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The Practices of Faith. The Call of God. Narrative Theology and Practice.

Piety - Wikipedia

Sedgwick Church Publishing, Inc. Describing the Christian Life. I have been fortunate to share in the worship of a variety of Christian churches. The power of those experiences has confirmed that the presence of God given in worship is inseparable from the call into the covenant of hospitality that is our daily life. I recall worship with a variety of Christian communities: with an Anabaptist community of Brethren during Holy Week where I shared with them foot washing and an agape meal; with an African-American congregation in the preaching and singing which drew out the congregation together in praise and in petitions for the world; with a Roman Catholic community of Benedictine monks in singing the daily offices as they have since the fourth century; with Quakers in the quiet stillness in their meeting; with Presbyterians in Sunday worship with prayers offered in response to scripture and the sermon; with Eastern Orthodox in their divine liturgy with incense rising, intoned prayers, and blessings; with an ecumenical group in reading scripture and offering prayer together; and with my seminary community in daily worship.

When I think about what is central to all such worship, I remember a Sunday Eucharist in China following the opening of China after the cultural revolution.

The Christian Moral Life: Practices of Piety - eBook

The service was ecumenical in a reopened church without windows. I could not understand the Chinese, but the shape of the Eucharist drew me into the participation we call worship. That evening at dinner I sat next to an year-old minister, a Chinese man who was formerly a Seventh Day Adventist. We talked about the changes sweeping China and we talked about the church.

I asked him how his own faith and understanding of the church had changed since the Chinese Revolution in He said simply, We were wrong before. We thought more of our churches than of faith. Our effort was to preserve the church.

ISBN 13: 9780802838803

Now we share one church because we know that we are the church only if we serve all people. Nothing could express more clearly to me the nature of Christian faith.

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  8. My Anglican roots have enabled me to see this vision of faith. But it is only in my own encounter and the consequent welcome and embrace of strangers — of their embrace of me and of my embrace of them — that I have known this life. From this comes an ecumenical spirit. The church is not the end of faith. As I was concluding this book I reread H. Richard Niebuhr, has been a working out of questions he pursued. Through now 20 years of seminary teaching my concern has been on the experience of God and on the mediation and deepening of faith as a matter of response to that experience.

    The questions that have haunted me are, How is God present in our lives?

    The church, of course, is not one thing but highly varied and, as monastics and Protestant reformers both saw, always in need of being reformed. Niebuhr, for example, asked, at one point, does the church need to go Back to Benedict? Only through spiritual disciplines of reading scripture, prayer, and acts of hospitality will persons form a way of life in which the Christian story makes sense and the experience of God is deepened. Such a renewal of Christian life is the larger purpose of this book.

    The more particular purpose is the development of a Christian ethic that would have at its center the deepening of the encounter with God. In this way, this book is the development of Christian ethics as sacramental ethics. In this book I have worked in two steps. In the first two chapters I have sought to offer an introduction to Christian ethics in general and Anglican understandings in particular.

    Central understandings of Christian faith and life have been identified. In the subsequent chapters I have sought to move from historical understandings to a contemporary account of the Christian moral life, at least as I am able to as a cradle born Episcopalian who has had some opportunity to know others in and outside of Anglican churches. Both parts of this introduction focus on the fact that this way of life we call Christian is a life lived in our relationship to the world about us: to those near at hand, neighbors, with whom we share daily life, and to those who are other than ourselves, strangers.

    As suggested in understanding Christian faith as a practical piety, Christian faith is a life lived in which a person is opened to the world-at-hand, drawn out and connected to a world beyond oneself. This is a life of turning, of conversion, from life given and defined by particular and often individualistic desires for fulfillment to a new life given as a member of a people who live life in the embrace of others. Finally, as both parts of this book emphasize, the Christian life is grounded in the experience and worship of God.

    Worship is central to the life of Christian faith in the sense that worship is the celebration and deepening of the experience of God in our lives. This account of the Christian life has developed through a variety of conversations. These conversations have been centered in the church, specifically in seminary and parish. Conversations from classroom especially a class called The Christian Life to parish hall have been the birthplace of this book. I am also thankful for the opportunity to continue these conversations and complete this writing at my new home at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.

    This book, though, would not have been possible apart from the extended church and especially invitations to offer earlier attempts to give an account of the moral life. I am grateful to the Rev. John Andrews and the parish of St. Gabriel-the-Archangel, Englewood, Colorado, for a further opportunity to lecture on the Christian life; and to the Rev. Ray Coulter, the Rev.

    The Christian Moral Life Practices of Piety

    Anne Bartlett, and the Parish of St. A number of more focused occasions have also been important in the development of this introduction to the Christian life. I am thankful for these opportunities. Finally, there is no such thing as the solitary scholar. Work is always born by larger communities and colleagues, in this case academic and ecclesial. Sedgwick comes at all this largely from a strongly Anglican perspective.

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    Anglican theologies are less easily characterised because no one strand of tradition has assumed a clearly normative stature. The Christian understanding of that reveals and enables living in that covenant, in what Christianity says is in the spirit and not the letter of the law. At the heart of faith is the embrace of God. We cannot help but embrace one another i.

    The publishers claim, that this book is an introduction to Christian ethics and is written in a style accessible to non-specialists and general readers, is misleading.