To the Cross and Back

Author: Fernando Alcántar
Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
ISBN: 9781634310505
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: Religion

A Mexican immigrant and rising star within the Christian community abandons his faith and comes out as a gay atheistIn this exceptionally moving and soul-searching memoir, Fernando Alcántar recounts his incredible journey from poor Catholic boy on the dusty streets of Mexico to globetrotting missionary and high-profile Christian leader in the United States—where he eventually left his celebrated life behind to advocate for the liberating power of reason and equality. With heart-wrenching honesty, he shares stories of trauma, tragedy, prejudice, uncertainty, survival, and, ultimately, discovery. In the process, he gives a voice to thousands who are hiding in the shadows, afraid to publicly question their religious or sexual identity for fear of isolation and retaliation. He also makes a call for tolerance and understanding, while heralding the natural beauty of human qualities like courage, kindness, and love.

Rise and Fall of Faith

Author: Drew Bekius
Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
ISBN: 9781634311113
Release Date: 2017-07-01
Genre: Religion

The story of religion in the twenty-first-century West has been defined, in part, by the stories of once-zealous pastors moving beyond their faith to embrace a life of reason. But too often and too quickly ardent believers dismiss such accounts as aberrations and fail to consider the real-life implications for those who make this transition. Atheists and other skeptics, meanwhile, struggle to understand what took these individuals so long to make such a journey—and why others aren't lining up more quickly to do the same. As a result, the questions posed by one side inevitably mirror those asked by the other. Why do believers trust in God the way they do? But what factors lead atheists to dismiss religious beliefs so easily? How can believers have faith in the face of known science and history? But what allows anyone to be so sure their beliefs are based in reality? What would it take for believers to stop believing in God? But what would it take for nonbelievers to start to believe? Drawing on the author's own story as a former evangelical pastor powerless to stop his turn to atheism, The Rise and Fall of Faith touches on these and other questions, inviting readers into a long-overdue conversation between Christians and atheists. While the aim of the book is to initiate this much-needed discussion, the author encourages all who care about the future of humanity to carry the dialogue forward—whether in the evaluation of our own inner thoughts, in the assumptions we make about the other side, or in how we work together in the pursuit of understanding and common ground as we navigate the world's ever-changing and increasingly challenging religious and cultural landscape.

Here I Am Tears of an African Immigrant

Author: Lisa Rufaro
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 9781512797015
Release Date: 2017-08-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Lets be honest. We all have scars and dysfunctions and have been through something. You struggled through a life challenge. Your closest friend may not know it, but God does. What trials have happened or are still happening to you? Are you willing to show your scars? It takes faith to believe that the emotional and spiritual wounds of the trial are healed, even though there are still evident scars. God led my family and me through a testing trial to create high-level faith in our hearts. Sometimes God allows you to walk through your journey and lets you wander, question, and challenge your belief. As an episodic memoir, this book depicts childhood experiences in Zimbabwe and an expedited family relocation to the United States. Although settling in America came with its natural challenges, nobody in my family anticipated my older brother facing a spiritual condition that would inhibit him from even attending school for several years. Family strife from my fathers side of the family has played a huge role for the woman I have become today. I am thankful for them. It would all make more sense later as an adult when I learned of the biblical story of Joseph. There are clear parallel experiences. After experiencing such betrayal by close relatives, what would all the midnight tears accumulate to? Today, I have learned to say, Here I am, Lord. Have your way.

Padre from the Monastery to the Forest

Author: Hiabu H. Hassebu
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9781450236829
Release Date: 2010-06-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

I initiated my book, by giving the title, "Padre", just to designate my life story in the monastery. I added the subtitle, "From the monastery to the forest", to highlight the content of my memoir. As the Abyssinian saying goes, "GuYiY Kab MeWal KiSad MiHaz" (instead of running non stop, better to be on the hill top), as an author I was highly calibrated, with that passion of telling a story. As there is no "Asha Misila", (silly sayings), I was sure enough not to run aimlessly, at the end do nothing. I believed in the short blessing of my father and the recitation of my mother's rosary. If I am here or there it was only for their blessings. Me and Beyene (Padre), lived in the same religious congregation, served the same poor people and committed to the same principles. Beyene was struck by the initial crises, to leave the congregation, at his early age, to joing the liberation front. The year was 1977. I was hit by the mid-crises, to live the life of an immigrant in USA, at the age of 40. The year was 1997. Two crises for two individual brothers, happened at different place and different times. My book presentation could confuse my readers. That was my greatest fear, when I was compiling it, as a book I was trying to make an issue, to everything that had fallen on my eyes. One experience, one battle, one struggle. I wish I would have mentioned, all the names and lives, of all with whom I had direct contact. In my case I was very selective.

