Books

Learn about Mark Schaefer’s books here.

Delivering the Commonwealth

Wipf & Stock/Resource (2024)

Delivering the Commonwealth Cover

Four hundred years ago, an expedition set forth from the Commonwealth of Humanity to colonize new worlds and expand the boundaries of human settlement. The expedition eventually settled four new planets—but never heard from the Commonwealth again. Now, facing a relentless and unstoppable enemy, the League of Four Worlds must attempt a daring mission to travel hundreds of light-years back to Commonwealth space for help. But does the Commonwealth still exist, and if it does, will it be able to help?

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The Good News According to Mark: Translation & Commentary

Independent (2023)

Cover of The Good News according to Mark: Translation and Commentary

The Good News according to Mark is a dynamic new presentation of the Gospel of Mark. Using the side-by-side layout found in the Talmud and other medieval texts, the Good News presents the original Greek text of Mark’s gospel surrounded by a literal translation, a reader’s translation, translation notes, commentary, text references, excurses, and other notes to help the reader to understand the text and its meaning. With its unique layout and new translations, The Good News according to Mark gives the reader a chance to re-encounter the Biblical text with fresh eyes.

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  • Amazon (hardcover, paperback, Kindle)

The Certainty of Uncertainty: The Way of Inescapable Doubt and Its Virtue

Wipf & Stock (2018)

The world is full of people who are very certain—in politics, in religion, in all manner of things. In addition, political, religious, and social organizations are marketing certainty as a cure-all to all life’s problems. But is such certainty possible? Or even good?

The Certainty of Uncertainty explores the question of certainty by looking at the reasons human beings crave certainty and the religious responses we frequently fashion to help meet that need. The book takes an in-depth view of religion, language, our senses, our science, and our world to explore the inescapable uncertainties they reveal. We find that the certainty we crave does not exist.

As we reflect on the unavoidable uncertainties in our world, we come to understand that letting go of certainty is not only necessary, it’s beneficial. For, in embracing doubt and uncertainty, we find a more meaningful and courageous religious faith, a deeper encounter with mystery, and a way to build strong relationships across religious and philosophical lines. In The Certainty of Uncertainty, we see that embracing our belief systems with humility and uncertainty can be transformative for ourselves and for our world.

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Religious, Not Spiritual: Toward a Christian Faith That Matters

Independent (2015)

the cover of Religious, Not Spiritual: Toward a Christian Faith that Matters

Contemporary Christian faith is often an overly spiritualized, escapist faith focused on the guarantee of life after death as the main end of Christian living. Escapist ideas like the Rapture, once on the fringe, have become understood both within the church and without as central to the Christian message. Such a faith can seem disconnected from the real-world issues that so many people face and, as a result, becomes less and less appealing to those who are looking for a faith of substance.

Religious, Not Spiritual is a review and reaffirmation of the often neglected, but deeply material nature of Christian faith. Examining traditional doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, Sacrament, Resurrection, and New Creation, the book demonstrates that Christianity has everything to do with the physical world and our place in it. In the book, we discover that far from promoting a spirituality that looks toward the day when we can escape the world and live in heaven with God, Christian faith has always affirmed the world as the place of God’s salvation, which God does not abandon, but seeks to redeem and restore. Religious, Not Spiritual reminds us that Christianity is deeply engaged with our physical being, our embodied existence, and life in the here and now.

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