Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People

Why do we do the things we do? This book answers that question related to practices of our faith. Written by various authors and edited by Dorothy C. Bass, chapters include titles you might expect such as: Hospitality and Keeping Sabbath. But there are also chapters on: Household Economics, Testimony, Dying Well and Singing Our Lives. Since our lives are largely shaped by the things to which we say “yes” and “no,” there’s a chapter on that very topic. I liked the quotations and scripture that were included by related topics.

The book offers insight behind rituals we often come to take for granted. For instance, a chapter on Honoring the Body explains how touch is involved in activities such as passing the peace and foot washing, and as part of worship, such rituals teach us to lovingly embrace one another. While the book doesn’t cover all the practices of the faith (you might expect whole chapters on Bible study and prayer, but they are assumed as related to the other practices), it offers groundwork for discussions you might want to add. This would be a great book for a group study since the final chapter helps readers apply the book’s guidelines to their own situations, and it includes an appendix of “Suggestions for Conversation and Reflection.” Altogether, the book helps us think about the how and why of practices of the faith and so fosters our love and service to God and others.

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