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Book study begins Feb. 10 at Philippi

Pastor Mike Cook is gathering a group to read and discuss “Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of  This World for Crucifixion and Empire,” by Disciples scholar Rita Nakashima Brock and Methodist/Unitarian scholar Rebecca Ann Parker.

From the book cover: “During their first millennium, Christians filled their sanctuaries with images of Christ as a living presence—as a shepherd, teacher, healer, or an enthroned god. . . . Yet once he appeared as crucified, dying was virtually all Jesus seemed able to do, and paradise disappeared from the earth. ‘Saving Paradise’ turns a fascinating new lens on Christianity, from its first centuries to the present day, asking how its early vision of beauty evolved into a vision of torture, and what changes in society and theology marked that evolution. It also retrieves, for today, a life-affirming Christianity that the world sorely needs.”

The group will meet Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., starting February 10 and continuing through March 17 (note that the group will meet February 17 following the ecumenical Ash Wednesday service, which begins at 6:30 p.m.). Those who wish to keep up with the reading are asked to complete the first three chapters for the first meeting. Those who are not interested in reading may also attend, as a summary of the text will be offered at each session.

Participants can order a copy of the book on Amazon.com for about $17. Please call Philippi at 776-6230 if you wish the church to order a copy for you.

posted 02.03.2010

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