Free to Leave, Free to Stay: Fruits of the Spirit and Church Choice

Free to Leave, Free to Stay: Fruits of the Spirit and Church Choice


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Free to Leave, Free to Stay: Fruits of the Spirit and Church Choice by Jana Marguerite Bennett, Melissa Musick Nussbaum

Our known world, the world of twenty-first century Americans, is shaped and defined by consumer choice. The premise of consumer choice is that somewhere the perfect fit between product and purchaser exists. In the books on changing traditions the consumerist tone prevails—fundamentalists looking for an even more literal interpretation of Scripture, Protestants "going home" to Rome, feminists heading to the womyncentric sacred grove, conservatives fleeing inclusive rites, Catholics embracing the independent seeker church. But the consumerist impulse masks the kind of prayer and discernment necessary for living in Christian community and for following God. Twenty-first century Christians do make choices, but the hope is that they do so because they follow God. How then is one to answer the question of whether to stay or leave? Through meditating on the fruits of the Spirit that Paul addressed to the church at Galatia, a community that had several of its members wondering whether to stay or leave, Bennett and Nussbaum offer sage reflections about what it means to be led into and out of Christian communions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556358999
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2009
Pages: 124
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Jana Marguerite Bennett is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton. She is the author of Water Is Thicker than Blood: An Augustinian Theology of Marriage and Singleness (2008).

Melissa Musick Nussbaum is a regular contributor to the liturgical journals Celebration and GIA Quarterly. She is the author of six books and numerous articles. Her work has appeared in Commonweal, Notre Dame Magazine, and National Catholic Reporter. She is a contributor to Take Heart: Catholic Writers on Hope in Our Time (2007).

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