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Finding God in a Tangled World: Thoughts and Parables Hardcover – March 31, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This unusual little book is a translated masterpiece of wisdom - the result of a unique conversation about faith between a Protestant pastor and a Roman Catholic artist in the heart of post-communist Europe. Juris Rubenis and Maris Subacs know very well that their country is inconspicuous on the global scene. But they also know that the spiritual world is one of reverse perspective, where a small people can be gifted with a big faith and a narrow gate can open onto a vast and wonderful domain.

Rubenis' pithy observations about the world are brief and deceptively simple stories that speak directly to the anxiety in our world today. At times, they evoke the Desert Fathers, at other times, Blaise Pascal or Simone Weil. With modesty and good humor, pastor and artist have borne witness to the mystery of Eden, the mystery of the kingdom of God. It is a book for new Christians, old Christians, and people who just wonder about God.

About the Author

Juris Rubenis achieved prominence in 1986 when he took a leading role in Helsinki-86, the first above-ground human rights organization in Soviet Latvia. He is the pastor of Martin Luther Church in Riga, Latvia, one of the most dynamic Christian congregations in Europe. Maris Subacs is a well-known graphic artist in Riga, Latvia. Together with Rubenis he has produced a dozen books of thoughts and parables, winning a wide following among Latvians of all faiths.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Pr (March 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557254958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557254955
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,298,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Bedel on October 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I highly suggest this book for those who are busy day-to-day, are going through any sort of troubles, or anyone who wantes to escape the daily troubles for a small time. This book is filled with parables, quotes, and stories from a little E. European country called Latvia. However, we can all relate to the stories no matter where we live around the world.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reading Owl on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Finding God in a Tangled World" is one of my top reads for the year. I don't usually find the "proverbs" style very compelling, but this is a brilliant exception. Every snippet combines reality, humor, longing, and depth to make the reader stop and either think about something in a new way or appreciate it for new meaning. Rubenis navigates the complicated (yes, tangled!) aspects of life, love, and theology with dexterity and grace, a voice of thoughtfulness and broadened perspective. As for Subacs' drawings - yes, they are amazingly simple, and amazingly right for the thoughts in the book. Who would've thought such minimal, almost child-like line drawings could be so eloquent?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Scott on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an expected little gem for me, full of quick one-liners and short parables that are surprisingly arresting and seem to send contemplative contagions right off the page and into the mind and heart for further digestion, and before you've realized it, you've meditated.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John S. Rutowicz on June 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Rev. Juris Rubenis (b. 1961) is the pastor of Martin Luther Church in Riga, Latvia. He has a certain amount of notoriety in Latvia as a best-selling author, and these parables have sold hundreds of thousands of copies there. He was also a member of the Popular Front of Latvia (Latvijas Tautas Fronte) organization which led Latvia to independence in 1991. "Juris achieved national prominence early in his ministry. In 1986 he took an active role in Helsinki-86, the first above-ground human rights organization in Soviet Latvia, and in the following year he helped found Rebirth and Renewal, an association of Latvian Lutheran pastors calling for religious freedom in the Soviet Union." (p. viii)
The introduction itself refers to the book as a collection of "pithy observations about the world." (ix) And, in fact, most pages are filled with one or two sentence reflections. This makes for easy and light reading, perfect for fifteen-minute blocks of time.
There are some clever and profoundly true reflections in the book. One clever little conversation that the author creates, is in a chapter called "Jesus." Adam asked God, "What do you want to do with me?" "Turn you into Jesus," God answered. "Who is Jesus?" Adam asked. "I am Jesus," God said. "But I can't become God!" Adam exclaimed. "I can become you," God explained. (p. 29) This little imaginary conversation is typical of the material in the book. And the book does contain some truly thoughtful and concise statements. For example, "Self-knowledge brings happiness only to God." (p. 47) "A nation is a group of people who venerate the same icon." (p. 105) And, "Socialism is a foolish dream. Capitalism should not dare to exist without a dream." (p.
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