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  1. 5.6 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    “As a writer, Brooks scatters stars with both his hands: he hath dust of gold; in his storehouse are all manner of precious stones.” So wrote C. H. Spurgeon, who counted Thomas Brooks among his favorite Puritan authors. Brooks’ popularity lies both in his subjects—practical truths central to the Christian life—and in the manner of his presentation. He is direct, urgent, fervent, full of scripture, and able to choose words which make his sentences stick in one’s mind. Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks is a collection of sentences and quaint sayings from this renowned Puritan. Gathered by Spurgeon from the six-volume set of Brooks’ Works, it remains an excellent introduction to both the man and his writing.

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    Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks by Thomas Brooks

    Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks

    Edited by C. H. Spurgeon
    Read by Jim Denison
    5.6 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    43.0 hrs • 2/29/2016 • Unabridged

    James was a vegetarian, wore only linen clothing, bathed daily at dawn in cold water, and was a life-long Nazirite. In this profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, eminent biblical scholar Robert Eisenman introduces a startling theory about the identity of James—the brother of Jesus—who was almost entirely marginalized in the New Testament. Drawing on long-overlooked early church texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eisenman reveals in this groundbreaking exploration that James, not Peter, was the real successor to the movement we now call “Christianity.” In an argument with enormous implications, Eisenman identifies Paul as deeply compromised by Roman contacts. James is presented as not simply the leader of Christianity of his day, but the popular Jewish leader of his time, whose death triggered the uprising against Rome—a fact that creative rewriting of early church documents has obscured. Eisenman reveals that characters such as “Judas Iscariot” and “the Apostle James” did not exist as such. In delineating the deliberate falsifications in New Testament documents, Eisenman shows how—as James was written out—anti-Semitism was written in. By rescuing James from the oblivion into which he was cast, the final conclusion of James, the Brother of Jesus is, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, “apocalyptic”—who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.

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    James, the Brother of Jesus by Robert Eisenman

    James, the Brother of Jesus

    43.0 hrs • 2/29/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  3. 7.5 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    Acclaimed journalist Dennis Covington examines how faith and violence shape our world. In war zones witnessing widespread conflict, what makes life at all worth living? When chaos becomes a way of life in places where religion and violence intersect, what do people hold on to? If religious belief is, as Christopher Hitchens argues, the cause of wars and genocide, then is faith the cure? Dennis Covington pursued answers to these questions for years, traveling deep into places like Syria, Mexico, and the American South. Looking not for rigid doctrines, creeds, or beliefs—which, he says, can be contradictory, even dangerous—he sought something bigger and more fundamental: faith. It’s faith in goodness, kindness, and the humanity of the smallest moments that makes the most difficult times bearable. The young bomb victim who offers a smile from his hospital bed, the grieving parent who shares a photograph, the joined hands of men who were previously mortal enemies, and Covington’s own family turmoil. These are some of the moments that leave him touching the beating heart of what it truly is to live. Like Covington’s widely celebrated Salvation on Sand Mountain, Revelation is an intensely personal journey that goes to the edges of a world filled with violence and religious strife to find the enduring worth of living.

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    Revelation

    7.5 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 4.0 hrs • 1/26/2016 • Unabridged

    Sister Carol Perry’s scholarly brilliance in refining prayer, faith, and grace is a must read for all those seeking a spiritual peace in a high-tech world. How can we nurture our inner beings when the outer world demands so much? Waiting for Our Souls to Catch Up invites listeners to begin a journey of the heart and mind in which a small effort of faith, guided by reason, can yield huge spiritual dividends. From the small rituals that enhance our daily lives to the study of the historical and scriptural legacy shared by the world’s great religions, Waiting for Our Souls to Catch Up is an intelligent reader’s guide to the wisdom of the ages.

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  5. 10.7 hrs • 1/5/2016 • Unabridged

    In this timely social history of the United States, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One places today’s heated culture wars within the context of a centuries-long struggle between right and left. Though they may seem to be dividing the country irreparably, today’s heated cultural and political battles between right and left, Progressives and Tea Party, religious and secular are far from unprecedented. In this engaging and important work, Stephen Prothero reframes the current debate, viewing it as the latest in a number of flashpoints that have shaped our national identity. Prothero takes us on a lively tour through time, bringing into focus the election of 1800, which pitted Calvinists and Federalists against Jeffersonians and “infidels;” the Protestants’ campaign against Catholics in the mid-nineteenth century; the anti-Mormon crusade of the Victorian era; the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the 1920s; the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s; and the current crusade against Islam. As Prothero makes clear, our culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans. Drawing on his impressive depth of knowledge and detailed research, he explains how competing religious beliefs have continually molded our political, economic, and sociological discourse and reveals how the conflicts which separate us today, like those that came before, are actually the byproduct of our struggle to come to terms with inclusiveness and ideals of “Americanness.” To explore these battles is to look into the soul of America—and perhaps find essential answers to the questions that beset us.

