To be reminded of how much God loves me and desires my rescue to not be a stagnate finality; but an ongoing lifestyle.
    David is an excellent writer. It's definitely a rare find, not just refreshing and funny; but also profound and inspiring.
    I highly recommend this book!! ... Read more

    18. Hiram Key: Pharoahs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus
    by Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1931412758
    Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
    Publisher: Fair Winds Press
    Sales Rank: 8045
    Average Customer Review: 3.45 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (188)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating History and theories
    My average time to read a non-fiction book such as The Hiram Key is a week or more. This book I finished in little over 48 hours though, so intriquing did I find the author's thesis. Knight and Lomas do a really detailed job of explaining the history of ancient Egypt, and the nation that was to become Israel. The research they did preparing for publication is obvious, in the footnotes and in their writing period. My favorite aspect of the book tho was when they described the casual logic of their arguments i.e "Chris discovered so and so and theorized such and such." It brings an immediacy to the book lending credence to their documentation of facts and hypotheses.
    If you know any freemason's or wish to learn about their history this is a superb text drawing on sources as far back as Mose's time and before.
    Is this the perfect book on templar's, freemasonry, and the history of Christianity then? Of course not. It's v ery good, but some of their theories regarding Christianity and in particular Jesus seem a little too out there, interesting speculation but they didn't convince me some of their claims were factual. The only other minor point is their persistence in claiming the scribes of the Old testament wrote it down thousands of years after events deterrioting large portions of its credibility whereas most Jewish and Christian people seem to claim that Moses was author of the first five books of the bible so although generations have passed he was witness to many events. Also if we accept Moses being the author its easy to believe the oral history was preserved enough for accurate penning of it down by him.
    Overall an incredibly complex, fascinating book that teaches much, and urges reader to question roots of rituals and dogma in religion.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Masonic rituals explored. But does everything match up?
    The authors, both masons themselves, wonder what the rituals they were taught and perform in really mean. In particular, they wonder who the fabled Hiram Abif is, a keyfigure in freemasonry.

    To find out, they set on a journey to see if they can find out if the legend of Hiram holds any ground, and whether this person ever really existed.

    They use other publications to see what the basis of freemasonry (and the catholic religion) was, using such works as the Bible, the King James Bible, numerous books written about the bible(s), the Dead Sea Scrolls, and various other works.

    Gradually, they discover that Christianity and the whole basis of the religion might not be as accurate as some people like to think. Their voyage takes them to Egypt, Jerusalem, Rosslyn, and a few other places.

    While a lot presented in this book is definately eye-opening to many who read it, at the same time, I cannot help but feel as if there's a lot that is mostly based on the author's assumptions, and their eagerness to prove their theory right.

    Early in the book, they seem to have drawn a conclusion, and they present their evidence in a way so the theory will be supported.

    Something else that ticked me off is that right at the start of the book, the authors reveal a lot that happens during the
    ceremony of being raised to be a master mason. Being a mason myself and ot having experienced this yet, I can't help but feel as if somebody spoiled the end of a movie before I even saw it. While I fully understand the reason the authors needed to supply certain parts and bits of the ceremony, they could have just made scarce references to it, rather than cover all the details in the way they did.

    All in all, it's still an entertaining read. But you probably will feel the same way; as if the authors lost some credibility by jumping to certain conclusions.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Where's the evidence?
    I was frustrated all the way through this book. The authors make a number of bold assertions, and while I support their investigative spirit -- they do not consistently back up their claims with convincing evidence.

    The authors believe that Jesus was a member of the Qumran community of Essenes. Yet, they ignore clear differences between the teachings of Jesus as presented in the gospels versus the ideas of the Essenes as documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I agree that Jesus might have been had contacts with the Essenes. Yet, a comparison of the gospels and scrolls shows substantial differences. The Essenes were fanatical, elitist, xenophobic, and may also have been political zealots. Textual evidence from the scrolls confirms the elitism: women were not allowed to participate in the Qumran community, nor were lepers, nor other individuals with disfigurements, nor were the elderly nor the young. By contrast, Jesus was a universalist. He welcomed everyone.

    If the late scholar Yigal Yadin is correct, Bethany, where Jesus spent a considerable amount of time, was a leper's colony. Jews in general, including the Essenes, believed that leprosy was a curse from God, punishment for past wickedness. The fact that Jesus associated with lepers and other misfits, outcasts and disfigured individuals shows that Jesus spoke out against the superstitious beliefs so rife in his day. This distinguished him from the Essenes.

    The fact that Jesus also honored women and welcomed them as disciples was no less a departure. Jesus was an innovator and a progressive -- distinctly different from mainstream Judaism and even from breakaway groups like the Essenes.

