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Living the Quaker Way: Timeless Wisdom For a Better Life Today

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Philip Gulley invites us into a bracing encounter with the rich truths of Quakerism—a centuries-old spiritual tradition that provides not only a foundation of faith but also vision for making the world more just, loving, and peaceable by our presence.

In Living the Quaker Way, Gulley shows how Quaker values provide real solutions to many of our most pressing contemporary
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Convergent Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 10, 2015 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it it was amazing
I was given a review copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, but it first came out in 2013, so perhaps they are trying to get more readers of the book!

I feel like I need an additional disclaimer to add to the one saying I got this for free - Philip Gulley is somewhat of a pastor to me as an individual. I saw him speak at a UU church in Indiana in 2005 or so, and after writing him a letter about a previous book, he invited me to lunch. He is caring and
Melissa Bowers
Aug 24, 2013 Melissa Bowers rated it really liked it
Although Philip Gulley is himself a Quaker pastor, he is not necessarily trying to convince people to formally become Quakers. Rather, he believes that the world would be a better place if everyone would embrace five virtues—Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality (SPICE)—which are hallmarks of the Quaker faith.

(As a side note, before reading this book I didn’t realize that there even was such a thing as a Quaker pastor. I thought that Quakers sat in silence at their Meetings until so
Oct 09, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book, I knew a little general information about Quaker history as it intersects with American history. I have had some interest in Quaker history as it relates to genealogy as well. I had heard of the Quaker use of consensus, their history of promoting equality in regards to habits of speech and also in terms of supporting the underground railroad, and their traditionally pacifist stance. However, I didn't know a lot about the overarching philosophy that led to those actions. ...more
Kris Marley Patrick
Dec 08, 2014 Kris Marley Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Readers accustomed to the gentle nudge toward a more progressive Christianity in Phil's fiction may have to brace themselves for Living the Quaker Way. Gulley doesn't hold back while sounding off on sacred topics such as same-gender marriage, military spending, and evolution. And I LOVED it! Living the Quaker Way joins Gulley's other nonfiction titles as essential reading.
If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
If the Church Were Christian
The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating a Be
Jun 02, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the atheist Friend, Quakerism is a way of living in the world so that the world is made more just, loving, and peaceable by his or her presence.

This book brought me to tears a few times, but more than that, it really crystallized for me the feeling that Quakerism is the closest thing to a faith I would feel comfortable embracing. Gulley is clearly a pastor, given that each section of this book balances the pastoral "I have a friend who" "I know a person who" "Once I was speaking with" introd
Julius McCarter
Aug 29, 2014 Julius McCarter rated it it was amazing
Living the Quaker Way: Timeless Wisdom for a Better Life Today is a modern classic, with lots of spiritual depth, by Quaker pastor Philip Gulley. I've read his What If Grace is True and What If God Is Love before, and both have been a genuine inspiration in my life. Now, with Living the Quaker Way, Gulley takes us on a spiritual journey through the essential Quaker testimonies which are easily remembered by the acronym of SPICE -- simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality.

The centra
Oct 06, 2013 Naum rated it it was amazing
Over the past couple years, Phillip Gulley has become one of my favorite authors -- I believe this is the 4th title I've read of his. And they each get better. Here, Gulley details how to live the "Quaker Way", whether or not you actually, officially join a Quaker meeting group. He uses the acronym *SPICE* to declare the 5 main virtues of being a Quaker. Though he recognizes that Quakers themselves are loosely-bound set and may not agree 100% on all matters.

**Simplicity** -- odd for the 1st virt
Dec 19, 2014 Rosebud rated it it was amazing
It would take me more room than I have here to list all the quotes from this book that I loved. This is my first book by Philip Gulley and I want to read more of them. Gulley's vision of what faith and religion should be are so true. He recites many examples of how people proclaim religious faith and the "right way" while they ignore the principles of Jesus and other religious teachers, both in the Bible and out. Many of the Quaker "ways" are models we should live by. I have always know that the ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Chuck rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I really looked forward to reading this book because I have enjoyed so many of Philip Gulley's other books and writings. This book speaks directly to me, and in many cases for me. I could not read this book without thinking about the many feelings Phil must have felt while writing this book.

