From Publishers Weekly
Coutinho, a Jesuit priest who has lived much of his life in India, once was told by a theology teacher at an American university that he was a heretic. He had merely posed a what if, asking what the man would do if scripture scholars should determine that Jesus never existed as a historical figure. The teacher said he would have to abandon his work as a priest because he could never base his life on a myth, but Coutinho countered that he would still die for the myth. Conversant with India's Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Coutinho effectively uses this story to illustrate the differences between the Western and Eastern understandings of truth (one, he writes, sees truth as a set of beliefs while the other views it as an experience). Throughout this volume of short essays, Coutinho draws on Eastern religious traditions, blending them with his own Catholic practice to challenge and deepen readers' understandings of God. Besides asking questions like Can you be religious without knowing God? and Are you running for fun or for your life? he offers practical advice as well, including a PQR (Pause Question Respond) formula for handling difficult situations and BAD (Basement Attic Disposal) days for helping Westerners get rid of consuming possessions. Readers who favor spirituality over religion will most enjoy this book. (Oct.)
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Deepen your experience of God by moving from religion to relationship.
Paul Coutinho, SJ, is an Indian Jesuit priest with a genial sense of humor and a penchant for asking deeply thought-provoking spiritual questions: Do you have a real relationship with God, or do you just have a religion? Do you know God, or do you just know about God? Do you worry about the smallest things, or do you trust God to help you through even the biggest things? Have you ever considered believing in a God without limits, a God powerful enough to enable you to think, love, and live differently?
In How Big Is Your God? Fr. Coutinho challenges us to grow stronger and deeper in our faith by embracing a God whose love knows no bounds. To help us on our way, Coutinho introduces us to his Hindu friends who put him on the path to mysticism; to his Buddhist teachers who broke open his limited views of the divine; to Viktor Frankl, Desmond Tutu, and other enlightened guides who led him to a far more meaningful spiritual life; and to St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose Spiritual Exercises continue to shape his reflection and prayer life.
Each short chapter in this book will draw readers with an open mind and a longing heart into a closer relationship with God and will encourage them to experience the infinite breadth of God in a deeply personal way.