The Christian in the Cult – And How to Discover Humanity in Christ, By Jim Valekis

Kharis Publishing announces the release of The Christian in the Cult: And How I Discovered Humanity in Christ, by Jim Valekis. He uses his life story to take readers deep into the culture of the Greek Orthodox Church, Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, and modern Evangelicalism.

Jim Valekis was born in Alabama with a “bouzouki” on his knee. His Greco-American parents raised their family as part of a thriving Greek Orthodox community in Birmingham. As a teenager captivated by the radio teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong, Valekis defied his roots and eventually followed a call to pastor in the Worldwide Church of God. When the former cult transitioned into Evangelicalism, Jim followed, continuing to pastor in Grace Communion International. Most recently, Valekis co-founded the vision for the Tipp Center, a faith-based business and resource hub, where he is the chaplain. It this rich history of faith that informs Jim’s expansive and immersive narrative in The Christian in the Cult.

Jim spent 21 years in the Worldwide Church of God, a Pasadena, California-based American church many called a cult. And spent 19 years and most of his pastoral career pastoring working to transform and replant one of its churches when this cult reformed doctrinally in 1994.  He saw God turn a socially isolated commuter church into an outreaching community church, and was at least verbally acknowledged for having done so on a national website. He experienced personally what it took to transform biblically from a very non-orthodox narrow view of the Scripture to a “new covenant” biblically correct one. In the process, he learned what makes a “cult” a cult from personal experience. Jim has an amazing “insiders” story of what really happens when a universally recognized cult attempts to transform, and behind-the-scenes struggles that occur within such a culture.  He also has had personal experience with how the evangelical world has “cultural” limitations that go back to a misunderstanding of what Luther intended in the Reformation. Jim is now calling for a reformation to the Reformation and a new way for being church – not just for Protestants, but Catholics and Orthodox Christians as well.

Therefore, Jim Valekis’ The Christian in the Cult – And How I Discovered Humanity in Christ uses the author’s life story to take the reader deep inside the culture of the Greek Orthodox Church, Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, and modern Evangelicalism. After journeying through three versions of “the only true church,” Valekis deftly invites his readers to join him in his ongoing discovery of humanity in Christ and what it can mean for the church and the world.

Here is how Andrew Manis, Emeritus Professor of History Middle at Georgia State University, Macon, Georgia, describes The Christian in the Cult: ”Millions of religious believers will clearly recognize the spiritual journey narrated by Jim Valekis in this powerful story. A son of the Greek Orthodox Church finds himself in Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, which eventually takes him into more traditional Christianity and out again. Where he ends up at the end of this fascinating pilgrimage will be a big surprise. But Valekis astutely narrates his journey and brings readers along with him to a spiritual destination that includes the whole world. In a religious and political that has become a culture war of all against all, Valekis’s final message of oneness and wholeness in Christ is a welcome antidote.”

On his part, Chuck Proudfit, who is president of At Work On Purpose, sees Jim’s work as a testament to how faith in Jesus Christ can get one grounded and stablished spiritually despite the pains of a broken world.  According to him, “In your hands is a book that speaks powerfully to both the complexities of living and growing in the Church, and to the way God moves in our individual lives as believers. Through the story of author Jim Valekis, we see a riveting faith testimony passed from one generation of family to another — across cultures, continents and denominations. We experience through Jim’s journey how our Christian faith can ground us and cover us spiritually, despite a fallen world, broken relationships, and vocational volatility. Jim reminds us that while our conditions and surroundings rise and fall, our steadfast relationship with Christ is All. I commend this book to you.”

For Terry Wardle, Founder of Healing Care Ministries, it was the way Jim seamlessly interwove a complex personal story with historical and scriptural insights that resonated with him. According to him, “Jim Valekis has written a journey narrative that bends the reader continually toward wholeness in Christ. His writing is deeply personal, clearly theological, and thoroughly biblical, mining the depth of each discipline to unearth the force of God’s transforming love. There is in these pages a complex personal story, interwoven with historical and scriptural insights that can guide the reader through the fog of theological compromise to the clarity that comes when Christ alone is the Lord of life. It has been said that life is a journey of formation, with the looming question, “Into what am I being formed?” Jim Valekis shines an uncompromising light on the person of Jesus Christ and bids us to surrender to the formative power of his Presence, alive in the human heart.”

Jim holds a master’s degree in biblical studies from Earlham School of Religion. He enjoys hanging out with his wife Becky, biking, painting, and sharing (especially over Greek comfort food) how his new theological understanding connects back in profound ways with the ancient Trinitarian fabric of his Orthodox upbringing, a relational Christ-centered fabric expansive enough to include every human being.

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Kharis Publishing, an imprint of Kharis Media LLC and a leading inspirational General Trade Book publisher is currently accepting unsolicited queries for nonfiction (self-help, memoirs, business, Christian, health and wellness) from qualified leaders, professionals, pastors, and ministers) for a limited time. “Write in a book what you see…” There are no guarantees, but it is worth a shot:

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Company Name: Kharis Media LLC
Contact Person: Samuel Flourish
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Phone: (630) 909-3405
City: Aurora, Chicago
State: IL
Country: United States

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