Through Dust and Darkness

Author: Jeremy Kroeker
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781927330746
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Religion

Jeremy Kroeker is a Mennonite with a motorcycle. When his seemingly unflinching faith in a Christian worldview begins to shift, Kroeker hops on his bike to seek answers from another perspective. After shipping his ride to Europe, Kroeker discovers that the machine wobbles back and forth worse than his own opinions about spirituality. Still, he caries on, oscillating through Europe—Germany, Austria, Croatia, Albania—and into the Middle East - Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and, ultimately, Iran. It is there, in the theocratic nation of Iran, that Kroeker finds himself on a forbidden visit to a holy Muslim Shrine. Once inside, invisible hands reach into his chest and rip from his heart a sincere prayer, his first in many years. And God hears that prayer. For before Kroeker can escape Iran, God steals into his hotel room one night to threaten him with death. At least, that's one way to look at it. In the end, Kroeker comes to accept uncertainty. What does he really know anyway? He may always fear a God that he can't explain. Perhaps if he keeps riding, one of these days God will speak clearly. And that frightens him, too.

Unterwerfung

Author: Michel Houellebecq
Publisher: Dumont Buchverlag
ISBN: 9783832188375
Release Date: 2015-01-16
Genre: Fiction

Es ist vielleicht der umstrittenste Roman des letzten Jahres: ›Unterwerfung‹ handelt vom Zusammenprall der Kulturen und stellt Fragen zum Verhältnis von Orient und Okzident, von Judentum, Islam und Christentum – Fragen, die heute so relevant sind wie nie. Goncourt-Preisträger Michel Houellebecq präsentiert sich als furchtloser Gesellschaftsdenker, der die bestimmenden Spannungsverhältnisse unserer Epoche mit großer Ernsthaftigkeit – und zugleich mit virtuoser Ironie – ausdeutet. Er erzählt in ›Unterwerfung‹ die Geschichte des Literaturwissenschaftlers François. Der Akademiker forscht im Frankreich einer sehr nahen Zukunft zu dem dekadenten Schriftsteller Huysmans, der ihn sein Leben lang fasziniert. Zugleich verfolgt er die Ereignisse um die anstehende Präsidentschaftswahl: Während es dem charismatischen Kandidaten der Bruderschaft der Muslime gelingt, immer mehr Stimmen auf sich zu vereinigen, kommt es in der Hauptstadt zu tumultartigen Ausschreitungen. Als schließlich ein Bürgerkrieg unabwendbar scheint, verlässt François Paris ohne ein bestimmtes Ziel. Es ist der Beginn einer Reise in sein Inneres.

Bevor ich jetzt gehe

Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: Albrecht Knaus Verlag
ISBN: 9783641189365
Release Date: 2016-04-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

„Dieses gehört zu der Handvoll Bücher, die für mich universell sind. Ich empfehle es wirklich jedem.“ ANN PATCHETT Was macht das eigene Leben lebenswert? Was tun, wenn die Lebensleiter keine weiteren Stufen in eine vielversprechende Zukunft bereithält? Was bedeutet es, ein Kind zu bekommen, neues Leben entstehen zu sehen, während das eigene zu Ende geht? Bewegend und mit feiner Beobachtungsgabe schildert der junge Arzt und Neurochirurg Paul Kalanithi seine Gedanken über die ganz großen Fragen.

Journey of Hope

Author: Kerby A. Miller
Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc
ISBN: PSU:000066460282
Release Date: 2001-09-01
Genre: History

Drawn from personal letters, journals, and diaries of actual immigrants, a riveting three-dimensional book, filled with interactive foldouts, pockets, and evelopes that contain a vast array of documents, details the Irish in America and their extraordinary rise from adversity and prejudice to affluence and eminence.