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It IS more open to spiritual things than in decades past. And the Church certainly does need to adjust to meet the needs of the changing culture. On the one hand they seem to describe the Church using only congregations that are narrow—minded and judgmental.

And I know that there ARE those churches out there. My primary gripe is that these guys are, essentially, Bahai. The only problem--according to Burke--is that the institutional Church is hanging on to grace and not letting go unless people pay up first. God loves us but he also wants us to repent and become more like him, which was embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus.

They make a similar statement on p. Good idea; I was glad to hear this. No one comes to the Father except through me. I just thought that whole argument was weird. But, if you raise that question, then you have to throw out everything as suspicious. Which IS heresy. View 1 comment. Nov 27, Joey rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , religion. Spencer Burke does an outstanding job critiquing the church's understanding of God's grace, pointing out that Jesus invites us simply to follow Him rather than subscribe to a set of propositions about himself, and demonstrates what it means to have salvation.

In order to grasp grace, salvation, and life, Burke understands that he first needs to demonstrate how we understand the concepts today and how we arrived at those beliefs historically before we can wrap our mind around each concept's origi Spencer Burke does an outstanding job critiquing the church's understanding of God's grace, pointing out that Jesus invites us simply to follow Him rather than subscribe to a set of propositions about himself, and demonstrates what it means to have salvation.

In order to grasp grace, salvation, and life, Burke understands that he first needs to demonstrate how we understand the concepts today and how we arrived at those beliefs historically before we can wrap our mind around each concept's original message. He accomplishes this with ease. The only reason the title warrants the word "heretic" is because our understanding of God's grace, salvation, and life is so far removed today from what it meant years ago.

I also appreciate this book because it asks many questions that many people will not ask about their own faith; as a result they live with what Burke calls a "consensual illusion".


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Oct 09, LaLa rated it really liked it Shelves: relig-ish. This is one where I can never get past the first couple chapters because I must keep reading it over and over again sure that I have not squeezed every last bit of pulp out. I love that he makes me feel like God is outside the box.

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I always forget that God is outside gender, outside complications, outside the box. Spencer Burke is super cool, check out theooze. May 01, Ami Kismet rated it liked it. Good book, but there were parts that felt like it was written for the 'lowest common denominator' and ended up coming off as boring. Never insincere though and I really enjoyed his take on what a 'church' should be. Nov 06, Jean rated it it was amazing. This book is ten years old now and the emergent movement is well underway.

I, however have not been a part of it, except in my own spiritual life. This book has reinforced my own thoughts on many institutional church issues. Apr 07, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: christian-spirituality. Spencer Burke's second book really hit home for me during a period of spiritual searching. His views on church and spirituality are probably the closest to mine I have seen in print. It deviates from what I have been originally taught, but it resonates in my soul deeply.

Given the title how could I not read this book and stock it.

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That said it is not nearly as heretical as the title sounds, though overall a good read, though a tad bland if judging by the title. Feb 24, Bill rated it really liked it. Jeff rated it really liked it Dec 03, Sonny rated it it was amazing Nov 05, Tia Viglianco rated it it was ok Jun 26, Peter rated it really liked it May 27, Fred Knowlton rated it it was amazing Apr 19, Luthor Parks rated it it was amazing Aug 07, Charles rated it it was amazing May 22, Stephen Neill rated it it was amazing Feb 25, Denise Sudbeck rated it it was amazing Jul 27, Kathe rated it liked it Oct 31, Tam rated it it was amazing Apr 23, Shannon Ware rated it really liked it Jul 30, Erin rated it it was amazing May 17, Lori Clark rated it it was amazing May 28, Filip De Cavel rated it liked it Jul 27, Noah Buehner rated it really liked it Feb 17, A quote from Bono, U2, sets the stage: "I don't see Jesus as being in any part of a religion.

Religion is the temple after God has left it.


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Section 2, "Questioning What We Know: New Horizons of Faith" examines the failure and inadequacies of institutionalised religion and asks whether or not we need church anymore. It's as if, says Burkes, the church has become "the post office in an e-mail world" p.

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Section 3, "Living in Grace: Mystical Responsibility" looks ahead to what a more free-form faith might look like in practice, developing the concept of "Mystical Responsibility" as a new way of living in relational faith. Whereas traditional religion and institutional churches stress holding certain beliefs, mystical responsibility emphasises living in faith.

And in the end, it's all about grace: God's grace, God's love, reaching out to us. Burke never abandons Scripture: throughout the book he's constantly referring not only to contemporary culture but to the Bible — not as a blunt instrument to beat his readers into submission but rather as a sounding board, bouncing off his own ideas, comparing what Christianity has become to what it ought to be if it truly followed Jesus' teachings. Jesus wins, as the master heretic: following Jesus is the call to heresy. And, if we're following him in both Spirit and in truth, most likely to crucifixion at the hands of established religion If you know what you believe, and why; if you're satisified with that kind of faith; then this is not the book for you.

If, on the other hand, you have more questions than answers; if the prefabricated faith handed down by church councils, authorities and so-called experts no longer satisfies, then this, most certainly, is the book for you. Read it and you will know that you are not on your own: heresy — the willingness and the determination to challenge the status quo of religous dogma — is alive and well.

Long may it continue.

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