Book Details

The Gift of Thorns

Jesus, the Flesh, and the War for Our Wants

Today’s follower of Jesus exists at a moment in history when our desires, longings, and wants are being weaponized against us by cultural, spiritual, and relational forces. “Follow your heart” and “You do you” has become our moment’s mantras. The result, for too many, is feeling torn asunder by the raging desires within. What do we do with our desire? What about our unwanted desires? And how do we cultivate desires which bring life and freedom and lead to Christ? The Gift of Thorns, by A. J. Swoboda, addresses these questions and more.

After Doubt

How to Question Your Faith without Losing It

Award-winning author, pastor, and professor A. J. Swoboda has witnessed many young people wrestle with their core Christian beliefs. Too often, what begins as a set of critical and important questions turns to resentment and faith abandonment. Unfortunately, the church has largely ignored its task of serving people along their journey of questioning. The local church must walk alongside those who are deconstructing their faith and show them how to reconstruct it.

Drawing on his own experience of deconstruction, Swoboda offers tools to help emerging adults navigate their faith in a hostile landscape. 

Subversive Sabbath

The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World

We live in a 24/7 culture of endless productivity, workaholism, distraction, burnout, and anxiety–a way of life to which we’ve sadly grown accustomed. This tired system of “life” ultimately destroys our souls, our bodies, our relationships, our society, and the rest of God’s creation. The whole world grows exhausted because humanity has forgotten to enter into God’s rest.

This book pioneers a creative path to an alternative way of existing. Combining creative storytelling, pastoral sensitivity, practical insight, and relevant academic research, Subversive Sabbath offers a unique invitation to personal Sabbath-keeping that leads to fuller and more joyful lives.

Redeeming How We Talk

Discover How Communication Fuels Our Growth, Shapes Our Relationships, and Changes Our Lives

Discover why words matter in a noisy world. Technology has made it easier than ever before to share just about everything: pictures, ideas, even the ups and downs of your morning errand run. Yet all our talking doesn’t seem to be connecting us the way it promised to. That’s because we don’t need to talk more, we need to talk better.  

Redeeming How We Talk explores what the Bible has to say about that central aspect of life and relationships–conversation. The Scriptures show us that words have remarkable power–to create, to bless, to encourage, to forgive. Imagine how we could spark change in our families, churches, and communities if we learned to use words like Jesus did. 

The Dusty Ones

Why Wandering Deepens Your Faith

Through every turn of the biblical story, God’s people are a wandering people. When they are rescued from slavery in Egypt, God sends them into the desert, where they wander for a generation. Jesus and his disciples wander from town to town. In fact, some of God’s most important truths are imparted to people with dusty feet as they travel on the road.

With his trademark thoughtful introspection, A. J. Swoboda boldly suggests that wandering is not an absence of faith but a central component of faith.

Scripting Pentecost

A Study of Pentecostals, Worship and Liturgy

Scripting Pentecost explores and develops an analysis of worship and liturgy in Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions around the world. It is organized into two main sections: history and theology, and global case studies. The first section considers early Pentecostal traditions, the influence of the Welsh revival, classical Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Renewal movement and subsequent practices up to the present day. It also provides contemporary constructive theological reflections on sung worship, sacramental theology and liturgical practices. The second section offers a selection of global case studies from America, Europe, Kenya, Myanmar, Venezuela and Papua New Guinea. These case studies focus on contemporary worship and liturgical practices and their significance for Pentecostal and Charismatic studies.

Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology

Foundations in Scripture, Theology, History, and Praxis

Today’s church finds itself in a new world, one in which climate change and ecological degradation are front-page news. In the eyes of many, the evangelical community has been slow to take up a call to creation care. How do Christians address this issue in a faithful way?

