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On the Sacred (and Slightly Irreverent) Way

Finally, a spiritual formation guide for less-than-saints.

Sometimes I sit in my church office amid towers of books on ministry strategy and discipleship DVDs and wonder, Is any of this stuff really necessary? Last year Americans bought $4.34 billion worth of Christian T-shirts, Thomas Kinkade calendars, and devotional books. The proliferation of "Jesus junk" makes you wonder how Christians communed with God before singing vegetables and purpose-driven ministries.

Tony Jones's book reminds us that before Christianity was a retail market it was sacred. The Sacred Way awakens us to the simple practices of the spiritual life believers for centuries have used to commune with God. Not intimidated by labels, Jones removes the barriers between Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox spirituality, and acknowledges that we "live in a time of unprecedented cross-pollination" in the church.

The admiration for different traditions flows from Jones' frustration with his own narrow spiritual journey. "I was raised in a nice, Midwestern, church-going family. ...

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