A Lenten Reflection 2013

Hello Colleagues,

As we enter into the Lenten season, I want to introduce you to my newest book – Our Favorite Sins: The Sins We Commit and How You Can Quit. It may be a suitable Lenten reader for our churches. I would be delighted if for Lent this year you would suggest OFS to your congregation. If you would like a copy of the book, email me at this address and I’ll get it to you ASAP. Below is an introduction to the book.

The big idea of the book is this: most people, myself included, struggle every day with temptation.  All too often, we fail and fall, and some of us are at our wit’s end, utterly defeated, living with perpetual guilt and shame.  We are all familiar with not only the words but also the feeling expressed by the apostle Paul: “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 NKJV).

The big contribution, I hope, is this: my publisher, Thomas Nelson, and I hired the Barna Group to do exclusive, ground-breaking research of all Americans, not just churched people, on the topic of temptation. The survey reveals how Americans think and act when faced with life’s various enticements. Here is a couple startling findings: 50% of Americans simply don’t know what to do about temptation. Secondly, 59% of Americans say that the last time they were faced with temptation, they did nothing specific to avoid giving in to it.

This book is also distinctly Anglican. There are chapters describing how liturgy, sacrament and lectionary empower a life in the Spirit that strengthens us against temptation. In addition, every chapter ends with an exercise taken from the Book of Common Prayer or Celtic Daily Prayer.

Dallas Willard’s forward to the book may give you an additional feel for what I am up to:

Walking out of our favorite sins makes perfect sense after you have done it. But you need a biblical, psychologically sophisticated, pastoral guide to get you to that point. That is Todd Hunter. Sin is basically stupid and repulsive. But when you are in its snare – few aren’t – you can’t see that. The best thing about Our Favorite Sins is, it really does enable you to see sin for what it is. And then it gives small doable steps you can take to walk away.

Do you want to quit? You can. Just meditatively study this book and put it, gently but persistently, into practice. Don’t worry about perfection. If you ever get there, it will be safe for you. It’s when you aren’t there that it is dangerous – deadly! This book will do wonders for serious disciples of Jesus, and it would be great for small groups. But we’re talking world revolution here, which is exactly what Jesus had in mind: “Teach the disciples to do everything I said.” What else is there to do?

In the book I help readers see and believe that falling for temptation isn’t inevitable.  We don’t have to lose the fight.  In fact, we can win if we understand the root of the problem and what Christians have done from the beginning to beat it.  Our Favorite Sins seeks to shine a light in our lives’ dark corners and reveals the time-tested methods, ancient practices, for getting victory over sin.

 

Endorsements for the book have been a great encouragement to me:

“The most deceptive part of sin is its ability to blind us to its reality in our lives. Todd Hunter offers sane and helpful guidance about the way out.”

-John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

“Todd Hunter gets it: Nothing should stand in the way of full devotion to Christ.

Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

“This book speaks powerfully to some of my own deepest spiritual struggles. In offering candid, informed counsel on ‘our favorite sins,’ Todd Hunter has given me, and multitudes like me, an important spiritual treasure.”

Richard Mouw, president, Fuller Seminary; author of Praying at Burger King 

“One of the most persistent and least talked about questions for Christians are these: If sin is so bad, then why are we drawn to it? If it wrecks human lives – which it does, every time – then what is so appealing about its temptations? Is there any help for those who want to find freedom from sin? Todd Hunter has delved deeply into this matter, and in this excellent and accessible book Hunter offers us not only insight into why we sin, but how we can begin to turn from its false promises. The body of Christ needs this book.”

James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God 

“Todd Hunter draws on ancient practices in order to provide insight and strategy to face temptations in our lives. This book will help you think about how you can not just ask God to deliver you from temptation but be intentional about finding a way of escape.”

Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine and The Sacred Echo 

“Todd Hunter is the only man I know who can talk about sin with an appealing easiness and, at the same time, with an equally appealing candor. I can almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy his conversation and end up very grateful for having had the chance to read it.”

Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence 

“One of the greatest intellectual achievements of the Christian tradition is its notion of original sin. People will make a mess of anything, of everything. Todd Hunter has gifted us with an inspiring book that suggests habits of holiness for everyday living and moving and having our being amid human suckitude and stinkiness. But most of all, Bishop Hunter gives us hope that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor, and chief contributor to sermons.com

“In Our Favorite Sins, Hunter combines modern language and research with classic understanding in providing a fresh look and at our most deadly sins. His suggestions for ‘ancient and fruitful’ practices will be very helpful to many in reorienting desire toward living life with God.”

