This is a study of salvation, sacrifice, and the doctrine of  Blood Atonement as understood in the ancient Roman Empire. Although somewhat technical, it is written to be accessable to any interested reader. It suggests that we, in the 21st Century, have mistakenly sought for a mechanical way to assure outselves of salvation.

In the Roman Empire, wealthy people had specially carved marble caskets (called sarcophagi). Wealthy Christians had biblical stories depicted on their caskets. The “Christian Museum” in the Vatican displays a number of these, and this book is a pictorial catalog of the biblical stories depicted on the Vatican collection. If you plan to visit the Christian Museum, take this book with you.

Corinth was a significant urban center in the Roman Empire, and the Christian congregations in and around Corinth received two of St. Paul’s New Testament letters. What was life like in Corinth? Read this book for some answers.

Northern Greece (Macedonia) was the location of some of St. Paul’s most significant work. Read this book for insights into his letters to the Philippians, the Thessalonians, and the book of Acts.

Jesus told memorable stories (known as Parables). Stories are an excellent way to teach life lessons. St. Paul wasn’t known as a story-teller, but maybe he did tell stories. This book explores that possibility.

For several thousand years the “Goddess of Love” has been one of the most important of pagan deities. She has been known by many names (especially Aphrodite and Venus), but it is clear that she is always the same goddess. This book is a review of her mythology from about 4,000 BCE to our own time.

This brief book raises the question of why some mythological stories are still widely recognized and understood in the twenty-first century. Some of these ancient stories are really contemporary.

Mary Remembers is a 4-week Advent study that is very useful for our time. Congregation members can "meet" on-line and re-connect with the mother of Jesus. We often forget that Mary was not only chosen to give birth to Jesus, but was chosen to raise this child into adulthood. In this study we meet Mary as a real person.

The four weeks cover (1) Mary accepting the call to become the mother of Jesus, (2) her understanding of God as reflected in the Magnificat, (3) the reality of the flight to Egypt, and (4) her later life as a disciple of Jesus. The book also has background material that will be of interest. For example, what route did Mary and Joseph travel when they went to Egypt? Although we don't really know, we can make a good guess.

Biblical background: This study presumes that John took Mary with him when he moved to Ephesus, and that while she lived in Ephesus, Luke had a chance to interview her.

This is intended for men participating in group study. It presents character studies of real people. Men can learn about their own lives by discussing these people.

This is a collection of stories and essays about forgiveness. Clergy will find good material to support their preaching in this book.

This collection of stories and essays is about justice. Once again, clergy will find good material here.

There are a lot of thought-provoking texts in songs/hymns from the 1800s, but today they are mostly forgotten. If you have any position of congregational leadership, you might want to introduce some of these hymns or songs to a new generation that has never heard of them. They are fun to sing, and the words "stick in your head," so you think about them over and over. This is a collection of sermons I have preached. I hope you will find it inspirational.

Introduce a new generation to 19th century Gospel.

Books

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