Living the Quaker Way: Timeless Wisdom for a Better Life Today  -     By: Philip Gulley
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Living the Quaker Way: Timeless Wisdom for a Better Life Today

Convergent Books / 2013 / Hardcover

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Product Description

In Philip Gulley's conversations with spiritual seekers around the country, he discovered that many people are drawn to the ideals of Quakerism though they are unaware of the roots of those convictions. Far more people embrace Quaker beliefs than even call themselves Quakers. In Living the Quaker Way, Philip Gulley introduces the core values behind Quakerism and its traditions.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Convergent Books
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0307955788
ISBN-13: 9780307955784
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

A Publishers Weekly "Top 10 in Religion" selection.

"This is nothing less than the gospel itself…a much-needed book."
—FR. RICHARD ROHR, OFM,
Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Living the Quaker Way is a treasure trove of practical wisdom about what it means to bear witness to our hope for a better world."
—Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak
 
Philip Gulley invites us into a bracing encounter with the rich truths of Quakerism—a centuries-old spiritual tradition that provides not only a foundation of faith but also vision for making the world more just, loving, and peaceable by our presence.
 
In Living the Quaker Way, Gulley shows how Quaker values provide real solutions to many of our most pressing contemporary challenges. We not only come to a deeper appreciation of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality, we see how embracing these virtues will radically transform us and our world.
 
Living the Quaker Way includes a 30-day spiritual practice that applies the Quaker tradition of Queries.

Author Bio

Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor and popular author and speaker. He has written seventeen books, including the Harmony fiction series, the Porch Talk series of inspirational essays, If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (coauthored with James Mulholland), and The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating a Better Christianity. Gulley holds a master of divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary. He is co-pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting in Camby, Indiana.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Living the Quaker Way

"Anybody who has ever thought that the Quakers invented oatmeal will learn differently from Living the Quaker Way by Indiana pastor and highly readable author Philip Gulley. He describes the values of the Quaker way: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality. Gulley is published by the new Random House imprint Convergent, which aims at people in the growing ranks of the spiritually curious but religiously unaffiliated."
—Publishers Weekly Top 10 in Religion, Fall 2013

"Ever since I ’discovered’ Quakerism, I’ve wondered why Quakers are so quiet about their core values—simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality—in a world that so clearly needs them. So I was thrilled to find this book by Phil Gulley, a great Quaker writer, aimed at making those values more accessible. Gulley makes no effort to convince the reader to become a Quaker. He simply says, ’If you’ve been looking for ways to live out these values, here’s what Quakers have learned over three and a half centuries of dedicated experimentation.’ His book is a treasure trove of
practical wisdom about what it means to bear witness to our hope for a better world."
—Parker Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach

"Living the Quaker Way is not only refreshing and inspiring, it is challenging in all the right ways. Even though I am not a Quaker, their core values challenge my real life as well as the life of the faith community that I pastor. Filled with honest stories, deep wisdom, and realistic practices, Living the Quaker Way will leave you not only longing to live differently but also with practical ways to do just that."
—Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge, faith blogger, and author of Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus

"This is nothing less than the gospel itself. Quakers have always had the ability to simplify and get to the point, and here it is! I am most happy to add my very positive endorsement to this excellent, clear, and much-needed
book."
—Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Praise for Phil Gulley

"Philip Gulley separates wheat from chaff, experience from explanation, and purpose from function in this book. He calls the Jesus message into a new vision—one that has both power and integrity."
—John Shelby Spong, former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and author of The Sins of Scripture

"No one raises provocative questions about Christianity more kindly than Philip Gulley."
—Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion and A People’s History of Christianity

"In our ever changing world, Gulley’s book is much needed. An important book for any person of faith."
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"The verve and clarity of Gulley’s writing underscore the welcome nature of his message to many thoughtful unchurched or alienated Christians."
—Library Journal

Product Reviews

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  1. mojo
    Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A good informative book
    October 14, 2013
    mojo
    Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3

    Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor and writer and speaker from Danville, Indiana so he is the perfect person to author Living the Quaker Way. I think for the most part, the most anyone knows about the Quakers is they churn their own butter, build their own homes and they love oatmeal.