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  6. 2.2 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Audio Theater

    In the Beginning ­is an audio drama series featuring stories from the Holy Bible. Performed in the style of the old time radio plays from yesteryear, each fully dramatized story is professionally performed by some of Hollywood’s best voice talent, including Joe Estevez, Daniel Roebuck, Nancy Stafford, Michael Sorich, Kyle Hebert, Kimberly Woods, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Tim Goodwin, and Jason J. Lewis. Written, directed, and produced by Kevin Herren. This volume includes three titles: In the Beginning: Creation begins with creation and continues through to the original sin, the fall of man, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise. In the Beginning: The Great Flood covers the story of Noah and his life-long journey to build the ark, the destruction of earth by floodwaters, and God’s covenant with Noah and his descendants. In the Beginning: Let My People Go covers the birth of Moses, his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter, the calling of Moses by God to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, the ten plagues, and the exodus from Egypt.

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    In the Beginning, Vol. 1 by Kevin Herren

    In the Beginning, Vol. 1

    Directed by Kevin Herren
    Performed by a full cast
    2.2 hrs • 11/17/15 • Audio Theater
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  7. 0.4 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Audio Theater

    In the Beginning ­is an audio drama series featuring stories from the Holy Bible. Performed in the style of the old time radio plays from yesteryear, each fully dramatized story is professionally performed by some of Hollywood’s best voice talent. This story begins with the creation of the world and continues through to the original sin, the fall of man, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise.

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    In the Beginning: Creation

    Directed by Kevin Herren
    Performed by a full cast
    0.4 hrs • 11/17/15 • Audio Theater
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  8. 0.5 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Audio Theater

    In the Beginning ­is an audio drama series featuring stories from the Holy Bible. Performed in the style of the old time radio plays from yesteryear, each fully dramatized story is professionally performed by some of Hollywood’s best voice talent. In the Beginning: The Great Flood covers the story of Noah and his life-long journey to build the ark, the destruction of Earth by floodwaters, and God’s covenant with Noah and his descendants.

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    In the Beginning: The Great Flood

    Directed by Kevin Herren
    Performed by a full cast
    0.5 hrs • 11/17/15 • Audio Theater
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    Also: Digital Rental
  9. 1.3 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Audio Theater

    In the Beginning ­is an audio drama series featuring stories from the Holy Bible. Performed in the style of the old time radio plays from yesteryear, each fully dramatized story is professionally performed by some of Hollywood’s best voice talent. This story covers the birth of Moses, his adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter, the calling of Moses by God to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, the ten plagues, and the exodus from Egypt.

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    In the Beginning: Let My People Go

    Directed by Kevin Herren
    Performed by a full cast
    1.3 hrs • 11/17/15 • Audio Theater
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  10. 4.0 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Rand Paul reveals the spiritual practices of each president of the United States and sheds light on how religion played a part in their governing and personal lives. From George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, and every president in between, prayer and religion has made its way into their public speeches, private journals, and official proclamations. With excerpts taken from speeches, journals, and other public records, this book features prayers from every US president. It also gives background stories of each president and reveals their personal feelings on religion, prayer, and their Creator.

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  11. 21.3 hrs • 6/30/2015 • Unabridged

    For many, the medieval world seems dark and foreign—a miraculous, brutal, and irrational time of superstition and strange relics. The pursuit of heretics, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the domination of the Holy Land come to mind. Yet the medieval world produced much that is part of our world today, including universities, the passion for Roman architecture and the emergence of the Gothic style, pilgrimage, the emergence of capitalism, and female saints. This new narrative history of medieval Christianity combines what is familiar and unfamiliar to modern audiences. Elements of novelty in the book include a steady focus on the role of women in Christianity; the relationships among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; the experience of ordinary parishioners; the adventure of asceticism, devotion, and worship; and instruction through drama, architecture, and art. Kevin Madigan expertly integrates these areas of focus with more traditional themes, such as the evolution and decline of papal power; the nature and repression of heresy, sanctity, and pilgrimage; the Conciliar Movement; and the break between the old western church and its reformers.

