Sick Religion or Healthy Faith?
Is it time to get rid of religion? Not so fast, says Ryan Ahlgrim. It's time for us to define and demand healthy faith. Despite the dysfunction and divisiveness seen too often in religion, we continue to need a community of love, and we yearn for a transcendent encounter that can heal us. So instead of abandoning religion, Ahlgrim outlines twelve characteristics of a healthy religious community, and describes what a healthy Christian community of faith believes and practices. Along the way he reveals the power of story, the genius of Jesus, and the path to wholeness. In the end we are faced with the most daring and fulfilling choice of all: to embrace a community of love that trusts in God. ""Looking for a quick, easy way to a healthy faith community? Then put this book down and move on. In this volume, Ahlgrim challenges us to think critically, feel deeply, and engage in the hard work that helps us connect with God, each other, and the world, with integrity and wholeness. As a seminary professor, certified interim minister, and fellow struggler on the journey, I will reach for this book time and again. -- Tracy Hartman, Daniel O. Aleshire Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond ""Where two or three are gathered, there's bound to be conflict. Nevertheless, Jesus requires that we gather, as a community, in order to practice the radical politics of his kingdom. In this incredibly accessible book, Ryan Ahlgrim provides us a practical guide for how to put into practice the politics of Jesus so that we can maintain a healthy religious community for ourselves and, perhaps more importantly, for the watching world."" --Tripp York, Author; Editor; Professor of Religious Studies, Virginia Wesleyan College Ryan Ahlgrim is pastor of First Mennonite Church of Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of Not as the Scribes: Jesus as a Model for Prophetic Preaching (2002).