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The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God Paperback – June, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


As a pastor, I am always looking for thought-provoking materials that will assist me on my on-going spiritual journey. The Enoch Factor is one such book; a book that gently asks questions that no person of faith should miss. McSwain weaves materials from various biblical and non-biblical sources to describe his personal journey of faith and his awakening to a rewarding relationship and walk with God. While challenging some fundamental beliefs, McSwain asks his readers to go beneath the easy answers and undertake a journey toward faith, holding the reader's attention and interest. The Enoch Factor is organized around three general themes that build upon one another and move the reader closer and closer to discovering how one might walk with God in a real and practical sense. Along the way, readers who profess the Christian faith, another faith tradition, spirituality of another sort or the non-believers; among us, all can look forward to questions that have the potential to transform one's life. This is a personal story offered as a reflection on McSwain's own journey of self-discovery. If you want religion tied up in neat little cliches, this is not for you. If, however, you are willing to suspend judgment and open your heart and mind to McSwain's story, you will be rewarded for your efforts. A good read meant, I believe, to be read several times. --Jonathan D. Hutchison, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Elgin, Illinois --Amazon

The Enoch Factor is an eloquently written masterpiece filled with deeply profound insights leading us to a more intimate relationship with God. Anyone seeking to fully embrace God and truly be at own with their Creator must read Steve McSwain's book. It contains the key to a Divine Life. One of the most beautifully written books I've even read! I am reading it again for the second time. --Janiet Pfeiffer, Author, The Secret Side of Anger --Amazon

I read this book straight through: could not put it down, largely because I have, like Steve, spent a good portion of my life as a preacher. His discovery of himself, of his true values and convictions is heart-warming. Most people who live and work in the church (or perhaps in any institutional environment) find themselves constricted in thought and practice by the institutional culture. Steve broke out, and lived to tell about it; he has flourished, and this book is the result. Now he ministers to these institutions but in a different way, and this book is one of the powerful ways he continues to minister to those still inside the church. I have long been convinced that the church is only one avenue of the Spirit's transforming power, and this book demonstrates that reality. Very well written; very well edited. A terrific read. --Dr. Dwight A. Moody, Dean of Chapel, Georgetown College --Smyth and Helwys

About the Author

Dr. Steve McSwain is an award-winning author, speaker, adjunct professor, and spiritual teacher. He created The Foundation for Excellence in Giving, Inc., a church/parish consulting firm committed to providing consultation and guidance to leaders who seek to create a more charitable and compassionate spiritual community. For more than twenty years, Steve was a senior minister for churches in Kentucky and Georgia. For the last two decades, he has provided executive counsel to hundreds of churches representing virtually every Christian communion in America. These churches have ranged in size between 200 and 20,000 and, collectively, they have raised more than a half billion dollars for worthy causes. The Giving Myths is in its second printing and is regarded by religious leaders representing all traditions as a most insightful and inspiring book on generosity. His most recent book, The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God was one of two finalists in the IndieBook Awards at the Global Book Expo, May 2011 recognized in the category, "Most Inspirational Book of the Year." As an Adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of Kentucky, Steve not only teaches the art of speaking but is himself a professional speaker. He is frequently invited to speak to congregations, as well as Chamber of Commerce events and at leadership conferences for community and business leaders. Steve is an executive coach who guides a select client list in the art of leadership, the laws of success in business and in life, the life you live, and the legacy you leave. For more information, visit www.stevemcswain.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Smyth & Helwys Publishing; 1st edition (June 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573125563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573125567
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is probably more a testimony of how this book affected my life than a critical review of the book itself, but that is what transformation is all about.

I was raised in church, was "forced" (maybe that is too harsh a word) to attend weekly services and education classes all my early years lived in my parent's home. Just days before leaving for college, I was asked to accompany friends to a revival sponsored by their church. It was there that the message of the cross became REAL to me. I prayed the "sinners" prayer and immediately felt as if "the hamster wheel" I had been on stopped and I could get off. I was given my first bible, a King James edition and a booklet with one month of bible study lessons.