Gary W. Moon, Ph.D., executive director, Dallas Willard Center

“It is so easy to miss our potential in life due to getting caught up in our weaknesses and temptations. Todd helps us understand not only how to recognize the subtle sins that can distract us, but how to be like Jesus when facing them.”

Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus But Not the Church 

 

Peace,

Todd Hunter

____________________

PURCHASE: Kindle Version & Print Version

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A New Canonical Home for Todd Hunter and C4SO

Bishop Todd Hunter

Todd Hunter

UPDATE: Bishop Todd Hunter answers some questions regarding this recent move to ACNA.  [VIEW VIDEO]

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May 4, 2012

Over the past many months there has been much talk, publicly and privately, about who each of us will dance with in terms of Anglican connections. I have been slow in this process, like an awkward junior-high kid at his first dance, struggling to discern direction from God. I realized in the past day or so that I was asking the wrong question, that jurisdictional issues were not on the top of God’s mind for me.

Apparently I needed to seek God regarding more fundamental issues, matters of first cause. In so doing I realized that I am to “dance with who ‘brung’ me”— Unity and Mission. I brought Mission with me to this dance. We have been “friends from childhood”. When I walked across the dance floor and was introduced to Anglicanism three years ago I was told repeatedly that we were all working toward one, unified, missional, kingdom-oriented, Spirit-enabled Anglican church in North America. I took that vision into my heart and have pondered it since.

Today I am pleased to announce that I have brought unity and mission back together through the up-coming re-launch of Churches For the Sake of Others.
This morning I had warm and collegial conversations with Archbishop Bob Duncan,  Bishop Chuck Murphy and  Bishop Terrell Glenn. I articulated for each of them my vision of C4SO becoming a servant to all the various Anglican entities within North America. C4SO will happily plant churches in partnership with PEARUSA, TheAm and the ACNA.

I will carry out this work under the canons of the ACNA as a special bishop given a specific task under Archbishop Duncan.

Attached is my best attempt today at some anticipated questions. I will soon go to Pittsburgh to clarify as many small details as possible. But before we get to that, I’ve got a couple of related issues I would like to make public.

First, I have written Archbishop Rwaje asking his forgiveness for my part in actions, attitudes or communications that were hurtful to him or to my brother bishops in Rwanda. His Grace responded with a most gracious letter, forgiving me, stating his love for me, blessing me and releasing me to ++Duncan.

Second, a word about Chuck Murphy. In spite of our recent disagreements, I have respect for the positive aspects of Chuck’s leadership over the years. I refuse to be dismissive of anyone, to allow “dissing” in my heart at all. As my friend, Dallas Willard, has taught me over the past twenty years, “Our projects are not God’s projects. We are God’s project. The only thing God and we get out of this life is the kinds of persons we become as we execute our various tasks of ministry.” I am grateful to Chuck for his acceptance of me into the Anglican world, his investment in C4SO and his willingness to have a cooperative organization-to-organization relationship between theAM and C4SO.

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Interview with Todd Hunter

In a recent trip to Virginia Beach, for a Telos Event, Todd Hunter sat down for a live interview at Regent University. Todd talks about his latest book “Our Favorite Sins”. In addition, he shares about church planting and answers questions from students in attendance.

Play Video

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Our Favorite Sins – NEW

Our Favorite SinsTHE ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR BEATING TEMPTATION

“Todd Hunter is the only man I know who can talk about sin with an appealing easiness and, at the time, with an equally appealing candor.  I can almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy his conversation and end up very grateful for having had the chance to read it.”

- Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence

With more than thirty years of pastoral experience, Todd D. Hunter knows that most people – himself included – struggle every day with temptation.  All too often, we fail and fall, and some of us are at our wit’s end, utterly defeated.  What do we do to get a grip on the sin in our life and live like God wants?

Falling for temptation isn’t inevitable.  We don’t have to lose the fight.  In fact, we can win if we understand the root of the problem and what Christians have done from the beginning to beat it.  Our Favorite Sins shines a much-needed light in our lives’ dark corners and reveals the time-tested methods for getting victory over sin.

Purchase from Amazon

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TELOS Events – Launched

The ministry of Telos emerges from the loves and passions of Todd Hunter: helping seekers of all kinds—churched or unchurched—hear the Gospel afresh and to then describe the practical implications of rehearing of the Gospel for contemporary evangelism and spiritual formation (discipleship/followership of Jesus).

The New Testament Greek word telos can be best described as end. But not end as in “this is the end of the bench—move over any more and you’ll fall off!” But rather “the bench is finished being constructed. It is completed”. That is to say the intention the Designer/God had in mind is now fulfilled.  Telos also implies the purpose for which something exists. For example, a cup exists for the sake of holding liquid, water for the sake of hydration, books for the sake of reading. From telos, we get the everyday words like ideal, intention, purpose, function, or goal.

