From Anger to Zion

An Alphabet of Faith

Porter Taylor

Aug/2004, 176 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819221117



Anger, judgment, forgiveness, wisdom. All of these and more are biblical words we've used so often that they have very little meaning for us anymore. For others--seekers and those who are coming to church for the first time--these words sound like jargon. They are words that divide new church members from those who have been there a lifetime. In From Anger to Zion, Porter Taylor reflects on an alphabet of biblical words in ways that will help newcomers understand and speak the language, and that will encourage those familiar with these words to rethink them.

A wonderful storyteller and writer, Taylor's essays, each based on a biblical text, take ancient words and ideas and bring them into contemporary life. Egypt of old is today's broken place in our lives—the place where, like Moses, God is most likely to call us to go. Forgiveness is explored as a way of unfreezing time; without forgiveness we cannot grow. What does Isaiah's and the Israelites’ homesickness have to do with today's homeless and lost people?

These beautifully written essays are wonderful devotional material, but they also can serve as material for preparing to preach or for small-group discussion within parish reading groups.

Porter Taylor has served a variety of parishes, and has a Ph.D. in literature and theology from Emory University. He served as the sixth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina from 2004 to 2016.

From Anger to Zion is an eloquent, engaging, honest collection of wonderful words. This book, to use one of Taylor's words, is a captivating ‘summons’ to remember God's intentions for us, that we recover balance, do justice, and learn to love.” —Nora Gallagher, author of Practicing Resurrection and Things Seen and Unseen

"These powerful scripturally-grounded essays on very practical(existential) life concerns with which we all must deal offered me consistently fresh and wise insights and stimulation. I read one or two each day, and I always found them bringing alive Biblical wisdom for my life in fresh ways. Taylor 'evangelizes' you in the best sense of that word: he shows you the delusions and willfulness of our lives in discerning and cleansing ways, and the deeper truth of divine love that draws us to our true nature and calling in God. No one can read these many concrete words of wisdom about basic themes of human living and purpose without finding scriptural truths coming alive in fresh and needed ways and finding one's own life exposed and inspired/illuminated. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed you read it." —Tilden H. Edwards

"Taylor is a graceful and fluent sermonizer, and Christians of many denominations will find both pleasure and wisdom in these brief, essayistic reflections that point toward 'the world God dreams of: a world in which all life is precious; a world of shalom.'"—Library Journal

"In the spirit of Frederick Buechner and Kathleen Norris, Taylor...presents alphabetical musings on the Christian life....Taylor is erudite but wears his learning with a light touch. Laced throughout are snippets from a diverse canon of saints, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, playwright Peter Shaffer and Jewish poet Marge Piercy. From the occasional autobiographical vignettes Taylor emerges as a humble and likable fellow, devoted Southerner and political liberal, and, most important, a trusted narrator and spiritual guide. His words are faithful without being pat, and he makes plenty of room for questions and doubts....Taylor treats readers to 46 fresh reconsiderations of comfortably familiar themes in this quiet gem of a book." —Starred review, Publishers Weekly

"Easy to dip in and out of. Very well written." —The Living Church

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