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A FAITH WORTH BELIEVING: Finding New Life Beyond the Rules of Religion

Tom Stella, Author
Tom Stella, Author . Harper San Francisco $22.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-06-056343-1
Reviewed on: 01/26/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-06-075057-2
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-211320-7
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This is a book for grown-up Christians. Stella, a Catholic priest and author of The God Instinct , writes for those wanting to think about faith as well as practice it—what Hindus would call the path of reflection. The author devotes a chapter each to 15 familiar key concepts from religion (hope, sin, salvation, etc.), beginning with a simple definition such as might be taught a child, then adding reflection and complexity. Chapters conclude with prayerful meditations that invite some slow examination of the author's deepened meanings. He works to broaden teachings beyond the literal, which is a level good enough for some believers but not for him or others who would seek a mature faith beyond the childish. He challenges some essential Christian doctrines—such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus or virgin birth—while simultaneously acknowledging the symbolic meaning and importance of such teachings. While he is critical of the parochialism that religion can promote, he also recognizes and honors what religion intends: the provision of a framework of morality, relationship and understanding of God, self and neighbor. This book will be especially useful for those who consider themselves "hurt" by religious teaching and who may be angry about religion as a result. Stella writes without anger and with honesty. (Mar. 2)

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