A Journey with Two Mystics

Conversations between a Girardian and a Wattsian

By Matthew J. Distefano, Michael Machuga

Foreword by Ric Machuga

Afterword by Ben Fullerton

A Journey with Two Mystics

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  • ISBN: 9781532617096
  • Pages: 150
  • Publication Date: 3/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
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eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781532617096
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 3/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
 

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A Journey with Two Mystics

Conversations between a Girardian and a Wattsian

By Matthew J. Distefano, Michael Machuga

Foreword by Ric Machuga

Afterword by Ben Fullerton

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532617096
  • Pages: 150
  • Publication Date: 3/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
ebook-logo

eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781532617096
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 3/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

** Click here to review our ePub FAQ and policies.

About-

Having a careful ear and an open heart is vital to understanding the big ideas of the Universe. Two friends, Distefano and Machuga, put this on display here, vulnerably exploring some of humanity's most robust topics: what it means to be human, what it means to be saved, what it means to be lost, and what the meaning of life is. And while the authors agree on many things, including the ultimate fate of humanity, they do not necessarily agree on all the details of how we get there. But instead of "agreeing to disagree," they model for their readers what conversations of this variety should look like--agreement with a little pushback, and even some poking fun at one another from time to time.

So, as Distefano advises, "take your time and enjoy these discussions." They are transparent and hopeful, refreshingly liberating, and are imbued with complete awe toward the goodness of the Creator and her creation.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Correspondence between friends is always illuminating. Here, Distefano and Machuga tackle issues close to the heart: what it means to be human, why religion does not work, and why a careful ear for listening to each other is essential to both friendship and knowledge. This is a truly fascinating read of two younger adults navigating their way into post-modernity."
--Michael Hardin, Executive Director, Preaching Peace; author of The Jesus Driven Life

"This book is about the collapse of a Christian worldview, the one that says the thing Jesus saves from is an eternal hell of torment. The anxieties and contradictions of this kind of theology are too awful to sustain, and A Journey With Two Mystics lays them all out with autobiographical clarity in a gentle epistolary exchange between two friends."
--Anthony W. Bartlett, author of Virtually Christian andPascale's Wager

"Reading this book is like getting an accessible crash course in a range of interconnected ideas about the human predicament and the promise of salvation. But not the kind of course you'd get in a classroom. It's more like the voyeuristic pleasure of listening in on two friends, animated by philosophical and theological ideas, passionately sharing their thoughts by a bonfire. In fact, that's exactly how this book was born."
--Eric Reitan, Oklahoma State University

"In this book you are invited to listen in on a thrilling conversation between two pilgrims, one a follower of Rene Girard and the other a fan of Alan Watts. Perhaps you will overhear your own story. Perhaps you too will find your faith renewed."
--John E. Phelan, Jr., North Park Theological Seminary

"From Buddhism to Christianity to Rene Girard to Alan Watts to Gandalf--this book is full of profound wisdom. Distefano and Machuga are excellent guides to the truth found in these traditions."
--Adam Ericksen, Education Director, The Raven ReView; blogger, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement on Patheos

"Correspondence between friends is always illuminating. Here, Distefano and Machuga tackle issues close to the heart: what it means to be human, why religion does not work, and why a careful ear for listening to each other is essential to both friendship and knowledge. This is a truly fascinating read of two younger adults navigating their way into post-modernity."
--Michael Hardin, Executive Director, Preaching Peace, author of The Jesus Driven Life

"This book is about the collapse of a Christian worldview, the one that says the thing Jesus saves from is an eternal hell of torment. The anxieties and contradictions of this kind of theology are too awful to sustain, and A Journey With Two Mystics lays them all out with autobiographical clarity in a gentle epistolary exchange between two friends, Distefano and Machuga. Gentle but charged with consequence, one which might aptly be named Either Nike or Krisis!, Machuga finds relief from violent religion in a form of Buddhism where the point of life is the joyous peaceful now: there is no ulterior goal to human activity (e.g. heaven), so he quotes approvingly the brand's iconic tagline, "Just do it!" Distefano sees Jesus as opening up the divine space of a new nonviolent humanity. The New Testament word krisis is translated judgment with all the fearful connotations of an eternal destiny in heaven or hell. But Distefano sees it as God's compassionate transformation of existence which, nevertheless, can still be reversed by the actual horrors of catastrophic human violence. Is there a real difference between the two friends? Even they seem unsure, but the reader is invited to discover an answer for herself in this extraordinarily rich and resonant conversation."
--Anthony W. Bartlett, author of Virtually Christian and Pascale's Wager

