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Religion, Politics & State

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  1. 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    Impeccably researched, thought-challenging and leavened by wit, Getting Religion, the highly-anticipated new book from Kenneth L. Woodward, is ideal perfect for readers looking to understand how religion came to be a contentious element in 21st century public life.   Here the award-winning author blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with copious reporting and shrewd historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture and politics influenced each other in the second half of the 20th century. There are few people writing today who could tell this important story with such authority and insight. A scholar as well as one of the nation’s most respected journalists, Woodward served as Newsweek’s religion editor for nearly forty years, reporting from five continents and contributing over 700 articles, including nearly 100 cover stories, on a wide range of social issues, ideas and movements.   Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties.   Along the way, Woodward provides riveting portraits of many of the era’s major figures:  preachers like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell; politicians Mario Cuomo and Hillary Clinton; movement leaders Daniel Berrigan, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Richard John Neuhaus; influential thinkers ranging from Erik Erikson to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; cult leaders like Dr. Sun Myung Moon and est impresario Werner Erhardt; feminist theologians Rosemary Reuther and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza; plus the author’s long time friend, the Dalai Lama.   For readers interested in how religion, economics, family life and politics influence each other, Woodward introduces fresh a fresh vocabulary of terms such as “embedded religion,” “movement religion” and “entrepreneurial religion” to illuminate the interweaving of the secular and sacred in American public life.   This is one of those rare books that changes the way Americans think about belief, behavior and belonging.

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  2. 7.9 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    What should a Christian say when confronted with today’s burning political questions? How can a person of faith use the Bible as a resource when navigating controversial cultures issues?Skyline Church Pastor James L. Garlow presents Well-Versed, the ultimate scripture-based guide for Christians looking for answers, reassurance, and resources on the issues of today. Topics include: Israel, Social Justice, Sexual Identity, Debt, Taxes, Abortion, Bioethics, the Role of Government, War, Islam, Entertainment, and more.

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    Well Versed

    7.9 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.5 hrs • 7/3/2016 • Unabridged

    The church in the West is at a critical moment. While the gospel is exploding throughout the global south, Western civilization faces militant assaults from aggressive secularism and radical Islam. Will the church resist the seductive shaping power of advanced modernity? More than ever, Christians must resist the negative cultural forces of our day with fortitude and winsomeness. What is needed is followers of Christ who are willing to face reality without flinching and respond with a faithfulness that is unwavering. Os Guinness describes these Christians as “impossible people,” those who have “hearts that can melt with compassion, but with faces like flint and backbones of steel who are unmanipulable, unbribable, undeterrable and unclubbable, without ever losing the gentleness, the mercy, the grace and the compassion of our Lord.” Few accounts of the challenge of today are more realistic, and few calls to Christian courage are more timely, resolute, and hopeful. Guinness argues that we must engage secularism and atheism in new ways, confronting competing ideas with discernment and fresh articulation of the faith. Christians are called to be impossible people, serving an impossible God.

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    Impossible People

    7.5 hrs • 7/3/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 12.3 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the lives and struggles of a group of everyday Palestinians For the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been spending stretches of time living with several Palestinian families in the West Bank. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable New York Times Magazine cover story. Now comes the powerful new work that has always been his ultimate goal, The Way to the Spring. We are familiar with brave journalists who travel to bleak or war-torn places and make human contact with people suffering from extremes of oppression and want: Katherine Boo, Adrian Nicole Leblanc, Alex Kotlowitz, and Philip Gourevitch among them. Palestine is, by any measure, whatever one’s politics, one such place. In cities and small villages alike, men and women, young and old, a group of unforgettable characters share their lives with Ehrenreich and make their own case for resistance and resilience in the face of life under occupation. Ruled by the Israeli military, set upon and harassed constantly by Israeli settlers who admit unapologetically to wanting to drive them from the land, forced to negotiate an ever more elaborate and more suffocating series of fences, checkpoints, and barriers that have sundered home from field, home from home, they are a population whose living conditions are unique, and indeed hard to imagine. Blending political and historical context with deeply human stories, The Way to the Spring makes clear that conditions on the ground are changing—and getting worse, in an accelerating dynamic that should provoke the conscience of us all. In a great act of bravery, empathy, and understanding, Ben Ehrenreich, by placing us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians and telling their story with surpassing literary power and grace, makes it impossible for us to turn away.