    The authors also boldly claim that Jesus was a zealot -- and was involved in the uprising against Rome. Yet they present not a scrap of evidence for this. Indeed, passages such as Matthew 11:10-15 show that Jesus could not have been a zealot. This is the passage about "the violent taking the Kingdom of Heaven by storm" and is a critical reference to the zealots of the time.

    In that apocalyptic age many Jews believed that Yahweh would come down from heaven and destroy the Romans. This great apocalypse was also associated with the expected Messiah. Yet, Peter's Confession, of which the original and fullest account occurs in Mark (Mark 8:27-33), shows that the preferred name was not Messiah, but the mystical Son of Man. For a discussion see chapter 4 of my new book Gnostc Secrets of the Naassenes.

    The authors also believe that the medieval Templars uncovered Essene scrolls in their diggings under the Temple Mount, a preposterous idea, given that the Essenes were a breakaway sect and had absolutely nothing to do with the Temple priesthood or mainstream Judaism.

    The authors make important contributions toward a better understanding of the history of Freemasonry, documenting some of the ancient links, but a reader has to constantly sift through their ideas to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Provocative, Evocative
    I knew nothing of Freemasonry before reading this book; I can't even remember what prompted me to read it in the first place. But no matter, because it is a fascinating piece of archaeological mystery writing. The authors seek to discover the origin of masonic ritual; and along the way the reader learns about the birth of middle eastern civilization with the Sumerians, the nature of king-making in ancient Egypt, the origin of the Jewish people, a very alternative (and provocative) description of the nature of Jesus's ministry, and the construction of what has become Christianity by the earliest Roman Christians. This book does not seem to be meant to promote freemasonry, so you won't be pummeled with masonic text. The function of the masonic text and ritual in this book is to tie together aspects of mid-eastern history and archaeology (and relevant portions of Celtic British Isles history) in a unique way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Freemasonry well explored
    I have been a Freemason for 50 years and this book is the best account of masonry's past that I have ever read.
    It is so logical and the facts fit to what I have known. I am so grateful for the author's in put and study on these many subjects. What a enlightment. Many, many thanks. So now we see something while looking in a mud puddle beyhond mud. ... Read more

    19. Swear to God : The Promise and Power of the Sacraments
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385509316
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-18)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 6844
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a great book!
    I am a recent convert to the Catholic Church from the Assemblies of God and a student at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where Dr. Hahn teaches. I am currently in the middle of reading "Swear to God". This book is great and really makes me appreciate the power of the Sacraments, just as "The Lamb's Supper" made me begin to appreciate what is truly happening in every single liturgy that I participate in.
    Thank you Dr. Hahn for your work. It is greatly appreciated!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear & compelling look at how God works through sacraments
    Dr. Hahn has done it once again: he has given us a crisp, clear and compelling look at the very essence of Catholic life, the sacraments. Simply put, Scott believes the sacraments really do work. And he believes that the sacraments are God's work for us, not our work for God.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting, informative and loaded with truth
    Dr. Hahn has once again ignited the page with theological genius and page-turning enjoyment. In an easy to read but well documented format, he portrays the importance of covenants and oaths in history in humanity's search for peace. More importantly though he depicts the sacramental oath God has sworn to us. Jesus becomes the cosigner to the Old Covenant and, "...instituted in His own body and blood the sacrament by which the New Covenant is instituted." The sacraments are our means of survival, and God's oaths made permanent-shaping and forming us. Anyone who doubts the Lord's presence in the sacraments in any way, should read and highlight this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, enlightening and inspiring
    As a former evangelical Protestant, I can readily identify with Scott Hahn's admission that prior to becoming Catholic, he had little use for sacraments and ritual. As he writes, "I saw rituals as mechanical procedures people used to manipulate God." The problem with that perspective, Hahn explains, is that everyone relies on ritual, even if they're not aware of it. "I came to recognize," he continues, " that those who try to do away with the Church's sacraments inevitably end up replacing them with rituals of their own making."

    "Swear to God" is specifically concerned with explaining the covenantal nature and meaning of the seven sacraments. The essence of this accessible and often enlightening excursion into sacramental theology is captured in a quote from St. Augustine, referenced by Hahn: "There can be no religious society, whether the religion be true or false, without some sacrament or visible symbol to serve as a bond of union. The importance of the sacraments cannot be overstated, and only scoffers will treat them lightly."

    Drawing from a mixture of Scripture, well-selected quotes from Church Fathers and the Catechism, historical references and personal anecdotes, Hahn reveals the covenantal, familial and juridical dimensions of the sacraments. For those not familiar with the concept of the covenant, Hahn provides ample explanations in both the main text and in the endnotes. (Although written for a popular audience, it's got more than 30 pages of detailed citations and references.) Hahn's interest is in the reality of the sacrament as a sacred oath, and the key role it plays in God's plan of salvation, the work of Christ, and the mission of the Church.

