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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices

Thomas Nelson Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices

Constant change within today's church seems to be prompting a desire for deeper devotion. Many 21st-century Christians are exploring ancient practices including fixed-hour prayer and fasting. McLaren explains these timeless traditions---some dating back to Abraham---and reveals how they can transform your spiritual sojourn. An informative introduction to a 7-book series on spiritual disciplines.
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Customer Reviews for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Review 1 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good Starting Point

Date:June 6, 2011
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Derek
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I received Brian McLaren’s book Finding Our Way Again for free from Booksneeze.com and in return, I am writing an unbiased review.
Brian McLaren’s book Finding Our Way Again is a book about returning to what he calls ancient practices. These are also called spiritual disciplines by others. In chapter 1, McLaren talks about finding sacredness in everyday, mundane things and connects this awareness to spiritual disciplines. McLaren addresses why these practices matter, why so many people choose to practice them, and how these practices can be helpful.
The book is divided into three sections: Way, Practices, and Ancient. In Way, McLaren writes about the usefulness of spiritual disciplines and the way they can lead to closeness with God. In Practices, he gives brief descriptions about the different sorts of practices and even divides them into contemplative, missional, and communal practices. Finally, the third section is Ancient. This focuses on practices that have been done for so long that they have become embedded into tradition and deserve to be discussed.
Overall, for those interested in spiritual disciplines, this is a good place to start. Designed to be the first book in a series of ancient practices, this gives a good introduction into the various ways some people choose to practice beliefs. Perhaps there are better, more in depth books written about spiritual disciplines, but this is a good starting point for those looking for some sort of direction.
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Review 2 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

I wouldn't buy this book

Date:May 3, 2011
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Logan
Location:New Zealand
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
This book promises much. It seeks to outline seven ancient spiritual practices as an introduction to a further series of books focusing on each practice.
Having been seriously looking at spiritual disciplines and practices lately I was rather hoping that this book would enlighten me further, however I found it something of a mish-mash.
I really couldn't get past two striking issues for me. Firstly the author seems to be confused as to who the audience of the book should be, very loosely holding to a Christian position in the midst of the other 'two Abrahamic faiths' of Islam and Judaism.
Furthermore it comes from a position that this kind of spirituality can not be found in the established churches, rather the author gets a little vague on faith communities.
In short, after reading this introduction I am not at all interested in the rest of the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 3 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Spiritual Discipline 101

Date:April 26, 2011
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Chris Tabone
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
In the book, Finding Our Way Again, Brian McLaren points out seven ancient practices of spiritual formation that have been shaping the community of faith from the very beginning of its inception. The point he tries to make in this book is that, “we have lost the path and are seeking to rediscover our faith as a way of life, shaped and strengthened by ancient practices (Pg. 6).”
For those of us we are searching for a new and refreshing way to go about spiritual formation, this book is a good starting place. Nearly each chapter of the book is broken down into practices and exercise. The part dealing with practices describe what they are, what they mean, and what they look like. For instance Confession and Assurance are described as listening practices because they involve dimensions of listening to your conscience. The practice would be sharing this section with a faith leader and dialoguing about how it has affected the person reading it. Over all the book is worth a read.
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Review 4 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good substance, but loose framework.

Date:April 22, 2011
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EnigmaDaddy
Location:Cincinnati
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
There are several things that seem to be happening in mainstream Christianity these days. Leaders are becoming less political, churches are moving further away from strict dogmatic denominational structures, and believers are creating their own amalgamation of practices, worship styles and traditions. That's where Brian McLaren's new book, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices comes in. The editor touches on a cord running throughout the book in her foreward, saying "Young men and women of faith, especially, are crying everywhere, "Give us a faith that costs something. We want to feel the passion of those who knew and know Christianity is worth dying for! Teach us the things that will mark us as children of God! Make of us a holy nation before God!"
When we are able to see the greater story in God's plan of redemption, we can learn from our counterparts from the Catholic to the Charismatic. Some may be perceived as "Social Activists," relating their faith to fighting injustices and bringing about God's Kingdom on earth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we might see "Internalists/Individualists" who would abandon this world for Heaven, preparing themselves for Christ's return, and dwelling on the lofty theological ideologies of faith. McLaren argues that this is a fals dichotomy, that these aspects of faith are simply two sides of the same coin. "Heaven (the afterlife) and earth (this life) stop being perceived as two separate things. They are two dimensions of the experience of God, two venues of the presence of God, two facets of one gift."
McLaren's goal in this book is to setup a defense for why some of the ancient practices such as fasting, fixed hour prayer, pilgrimage and a sacred meal, can bring us closer to God, and closer in community. Theses traditions should be seen for their character building and unifying properties, not for their tendencies to draw lines, and create traditionalism. I felt like some of the connections were a little loose, and I'm not sure how finding common ground amongst denominations or dogmatic practices necessarily lends itself to practicing ancient rituals, but I am excited to see what the other authors in this series bring to the table.
I was provided a free copy of this book by booksneeze.com.
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Review 5 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