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    The Way to the Spring

    12.3 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    4.5 hrs • 3/8/2016 • Unabridged

    A former Islamic State hostage and veteran Middle East journalist explores misperceptions of Islamic State and their consequences. For more than a decade, French journalist Nicolas Hénin has reported from the front lines of conflict in the Middle East, much of his time spent in Iraq and Syria. He witnessed the events leading to the rise of Islamic State, and in June 2013, he was himself captured by IS and spent ten months in captivity with James Foley and others who were beheaded soon after Hénin was released. Those barbarities and the first strikes against Islamic State prompted Hénin to present in Jihad Academy what he knows IS to be, in contrast to the misperceptions he sees perpetuated on an ongoing basis. Hénin sees Islamic State as a political entity, having arisen out of a sense of injustice and lack of hope and as the natural result of the Western inability to support Syrian democracy activists. The West, however, sees IS only as a terrorist organization, ignoring its political message and goals; by doing so, we act as a recruitment agent for Islamic State and largely overlook the greatest victims of IS violence: civilians on the ground. IS will only be ultimately defeated, he argues, by the people of the region, just as others have overthrown groups that practiced political violence on their people. Jihad Academy is a fresh and powerful assessment by a writer with the perspective of a historian, the passion of a journalist long committed to the region, and the credibility of someone who has witnessed terrorism firsthand. Hénin’s is an important new voice in the ongoing debate about our role in the Middle East.

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    Jihad Academy by Nicolas Hénin

    Jihad Academy

    Translated by Martin Makinson
    4.5 hrs • 3/8/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 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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  7. 6.2 hrs • 2/2/2016 • Unabridged

    For most of American history, the conventional wisdom was that religion was too private a matter to ask a political candidate about. But in a political landscape in which we will see Muslims, atheists, Mormons, Buddhists, and Christians of all stripes running for high office, we cannot afford to avoid religious questions. It’s within American voters’ rights to know what their candidates believe about God and religion, because those beliefs shape policy and thus action. In both small and significant ways, a candidate’s religious views (or lack thereof) define political leadership. And the time for skirting the question or giving vague answers is over. In this rousing call to action, Stephen Mansfield shows readers, among much more,what religion will mean in the 2016 presidential race;how the media, both left and right, get religion wrong;the reasons the faith of candidates such as JFK, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama caused issues with both the electorate and even their own advisers;how to ask the right questions to get honest answers;what giving candidates a “religious pass” can cost the country; andhow religion in American politics impacts America’s role in the world. Frustrated and confused voters across the country and on both sides of the aisle will find here a balanced and essential guidebook to actively and intelligently participating in America’s political system.

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    Ask the Question

    Foreword by David Aikman
    Read by Bob Souer
    6.2 hrs • 2/2/16 • Unabridged
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    6.7 hrs • 9/22/2015 • Unabridged

    The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State’s black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam—the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world—into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic—including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen—William McCants’ The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State’s past and foreshadow its dark future.

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    The ISIS Apocalypse

    6.7 hrs • 9/22/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 5.4 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    In this book, Dr. R.C. Sproul employs his unique perspective as a highly experienced pastor-theologian and a trained philosopher to provide well-considered and compassionate answers to the difficult questions that attend termination of pregnancy. Dr. Sproul strives for a factual, well-reasoned approach informed by careful biblical scholarship. He considers both sides of this issue in terms of biblical teaching, civil law, and natural law. This edition includes a new foreword by Dr. George Grant and has been updated to reflect developments in the issue of abortion. Appendixes provide further background on the issue of when life begins and list sources for pro-life resources.

