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Christianity Rediscovered, by Vincent Donovan

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“If you had to choose one book to help a person embarking on pastoral ministry, what would it be?” We posed that question to some pastors and professors. Here are their choices. —Ed.

I return to this book more than almost any other because it reminds me why I’m a priest, what the church is, and how God is at work in places before I ever show up. Donovan shows me that what has become the ritual of worship is really a pattern of practices that are needed to remake community and shape society. He shows through story and example how to see the social significance, theological depth, and missionary opportunity in everyday habits and events.

Most of all he teaches the reader to see the passion of human encounter and intensity of human experience as a window into the heart of God. Memorably, he tells about a Masai elder who contrasts a white hunter shooting an animal from afar to a lion wrapping its limbs and claws around its prey. The elder says that we think we should become more like the lion in our striving to believe, but that the truth is, the lion is God.

Read all reflections.

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