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The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity Paperback – April 7, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Eric Elnes is one of post-liberal Christianity's most thoughtful, effective, and influential leaders. An informed and teaching pastor to both his local congregation and to his communion-at-large, he ministers also to the thousands from around the world who worship with him each week in the cyber-church, Darkwood Brew.
- Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

Review

"You never know where the next Great Awakening is going to come from. Wherever it happens, I want to be present at the beginning, when the Spirit moves in wonderful ways. I see a spark of what very well may be the next Great Awakening here in Phoenix, Arizona."
—Dr. James Forbes, senior pastor, Riverside Church, New York City, New York
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787985783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787985783
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ken Estabrook on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I heard about it several weeks ago. When I finally did get hold of a copy, I had it read within a few days.

The book is about, of course, the 12 Phoenix Affirmations developed by the book's author Rev. Eric Elnes and several others. The affirmations provide a set of guidelines for a more progressive Christianity...a path that is scripture-based, to be sure, but also one that I think will resonate with the beliefs of many Christians turned off by the harshness of many of today's extreme messages. It did for me, anyway.

While the path described in Dr. Elnes' book will be an easier one for most Christians to reconcile with their most personal beliefs, it is not an easier path in the sense that it won't take work to follow. It recommends frequent prayer and a thoughtful understanding of the scriptures, so you don't get off easy.

But, surprisingly, for the first time, I feel like I understand why prayer and Bible study are important.

And, frankly, that's says a lot, in my mind.
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The Phoenix Affirmations focus on Jesus' naming of the two greatest commandments --To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

When we think about loving our neighbor in the same way that we love ourselves, if we are honest, we have to recognize that in caring for ourselves, we provide ourselves a job and a livable income, comfortable shelter, clothing, food, friendships and a sense of community and belonging and acceptancem, as well as ways to grow and better ourselves. We seek time for leisure and re-creation (which we need to renew ourselves).

So...when we are trying to carry out Jesus' charge to "love our neighbor as ourself," we need to care whether every other person we know has access to the basic things that help us to balance our own lives. If we see people who don't have access to these basics, those of us who "have plenty" need to help insure that people who don't have plenty, have ways to balance their lives. Whether that means that we work to help them learn job skills, or learn how to be good parents...whatever skills we can share.

The Phoenix Affirmations speak to the shared humanity of all people, and the ways in which we can work to understand each other's human condition and share in empowering each other.

As a Christian minister, I believe that this movement is on target for today's societal challenges. Jesus taught that we are all equal, and that there are many paths to God's Heaven.

We need to work together to share the good news of God's love, and to decrease prejudice and exclusion and the sense of superiority and "choseness" that some religious groups purvey.

Rev. E. B. Johnson

United Church of Christ

Minnesota, USA
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Format: Paperback
Many thanks to Dr. Elnes for this clearly and beautifully stated set of principles that makes it easy for us progressive Christians to identify and talk about our beliefs. As someone who had previously lost all faith in God, and who has become more and more alarmed in recent years at our nation's apparent swing toward fundamentalism, this book speaks to me eloquently in so many ways --- and it's all based on something so simple: loving God, loving your neighbor, and loving yourself. Seems obvious, doesn't it? I strongly urge progressive Christians to read this book, and to recommend it to their not-so-progressive friends in the hope that they, too, can become more accepting of their fellow men and, especially, that they might come to know our all-loving God.
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Format: Paperback
This is a thoughtful statement of principles that has given me insight into the beliefs of Christians in America. As a European, I have seen how American Christians are often viewed as intolerant fundamentalists. The author is rightly concerned that the religion is identified with some of its most narrow-minded practitioners and persuasively reclaims it as the faith based on Jesus' two great commandments.

The book is successful on several levels: as an argument for an inclusive, compassionate church; as a guide for living a life inspired by Jesus' acts and teaching; and as an overview of liberal Christian thinking (with a definite American tinge) today. Readers (whether religious or not) will find many points for discussion and reflection. The book is written in a straightforward, conversational style and is well worth exploring.
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Format: Paperback
Eric Elnes is just one of many Christians trying to change the discussion of Christianity and Christian values in American culture today. This small book, built around the 12 affirmations he and colleagues, friends, and co-religionists in Arizona have put together, is a fine summation of what many Christians today would like folks to understand should be the character of 21st century Christianity. It is a book whose ideas resonate with those in other faiths as well. It should be an invitation to those who have walked away from the church to reconsider their faith and return to work with others to make sure the church is tolerant, inclusive, compassionate, and is a church that takes faith, prayer, and the Bible seriously (if not literally in the last case). Each chapter covers an affirmation, treating it in most cases with an incident drawn from Elnes's pastoral experiences. It is an easy read. Give it your consideration.
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