It has been well established that there’s a certain should-ness to life—that all things exist in direct alignment to their intended functions. This seems to be an obvious fact. Who can deny the frustration of a malfunctioning printer, or a car out of alignment? Or, who would fail to see the goodness of a well-functioning air bag?

But, from the point of view of Divine Intention, what is the telos for human life—for followers of Jesus? To what end are we to live? Just how should one live to reach that end? Philosophical and spiritual theories range from pleasure-centered hedonism to duty-bound and rigid ethics within religious legalism. We need a Divine-telos-based, simple and doable way forward. Here is my idea: Jesus, Our Master….we, his Apprentices.

One thing we know. Even a cursory review of Jesus’ life models for his followers would show two central practices: a journey inward, and a journey outward.1 The former reveals the path to our spiritual transformation into Christlikeness. It suggests Christian spiritual exercises such as rest, silence, solitude, petition, friendship, self-control, worship, study and even leisure. The later reminds us that the pursuit of piety is never selfish, but always for the sake of others. These Jesus-traits are made manifest by his constant and loving care for others—his witness to God and God’s kingdom; his compassion, generosity, kindness, healing, deliverance, intercession, and sacrifice.

In short, the life of Jesus demonstrates a distinct pattern. Within his daily life we see spiritual rhythms and routines, directing and making possible both the inward journey of discipleship, and the outward journey of evangelism and care-for-the-other.

Telos Events aim to follow this Jesus-pattern, ultimately focusing our activities on two worthy ends:

DISCIPLESHIP: THE CHRISTIAN JOURNEY INWARD
EVANGELISM: THE HOLISTIC JOURNEY OUTWARD

For more information about TELOS Events.

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The Accidental Anglican – NEW

The Accidental Anglican

Todd D. Hunter foreword by J. I. Packer

About the Book

Many are longing for historical connectedness and for theology that is “not tied to the whims of contemporary culture, but to apostolic-era understandings of Christian faith and practice.” They also yearn for rhythms and routines that build spiritual health. Still others are responding to a call to participate in worship rather than merely sitting back and looking at a stage. Liturgy offers all of this and more.

J.I. Packer & Todd Hunter

J.I. Packer & Todd Hunter

In this book Todd Hunter chronicles his journey from the Jesus People movement and national leadership in the Vineyard to eventually becoming an Anglican Bishop. Along the way he explains why an evangelical Christian might be drawn to the liturgical way. Curious about the meaning of liturgy? Come and discover what may be waiting for you there.

“There is something in the air today, something in the spirit of our age, something in the Spirit that is leading thousands, maybe millions, of people to reconsider liturgical forms of worship. Liturgical seekers cherish the confidence that comes from historical connectedness, from theology that is not tied to the whims of contemporary culture but to apostolic-era understandings of Christian faith and practice.”

NOW AVAILABLE
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The Outsider Interviews – DVB

Christianity has an image problem. Along with Jim Henderson and Craig Spinks, I went on a quest to get the stories behind the statistics they read in unChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. In this DVB (DVD + Book) you will hear the stories and read our interactions around the stories. Available on Amazon.com July 1st!


The Outsider Interviews

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Holy Trinity Church – Orange County

Holy Trinity Church

If you live in Orange County, you can join Todd Hunter most Sundays at Holy Trinity Church.

Mailing Address:
2651 Irvine Avenue,
Suite 148
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Phone: 949.631.2820
Fax: 949.631.2823

Email: michelle.n@myholytrinitychurch.com

Meeting Address:
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Service Time: Sunday @ 10 am

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/nymW


The Mission of Holy Trinity Church

We are apprentices of Jesus…
Learning how to do what he did…
Live as he lived…
For the sake of others…which includes all manner of mission, service and evangelism.

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Giving Church Another Chance

Todd Hunter’s newest book, Giving Church Another Chance, is available and shipping.

Giving Church Another Chance
Giving Church Another Chance

Also available on Kindle!

Giving Church Another Chance
Giving Church Another Chance

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Interview on Reimagining Church Blog

ViolaFrank Viola, author of Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, From Eternity to Here and Finding Organic Church, recently interviewed Todd Hunter for his Reimagining Church Blog. You can read the interview here: Reimagining Church: Interview with Todd Hunter.

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Connect with Todd


Books by Todd
Our Favorite Sins The Accidental AnglicanChristianity Beyond BeliefGiving Church Another ChanceOutsider Interviews