I am reading this book during a period of time when their are people of privilege who want to shut down the government so others could not have health care insurance like they possess. I think about what thei
Mar 09, 2014 Sherri rated it it was amazing
I found Philip’s book affirmed all the reasons I decided to start going to the Quaker meeting I now attend. If you are interested in pursuing a simpler faith and life style. Connecting with God in a more direct way you may want to read this book and others written by Mr. Gulley. Neither he nor I are suggesting you change your church affiliation but just the way you live out your faith on a daily basis. What I really appreciate about Mr. Gulley is how honest he is about his faults and beliefs.
May 30, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
I have read all of Gulley's non-fiction and eagerly await his next book. I also enjoy his fiction where his truths are as important, just veiled in his remarkable wit. Gulley has crystallized my thinking in his books and does so again. His strength is in his approachability and clarity. He writes as though he were in a conversation with his reader. His writing is succinct, logical, and convicted, yet personal. As I read this my, Quaker ancestors spoke to me and I knew they were on to something ...more
Laura Gabbard
Oct 01, 2013 Laura Gabbard rated it really liked it
This book describes exactly what drew me to the Religious Society of Friends. When I read these things, I realize I shared these values long before I ever considered myself a Quaker. I believe to the core of my being that the values described here, simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality, are how we are called to live. This book reminds me of what is important and urges me to continue striving to live these values in my daily life.
Dan Gobble
May 30, 2016 Dan Gobble rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, theology
Pleasantly surprised! My wife gave me this book about a year ago and I finally got around to reading it. Gulley presented key tenets of the Quaker faith and I found each to be central to my own beliefs:
1. Simplicity - to quote Gulley, "What is needed is a new measure of success, for it is clear the further acquisition of goods is not only unsustainable but also ultimately unsatisfying." (p. 22)
2. Peace - quoting Nelson Mandela, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his sk
Nov 30, 2013 Todd rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
I really liked this book. It's a light, easy read which anecdotally describes common Quaker attributes. The book focuses on five primary attributes:

* Simplicity
* Peace
* Integrity
* Community
* Equality

Before reading this book, I only had limited historical and theological familiarity the Society of Friends, primarily from encountering Quakerism in my own search for a religious home.

Like Anabaptists (the tradition of which I am a member), Quakers are one of the "historic peace churches." In fact,
Oct 13, 2013 Patricia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
Living the Quaker Way by Philip Gulley

The Society of Friends, or Quakers, is considered a religion that has been around about 400 years. Most people if asked to define Quakers would probably start with how they used to dress like the pilgrims and are rather conservative “religious” folk. Anyone who reads Gulley’s book will learn contemporary Quakers don’t fit that description. Though they may (or may not) be conservative in their dress or habits they cannot be put in a one-size-fits-all box.

I ha
Susan Oleksiw
Dec 16, 2013 Susan Oleksiw rated it really liked it
Many people have heard of the Quakers and often associate them with pacifism and social activism. Philip Gulley, a pastor in the Midwest, lays out the principles and ideals of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers. The five main tenets are simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality; each receives a chapter. The author discusses each one at length, what it means to contemporary Quakers, how it has developed historically (not all Quakers were pacifists now or in the beginning), and ...more
Jeremiah Parker
Sep 26, 2013 Jeremiah Parker rated it it was ok
The book begins with a couple of short chapters that give a quick introduction to the Quaker religion (or is it a way of life?). The bulk of the book consists of five chapters corresponding to the five major values of the Quaker way -- Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality.

Philip Gulley writes well. His chapter on Simplicity is full of wisdom and sound teaching. Other than that, there's not much good I can say about this book. His tone becomes more critical as he moves into the
Bob Henry
Nov 05, 2013 Bob Henry rated it it was amazing
This book is why Quakerism is so relevant today! This is not a book introducing you to an old religion or to a church institution, rather it is an introduction to a way of life. Philip Gulley in his "Friendly," yet pastoral, way is able to weave a primer for those wanting to live out the five main values/attributes of Quaker life - or what is described in the acronym, "S.P.I.C.E." - Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality.

Not only is this book a challenge to a different way of lif
Nov 04, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
This was a great refresher course in the Quaker values and practices I discovered in college. I graduated from Earlham College, a Quaker-affiliated liberal arts school in Indiana. I also learned more about the history of the Quaker movement in Britain and the United States.

