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Faith as a Way of Life
A Vision for Pastoral Leadership
POD; Published: 6/3/2008
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6231-0
Price: $ 17.50
151 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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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."
Richard Bliese
— 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.'"
Theological Book Review
"Brings together theological discourse about church, and social-science discourse about culture. . . . The contributors together model a collaborative, crossdisciplinary approach, with fruitful results that will set a new standard for ecclesiological research."
Theology Today
"This is an ambitious project that covers a grand sweep of faith and life in only 133 pages. . . . A constructive start for further conversation and research."
Lutheran Quarterly
"Faith as a Way of Life is one of those important books for pastoral leaders that speaks past the layers of organizational strategy that fill the pages of other useful leadership books and speaks directly to the substance of our callings."
"A dynamic book that advances the conversation on how leaders must be responsive to significant cultural challenges as Christians struggle to grow as disciples whose way of life embodies the faith they profess. . . . An important contribution to practical theology and congregational studies."
"A valuable resource for anyone who seeks to discover more than 'is this all there is?'"