"Reading this book is like getting an accessible crash course in a range of interconnected ideas about the human predicament and the promise of salvation. But not the kind of course you'd get in a classroom. It's more like the voyeuristic pleasure of listening in on two friends, animated by philosophical and theological ideas, passionately sharing their thoughts by a bonfire. In fact, that's exactly how this book was born."
--Eric Reitan, Oklahoma State University

"We are living through a post-Christian moment. The older, violent versions of American fundamentalism and evangelicalism are no longer compelling for many who grew up under their tutelage. The mainline churches long ago lost most of their young adults and are struggling to find their footing in the Good News. A new group of faith explorers from both traditions is emerging. They are not necessarily giving up on their Christian faith, but reframing it and renewing it. In this book you are invited to listen in on a thrilling conversation between two of these pilgrims, one a follower of Rene Girard and the other a fan of Alan Watts. Perhaps you will overhear your own story. Perhaps you too will find your faith renewed."
--John E. Phelan, Jr., Senior Professor of Theological Studies, North Park Theological Seminary

"From Buddhism to Christianity to Rene Girard to Alan Watts to Gandalf--this book is full of profound wisdom. Distefano and Machuga are excellent guides to the truth found in these traditions. As Distefano states, 'No matter what truth we discover about the cosmos . . . every truth will point in the same direction--toward a supremely benevolent God.' So, sit in your favorite chair, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and join these mystics as they dive into the love of the divine."
--Adam Ericksen, Education Director, The Raven ReView; blogger, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement on Patheos

"True to the mystic tradition, Distefano and Machuga set out to authentically explore the dynamic, transformational inner journey of faith. Using a personal, engaging style of correspondence, together they tackle many of the distorted-over-time conservative Christian teachings and doctrines that have finally and thankfully began to unravel, offering more reasonable and palatable interpretations of the universally human spiritual path."
--Julie Ferwerda, author of Raising Hell

"A Journey With Two Mystics was just as I expected it to be: an intellectually honest and humble interchange between two close friends. Although they do not see eye-to-eye on every theological and philosophical point, they respect and cherish the opinion of the other. They have obviously been freed to test all things so that they may hold onto what is both good and true. This book is the result of a peace that truly surpasses all understanding."
--Charles Watson Sr., author of Hell In a Nutshell

"Distefano and Machuga--two friends sharing a common quest for peace in our world--invite us to an intriguing exchange of letters. Rene Girard meets Alan Watts--West meets East. Here the insecure human ego and individualism of our culture opens to self in other as their conversation joins the God of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ to the cosmic oneness of reconciliation and peace."
--David R. Froemming, ELCA pastor; author of Salvation Story

"In this new age of Christian enlightenment, Distefano and Machuga offer a powerful and fresh conversation that goes to the core of life's true meaning. In addition to being uniquely written and refreshingly real, the dialogue offers savory insights that are critical to integrate into the Jesus tradition of our day, such as mindfulness, Universalism, and the naked now. These two mystics will have you continually wanting to flip to the next page."
--Eric Alexander, founder of Jesism

"Theology is like sex: it's deeply personal, soul revealing, and no one wants to be told they are doing it wrong. In A Journey With Two Mystics, we are given a rare window into the depths of mind and heart of two great theologians who courageously and eloquently wrestle with the most important questions concerning God, ourselves, and life. The vulnerability, fearless exploration, and mutual respect offered in this literary work of theological art is a monumental gift to those who think, dialogue, and pursue a greater understanding about all things God."
--Chris Kratzer, pastor, blogger

"Reading through A Journey With Two Mystics is a delightful and entertaining opportunity to eavesdrop (by invitation, of course) on a conversation between two lifelong friends, in which they discuss some of the things that matter most: theology, humanity, culture, literature, and even heaven and hell. You may not always agree with Distefano and Machuga. In fact, they don't always agree with each other. But that's not the point. The point is sitting around the bonfire with your best friend on a Thursday night, learning to follow Jesus together, one step at a time, on a journey that never ends."
--Daniel Skillman, counselor, writer, teacher, speaker

Contributors-

Matthew J. Distefano
Michael Machuga
Ric Machuga
Ben Fullerton

Bio(s)-

Matthew J. Distefano is the author of All Set Free and From the Blood of Abel, and is a regular contributor for Unfundamentalist Christians on Patheos.
Michael Machuga holds a degree in Social and Behavioral Science and has contributed for The New Reformers and All Set Free.

More from the Contributor(s)-

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