Tag Archives: Guides

Built upon the Rock: The Church (9Marks Healthy Church Study Guides)

Built upon the Rock: The Church (9Marks Healthy Church Study Guides)

The local church is meant to be living, growing, distinct, and God-glorifying. Yet many disagree about what a church really is and what it should look like. This study works through seven biblical aspects of the church and, in so doing, helps participants to discover a big-picture vision of the church.

A series of ten 6–7 week studies covering the nine distinctives of a healthy church as originally laid out in Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. This series explores the biblical foundations of key aspects of the church, helping Christians to live out those realities as members of a local body. Conveniently packaged and accessibly written, the format of this series is guided, inductive discussion of Scripture passages and is ideal for use in Sunday school, church-wide studies, or small group contexts.

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St Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town. The Greatest Baroque Church in Prague (Advanced Guides to Czech Monuments)

St Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town. The Greatest Baroque Church in Prague (Advanced Guides to Czech Monuments)

Old Prague, Czech Republic, has to a large degree preserved the appearance which it acquired in the 18th century. The green dome of St Nicholas in the Lesser Town, which was constructed between 1702 and 1752, dominates its panorama. St Nicholas was the main church of the Czech Jesuits and perfectly fitted the Catholic Church’s ideal of a cult building. In the Baroque era, unity, movement and infinity asserted themselves as the main attributes of divine essence. In St Nicholas, the single, static and infinite God was presented as the source of all movement and finality in the human world. This explains the dynamism of the architectonic forms of this Church, which stresses the infinity of God. St Nicholas Church was a grandiose attempt at the preservation of the traditional Christian faith, which had lost none of its attraction in Central Europe. In St Nicholas, architects and artists with different world views and temperaments passed the baton from one generation to another. Their points of departure were different; nevertheless, their creation is surprisingly homogenous. Kilian Ignatius radically changed the conception of his father, Christoph, only to make it even more expressive. Sculptor Platzer and painter Kracker worked within the finished building in distinctive styles of their own, but they both kept the original tone of the Dientzenhofers. An understanding of the work of their predecessors and a respect for their artistic conceptions did not clash with their own creativity. This continuity would not have been possible without the knowledgeable patronage of the Jesuits.
The architects, sculptors and painters of St Nicholas, as well as their Jesuit patrons, ignored the visions of Parisian intellectuals which were preparing far-reaching changes. These visions delineated the shape of the modern world. Its sober rationality is in sharp contrast with the spontaneity and spirituality of St Nicholas. Prague Jesuits were well aware that they were living at a turning point. They believed, however, that traditional faith could be combined with scientific knowledge and a lifestyle based on technological progress. They expressed their attitude by a daring variation on traditional themes, which we today know as Radical or Dynamic Baroque. Visitors to St Nicholas are meant to enter into a familiar past, which artists working for the Jesuits transformed into the promise of a brand new future. Their efforts were, of course, doomed to failure from the outset, because their goal was impossible.
The actuality of St Nicholas and an interest in its creators springs from the changes in the way we think today. On the threshold of the 21st century, our world view has changed beyond recognition. We still perceive ourselves as heirs of the Enlightenment and Liberalism, but we are increasingly sceptical about the future of this heritage. We abhor religious fanaticism and totalitarian tendencies in politics. We are no less intensely aware of the emptiness which has remained after the cooling of religious fervour. We havebecome painfully aware of the loneliness to which we have condemned ourselves, through our focus on the material world and uncompromising individualism.
These are the reasons why we are fascinated by St Nicholas Church, why it is today one of the most frequented of all Prague monuments.

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Simple Guides The Roman Catholic Church

Simple Guides The Roman Catholic Church

THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU

• to appreciate the significance of one of the largest organized religions in the world

• to understand the history of the Church, and what it means to be Roman Catholic

• to recognize the Catholic Church’s key practices and beliefs

• to avoid faux pas in conversation, in traveling and in personal relationships

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. Although it has evolved over time and spread to every continent, its belief, structure and liturgy date back to the one Church founded by Christ. This personal introduction by an English priest, whose experience includes many years of service with the British army, is offered as one man’s guide to the origins and practices of Catholic Christianity.

The book considers the Jewish roots and historical context of Christianity. It traces the evolution of thought that culminated in the message of its founder, and the impact of Jesus’ teachings on his followers. It recounts the history of the early Church, its aims and beliefs, and the formulation by the Church Fathers and the great ecumenical councils of answers to questions of faith, morals and teachings. Thematic chapters deal with the topics of faith and reason, how to recognize truth, authority, myth, the question of sin, judgement and deliverance, and the meaning of the sacraments. Others deal with historical events, changing attitudes, religious practices, institutional structures and sacred texts.

Written in an informal and friendly style, this guide is the perfect introduction to a rich, complex and profoundly influential system of belief.

ACCESS THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS

Simple Guides: Religion is a series of concise, accessible introductions to the world’s major religions. Written by experts in the field, they offer an engaging and sympathetic description of the key concepts, beliefs and practices of different faiths.

Ideal for spiritual seekers and travellers alike, Simple Guides aims to open the doors of perception. Together the books provide a reliable compass to the world’s great spiritual traditions, and a point of reference for further exploration and discovery. By offering essential insights into the core values, customs and beliefs of different
societies, they also enable visitors to be aware of the cultural sensibilities of their hosts, and to behave in a way that fosters mutual respect and understanding.

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