I left for college with not much understanding of what the expectation of my "salvation" experience was to be. There were girls on my dorm floor that "claimed" to be Christians, and who took me occasionally to their churches (when they weren't hung over from sneaking in booze or their boyfriends to their dorm rooms the night before). With little to no understanding, I made the assumption that I was "saved" (i.e. destined for heaven with a "get out of jail free" card) but what I did with my life was strictly up to me.

Well, what red-blooded college coed wouldn't say, "whoo hooo...let's party hearty"? Don't get me wrong. I attended my classes regularly and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and at least a 3.4 average. I completed my GRE and was accepted to the Master's Degree in Social Work program at another college. But the weekends and the holidays, and my evenings were full of experimentation and curiosity about the world and its people all around me.
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Format: Paperback
The Enoch Factor is one of those rare books in the (too-crowded) marketplace of spiritual essays: it is intellectually challenging without being stuffy or "preachy", and the reader feels connected to the deeply human story of the author's journey. (Amazingly, Steve McSwain's book enticed me--a lifelong agnostic--to do something that I hadn't done in years: open up my Bible and start re-reading the words that are not just at the center The Enoch Factor but at the very core of so many controversies in religion.) McSwain is tackling what is arguably life's toughest puzzles: Why are we here and, more directly to his point, What is our relationship to a creator? He is emphatic, articulate (and delightfully self-critical) about how he came to hold his own beliefs, namely that "Knowing God" is not just his purpose, but also his source of solace. But he didn't get there overnight. Perhaps the chief joy of The Enoch Factor is watching McSwain passionately untangle the knot that is his personal story: a people-pleasing Preacher's Kid who slept-walk through an unsatisfying career as a so-called successful preacher, only to realize that he was deeply unhappy, that he was missing The Point of It All. Setting the tone for his newfound belief in a loving, non-authoritarian ministry, McSwain invites you to join him as a true equal, walking at his side on new paths in search of answers to our oldest questions. Be forewarned that this book is not going to give comfort to those readers who want to be told that the Bible (or any sacred text) has All The Answers for spiritual seekers. Quite the opposite, McSwain happily (some would say gleefully) takes his flashlight and shines it unflinchingly at several of Christianity's most errant inerrancies. But he does so with a clear, loving purpose.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My journey through The Enoch Factor is complete. Very thought provoking, although I feel like I was waiting for some large experience that never quite materialized. Don't get me wrong, I like Steve's perspective on the whole spirit vs. flesh battle to really be a battle with our egos, without the need for a boogieman who presides over a place where all REALLY BAD people (a.k.a. non-Baptists) will go one day. We make our own hells, I think he quotes someone as saying. I believe that. And his assertion that it is our egos which lead us to believe our way is the only way...as he points out and I've been saying for years, if everyone is sure of the one right way, why are there gobs of denominations within Christianity alone?

But..if you are going to throw out the bulwarks of Christian belief (original sin, hell, the need for salvation, altar calls and potluck suppers), you need to replace them with something tangible - or at least as tangible as "the mysterious ways of God" are to some. That's where I think McSwain fails a bit. This is the same nitpick I had with John Shelby Spong ("New Christianity") - that God is "Being" which expects nothing other than that we learn to "listen" to Him/Her/It. We're to divorce ourselves (die to) our egos and just accept/trust, without signs, voices or Billy Graham Secret Decoder Rings. I understand that; an almost Buddhist way of living, looking to the space between our thoughts, turning down the volume on life and cranking up our hearing aids to listen to LIFE. All well and good, but how? Nod off in our car, climb some mental steps and fall backwards into the Infinite? Meditation, perhaps. Guess I'm still too new at this to be able to jump in without a procedure. Sad, but true.
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