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    Abortion

    5.4 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.5 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    Jay Sekulow, one of America’s most influential attorneys, explores the current political landscape in which bureaucracy has taken over our government and provides a practical roadmap to help take back our personal liberties. From Ellis Island to the Supreme Court in just two generations, Jay Sekulow is on a mission to defend the American right to individual freedom—and he will protect it from any threat, even if that includes our current administration. According to Jay, the warning signs were there before Obama was elected. This new and unprecedented attack on individual liberties became clear as soon as Obama came to power. The administration’s focus on increasing the power of the government, decreasing individual autonomy, and suppressing dissent goes against all of the fundamental liberties outlined in the Constitution. As our government cracks down on leaks in their own operations and supports intrusions into individual privacy, personal freedom is lost. But Jay has a plan to fight back. With insights into Jay’s legal strategies, Undemocratic focuses on successful responses to previous Obama Administration overreach and acts as a guide to help Americans continue on this path. Jay shines a light on many abuses Americans are unaware of and teaches us how to respond in effective ways, providing a roadmap for future victories. A welcome voice to conservative ears, Sekulow’s point of view wholeheartedly supports those fighting to uphold personal liberties regardless of the administration in charge.

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    Undemocratic

    6.5 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 3.6 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    There is a tug of war going on for the future of America. At one end of the rope are those who think America is a secular nation; at the other end are those who believe religion is at the root of our country’s foundation. In this audiobook release of the thought-provoking America’s Real War, renowned leader and speaker Rabbi Daniel Lapin encourages America to reembrace the Judeo-Christian values on which our nation was founded, and he logically demonstrates why those values are crucial to America’s strength in the new millennium.

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    America’s Real War

    3.6 hrs • 5/1/15 • 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. 12.9 hrs • 4/14/2015 • Unabridged

    Conventional wisdom holds that America has been a Christian nation since the Founding Fathers. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse argues that the idea of a “Christian America” is nothing more than a myth—and a relatively recent one at that. The assumption that America was, is, and always will be a Christian nation dates back no further than the 1930s, when a coalition of businessmen and religious leaders united in opposition to FDR’s New Deal. With the full support of Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, these activists—the forerunners of the Religious Right—propelled religion into the public sphere. Church membership skyrocketed; Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s official motto. For the first time, America became a thoroughly religious nation. Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics today.

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    One Nation under God

    12.9 hrs • 4/14/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 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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  15. 7.4 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    We are facing uncertain times. America’s values are under assault. Religious liberty has been undermined. We live in a day when right is now wrong and wrong is now right. The vicious left-wing attacks against the recent traditional marriage stance of Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty should serve as a wake-up call to people of faith. It’s not about ducks or chicken sandwiches. It’s about religious liberty. It’s about free speech. It’s about the future of our nation. As a national reporter covering the culture war, Todd Starnes is on the front lines of these attacks against traditional values. In God Less America he uses both recent news stories and compelling interviews with today’s top conservative leaders to bring to light what is happening across our country. In his award-winning, satire-meets-serious writing style he strikes an important blow in today’s culture wars.

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    God Less America

    7.4 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    6.4 hrs • 2/11/2014 • Unabridged

    In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed by the war had led to astonishing advances in daily life, but technology and mass culture also threatened to erode the country’s traditional moral character. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, postwar Americans looked to the country’s secular liberal elites for guidance in this precarious time, but these intellectuals proved unable to articulate a coherent common cause by which America could chart its course. Their failure lost them the faith of their constituents, paving the way for a Christian revival that offered America a firm new moral vision—one rooted in the Protestant values of the founders. A groundbreaking reappraisal of the country’s spiritual reawakening, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment shows how America found new purpose at the dawn of the Cold War.

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    The Twilight of the American Enlightenment by George M. Marsden

    The Twilight of the American Enlightenment

    6.4 hrs • 2/11/14 • Unabridged
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