sadly disappointed

Date:April 16, 2011
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xate
Location:leipzig, germany
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Finding Our Way Again: the Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren and Phyllis Tickle is the first book i am reviewing for a website that specializes in reviews of new Christian literature. I was very excited about the idea, and chose a book to review that i thought would compliment my current interests well. The cover is reminicent of stained-glass windows, and echos the title well in it's medieval cathedral feel. The summary that caught my interest begged the question, "Why have certain spiritual disciplines been in use for centuries, and why are they so important?" It went on to claim, "Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide." Since this book is the first in a series of eight books, i thought it would be a good place to start my study of these ancient Biblical practices.
When the book arrived i was excited, taking in the cover, the notes on the back and even reading the forward before starting in on the text... something i am usually too impatient to do. I wanted to prepare myself for the book, be open to it. It started out with an antidote... and that style continued throughout: stories from the author's life or imagination and metaphors made up much of the text. The chapter was very short- as the author's style seems to be- and at the end were some "spiritual excercises." I found these increasingly annoying as i read the book, and at some point started skipping them altogether.
As far as the content is concerned, i would warn readers that at many points i wondered if the author is indeed christian? his biography says he is a "former pastor." The book seems to point to a more unitarian view of religion.
In the end i do not feel that the book taught me more about the ancient practices i was hoping to read about. Instead i am left with a jumble of images and the same curiosity about the ancient practices of fixed-hour prayer, fasting, sacred meals, Sabbath, and pilgrimages that i expected him to discuss more.
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Review 6 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This product has great suggestions

Date:March 23, 2011
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Cami
Location:Fountain, CO
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Finding Our Way Again by Brian Mclaren
This book is about helping Christians find deeper meaning in their relationship with God by introducing ancient practices that have been all but forgotten in today’s society. The book is set out as a guide to help you experience the ancient practices that are introduced. Each chapter actually has Spiritual Exercises to help you practice what you just read about. In the back of the book there is also a wonderful study guide that gives you a bit more information and draws out your experience even more.
I personally found the book to be very enlightening. I have been searching for a more indepth way to worship God, and this book just happened to show me exactly that. I was inspired by the simple, yet effective ways that early Christians used to worship God. I enjoyed reading about the different kinds of fasting and prayer memorization. I especially enjoyed his explanation of what a church is for. I have never thought of memorizing a prayer before reading this book. However, the author makes a very valid point that while under duress, it is best to have scripture and prayer memorized to help you through your trial. The book is laid out in an easy to understand format. Each chapter builds on the prior one, which made me look forward to the next chapter. The parts of the book that are from the Bible are definitely Biblically correct. There were a few parts I didn’t agree with the author’s views on, but they were small and didn’t detract from the overall message. I would recommend this book for Professional Clergy, Lay People, and the everyday person looking for a more fulfilling way to worship God.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 7 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Save your Money!

Date:March 16, 2011
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Gospel Scribe
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
This book was a major disappointment. Definitely not for the spiritually immature or undiscerning. The author identifies seven ancient practices that are common to Christianity, Judaism and the Islamic faiths. The emphasis appears to be more on works rather than relationship. Not to mention the fact that the author barely addresses the "elephant in the room", how do these ancient practices grow one's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 8 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

