"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
From the author of "The Consolations of Philosophy, " a deeply provocative and useful argument about how we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion--without having to "believe" in any of it. What if religions aren't either all true or all nonsense? The sterile debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally advanced by Alain de Botton's astonishing new book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are of course entirely false--and yet religion still has some very important things to teach the secular world. "Religion for Atheists" suggests that atheists shouldn't trash religion, they should "steal" from it--because the world's religions are packed with good ideas on how we should live in and arrange our societies. In a highly original and readable tone that blends deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer himself) proposes that we should look to religions for insights on, among other topics, how to: build a sense of community, make our relationships last, dampen feelings of envy and inadequacy, escape the 24-hour media world, go traveling, get more out of art, and build new businesses geared around our emotional needs. For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing lots of peculiar doctrines or doing away with a range of consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last, Alain de Botton, the author of the bestselling "The Consolations of Philosophy" and "How Proust Can Change Your Life," has produced a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.