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Sacred Thirst Paperback – January 9, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this deep, inspiring book, Barnes plays with biblical images of deserts, flowing streams and living waters, applying them to contemporary life. He says that he wrote the book especially for Christians who find themselves in a spiritual desert with a sense of "soul sadness" or spiritual loneliness, having lost the astonishment and joy of their faith. Barnes, senior pastor of National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., notes that in the Old and New Testaments, characters from the patriarchs to Jesus used such desert experiences as metaphors for pilgrimage toward God. Today's Christians can use their spiritual deserts toward that same end, seeking God's flowing streams of mercy to sustain and refresh them as they journey to the Promised Land. Barnes cautions that often Christians mistake their intellectual knowledge, prayers, church attendance and good works as replacements for God; he claims that making idols of these activities creates a sense of dissatisfaction and a longing for more. Often Christians settle for the desert, but Barnes says that "sacred thirst" can call them from barren spirituality to embrace the holy joy of God. Just as Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that he could give her living waters and she would never thirst, so he promises contemporary followers that the Holy Spirit is the living water that restores parched souls. Barnes's powerful and beautifully written book is a balm to the weary pilgrim.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Author

Dr. M. Craig Barnes, senior pastor of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., is on the Adjunct Faculty of Regent College and on the Board of Trustees of Princeton Seminary. A cancer survivor, he is the author of Yearning: Living Between How It Is and How It Ought to Be and When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change. He was recently listed among Christianity Today’s up-and-coming new leaders. He lives in Bethesda, MD
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310219558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310219552
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book tells the hard truth about our thirst, and how it cannot be satisfied by anything or anyone but Jesus, the living water. The author writes as a pastor who clearly understands the human soul and its insatiable thirst for God.
I was hooked after the first few pages that tells the moving story of a little boy giving the eulogy at his mother's funeral. Afterwards, as silence filled the sanctuary and everyone's heart, the pastor-author walked to his pulpit wondering what words could respond to such pathos. This marvelous book is his response to that question, and to my own longing for a word from the Savior.
Barnes speaks God's Word in ways that are both tender and prophetic. His writing style is fresh and engaging.
The chapter "It's Not About You" is particularly helpful and freeing, as it turns the focus away from the self, even the hurting self, and toward the work of a gracious God.
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I'm sure there are Christians out there, who like me, look for relevance and inspiration in their religious study. Craig Barnes is by far the most effective preacher I've seen, and his writings communicate the meanings of scripture in ways that seem to transcend the English language. For me, this book, "Hustling God," and "When God Interrupts" have been instrumental in getting through tough times. Some of the other (5 star) reviewers have said it better than I can. While some of his earlier writings are a bit more "intellectual," I cannot recommend his books enough.
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By ice on February 21, 2013
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I am a widow and have been questioning my faith as I struggle to remain on this earth without my precious husband. Mr Barnes tackles a great subject which I totally relate to at this time. Read it slowly.
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Sacred Thirst is filled with the honest writing of an experienced pastor who loves God, and is dedicated to fulfilling his pastor's role to the best of his ability. I couldn't put it down! Buy this book!
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Barnes writing style is almost a "flight of ideas": A well written book should develop concepts with smooth and consistent flow. There may be good lessons, but they get lost in sections with paragraphs interjected that seem almost disconnected from the main point of the chapter. This criticism also applies to some of his other books. It is if the book is a cut-and-paste of portions of sermons he delivered and now amalgamated into a book.

Perhaps a second edition could address this criticism.
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Our church school class, Christians in Contemporaary Culture, loves this book1 It proved great for discussion, had wonderful personal stories by Craig Barnes, and good Biblical references. The class was ready for just such a book that encouraged sharing on a deeply personal level.
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Craig Barnes has experience coupled with a willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to lead his life. The benefit is the readers. This book has insight and reality that will hit home with those who have been around the kingdom of heaven on earth for a while. The book is a "keeper." You will want to refer to it from time to time.
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