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We hear about heaven and the supernatural far more often on late-night TV than in church; indeed, many Christians never hear eternity mentioned seriously from the pulpit. This book of short, personal essays gathers the hopes and reflections of writers from theology, fiction, and poetry. The authors include Rick Moody, Nora Gallagher, Robert Orsi, Barbara Brown Taylor, Phyllis Tickle, Alan Jones, Maggie Robbins, Barbara Crafton, Cynthia Bourgeault and Susan Wheeler. These writings, which mix autobiography, story-telling, and theological reflection, are so poignant and wide-ranging that we can all find ourselves in them and start telling our own stories about heaven.
Think of all the senses you use when you pick up a Bible. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you touch? Reading scripture attentively is more than a matter of sight. Most of us have been taught to think about God in visual terms, yet the very subject matter of scripture-our relationship with the fullness of God-makes irresistible demands upon all of our senses if we are to begin to understand anything about God. In these meditations on stories from the New Testament, Roger Ferlo shows us how to read the Bible in a full-bodied way, with all the senses attuned. For just as a printed recipe cannot substitute for a mouth-watering feast, so the Bible must be brought to life through the senses. Its stories must be seen, heard, touched, smelled, and tasted. Only then, Ferlo believes, can we truly begin to encounter in our lives the Word of God to us in scripture. Sensing God is one of our series of Cowley Cloister Books: smaller format, gift edition books designed for meditative and devotional reading.
For many people the Bible is strange and unfamiliar territory, impossible to navigate without a certain kind of knowledge and skill. Roger Ferlo leads his readers through the practical difficulties of reading the Bible, offering advice that is true to the way Anglicans have read Scripture from the time of Tyndale and Cranmer. Ferlo explains why the Bible looks the way it does, the theology that lies behind the many different versions and translations, how to deal with the notes and cross-references, and the practical tools needed for studying the Bible. Above all he teaches the importance of approaching the Bible with respect-a book with a long history, complex traditions, and diverse authorship, which must be read on its own terms. Ferlo identifies the ground rules of reading Scripture for Anglicans, noting the particular ways Anglicans have read the Bible for revelation, insight, and ethical directives, and suggesting that Scripture itself contains many clues for unlocking its own mysteries.