This evangelically centered but ecumenically informed introduction to ecological theology (ecotheology) explores the global dimensions of creation care, calling Christians to meet contemporary ecological challenges with courage and hope. The book provides a biblical, theological, ecological, and historical rationale for earthcare as well as specific practices to engage both individuals and churches. Drawing from a variety of Christian traditions, the book promotes a spirit of hospitality, civility, honesty, and partnership. It includes a foreword by Bill McKibben and an afterword by Matthew Sleeth.

Blood Cries Out

Pentecostals, Ecology, and the Groans of Creation

John McConnell Jr. was the famed founder and visionary of Earth Day. McConnell’s vision was one of creating a day of remembrance, solitude, and action to restore the broken human relationship to the land. Little acknowledged are McConnell’s religious convictions or background. McConnell grew up in a Pentecostal home. In fact, McConnell’s parents were both founding charter members of the Assemblies of God in 1914. His own grandfather had an even greater connection to the origins of Pentecostalism by being a personal participant at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906. Earth Day, thus, began with strong religious convictions. McConnell, seeing the ecological demise through his religious background, envisioned a day where Christians could “show the power of prayer, the validity of their charity, and their practical concern for Earth’s life and people” In the spirit of McConnell, today’s Pentecostal and Charismatic theology has something to say about the earth. Blood Cries Out is a unique contribution by Pentecostal and Charismatic theologians and practitioners to the global conversation concerning ecological degradation, climate change, and ecological justice.

Tongues and Trees

Towards a Pentecostal Ecological Theology

This book develops a Pentecostal ecological theology (ecotheology) by utilizing key pneumatological themes that emerge from the Pentecostal tradition. It examines the salient Pentecostal and Charismatic voices that have stimulated ecotheology in the Pentecostal tradition and situates them within the broader context of Christian ecumenical ecotheologies (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Ecofeminist). The author advances a novel approach to Pentecostal ecotheology through a pneumatology of the Spirit-baptized creation, the charismatic creational community, the holistic ecological Spirit, and the eschatological Spirit of ecological mission. Significantly, this book is the first substantive contribution to a Pentecostal pneumatological theology of creation with a particular focus on the Pentecostal community and its significance for the broader ecumenical community. Furthermore, it offers a fresh theological approach to imagining and sustaining earth-friendly practice in the twenty-first century Pentecostal church.

A Glorious Dark

Finding Hope in the Tension Between Belief and Experience

On Thursday as they ate the Passover meal with Jesus, the disciples believed that the kingdom was coming and they were on the front end of a revolution. Then came the tragedy of Friday and, somehow even worse, the silence of Saturday. They ran. They doubted. They despaired. Yet, within the grave, God’s power was still flowing like a mighty river beneath the ice of winter. And then there was Sunday morning.

Real, raw, and achingly honest, A Glorious Dark meets readers in the ambiguity, doubt, and uncertainty we feel when our beliefs about the world don’t match up to reality. Tackling tough questions like Why is faith so hard? Why do I doubt? Why does God allow me to suffer? and Is God really with me in the midst of my pain? A. J. Swoboda puts into sharp focus a faith that is greater than our personal comfort or fulfilment. He invites readers to develop a faith that embraces the tension between what we believe and what we experience, showing that the very tension we seek to eliminate is where God meets us.

Messy

God Likes it that Way

Christianity is messy. Unanswered prayers. Painful choices. Unresolved regrets. We’re called to have faith, and yet we doubt. We try to be perfect, but we fall short. This is the chaos. It’s all around us. There’s no limit to it. And there’s no quick fix for it. Both annoyingly honest and refreshingly humorous, Messy reassures Christians that God can reveal Himself in their clutter. Author, writer, and pastor A.J. Swoboda offers biblical insight and vivid, personal stories to redefine faith from something that must be perfect to something that is imperfect, but can still give beauty, meaning, and purpose to a messy life. As entertaining as it is challenging, this book teaches Christians what it means to trust in each other, in grace, in hope, and in a Savior who defied the rules of death. Here’s to finding hope in your chaos..