Character & Gifting: Lessons From Our Eastern Brethren

Character & Gifting: Lessons From Our Eastern Brethren

Born into an Eastern Orthodox family on Cyprus, Kyriacos C. Markides adopted an agnostic view of God and spirituality in the 1970’s while at college in the USA. After years of scientific materialism, he begin a journey that took him through Hindu spirituality and transcendental meditation before returning to Eastern Orthodoxy. Being a professor of sociology (University of Maine), Markides documented and published various segments of his spiritual journey including his chats with various healers and mystics on the edges of Eastern Orthodoxy. The focus on this book, The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality, is Markides discovery of Eastern Orthodox spirituality as seen through a monastic lens. The book starts off with Markides seeking to visit the monks living on Mount Athos in Greece. Christian monks and hermits have lived on this mountain for over 1,800 years with the single focus of pursuing God. The importance of this mountain in Eastern Orthodoxy can be seen through the  nickname the “Holy Mountain.” Sadly, Markides was unable to visit Mount Athos at the beginning of the book. Rather his journey took him back to Cyprus where a former monk of the mountain recently became the abbot of a monastery. Throughout the rest of the book, Markides and his monastic guide, Father Maximos, constantly refer back to Mount Athos and the traditions of the mountain. The book ends with Markides finally reaching Mount Athos only to find that the monks had taken a vow of silence during the time period he had chosen to visit. Hence the name of the book. The concepts recorded within the pages of the book...
It’s Here!!

It’s Here!!

I’m happy to announce that my book, The Here and Not Yet: What is Kingdom Theology and Why Does it Matter?, has officially been released!! Book Description Life is messy and rarely simple. There are times of victory when things seem to be going really well and times of struggle when things seem to be falling apart. The way we process these ups and downs of life is extremely important as it sets the tone for everything in our lives. Kingdom Theology provides a worldview that allows us to embrace the tension in which we live. It is a worldview based upon the central message of Jesus that the kingdom of God has come, is coming, will be coming soon, and is delayed. Written in an easy to read conversational tone, Joshua Hopping’s book, The Here and Not Yet, seeks to develop a scriptural framework for Kingdom Theology before exploring how this worldview changes the way we live. In holding the tensions of life together, we are better able to respond to the challenges of life while following the lead of our king and savior, Jesus of Nazareth. Where to buy the book? The physical book can be ordered through Amazon.com. Those with an e-reader can purchased the book through Kobo, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Scribd, and Inktera. Additional e-book platforms will be added shortly. Endorsements  “I am…keen to see the baton passed to the next generation. Therefore, when a writer much younger than I comes along and shows not only a wide reading on the subject, but a passion to articulate the kingdom to his generation, I can...
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Today more than ever we need to learn how to look outside of our bubbles and into those of our neighbors. The book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi does just that. While it tells the story of how Qureshi found Jesus, it also teaches the reader about the culture and religion of Muslims living in the United States of America. Sadly our political and religious leaders have propagate the concept that Muslims are the same without realizing (or caring) that there are multiple branches of Islam. Nabeel Qureshi grew up as a member of the Ahmadiyya sect which is persecuted by the more radical branches of Islam. Accordingly, a lot of the Ahmadiyya migrated to the USA and UK. As Qureshi grew up he learned how to tell people about Allah and Islam. Unfortunately most of the Christians he met didn’t know very much about their own faith and, as such, were unable to stand up to the questions and/or comments of Qureshi. This fact underlines the need for Jesus followers to train their children not only in the faith, but in how to defend the faith. As in, we need to teach our children logic and critical thinking skills so they can hold their own in any debate or conversation. Eventually Qureshi met a Christian in college that knew his stuff and actually loved people. This man wasn’t just trying to convert Qureshi to Christianity; he just liked Qureshi because he was a friendly person. Over the next two to three years the two friends debated the merits of Islam and Christianity. Eventually Qureshi realized that...
Spirituality is NOT a Substitute for Psychology!

Spirituality is NOT a Substitute for Psychology!

“We need to realize that not only is psychology not a substitute from spirituality, but spirituality is not a substitute for psychology. While most Christians would not tend to make the first assertion, many would and do tend to make the second… Psychological brokenness needs treatment in the same way that a broken bone needs to be set and healed. While physical therapy is an integral and essential aspect of healing for a broken leg, the therapy alone, without setting of the bone, will never enable the bone to heal properly. Likewise, spiritual formation is an integral and essential part of recovery of human wholeness from psychological brokenness, but spiritual formation alone will never bring full and complete wholeness of being.” I read the above quote today and just had to share it. It was penned by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr. and released in his book Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation. While the quote may sound self-evident to some of you, I have heard Christian leaders tell people that psychology is of the devil and is to be avoided. Yeah. Much sadness…. There is a time and a place for psychology and professional counseling.  While a pastor or other Christian leader can cry and pray with you, they aren’t there to fix you or solve all your problems. They are there to remind you that the Creator King entered into our broken world to walk with us through the dark valleys of life. Let us all run fearlessly into the dark places of our souls this year with Jesus. Let us pursue spiritual disciplines, professional...
My Next Two Books

My Next Two Books

It may seem a bit premature to some, but I already have plans to write a second and third book. =) The second book will explore how we are to embrace the mystery of living between the ages. As I talk about in The Here and Not Yet, modern Jesus followers are living between two ages where we experience both victory and suffering, life and death. The key to living between the ages is to embrace the tension that comes with the mystery of life. While I don’t have the full outline in front of me (yeah, I outlined this book early this year), I do know that I would like to explore the concept of the mystery in this book. One of the sad things about modernism is that it took the mystery out of life. Everything could be explained by science, logic and reason… or so the theory went. With the rise of postmodernism, the West cultures are realizing that we humans need a bit of mystery and beauty in our world. This doesn’t mean that we need to stop exploring our world or seeking scientific reasons for things. Far from it!!!! Rather we need to learn to embrace the tension between the known and the unknown, the pursuit of knowledge and the mystery of not knowing. To live in the mystery is to recognize that there are something things that we will never know. And that is okay as we trust the One who does know. Besides, sometimes the questions are the answers. The third book on my heart will dive deeper into the spiritual battle of the...
Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

It’s happening! The editor has returned my manuscript and will be going to the page layout lady later on this week!! =D I do, however, need your help getting this book over the finish line. Even though the book been accepted for publication by Vineyard International Publishing there are lots of expenses. This is where you all come in as I need help generating the necessary funds to pay for the book editing, layout, and cover design. Please check out my crowd-sourcing campaign to find out more about the book and how you can help. Thank you and God bless!...