Foreword by Miroslav Volf
Christian ministry is deeply concerned with proclaiming the transforming power of God's gift of faith in the daily lives of disciples. How is it, then, that Christian faith so often fails to be an orienting force that impacts every aspect of our lives?
In Faith as a Way of Life
Christian Scharen articulates a vision of pastoral leadership grounded in substantive faith language. He examines other powerful languages in our culture -- emotion-driven therapeutic and results-driven managerial models of leadership -- and shows how their domination leads to faith becoming a weak sibling. Highlighting concrete examples of excellent pastoral leadership in action, Scharen offers creative practical theological reflection on how faith can truly inform our family life, our work, our politics, our leisure -- literally all
of life -- and how pastoral leaders of all kinds can foster faith as a way of life.
Robert N. Bellah
— coauthor of Habits of the Heart
"Faith as a Way of Life sums up the understanding of religion in most human cultures. Only in the modern West has the idea arisen that religion is a purely private, personal matter with little relation to the rest of life. In the modern world, where society is fragmented and individuals are isolated, this understanding of religion makes sense, but at the cost of religious integrity and vitality. Christian Scharen has written a book that can help pastoral leaders and lay Christians alike to recover the deep and pervasive meaning of Christian faith even under modern conditions. He has no easy answers, but by addressing the difficulties so clearly, he helps us begin to understand what the wholeness of faith as a way of life really is."
Dorothy C. Bass
— Valparaiso University
"Christians today struggle to live faithfully amid complexity, cultural pressures, and, often, isolation. Christian Scharen offers a brilliant analysis of why this is so — and also a vivid theological account of the way of abundant life Christ promises and provides and a persuasive portrait of the difference pastoral leadership can make as persons and communities embrace that way. This book is both down-to-earth and immensely inspiring. I heartily recommend it to pastors and also to those who support and rely on them."
— Luther Seminary
"Faith as a Way of Life is that special kind of book that takes its reader on a faith journey from the heights of assessing the obstacles to faith in North American culture to the down-to-earth examples of Christian practices that pertain to family, work, citizenship, arts, and leisure. You recognize immediately from these rich pages that Chris Scharen is speaking from those insights he has personally gathered while practicing pastoral leadership as a way of life. This book will certainly inspire its readers to a new kind of ‘generative learning' as they ‘lead the gathering and scattering. ' "