This is NOT a Christian Book

Date:March 16, 2011
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Amanda
Location:Montana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
DON’T BUY THIS BOOK (Or ANY book by Brian McLaren)! That is my quick some up for you skimmers out there! Now, for anyone who wants to know why, read on…
I read “Finding Our Way Again” hoping to obtain some insight and direction ministry work I am doing. From the opening pages of the book I was feeling a mixture of anticipation and apprehension.
The basic idea of this book is good, to return to our roots of worship to cultivate a closer walk with God and foster a spirit of love and understanding and community. I was initially sold on the idea that it is not about religion, rather about relationship.
However, McLaren (who does not have a degree in divinity… he has an honorary degree which isn’t the same) taints this message by ‘preaching’ Marxist, socialistic, and even atheistic ideas as his basis for argument. He spends most of the book quoting men (and mentors as he refers to some of them) who harbor these same ideas.
Social Order, distribution of wealth, one world religion, and ‘down with the system’ are themes I saw carried throughout the pages of this book. He openly blames the system for the problems of society (Whether or not the system has blame is irrelevant but the Bible does not hold a message of “blame”) and just as blatantly retracts faith declarations when met with people who question Christianity.
This book disturbed me. If people like McLaren are the guys teaching in seminary and leading the nation in “evangelistic” speaking, we are certainly doomed. Faith is non-negotiable, but he would have you think otherwise. There is no middle ground the scriptures are clear about that.
BEWARE, please. There are many false teachers out there right now. Brian McLaren and Neale Donald Walsch are two of the worst right now. They write books, speak at conferences, and come across as God fearing with a message of love and peace. On the outside they seem upright and just. Yet the underlying truths in their claims are the antithesis of what the Bible and Christ call to us. Research authors before you read. Be sure they are NOT against individual salvation, end times theology, and preaching the Good News. Nor should they be for changing/transforming Christianity or macro-evolution and the secular traditional views of Darwin’s Theory.
I know it seems like I am ranting, and maybe I am. I type this review after taking a few days to calm down! So let me depart in peace and share the scripture God put on my heart as the essence of this book:
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:3-5
DISCLAIMER: I received this book free of charge from Book Sneeze in exchange for agreeing to provide an unbiased review. I am not required to submit a positive review, and I am not paid for my review. This review is my opinion.
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Review 9 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Read the Series... Skip the Introduction!

Date:March 2, 2011
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Jim Kilson
Location:Rupert, ID
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Romans 1:25 NASB
This was the passage of scripture that kept popping up in my head as I made my way through Brian McLaren’s book Finding Our Way Again; The Return to Ancient Practices. The concept of this series intrigued me, so when given the chance I began with the first book in the series, and to be honest I truly wish I would have skipped it and went straight to the second book. To say that this book is not a good read would be the understatement of the year. In fact I’m truly shocked and saddened that Thomas Nelson would even agree to print such a blasphemous work. It’s a tragedy on a Shakespearian level that this book is being presented as one that focuses on “Christian faith,” when the author openly advocates what can only be called a ‘Universalist Theology.’
Here several years ago I read an excellent little book by Dr. J.K. Jones entitled “What the Monks can Teach Us,” focusing on the pro’s and even con’s of the ancient monastic principles. I was hoping that this book would be somewhere along those lines but alas I was sadly disappointed. The first chapter of the book presents a somewhat compelling argument about how our faith has become a religion instead of a lifestyle, but instead of calling for a radical change in life that focus’ on our personal relationship with God the book takes a nosedive down the tube of what I can only describe as quazi-self-help form of pseudo-Christianity.
The book primarily focuses on three concepts, and McLaren views them as foundational to a deeper spiritual life, Katharsis, Fotosis, and Theosis. Katharsis is us cleaning out our dirty selves while the other two focus on how we can move closer to God.
Not only do McLaren’s ideas appear to be a case of modern self-help/pop-psychology driven spirituality, they are diametrically opposed to the teachings of scripture. We don’t clean up our lives and then draw near to God, we draw near to God, as He draws near to us, we are convicted of our sins, repent of those sins, enter the waters of baptism and rise to newness of life, and there after strive to live a holy life, focused on serving and savoring God.
As a minister, by far the most disappointing and disconcerting aspect of this book is the fact that McLaren openly advocates theological positions that that clearly stand in opposition to teachings of scripture.
I could literally spill gallons of ink on trees of paper documenting McLaren’s deficient theology, but for the sake of time I’ll only comment on a few of his more egregious errors.
(1) "Abraham--like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad--had an encounter with God." pg. 22 – for someone to place the false prophet Muhammad in the same category as Abraham and Moses is insulting, but to place him in the same category as Jesus is downright blasphemous, an act that is without excuse!
(2) When speaking about Melchizedek he states “He is not a member of Abraham’s family or culture, nor is he a member of Abraham’s religion.” pg. 25 – apparently McLaren missed the fact that Melchizedek was a “priest of the God Most High,” the same God that was worshiped by Abraham, and consider his words to Abraham; “blessed be Abraham of the God Most High. cf. Genesis 14: 18-19
(3) "the Jewish torah, Christian gospel, and Muslim deen--leads us toward the peace, wisdom, and joy we seek." pg. 51 – Though the Torah (Pentateuch) and the Gospel are “God breathed” inspired teachings from Scripture cf. 2nd Timothy 3:16, as where the deen (Dīn) is the path along which righteous Muslims travel in order to comply with divine law, or Shari'a, and to the divine judgment or recompense to which all humanity must inevitably face without intercessors before the false god of Islam. Again to place the teachings of false religion in the same category with Scripture is without excuse!
(4) When God created everything, He said, "Let there be ... the possibilities unfolded and flowered in a wild creative experiment we clumsily call evolution … and finally naked apes we know as homo sapiens." pg. 175. I don’t know if McLaren forgot to read the introduction… called Genesis, but creation wasn’t some experiment, it was ordered and perfect, and there was nothing clumsy about it. God spoke it into existence, without need of any change or modification. For someone who claims to be a Christian to advocate evolution, which served as the basis for some of the most egregious atrocities of human history, is again without excuse!
I’ve always been a person who tries to find some redeeming factor in anything I read, alas with this book there is really nothing positive that I can say for it. It is yet another example of false teachings being presented as Biblical truth. The aim of the book is admirable, but through a cacophony of nonsense it completely misses the mark.
End thought… read the series, but skip its introduction.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their “booksneeze program.” I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Review 10 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Katharsis, fotosis, theosis

