- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Abingdon Press (December 18, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501870815
- ISBN-13: 978-1501870811
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Resurrection Shaped Life Paperback – December 18, 2018
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"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Learn more
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About the Author
Jake Owensby, (Ph.D., D.D.), is the author of four books including A Resurrection Shaped Life. He is the fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana. Before his election as Bishop in 2012, he served as Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport. Prior to that, he was rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri and St. Stephen’s in Huntsville, Alabama, and assistant rector for Christian Formation at St. Mark’s in Jacksonville, Florida. Owensby is a graduate of the School of Theology at Sewanee, and was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood in the Diocese of Florida. He has three adult children and lives in Alexandria, Louisiana with his wife, Joy, and rescue pup, Gracie. He blogs about looking for God in messy places at JakeOwensby.com.
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A Resurrection-Shaped Life arrives at the dawn of the New Year and is a wise, profound introduction to the idea of recovering what Bishop Owensby describes as our resurrected Self. The 110-page book of hope and insight gives Christian readers, emergent and seasoned, a sense of dying and rising again and again, moving from their brokenness and past shame and failures, through Christ’s grace, to become transformed humans. I was reminded of the Scottish preacher George MacDonald’s words in an anthology of his work by C.S. Lewis: “We die daily. Happy are those who come to life as well…”
For those who belong to this “pain avoidant culture,” as Bishop Owensby defines our present-day country, this book isn’t a panacea for sufferers who want to avoid suffering at any cost, but, instead, offers a message of hope for those of us who often forget that the cross is the symbol of our redemption. Owensby suggests that we devote ourselves to a higher purpose, citing Biblical stories, as well as quotations from contemporary authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Outliers, a book that reaffirms what I believe as a writer — to master anything (including spiritual peace), ten thousand hours of practice are required to reach one’s higher purpose… and suffering is always a part of that practice!
Bishop Owensby reflects compassion and empathy but does not sugar-coat his spirituality, citing examples in his own life that reveal his humanity. His writing is not dogmatic but easily conveys his faith and transformation from issues of shame and blame to a believer in forgiveness and justice. Owensby shows us that there is a power in the universe greater than we are and greater than the afflictions we're suffering. He also presents a vision of the destiny we want to live out.
This is an honest and life-changing book by the enlightened leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana.
Jake Owensby is offering the reader a different way of understanding and embracing the hope of life that is found in the resurrection. Rather than waiting and anticipating the time when we all “get” to heaven, Owensby invites us to consider how our life is changed and redeemed here and now because of the resurrection. Weaving powerful and personal stories of his life, Owensby shows how the resurrection does not offer a way out of suffering, but instead a way through suffering that is redemptive and full of hope.
Owensby’s writing is clear and accessible, and his stories of his experiences in life bring the reader into a place where one can find an application of the ideas that Owensby is trying to describe. It feels like a good sermon: point followed by illustration. Perhaps the best part of the book is the “Postlude,” where Owensby shows all of his cards, describing exactly what it is that he is trying to share. I would have liked to have read that section first so I would have a sense of what it was that Owensby was trying to do. It is a very short book, just over 100 pages, and many of the ideas that Owensby was offering called for further development. There was just not enough ink spent on some wonderful ideas, and I found myself desiring a longer, deeper conversation with the author.
Despite the brevity of the work, it is a good book with helpful questions at the end of each chapter. It is a book that would do well with a small group. Owensby is trying to call believers to consider how the resurrection shapes and changes one’s life here and now, and that is a worthwhile pursuit.