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The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty Paperback – February 4, 2014


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The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty + Catholicism Pure and Simple + Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849921953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849921957
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dwight Longenecker has served as a parish priest, a chaplain at Kings College, Cambridge and a country parson on the Isle of Wight. Dwight  has written sixteen books and countless articles for websites, magazines, and papers in the USA and Britain. His blog, Standing on My Head, has been voted one of the top religious blogs in the country. He holds a degree in theology from Oxford University and currently serves a local parish in Greenville, SC.


More About the Author

Brought up as an Evangelical. Dwight Longenecker graduated from fundamentalist Bob Jones University. While there he became an Anglican and after graduation went to Oxford to train as an Anglican priest.

After serving for ten years as an Anglican priest he converted to the Catholic faith with his wife and family. Eventually he returned to the United States to be ordained as a Catholic priest under the special provision from Rome for married former Anglican clergy.

Fr Longenecker has written over fifteen books and booklets on Catholic spirituality, apologetics and prayer. He has authored hundreds of articles which have been published in newspapers, magazines, websites and journals in the USA and the UK. His popular blog published at the Catholic portal at Patheos is called Standing on My Head. He is a popular broadcaster, conference speaker and mission speaker.

Married with four children, he now lives in Greenville, South Carolina where he serves as pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church. Visit his website at http://www.dwightlongenecker.com/

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
I gleaned many insights while reading the book.
Devin Rose
We try to do good - being nice and try to make the world a better place - but avoid the real challenge of "being good," "becoming one with Goodness itself."
Thomas M. Loarie
It calls us to search for the beauty in truth and see love and service in everyday life.
Nancy Famolari

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Devin Rose on February 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Forgive the (now somewhat dated) reference to the 80s movie, Romancing the Stone. In his latest book, Fr. Dwight Longenecker seeks to romance something even more valuable than a precious green jewel.

The Romance of Religion seems like a strange title, at first blush. “What,” after all, “is so romantic about religion?” Religion seems like the hidebound formal ritualism that has such little appeal nowadays. Add to that the even stranger fact that a Catholic priest has written such a book for a major Protestant publisher (Thomas Nelson), and you have the makings of extremely odd bedfellows.

Yet Fr. Longenecker’s book is a delight to read. With an enjoyable, cavalier style. Longenecker takes us on a journey of myth and belief, illuminating man’s universal desire for the infinite. He skewers the cynics of today and yesterday and reveals how the religious romantic is the real hero, for he is following the only path that is worthwhile, the path toward truth.

Fr. Longenecker channels his inner Chesterton. Every page is filled with clever turns of phrase, alliterations, and puns. Like Chesterton, he turns ideas on their heads to reveal their worth (or worthlessness). Take this incisive section on modern religion:

One of the reasons most modern religion is considered dull and boring is because it is dull and boring. Modern religious people have forgotten that religion is not about being good but about being religious. In other words, religion is about an encounter with another world. It is about reaching for reality. Religious leaders are full of politeness. They have become charming, but they have forgotten how to charm.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cari on February 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
The perfect tonic to today's American brand of "I'm ok, you're ok", feel good Christianity, The Romance of Religion offers readers a view of Christianity that is wild, untamed, and unsafe. But by venturing off the safe and comfortable path of religion lite, the soul finds a Love, a Story, and a Cause worth living and dying for. A great book for anyone seeking to move past the pop theology of today and reconnecting with the wilder roots of Christianity.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Madonna Files on February 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
If you have a problem with Christ kicking over the tables of merchants and money changers in the temple then this book is not for you. If you want to understand how Jesus Christ changed the world then please buy this book. Many years ago the story of Jesus getting angry at the hypocrites and the prideful people at the front of the church became very important to me. I am so happy to see a book lead with this point of view. I am so happy to spend time with a book that was inspired by the bold courageous action of our Savior who gave up his life for us. Father Longenecker bares his soul and this powerful narrative of the beauty, romance and mystery of Christianity roars like a lion.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Marshall on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
Like a crusading preacher of the Middle Ages, Father Longenecker stands at the gates of our city begging us to join him in battle. The Romance of Religion trumpets the notes of love, sacrifice, and mystery. In an age where everyone wants to be "spiritual but not religious," Father Longenecker challenges us to take up the cross of the only religion with romance: Christianity.

Taylor Marshall, PhD.
Author of The Crucified Rabbi. President of the New Saint Thomas Institute
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paula Greene on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Christianity as a religion should not be boring, bland, or irrelevant. It’s not about being good or just following rules. Following Jesus is a valiant quest, a battle with darkness, and the discovery of something to die for, which gives us something to live for – the reality of the truth and beauty in Jesus and His work on the cross. “Romance” is not used in the sense of lovers, but rather, the love of beauty and truth in the quest for understanding. The religious romantic questions everything because he wishes to understand. He is on a quest for the hidden treasure for truth and has a map to find it.

God gives us the greatest story ever – one that is actually true. Wielding his linguistic sword, Longenecker appeals to myths, tales, literature, and movies to show the longing in our hearts for goodness, truth, beauty, and justice because they are God given desires. These ultimately point to the greatest truest story of all, displaying the beauty of the gospel – the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He paints a picture showing the cross to be enchanting, delightful, real, and worth fighting for.

Dwight Longenecker is a Catholic priest, but the differences between Protestant and Catholic theologies are not vividly detectable. His explicit understanding of the Gospel shines through toward the latter portion of the book. He presents a defense for the truth of the resurrection and the truth of God’s Word with elegant rationale combined with a passion that moves the reader to take a courageous stand.

I loved this book because it helped me to look at the Bible from a different angle and see just how wild and beautiful God’s story is.
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