Date:February 12, 2011
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gadfly1974
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Brian McLaren does an excellent job providing an overview of the theory and foundations of ancient Christian spiritual practices.
His treatment of katharsis (via purgativa), fotosis (via illuminativa), and theosis (via unitiva) is especially enlightening.
However, this book serves as the introduction to seven others. I prefer the author's original work to this creative implementation of the series editor's outline.
Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an unbiased review.
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Review 11 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Ancient Practices- Are They For You?

Date:February 5, 2011
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pyroboop
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Finding our Way Again : The return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren
With study Guide
This is the first book I have read by McLaren, and this is the first book in a series titled The Ancient Practices. I have read two books in the series, and enjoyed them both. McLaren’s book provides a concise summary of ancient practices and the importance of them in an individual’s life.
From the beginning of the book, McLaren pushes the reader to not remain comfortable in a relationship with Christ, while pointing out the various spiritual practices and how each can alter her/ his relationship with Christ. While providing details of each practice, McLaren provides pros and cons to each practice. For example a person performing contemplative practices may believe she/ he has an inside track to God whereas people who practice corporate worship do not. I appreciated the easy reading style and the coverage of abrahamic religions. I believe the study guide questions push the reader just enough to question how life is being lived, yet the questions are not asked in a manner which implies guilt or judgment. McLaren introduced & explained Greek words which apply to the ancient practices while describing how these practices occur today.
McLaren quotes a wide range of theologians, authors and books which shows balanced research for the book. The book was a concise, thorough, quick read which I believe can lead a reader to learn more about an individual practice. I give the book a 5 stars, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to explore spiritual practices.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 12 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Finding Our Way Again

