Do you wish Christianity could be a life-giving practice rather than a rote set of beliefs? Do you long for a fresh encounter with Scripture, Jesus, and your own life?
Alexander John Shaia pulls back the curtain on texts long taken for granted, showing that each gospel account is more than a telling of Jesus' life and words.
Drawing on universal archetypes of the human journey, each gospel stands revealed as a response to a core life question:
- Matthew: How do we face change?
- Mark: How do we move through suffering?
- John: How do we receive joy?
- Luke: How do we mature in service?
The four traditional gospels are more than the sum of their parts. In the sequence of early Christianity’s weekly reading cycle, these four ancient testimonies become the great map of a universal journey - one of love, growth and transformation.
Alexander John Shaia, PhD, is a thoughtful and poetic man, living the ancient rhythms of his Lebanese and Aramaic heritage. With deep conviction, he invites us into a practice of spirituality (and Christianity) for the twenty-first century—one that crosses traditional boundaries, encourages vital thinking and inhabits a genuine community of the heart. As a spiritual director, educator, anthropologist, psychologist, ritualist and Sandplay therapist, Alexander is a holistic, cross-discipline visionary and passionate professional speaker. He founded The Journey of Quadratos, as well as the Blue Door Retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now he travels internationally, speaking, leading seminars and conducting retreats on Quadratos, the Four-Gospel Journey and Gateway to Oneness (The 72 Hours of Easter). Each autumn Alexander guides an intimate band of pilgrims on the Camino, the West’s most ancient path of transformation. He’s just released the updated edition of Heart and Mind: The Four-Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation, which this post is based on. See Quadratos.com for more about his work and offerings.
"This is a stunning book. You won't read the gospels the same way ever again. You won't think about your life the same way again. Anthropology, psychology, the heroes' journey, the Bible, fear, struggle, hope, bravery, anticipation, euphoria, return - its all here in this masterful work, by one of my favorite teachers-guides-gurus-leader-village elder: Alexander Shaia."
– Rob Bell, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About God and What is the Bible?
''In Heart and Mind, Dr. Shaia gives us back our central sacred text--the four gospels--not as conflicted and faulty historical records, but as a vibrant, luminous path of transformation. He reveals the Four-Gospel Journey as a living guide, re-centering human life on wisdom, compassion and service, rooted in a mystical relationship with Christ. And the potential for this living guide is already becoming manifest, as individuals, groups and entire communities are using it all over the world, and the word is spreading.''
– Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California
''This book enriches prayer. Every word is delicious.''
– Mpho Tutu, author, The Book of Forgiving (with Desmond Tutu) Director, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation
''A book which will change the way people look at the gospels entirely, and I'm not just talking about Christians.''
– Lauren B. Davis, novelist, author of Our Daily Bread
''Shaia's ground-breaking insights over a profound template through which to navigate life. Here is surprising new wine from an ancient vineyard.''
– Cath Connelly, Celtic Spiritual Director, Harpist, Melbourne