THE BOOKS

Life in Tension

 

When God comes into our lives, we change.

     Our new identity is in Christ comes into tension with our old identity in ourselves as the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and minds. This tension arises between who we were and who God created us to be, between us and God, and between us and those around us. The Apostle Paul calls the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives sanctification.

Hear the words; walk the steps; experience the joy!

     Life in Tension reflects on Jesus’ Beatitudes  in the context of scripture.  The Beatitudes serve as an introduction to the Sermon on the Mount and lay out Jesus’ priorities in teaching his disciples. Because the sermon serves as a kind of ordination service for the Apostles, the importance of the Beatitudes for the early church, Christian spirituality, and discipleship today cannot be overstated.

What People are Saying

 

We live in a fallen world. It leads to life in tension, and sometimes a life full of stress. Stephen Hiemstra takes us on a needed tour of the kind of character it takes to face such a life. - Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

We don't often think of our life as one lived in tension, but as believers that's exactly how we live. Stephen Hiemstra's Life in Tension takes us through the Beatitudes and provides a blueprint for Christians to navigate this tension with ourselves, with the world, and with Christ. - Sarah Hamaker, Author

The Christian life is filled with tension, paradox, and upside down requisites for obedience to the biblical text and the clarion call of God. - Stephen Macchia, Pierce Center for Disciple-Building

Stephen Hiemstra's Life in Tension reminds me of Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship, because it is an earnest, personal effort to hear and follow the voice of Jesus here and now. - Jonathan Jenkins, Pastor

 

A Christian Guide
  to Spirituality

 

     Spirituality is lived belief. When we pray, worship, or reach out to our neighbors, we live out our beliefs. Our beliefs structure our spirituality like skin stretched over the bones of our bodies.

     These beliefs start with faith in God the Father through Jesus Christ as revealed through the Holy Spirit in scripture, in the church, and in daily life. Our Trinitarian theology orders our beliefs. Without a coherent theology, we lose our identity in space and time having no map or compass to guide us on our way. In the end, we focus on ourselves, not God.

     Christian spirituality starts with God, not with us.

     A Christian Guide to Spirituality takes the form of 50 daily devotions. Each topic is treated with a scriptural reference, reflection, prayer, and questions for discussion. Occasionally, references are provided for further study. The first four chapters (Introduction, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, and Apostle’s Creed) cover 40 days making them suitable as a Lenten study. Ten additional days focus on the spiritual disciplines and a short conclusion. Fifty days of study allow an Easter study running through Pentecost.

     Reading A Christian Guide to Spirituality will help readers understand Christian spirituality better and nurture their faith. There is no such thing as quality time with the Lord; there is only time. The living God speaks to us in many ways, but especially through scripture. These three sources cited (Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, and Apostle’s Creed) are commonly called the “rule of faith” (regula fidei) and were utilized for nearly two millennia as a means to apprentice the faith. These sources are the heart of the confessions of most Christian faith communities and denominations.

What People are Saying

You have my blessing. It’s a book that needed to be written. It will do a lot of good.
– Peter John Kreeft, Boston College

Stephen provides a helpful, accessible guide using the classic catechetical structure of the the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments.
– David A. Currie, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

This is a book for those who want to understand how best to have a living faith and an ever deepening devotional and experiential knowledge of God.
– Stephen Macchia, Pierce Center for Disciple-Building

Una Guía Cristiana
a la Espiritualidad

     La espiritualidad es la creencia vivida. Cuando oramos, adoramos, o ayudamos a nuestros prójimos, vivimos nuestra creencia. Nuestras creencias estructuran nuestra espiritualidad como la piel estirada sobre los huesos de nuestros cuerpos.

 

     Estas creencias empiezan con fe en Dios el Padre por medio de Jesús Cristo tal como es revelado a través del Espíritu Santo en la Biblia, la iglesia y la vida diaria. Nuestra teología ordena nuestra creencia. Sin una teología coherente, perdemos nuestra identidad en el espacio y al tiempo no teniendo ni una mapa ni una brújula que nos guíe en nuestro camino. Al final, nos enfocamos nosotros mismos, no Dios.

     

     La espiritualidad cristiana por esta razón comienza con Dios, no con nosotros.

     Una Guía Cristiana a la Espiritualidad se presenta la espiritualidad cristiana en la forma de devociones cotidiana. Cada tema incluye una referencia de la escritura, una reflexión, una oración, y las preguntas para la discusión. Cuando es apropiado, se proporciónan referencias para estudiar más profundo. Los primeros cuatro capítulos (la Introducción, el Credo Apostólico, el Padre Nuestro, y los Diez Mandamientos) cubren 40 días, como un estudio de Cuaresma. Diez días más enfocan en las disciplinas espirituales y una conclusión corte.

 

     Leyendo Una Guía Cristiana a la Espiritualidad es útil de comprender mejor la espiritualidad cristiana y de crecer su fe. No hay una cosa como calidad de tiempo con el Señor; sólo hay tiempo. El viviendo Dios nos habla en muchas maneras, pero especialmente a través de las escrituras. Las tres fuentes citadas (el Credo Apostólico, el Señor Nuestro, y los Diez Mandamientos) se llamaran como la regla de la fe (regula fidei) y fue utilizado por casi dos miles años como un método de aprender la fe. Estas fuentes son el corazón de las confesiones de la mayoría de comunidades de la fe cristiana y las denominaciones.

Lo que dice la gente...

 

Tienes mi bendición. Es un libro que necesitaba ser escrito. Hará mucho bien. - Peter John Kreeft, Boston College

Este libro es una gran contribución al concepto bíblico/ teológico de la espiritualidad cristiana. - Héctor Rodríguez, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Me complace recomendar una guía a la espiritualidad y el discipulado basado en las fuentes que todos los cristianos tienen en común. - David Broucek, La Misión Sudamericana

Stephen nos presenta una guía basada en el Credo Apostólico, el Padre Nuestro y los Diez mandamientos. Estoy seguro que este recurso será de mucha bendición para la iglesia hispana en Norteamérica. - Eddy Alemán, Reformed Church in America