DISQUIET TIME: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book

Let’s face it—the Bible is full of not-so-precious moments, from murder and mayhem, to sex and slavery. Instead of ignoring the difficult (yet entertaining) passages of Scripture, editors Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani take them head-on in their new book, Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels. “Most of us are well acquainted with the itchy, out-of-place feelings wrought by the spiritual subcultures in which we have sometimes found ourselves,” Falsani and Grant write. Disquiet Time gives readers “permission and a safe space” to engage the Bible deeply and Keep Reading

Leroy Barber's New Book Calls for Diversity in Christian Missions

Longtime missions worker and ministry leader Leroy Barber challenges the tenet in practice in one of the church’s best-loved children’s songs in his new book Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White—Who’s More Precious In God’s Sight: A Call for Diversity in Christian Missions and Ministry. Exposing a huge racial divide within mission staff and leadership, Barber says this separation prevents church outreach teams from being able to relate, and thus minister effectively, in inner-city and urban communities nationwide. Addressing a taboo topic with grace and tough-love, Barber highlights the historical patterns that created racial discrepancies within ministry and reveals what diversity is Keep Reading

Our Great Big American God by Matthew Paul Turner

Culture critic Matthew Paul Turner dares to ask: Does God control the future of America-or is it the other way around? In Our Great Big American God, which is available in bookstores everywhere, Turner examines how American history and ideals transformed our perception of God. “To some extent, we are all ‘growing’ God, stuffing his mouth full with ideas, themes, and theologies, fattening him up with a story line we believe to be true. For good or bad, we are all molding God to reflect our own personal, American interpretation of Christian faith,” he said. Fearless and funny, this is the definitive guide Keep Reading

Defining PostChristian with Christian Piatt

postCHRISTIAN by Christian Piatt releases to bookstores everywhere today! To celebrate, we're sharing an excerpt from Chapter One called "Lions and Lambs." Find out more about the book and buy your copy now! "Post-Christianity” is an often-misunderstood term. It means that today we live in a culture where Christianity is no longer the baseline for cultural identity and discourse. We are witnessing the end of Christendom in the West as many have come to understand it: the dissolution of Christian hegemony. Some who value freedom of religion in a broader sense—or even freedom from it—view this favorably because it suggests Keep Reading

Jericho Authors at Wild Goose Festival 2014

We couldn’t be anymore excited about this year's jubilee of authors, activists and musicians at the 2014 Wild Goose Festival. Whether standing in front of a stage or around the campfires, we look forward to discussing justice, spirituality, music and art. Our own list of Jericho Book authors will be joining in the festivities as well, so make sure you stop by and introduce yourself…maybe we can even roast a marshmallow together! Wild Goose kicks off today and goes through Sunday. For a full schedule of events, visit: http://wildgoosefestival.org/schedule.   Brian McLaren, author of We Make the Road by Walking, Why Did Jesus, Moses, The Keep Reading

It’s About Love, Bozos!: a post from Heather Kopp

by Heather Kopp 62 Comments Our Authors Blog
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Last week, a friend told me about her plan to reveal her battle with alcoholism to her family. But she was feeling afraid, ready to bolt. “They’re a pretty judgmental bunch,” she said.

“I bet they’re Christians,” I said without thinking.

She looked surprised, but acknowledged that I was right.

Which was when I noticed the judgmentalism in my own remark. I mean, how does assuming the worst about fellow believers promote the kind of love and tolerance that I’m so worried they lack?

I trace my attitude back to my years of drinking. When my Christian faith couldn’t seem to save me from alcoholism, I grew cynical and disillusioned about it. I especially resented church-goers who seemed to promote a legalistic, “just-try- harder” approach.

If I’m honest, sometimes I still want to cast them into outer darkness.

But just this morning I ran across Jesus’ last prayer in the gospel of John. As you may know, it’s a long, passionate plea for love and unity among his followers. “I pray that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
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Phil Madeira on Heather Kopp

by Phil Madeira Leave a comment Our Authors Review
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By Phil Madeira

Sober Mercies, by Heather KoppI had no idea of what to expect when my publisher, Jericho Books, sent me Heather Kopp’s Sober Mercies, especially when I noted the subtitle- “how love caught up with a Christian drunk”.

Trying to be a good team player, I agreed to take a look at Heather’s book even though I smugly didn’t think it would have many lessons for me. On the surface, it didn’t seem to immediately apply to me. In other words, I’m not an alcoholic and I enjoy drinking in moderation.

Well, I was wrong. As we all know, a good story applies to everyone’s life, and Sober Mercies is no exception. Heather’s story unfolds with such raw honesty that one is hard-pressed to put the book down. In fact, I kept this book on top of all the guitar and drum catalogs stacked on my bathroom shelf. My dreams of vintage Stratocasters were left in limbo while I was captivated by this real life story.

