Cover image for Bringing God home : a traveler's guide
Bringing God home : a traveler's guide
Church, F. Forrester.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
241 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX9869.C53 A3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In times of crisis, we seek the consolation faith alone can provide. As Forrest Church reminds us in Bringing God Home , the Chinese ideogram for the word "crisis" means both "danger" and "opportunity." The danger lies in surrendering to fear, love's true opposite; the opportunity is that crisis can bring us closer to God, and God closer to us.

Using his own spiritual quest as a starting point, Church has written a book that will comfort and inspire readers of all backgrounds and creeds. "Religion," he writes, "sponsors more unholy violence than any other force on earth." But faith-when it leads to humility at the wonder of creation, and helps us see the one Light that shines through many windows-both opens our hearts and bind our wounds.

Drawing insight and courage from poets, philosophers, and prophets from across the ages, and from ordinary people from across the street, Forrest Church challenges us to set out on the journey of our lives, and then guides our steps back home.

Author Notes

Forrest Church is Senior Minister at All Souls Church (Unitarian) in Manhattan, where he has served for twenty-four years. He is the author of many books, most recently Lifecraft: The Art of Meaning in the Everyday . He edited Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope , a collection of sermons written in response to the September 11 attack on America. A father of four children, he lives with his family in New York City.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Unitarian minister Church conducts us on a journey of the intellect, the heart, and the soul. He examines the literature of pilgrimage--The Pilgrim's Progress, The Divine Comedy, The Odyssey, and St. Augustine's Confessions--turning those hoary classics into stories with real relevance for contemporary people. He also illustrates pilgrimage from his own life, telling very touchingly but brutally honestly of growing up as the son of the famously liberal Senator Frank Church of Idaho, for whom he says his younger self was "a political father's nightmare" (political junkies will find this stressful father-son relationship especially absorbing). A terrific storyteller who knows when to end as well as how to tell, he also doesn't offer platitudes or facile solutions to difficult problems. Quite often, in fact, he doesn't even have any answers at all. Like many a prodigal son, he traveled far from home but found his way back. His story as much as the classics he discusses is comfort food for the soul. --June Sawyers

Publisher's Weekly Review

Church is probably one heck of a preacher: learned, thoughtful and gifted at reshaping famous phrases to confer new meaning while retaining their hallowed echoes ("We are the religious animal"). In this book-pulpit, the senior minister of New York's All Souls Unitarian Church is also a proponent of the gospel of second chances. He refers often enough to his own all-too-human errors a failed first marriage, an enduring affair with alcohol but autobiographical passages, including glimpses of his famous father, the late Idaho senator Frank Church, only leaven the book. The author or editor of 18 other books has here crafted a series of meditative essays, unified by the leitmotif of home. They constitute a spiritual travel guide through centuries of human wandering toward spiritual home and human wondering about the persistent questions that are the diet of the religious animal: where do we come from, whither do we go? The personal essay is a time-honored Western literary form, and Church fills this mold with artillery drawn from the canon: this poet, that saint, still another thinker or painter. At times the range of reference seems a little too wide, too illusive, to follow the tracks of the author's thought. But the minister eventually leads his reader to the point, to a sense of what Buddhists would call equanimity and what this Unitarian thinker calls home. As a pastoral Virgil, Church leads the way. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Publishers are responding to an increased demand for books that can help people lead more meditative lives, and these inventive essay collections will please progressive Christian and New Age readers alike. In The Soul's Religion, Moore's companion volume to his 1992 best seller, Care of the Soul, brief essays by the famed therapist and former monk offer perspectives on the soul-deepening potential of coping with failed relationships, natural disaster, and the fools and saints around us. Moore uses a variety of spiritual traditions, including Zen, Taoism, and Christianity, to show readers how they can enhance their spiritual development. In Bringing God Home, a Unitarian minister and son of former senator Frank Church has crafted a poetic autobiography in the form of brief meditations. Lay people will savor Church's originality as well as his insights from childhood with a famous father, and English teachers will find inspiration for their classrooms in his thoughts on the pilgrimage literature of John Bunyan, Thomas Wolfe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Teasdale's A Monk in the World gives practical tips for enhancing spirituality and promoting social justice. A Hindu monk with a Catholic upbringing, Teasdale teaches at three colleges in the Chicago area. His gentle reflections are punctuated by reminiscences of personal ordeals as well as poignant character sketches of street people. Teasdale's more ambitious The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions has been popular, and his new work should be, too. All three books can be added to larger public libraries, but those that can afford just one should consider purchasing Moore's, which will be in demand owing to the author's widespread popularity. Joyce Smothers, Student, Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.