    "Christianity is the only religion in all the world and in all of history in which God swears an oath on the part of mankind," Hahn writes. This vital truth is unpacked and connected to the need for Catholics to more deeply comprehend and experience the incarnational dimensions of the sacramental life. "Swear to God" explains this truth with clarity and passion. Readers will find many valuable and inspiring points in this excellent book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book
    Not quite as powerful as his others but still an interesting read. ... Read more

    20. Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations
    by Dan Kimball, David Crowder, Sally Morgenthaler
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $10.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0310256445
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 5118
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A complete guide to developing an alternative worship service for the younger emerging generation. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A rather mind tweaking and very practical book on worship
    This book helps us understand why emerging generations are disappearing and disconnecting from our churches and some practical ideas of what to do about it. It gives very practical and detailed examples of worship services from different churches around the country, so it isn't just one model or one specific approach.

    However, this book also totally challenges us to rethink what we even are supposed to do when we gather together as a church. It asks the questions about why do we preach the way we preach? Why do we use so much music lately and feel like a rock concert? Why do our church buildings feel like theaters instead of sacred spaces? The refreshing thing about this book is that it challenges us NOT to go more shallow or become seeker-sensitive to engage the hearts of emerging generations in their expressions of worship. But instead, says we should go all the more deeper in our teaching, use more Scripture, and be more unapologetically intense about our worship. It shares how to move beyond just preaching and singing to also be making our worship gatherings more interactive and participatory through ancient practices, painting art based on Scripture, creating prayer stations etc. So, if you are looking for a book about worship that is a lot different than any other book I have read about worship - and have your mind tweaked to rethink things about the church, then this is a book you will want to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing book of hope for the future church
    Probably most people are buying this book because they are recognizing that emerging generations are disappearing from our churches and not connecting with most of our worship gatherings.

    But, you better be warned... it it doesn't just tell us to play hip pop worship songs as the answer, but forces us to rethink what we are doing in worship gatherings entirely. Maybe the problem and reason we are losing so many younger people from our churches, isn't just about music style - but it is about reapproaching worship gatherings and questioning all we have done and why we do it. It is a book that doesn't just give theory either, and like "The Emerging Church" book also did, gives very practical and different examples of what worship gatherings are like that are attracting emerging generations. Not a model, but a bunch of different ways churches are doing things.

    Another warning --- some senior pastors may feel uncomfortable reading this book! It challenges some of our thinking of what leadership in worship gatherings is like and also challenges the concept of video churches too for emerging generations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
    i work with younger people in church leading worship and this book not only stretched my thinking incredibly- but also didn't just leave me hanging but gave so much practical help. i think this is why i liked this book so much, is that it very helpful to understanding worship in our emerging culture. i highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Expands on the first book in the series....
    Dan's first book, The Emerging Church... I have it on my desk and I thumb through it a LOT to this day, after reading it completely.

    This one, I also like, I think it points out how Kimball's personal experiences led to him creating a welcoming environment in order to expand worship gatherings AND try to bring new people in.

    Personally, I recommend getting both books if you are interested in the whole Emerging Church scene.

    Having said that, my hope is that Dan would take the next book in the series and move away from his role as instructor, and just share his personal stories about bringing people to Christ in a more text-based, reflective way. Sort of an autobiographical novela, so to speak. Maybe a pure text work to clarify and explain the examples he gives in more analytic and cognitive detail, with less concentration on the on visual representation.

    In his next one I would like to see Dan simply write and reflect on the path that brought him to his position as a leader in the emerging church scene.

    I also love the ideas Kimball presents in both books, but I want to see more of his thoughts and struggles as he presented them to those who seek Christ. When he does that in these books, it really inspires me because I want to know more about the issues that come up when presenting the things Dan has implemented in his work in the Church. If you agree. let's encourage Dan to work these thoughts into the next one...

    He's given us some great ideas, now he needs to flesh it out with more of his triumphs and failures as he walked this path.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is exactly what I needed
    I read a lot of books on the emerging church and postmodernism and all the Sweet,McLaren things which are great - but i think this is a rare type of book which actually walks through some ideas of what to do about it in my church. There is a lot of talking and guessing about culture today, but if you want to actually learn some ideas of what to do in your church to engage emerging generations, than this is a wonderful book to do so.

    We have tried a lot of things, but i wish i had this book before we began trying them. I also love that it gives examples from all around the country, so we can see what is happening in a variety of churches and not just in an isolated church or one person's experience.

    The detailed chapters of how to get started are exactly what we need, so i highly highly recommend this for anyone thinking of starting something new or changing what you are doing. If you are actually in ministry and serious about doing something and not just talking about it, then this book is great for you. ... Read more

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