    First off, Quakers mostly refer to themselves as "Friends" and consider themselves a Christian denomination. Quakers for the most part are passive conservatives, but there are also liberal Quakers (I was surprised to learn that to!)

    The book is useful in two ways, one it is a nice simple primer that introduces the reader to the Quaker lifestyle and faith and dispels perhaps any stereotypes that might be there.

    Second the book highlights five areas of the Quaker faith and offers them as good lessons to live by. The five lessons are: simplify, peace, integrity, community and equality. I think in this faster paced "gotta have it" world that we live in - the chapter on simplifying is probably my favorite and the most useful.

    Mr. Gulley writes well and has a nice reading voice. The book was informative and does a good job explaining itself - I don't know that it's a "page turner" or that it says anything new, but it is certainly well thought through.

    Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for the review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  2. Jenni
    San Diego, California
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Book is well written; I can't recommend beliefs
    September 15, 2013
    Jenni
    San Diego, California
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2

    I have to admit that curiosity was what brought me to read this book, Living the Quaker Way by Philip Gulley. I realized that I knew little about the Quakers (in my misinformed mind they were sort of like the Amish), but that the words on the back cover about the simplicity of the Quaker lifestyle resonated in me and I wanted to know more.

    Gulley, a Quaker pastor, starts the book by handling some of the usual questions people have about the Quakers--questions similar to mine--about their beliefs and practices. The first chapter, "What is a Quaker?" is devoted to this. I learned that a Quaker congregation is called a meeting, and that a meeting may or may not have a pastor. However, at the end of the chapter I did not know much more than when I began it; essentially, it seems, a Quaker can be pretty much anyone who believes pretty much anything, There appears to be no doctrinal foundation that defines a Quaker. Rather, they seek to live by five principles: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality (SPICE being the acronym). The rest of the book is spent expounding on these principles.

    My evaluation of this book is divergent: on one hand, there is the issue of whether Gulley did what is promised in the title, which is to explain how Quakers live and to describe how their principles appeal to our electronically cluttered, money-grabbing, isolationist world. He did do this. I do believe that anyone who is seeking to embrace the Quaker way has a lot of information here. Gulley is engaging, gentle, and his stories are warmhearted. I am sure that Quakers live lives that are good, compassionate, and engaging in the needs of the world around them.

    However, as an evangelical Christian I was disappointed to find little mention of Jesus in this book and very little Scripture. Perhaps it is due to my misinformation about Quakers, but I had been under the impression that, in the early days of this country, these were a people devoted to the Scriptures as a foundational basis for life. I may be very wrong! However, wrong or right, I would have a hard time recommending a book to others that does not present the Bible as absolute truth. Quakers do not apparently believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and in fact it appears to me in the reading of this book that salvation is not even defined as important.

    I know that because of Gulley's emphasis on integrity, he would give me the thumbs up for being honest about my feelings towards Quakerism, while being respectful of his right to practice it. I hope that comes across in this review.

  3. EA West
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    September 14, 2013
    EA West
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3

    When I first saw this book, I was excited to have a chance to read it for two reasons: one, I have read and enjoyed Mr. Gulley’s writing before; and two, I come from a long line of Quakers and hoped this book would give me insight into what they believed. Once I started reading the book, however, I quickly realized that the way my conservative, Bible-based Quaker ancestors believed and what Mr. Gulley described are similar but two very different things.

