• Title: Living on the Border of the Holy
  • Author: L. William Countryman
  • ISBN: 9780819217738
  • Page: 458
  • Format: Paperback
  • Living on the Border of the Holy The first thing to say in our exploration of priesthood is this priesthood is a fundamental and inescapable part of being human All human beings knowingly or not minister as priests to one another A
    The first thing to say in our exploration of priesthood is this priesthood is a fundamental and inescapable part of being human All human beings, knowingly or not, minister as priests to one another All of us, knowingly or not, receive priestly ministrations from one another Unless we begin here, we are not likely to understand the confusions and uncertainties and opp The first thing to say in our exploration of priesthood is this priesthood is a fundamental and inescapable part of being human All human beings, knowingly or not, minister as priests to one another All of us, knowingly or not, receive priestly ministrations from one another Unless we begin here, we are not likely to understand the confusions and uncertainties and opportunities we have been encountering in the life of the church itself in recent years We shall be in danger, in fact, of creating makeshift solutions to half understood problems, easy answers to misleading questions, temporary bandages for institutions that need to be healed from the ground up L William Countryman There is a lot of tension in churches today about whose ministry is primary that of the laity or of the clergy L William Countryman argues that we can only resolve that problem by seeing that we are all priests simply by virtue of being human and living, as we all do, on the mysterious and uncertain border with the Holy Living on the Border of the Holy offers a way of understanding the priesthood of the whole people of God and the priesthood of the ordained in complementary ways by showing how both are rooted in the fundamental priestly nature of human life After an exploration of the ministry of both laity and ordained, Countryman concludes by examining the implications of this view of priesthood for churches and for educating those studying for ordination.

    One Reply to “Living on the Border of the Holy”

    1. This book gives the only explanation of ordained priesthood that I can live with - the ordained priesthood is an icon and sacrament of the priesthood of all. Our priesthood of laity is the true priesthood - the priesthood of Jesus, who after all was never ordained.I adore this book, and wish it was required reading at every seminary.

    2. I have to say that this is an excellent, excellent book, even though I am frustrated by it in some ways. This may be because I find it hard to warm to how Mr. or Rev. Countryman conveys his ideas in any of his books. He is definitely a sincere, lovely person. He is also wordy and repetitive. It is difficult to find guidelines in his writing. And somehow I feel that his writing is not really scholarship at all (though he is very learned), but that it consists of long disquisitions on personal ide [...]

    3. This is one of my BOOKS. BOOKS, all CAPS, as in: 1) Bible; 2) Chronicles of Narnia; 3) Open Mind - Open Heart; 4) Living on the Border of the Holy; 5) Holy the Firm; 6) Harry Potter; 7) Cheaper by the Dozen; 8) A Separate Peace; 9) Lesbian/Woman; and 10) Huckleberry Finn. BOOKS, as in the ones I read and experience paradigm shift, or paradigm deepening, or paradigm tossed overboard never to be seen again.Living on the Border of the Holy helped me see priesthood at a depth I knew was there, but c [...]

    4. This was assigned for our EFM seminar group. There are many, many lines that made me say, "YES! That's IT!" and for that, I love this book. But it does get repetitive, and I'm sorry that the book is not more accessibleI would love to see congregations read it in small groups. Wonderful explication of how we all have, not just a ministry in the world, but a priesthood in the world. Strongly recommend this for clergy and laypersons who have "reading stick-to-it-iveness."

    5. It's unclear what the theme of this book is - if it's that "everyone's a priest," then that's a good argument, but not book-length. The middle of the book is devoted to discussions of problems of professional ministry, and is more understandable, but I'm not clear how to implement the proposed solution.

    6. We were assigned this book for two weeks of EfM this year. It has some very good things to say, but they could have been said in a short essay; the book belabored its points so that by the end I was really ready to put it down. The style was repetitive and aphoristic. It was fine for me to read it once; I will not be likely to pick it up again in a hurry.

    7. This was another assignment for my seminary studies. Loved this book. L. William Countryman is a gay, Episcopal priest with a wonderful message about ministry. We all have a fundamental ministry. Others, in addition, pursue a sacramental ministry. Our mission is to question what our ministry is and how we are to fulfill it. Along the way, the author explores the ministry of Jesus, his teachings, the ministry of ordained clergy, and the laity.There were several sections and commentary that stood [...]

    8. This was an excellent book. I enjoyed its thoughtful reflections on the intersections between the hold and the mundane, and the connections between ministry (in and beyond a church context) and the human identity and destiny that all are invited to live. Countryman's sense of the fundamental priesthood and the sacramental priesthood is an inviting growth edge for an expansion of my theology and understanding of priesthood, informed no less by practical experience than by seminary study and forma [...]

    9. I had to read this for Education For Ministry.I can't imagine anyone reading this unless they had to. Here's his thesis, we're all priests. Actual priests aren't anything special. Except they are. But not really.Very hard to follow, if I were a priest I'd be peeved at his cheapening of my vocation. I'm not a priest and I'm pretty miffed at his cheapening of priesthood.

    10. Remarkable and beautiful. Countryman offers a vision of priesthood as teaching, and all of us as teachers. Every person on earth has had unique experiences of the Holy and therefore has something to teach the rest of us.

    11. It is like if Mr. Rogers was dropping acid and decided to write a book! "Let's get connected. let's sit by the campfire and sing KumBay" Sorry I am not that way. I prefer to read a good poem by Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton any day!

    12. While this book was an eye opener for me regarding the priesthood in all of us, I feel like the author could have been more concise. He seemed to belabor his point which made it tedious. Overall I agree with the authors view of fundamental priesthood vs ordained priesthood.

    13. The author explores the concept, "priesthood of all believers" and the ramification for Christians and the church today. Aspects of this book were enlightening; however, much of what I read was simply repackaging of what I have already read before.

    14. While I just finished reading this book I know that it will change my life. Simply reading it is an encounter with the HIDDEN HOLY.I am grateful for William Countryman and this Offering to the Church.

    15. Read this for a class and really enjoyed it. The author makes you think about your priesthood/ministry from a different vantage point and realize how it is much simpler than you envisioned before reading this book.

    16. Mystical in its description of human life as lived on the "border of the Holy," but practical in explaining what we do there!

    17. This is a book to read more than once. The writing is very dense, but the ideas are thought-provoking and it offers me a vision of spiritual life that I can relate to.

    18. We are all priests living on the border between the everyday and the HOLY. Priests of the Church are first and foremost priests of humanity.

    19. Beautiful insights about the priestly life and trying to live on the border of the holy. Important for discernment.

    20. This is an amazing book that articulates what it means to live life as a Christian, but not in any sort of fundamentalist mould.

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