Date:January 27, 2011
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Sean
Location:Iowa
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Finding Our Way Again is a book on Christianity as a way of life. A returning to a faith that is old, and yet new. Finding that the practices of the fathers of our faith have a surprising depth and richness that is often overlooked in our modern fascination with what’s new and trendy. The author covers a wide variety of practices and paths that spiritual pilgrims of old have followed to find God and be found by Him, and contains a study guide for group and/or self reflection.
This book is an appropriate starter to the Ancient Practice Series, as it touches on each but looks beyond those particular practices to the heart (or Spirit) behind them. I found the book to be very interesting and surprisingly insightful. The author lets down his guard and uses some excellent and revealing anecdotes from his life. The book touches on several practices that Christians of old have long used to express their faith, from fasting, to prayer, and much more, but the book focuses more on Christianity as a way of life over simply a set of beliefs or a spiritual “to do list”. Brian McLaren is a very controversial figure, and this book toes some lines that will bother some. Those that enjoyed A Generous Orthodoxy will not be disappointed, but those that dislike McLaren will surely dislike this offering as well. I personally enjoyed the book greatly and the Ancient Practices Series as a whole.
Disclosure Note: Thomas Nelson has been gracious enough to give me a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 13 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

start to find your way again

Date:January 14, 2011
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markbraye
Location:Temiskaming Shores, Ontario, Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
have we North American Christians lost our way? have we made Christianity about conservative politics, not watching R-rated films, and not listening to rock and roll music?
to a certain extent i think we have. we need to get back on track. we need to find our way again.
enter Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, written by Brian McLaren. the text is the introductory book to The Ancient Practices Series from Thomas Nelson Publishers.
author Phyllis Tickle serves as the General Editor of the series and writes a forward for each volume. (i've previously blogged about The Sacred Meal and The Liturgical Year, volumes six and seven in the series).
the book is wonderful. McLaren sets the table for the volumes to come in the series and introduces readers to a world of the ancient practices making sense today.
book stores and book shelves are filled with self-help books, books that claim to be spiritual, and manuals for living. Finding Our Way Again is a book that looks at rich and deep practices for a rich and deep spiritual life.
the spiritual life is a journey. at times we need to find our way again.
Brian McLaren's contribution to The Ancient Practices Series and the other books i've read from the series are a help along the way.
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Review 14 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Do not recommend

Date:January 12, 2011
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Apryl
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
This book is the first in The Ancient Practices Series, published by Thomas Nelson. It is a book designed to look at early spiritual practices and how they can be implemented today, and is supposed to introduce the series.
As a conservative Christian, this book did not appeal to me at all. The first part of the book has a very "all paths lead to God" feel, and neglects to emphasize that Jesus is the only path to salvation. As a self-proclaimed Christian writer, this should have been the foundation of such a series.
I also felt that the book lacked coherence. I finished it wondering what point he was trying to make. He uses a lot of metaphors and imagery that don't seem to flow well. There ends up being very little information about the spiritual practices he's talking about, or in fact any real clue as to what they are.
His personal anecdotes didn't always seem to mesh with the point he was trying to make either. Or maybe I just didn't get it.
I wouldn't recommend this book at all. It doesn't seem well founded on Biblical doctrine, and would be very confusing to someone that wasn't strong in their faith. It left me with no desire to read the rest of the series.
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Review 15 for Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Finding Our Way Again

Date:January 3, 2011
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GiniB
Location:Dallas, PA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
As stated in the forward written by Phyllis Tickle, this book is the first in The Ancient Practice Series. I had read some of McLaren’s work in the past so I was anxious to see what he had written here. His writings are engaging and persuasive, and this book is not different in those respects. What I did find interesting was a more settled, studied tone. He seems to have matured in some aspects.
The ancient practices are the spiritual disciples that have been around for centuries but largely ignored in some regions of Christianity. This book constitutes a brief overview of the practices and some anecdotal tales of his attempts at translating them from the monasteries to general laity. Keeps the reading friendlier I think.
His writings will rock your boat. You will not agree with some of what he says. You will see some areas that are in need of attention as well. While I tend toward the contemplative his push toward more people and planet oriented areas do make for good balance. Don’t dismiss either side totally is pretty much his final resting place as far as this book is concerned.
The only problem I had with his work and it may be my particular problem is the matter of fact inclusion of all monotheistic religions under one roof. Yes, it would be fantastic if everyone loved each other, but because of some major issues that separate them it is not the way of things. This sort of thing is what keeps him just outside of acceptance by many who read him. I am beginning to believe that he intends that though as another means of pushing against the norm.
His spiritual exercises at the end of each chapter are great for individual or group use. They should stimulate some good conversations. There are also some discussion starters at the end of the book and his endnotes list several resources for those that are looking for more.
Overall I recommend this book as a means to challenge an individual or a group that is sensing the need to more.
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson for review on the BookSneeze site.
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