    The first chapter endeavors to answer the question, “What is a Quaker?” Although it seems like a straightforward question that would be simple to answer, the reality is far different. Based on what I read in that chapter, it appears being a Quaker (and even what makes one a Quaker) means many things to many people. There is no simple definition, not even one based on sharing the same beliefs, as evidenced by the fact that there are Quakers who are atheists as well as those who firmly believe in God. Mr. Gulley puts forth a valiant effort to offer an all-inclusive definition of the apparently undefinable. As a result, he presents readers with this statement: “Despite our differences, most all of us agree that to be a Quaker is to live out as best we can the virtues of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality.”

    The remainder of the book is dedicated to explaining each of those virtues. Each chapter contains examples from Mr. Gulley’s life, other Quakers, and ideals of what the world could be if everyone embraced the Quaker way of life. While packed with information presented in an easy-to-read format and suggestions we would all do well to take to heart, there were several statements I (as a conservative Christian) disagreed with. At times, I wondered if the Quaker religion still values the Bible and the teachings contained therein. The liberal ideas presented by Mr. Gulley made it clear to me that I would not be comfortable in many Quaker meetings because of the differences in their beliefs and mine. However, reading this book was an eye-opening experience for me, one I appreciate having the opportunity to enjoy.

    For someone questioning their beliefs or dissatisfied with their current religion, this book could be a wonderful resource. Those who want to make the world a better place will appreciate the insights shared. However, if you are a conservative Christian like me and believe the Bible teaches truth and is a guidebook for our lives, this book may be disappointing in some of its suggestions and descriptions of both the author’s beliefs and the beliefs of the Quaker religion as a whole.

    Disclaimer: I received a free Advanced Reading Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is based solely on the contents of the book and my experience reading it.

  4. Melissa Bowers
    Pacific Northwest
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Living the Quaker Way, by Philip Gulley
    August 24, 2013
    Melissa Bowers
    Pacific Northwest
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4

    Although Philip Gulley is himself a Quaker pastor, he is not necessarily trying to convince people to formally become Quakers. Rather, he believes that the world would be a better place if everyone would embrace five virtues—Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality (SPICE)—which are hallmarks of the Quaker faith.

    (As a side note, before reading this book I didn’t realize that there even was such a thing as a Quaker pastor. I thought that Quakers sat in silence at their Meetings until someone sensed the Spirit urging him or her to speak. Apparently there are different varieties of Quaker Meetings and different varieties of Quakers. Gulley acknowledges, “This makes the seemingly simple questions, What is a Quaker? or What do Quakers believe? almost impossible to answer.” However, one of the clearest statements Gulley makes about what defines a Quaker is: “To be a Quaker is to always understand yourself and your actions in terms of the world. It is an invitation to reflect, not simply react, to keep before you the question, “What would the world be like if everyone did what I am doing?”)

    Gulley devotes a chapter to each of the five virtues. Using many real-life examples, he unpacks each virtue in an attractive and compelling way, displaying the benefits of living it out at individual, communal, and global levels. Gulley is a master of penning one-line “gems” and short passages that merit extensive consideration. For example:

    “Any god we claim to fully understand is not God.”

    “It requires little courage to believe the best about ourselves, but to acknowledge our need for growth is difficult.”

    “It is because of our participation in the we that we learn to be an I.”

    “[T]ruth can come from any person or event at any time, usually when we least expect it.”

    “Behind every saint is a community.”

    For the most part, I found myself drawn to the principles in each chapter, but the chapter on Peace left me confused and unsatisfied. Quakers are against weapons, violence, and war of any kind (at least, that is the perspective presented in this book). I found the Peace chapter to be completely idealistic with no practical solutions and no answers to my “But what if…?” questions. The only inkling of an answer I received to the questions that kept popping into my mind during the Peace chapter was provided later in the book: “[F]or the Quaker it is a matter of integrity to live out the ideals of faith, even when others aren’t.”

    The final chapter of the book is a month’s worth of daily “Queries,” which are thought-provoking questions to reflect and meditate on as an individual or as a small group.

    Disclosure: I received a free Advanced Reading Copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review.

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