The author doesn’t spare herself as she reveals her cringe-worthy episodes, rife with shame and guilt. Driving her kids to school while drunk, hiding bottles in her bathrobe, and ruination of all manner pave the road to Heather’s recovery. The only consolation the reader has is the hope that the book exists because it has a satisfying ending.

The telling of this tale is done with humor and class, and a kind of self-effacement that doesn’t become tiresome. In fact, Heather’s humor is a clue to the health the she discovers on a harrowing journey.

The peril of reading a book like this one is in thinking about someone you know who should read it. After all, you’re not a drunk… Well, hang on for the ride, because you’ll find yourself somewhere in these pages.

The nitty gritty of Sober Mercies is the question of how people perceive God, particularly long time believers in God. Does God hear my prayers? Isn’t everything supposed to turn out right for believers? Heather writes:

The telling of this tale is done with humor and class, and a kind of self-effacement that doesn’t become tiresome. In fact, Heather’s humor is a clue to the health the she discovers on a harrowing journey.

What if God could only be trusted in a way that went far beyond simply trusting Him for any specific result? What if He could only be trusted with the outcomes, or despite the outcomes? What if He could only be trusted from the incomprehensible perspective of all eternity?

Heather’s book is a striking account of a family’s struggle with alcohol, and on the merit of that alone, it’s worth reading. But moreover, the questions raised by this Bible-believing, evangelical mother are universal questions that go beyond faith boundaries into the matters of the heart.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Heather Kopp’s Sober Mercies

by Jericho Books 6 Comments Book Giveaways
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By entering the contest, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Official Rules/Terms and Conditions.
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Thank you for your interest in Heather Kopp‘s Sober Mercies.

For more information on the book, please go here.

Contest is also listed on the Jericho Books Facebook Page.

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On Easter and Holy Week

by Jericho Books Leave a comment General
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Thoughts on Easter and Holy Week, from the Jericho Staff and Authors

As we did on Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, we took a moment to ask the Jericho staff and authors what Easter means to them this Holy week. Comment below and let us know what Easter means to you.

From ShutterstockHeather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies:

I love Easter Sunday as much as the next Christian. But in recent years, I resonate more with the spiritual themes of Good Friday.

I don’t mean to sound flip, but since God is all-powerful, the idea that He could raise Jesus from the dead is not all that surprising.

But the idea that God Incarnate would make himself vulnerable to his own creation—to the point of death on a cross—astonishes me.

As a recovering drunk, I’m keenly aware that I am powerless over alcohol. The idea that God once made himself as powerless as I am—so that one day I could rely on his awesome power instead of my own—seems almost too good to be true.

Yet here I am sober, living proof that it’s so.

“God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross. God is weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Phil Madeira, author of God on the Rocks:

Easter is the one Sunday in the year that calls me to rise early. Mind you, I’d rather sleep in. But if I’m vigilant enough to rise, and hightail it to a favorite park before the sun gets there, I can be reminded of the Light that has been visited upon my darkness, from which I raise my mug of coffee and shout “Christ is risen!”

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Press Release: Sober Mercies, Heather Kopp

by Jericho Books Leave a comment Press Releases

A Jericho Books press release.

“In the past, if you were to ask me, ‘What went so terribly wrong in your walk with God that you ended up a miserable Christian drunk?’ I might have come up with a long and very convincing list. But today, an equally true answer would be, ‘Nothing.’” –Heather Kopp, Sober Mercies

“CHRISTIAN DRUNK” REVEALS ADDICTION AND FAITH NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE IN NEW MEMOIR

Sober Mercies, by Heather KoppChristians might be the most miserable of all addicts, reveals author Heather Kopp in Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group, May 2013). “Since we tend to think of addiction strictly as a moral failing,” Kopp explains, “most of us try and fail for years to pull ourselves up by our spiritual boot-straps. We pray harder, repent more fervently, and fight temptation until we’re blue in the face. When our best efforts continue to fail us, we feel ever more guilty and ashamed. Don’t we love God enough to quit? Doesn’t God love us enough to deliver us?

In the new book Sober Mercies, Kopp recounts her battle with alcoholism and a performance-fueled faith against a backdrop of secrecy, shame, and lies. As a Christian editor by day, Kopp helped well-known pastors and authors hone theology and polish salvation messages. By night, she drank herself to the point of passing out.

For more than a decade, Kopp’s nightmare continued, even as her marriage hit the rocks and her son embarked on his own dark descent into alcoholism and drug abuse. Still convinced by her legalistic past that addiction was a strictly moral issue, Kopp was too ashamed to reach for outside help.
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