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    Medieval Christianity

    21.3 hrs • 6/30/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 12.3 hrs • 4/27/2015 • Unabridged

    In the history of the Moody Bible Institute, founded in 1886 by shoe salesman turned revivalist Dwight Lyman Moody, Timothy Gloege finds an answer to why Christian ethics seem to go hand in hand with free-market capitalism. Taking the story back to the origins of modern fundamentalism as it arose within the social and cultural context of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, Gloege reveals longstanding connections between Chicago evangelicals and business and shows that the marriage between modern business and the so-called “old-time religion” developed symbiotically, forever altering the American religious landscape. By 1920, a shifting coalition of businessmen, midlevel bureaucrats, and ministers had forged a remarkably resilient form of conservative evangelicalism that deviated in key respects from traditional Protestantism and that embraced modern consumer-oriented ideas and strategies. At the bottom was evangelicalism’s thoroughgoing individualism, demonstrated prominently in the privilege it gave to a personal relationship with God as the essence of an authentic faith. This individualism aligned with key developments within capitalism and facilitated a remarkable confluence of business and religious ideas resistant to the influence of Darwinian science’s basic orientation toward aggregated populations conditioned by nature or nurture. For these evangelicals, to challenge capitalism was to challenge the foundations of evangelical orthodoxy. Guaranteed pure from both liberal theology and populist literalism, this was a new form of old-time religion not simply compatible with modern consumer capitalism but uniquely dependent on it.

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    Guaranteed Pure by Timothy E. W. Gloege

    Guaranteed Pure

    12.3 hrs • 4/27/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    17.7 hrs • 1/27/2015 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking new look at the story of America At the heart of the nation’s spiritual history are audacious and often violent scenes. But the Puritans and the shining city on the hill give us just one way to understand the United States. Rather than recite American history from a Christian vantage point, Peter Manseau proves that what really happened is worth a close, fresh look. Thomas Jefferson himself collected books on all religions and required that the brand-new Library of Congress take his books, since Americans needed to consider the “twenty gods or no god” he famously noted were revered by his neighbors. Looking at the Americans who believed in these gods, Manseau fills in America’s story of itself, from the persecuted “witches” at Salem and who they really were, to the persecuted Buddhists in WWII California, and from spirituality and cults in the 1960s to the recent presidential election when both candidates were for the first time non-traditional Christians. One Nation, Under Gods shows how much more there is to the history we tell ourselves, right back to the country’s earliest days. Dazzling in its scope and sweep, it is an American history unlike any you’ve encountered before.

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    One Nation, Under Gods

    17.7 hrs • 1/27/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 11.2 hrs • 1/13/2015 • Unabridged

    From former diplomat Gerard Russell comes a fascinating portrait of seven endangered religions in the Middle East that have roots in the distant past. Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, and Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before. In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former diplomat Gerard Russell ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions where these mysterious religions still cling to survival. He lives alongside the Mandaeans and Ezidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Copts of Egypt, and others. He learns their histories, participates in their rituals, and comes to understand the threats to their communities. Historically a tolerant faith, Islam has, since the early twentieth century, witnessed the rise of militant, extremist sects. This development, along with the rippling effects of Western invasion, now pose existential threats to these minority faiths. And as more and more of their youth flee to the West in search of greater freedoms and job prospects, these religions face the dire possibility of extinction. Drawing on his extensive travels and archival research, Russell provides an essential record of the past, present, and perilous future of these remarkable religions.

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    Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms

    11.2 hrs • 1/13/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 13.6 hrs • 11/13/2014 • Unabridged

    A New York Times bestselling and widely admired Catholic writer explores how we can retrieve transcendent faith in modern times. Critically acclaimed and bestselling author James Carroll has explored every aspect of Christianity, faith, and Jesus Christ except this central one: What can we believe about—and how can we believe in—Jesus in the twenty-first century in light of the Holocaust and other atrocities of the twentieth century and the drift from religion that followed? What Carroll has discovered through decades of writing and lecturing is that he is far from alone in clinging to a received memory of Jesus that separates him from his crucial identity as a Jew, and therefore as a human. Yet if Jesus was not taken as divine, he would be of no interest to us. What can that mean now? Paradoxically, the key is his permanent Jewishness. No Christian himself, Jesus actually transcends Christianity. Drawing on both a wide range of scholarship as well as his own acute searching as a believer, Carroll takes a fresh look at the most familiar narratives of all—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Far from another book about the “historical Jesus,” he takes the challenges of science and contemporary philosophy seriously. He retrieves the power of Jesus’ profound ordinariness, as an answer to his own last question—what is the future of Jesus Christ?—as the key to a renewal of faith.

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    Christ Actually

    13.6 hrs • 11/13/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 20.1 hrs • 10/28/2014 • Unabridged

    From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God comes a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in America. Some analysts have cited the cause as a post-9/11 perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.  While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land—the only real source of wealth at the time. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression and the warrior ethos it begot became bound up with observances of the sacred. In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name. Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time. At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.

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    Fields of Blood

    20.1 hrs • 10/28/14 • Unabridged
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