- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Summit Run Press (May 30, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780998768939
- ISBN-13: 978-0998768939
- ASIN: 0998768936
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,891,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cramming for the Finals: New Ways of Looking at Old Church Ideas Paperback – May 30, 2017
"The Farmer's Son" by John Connell
"A fascinating portrait of a single sensibility, a born noticer, someone on whom nothing is lost, observing birth and death, the landscape, and his own heritage." ―Colm Tóibín, author of "Brooklyn" Learn more
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"A wonderful book for those who are trying to sort out their faith, their religion, and what they believe about these subjects and for anyone interested in what is happening to the church today. Be prepared, for Aulenbach does not hold back or mince words. You will learn a lot."--Fred C. Plumer, President, ProgressiveChristianity.org
"Aulenbach has imagined 'the church of our dreams,' where questions are more important than dogma, social action is more important than liturgy, and real people can become Followers of Jesus by practicing agape right here and right now."--Rev. Ken Wyant, member of Irvine United Congregational Church
"In a humorous but powerful way, Bil asks hard questions and deconstructs Christianity's hiccups but also provides new solutions for the church and individuals going forward. As I work at reconstructing a new path forward free of unhelpful dogma and a theistic notion of God, I am encouraged by Bil's ideas in reframing the practice of prayer and biblical interpretation."
--Megan Dukett, Program Manager of Education and Interpretive Services, Mission San Juan Capistrano
"Cramming for the Finals is the best explanation of progressive Christianity I have seen. I look forward to leading courses using this book."
--Jacquelyn Marshall, author and Christian education instructor
"For readers looking to explore their own connection to faith, here is a fascinating account of an Episcopal priest who is not afraid to delve deep and ask faith-challenging questions. He invites readers along to open up and expand their thinking about the church, scripture, doctrine, a theistic god, and a divine Jesus."
--Rev. Dr. Paul Tellström, Senior Pastor, Irvine United Congregational Church
"This is a challenging and provocative book that encourages discussion to facilitate a deeper understanding of one's faith. I highly recommend reading it with an open mind and heart trying on the ideas the book presents. If all people practiced 'God is love' theology, the world would be a better place."
--Tamra Goris, artist, mother of two teenagers and progressive Episcopalian
"Cramming for the Finals is a challenge to my present personal faith. As an encouragement for readers to examine their own faith journey, giving it 21st-century theological relevance, Dr. Aulenbach shares his personal nonclerical and clerical story. What is important today, he says, is how we do life, how we daily live life to its fullest. The Creation (God) and agape (Matt. 25:40) are key!"
--Rev. Canon Franklin S. H. Chun, Bishop's Chaplain to Retired Clergy, The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i
"I have questioned some of the biblical stories since I was a child, so it is refreshing to find a book that gives answers. At times I have felt I was alone on my faith journey, but Cramming for the Finals lets me know that I am not."
--Carol Getz, educator
"Aulenbach weaves humor into his narrative about religious beliefs, scriptures, what lies beyond this life, and the nature of God's existence. Some might regard parts of the text as irreverent, but a careful reading will reveal the author's lifetime of study and thought about human belief systems."
--Steve Goetz, retired faculty, Orange Coast College
"In my late eighties, I find myself searching for the experience of God in a scientific world. Cramming for the Finals is a road map for my own personal spiritual journey and also contains exciting ideas for the future of the institutional church."
--Joan Thompson, MA, retired Senior Center Director
About the Author
Life is a journey, and for me, it has been an interesting one--especially the faith part. How has your life's journey gone? Has it been good? Or has it been a bummer? Is faith a component of that journey? Has it ever been? Would you like it to be? Or do you see it as a waste of time?
My real faith journey began in the Marine Corps in 1954. How it happened was different from others' experiences, but almost everyone's journey is unique. My next step, after the Marines, was in an Episcopal seminary, a liberal one, studying to be a clergyman. But when a fire engine broadsided me and my buddy Brad, killing him, my journey took a very interesting, different twist. Doubt became a key component because I had learned that blind faith without lots of doubt does not build a strong faith. In my quest for solid answers, I found that my faith became even stronger. Maybe they weren't the church's standard answers,but the answers I found seem to make my life rich and fulfilling.
The Bible was an important ingredient, but I had to take a very different look at this document, which dates back 4,000 years and hasn't had a word added since about 120 CE. The world has changed radically since then, especially during the 20th and 21st centuries. So I had to learn to read that book through very different eyes to make it alive and vital to my daily living.
The church's dogma, doctrine, and tradition have not changed much since the 5th century, but with a little tweak here and there, I have been able to develop a theology that fits comfortably into the 21stcentury. I have lived that theology for the past ten years, and I never thought that my senior days were going to be so exciting, invigorating,and fulfilling. I look forward to each day.
So much so that I have written another book, Cramming for the Finals, an action-packed formula about how to get and make the most out of your life every day.