More important, though, are Gulley's reflections on Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, and community. I no longer feel bad that I find them challenging to practice, for Gulley recounts how many Quaker meetings (co
Gail Rogers
May 07, 2014 Gail Rogers rated it really liked it
This book is a king of introduction to Quakerism, but more an explanation of Quaker values with some concrete ways to integrate them into your life. As a Quaker I won't say that I learned anything new from this book, though I was happy to see his clear and readable explanation. The question (queries) at the end of his book are good ones to carry through the month to continue applying the principles to daily life.

I was interested to see a Quaker pastor acknowledging that he accepts Quakers who a
Nov 01, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual, nonfiction
I'm glad to see this very approachable book. Philip Gulley is a popular author and a wonderful storyteller. His personal stories really enhance the experience of this book.

As Mr Gulley says there is great diversity in Quaker theology and thus it is very difficult to describe. I am a Quaker and I think that he has done a lovely job with this. I like the fact that he has queries throughout and a section of queries at the end of the book for people to ponder. This does give a real flavor of the Qua
May 16, 2015 Danielle rated it liked it
(2.5 stars) SPICE is nice. Quakers are diverse. Okay, got it. Other than that, most of this book was kind of simplistic and, to my mind at least, mostly filled with common sense. Of course, common sense seems to have lost its common nature in the present world, so...

I guess, if nothing else, I came away with the sense that if everyone in the world lived up to the Quaker ideals, we'd live in a much better world but such thoughts would put this book in the realm of fantasy fiction so, we'll leave
Mark Andrew
Dec 13, 2015 Mark Andrew rated it it was amazing
I have been attending Quaker meetings for awhile now, and wanted a book that would further explain Quakerism, in an accessible way. This is that book. I had read a couple of Gulley's other books, and the Quaker minister does not disappoint here. Rather than proselytizing on behalf of Quakerism, Gulley dedicates chapters to values that Quakerism hold dear: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality, and lets the reader find inspiration where they may. I highly recommend this as a ...more
Steve Wiggins
Feb 06, 2016 Steve Wiggins rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to Quaker thought for both those inside and outside the moment. I, for one, learned a great deal about a non-doctrinal way of looking at life that is both religious and accepting of others. This is an inspirational little book that reminds us things could be much better, if only we would approach the world and each other thoughtfully. I wrote more about it on my blog: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.
Jul 30, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
A solid treatise on what it means to live the Quaker life, whether or not one joins a meeting. The emphasis on simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality have convinced me that I am a Quaker. All we need to do now is find a meeting that we can align ourselves with. I will be buying a copy of this book. There is a thirty day exercise at the end of the book that I want to embark on. I didn't feel it would be fair to keep this library copy for another thirty days!
Fred Kohn
Dec 31, 2013 Fred Kohn rated it really liked it
Not the sort of religion book I would normally read. This is more the author's personal journey with a very occasional historical or scriptural tidbit thrown in. Gulley speaks of the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality. He gets four stars for his straight forward manner, along with frank discussions of his personal struggles and failings in living up to these ideals.
Nov 23, 2015 Ken rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointed in this book. While read over a year ago, I remember questioning much of what he was saying and whether it truly represented the Quaker way. I also seem to recall very few references to pure biblical thought. I was very familiar with Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline (5 stars), Prayer and even Simplicity as expressing genuine Quaker thought - calm, deep & difficult all at the same time. Living the Quaker way seemed the opposite to me.
Aug 28, 2014 Gloria rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-spirit
My fascination with the Quakers continues. Here a Quaker pastor outlines the five values they live by: simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality. Gulley provides many examples of how people tend to compromise these values, and how we might think differently in those situations. Highly accessible information with only a bit of Quaker history, most readers will find this both educational and inspirational.
Shirley Freeman
In this thoughtful book Philip Gulley expounds on the 5 tenets of Quakerism - Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality. He describes the origins of the tenets and what they have come to mean to Quakers in general and to Gulley in particular. The reader is challenged to think about what practicing each of the tenets might mean in today's world. This was a good book for group discussion. The thirty queries at the end of the book are good for contemplation and/or journaling.
Lots of challenging insights into how to live into the life giving kingdom of God. Honest, vulnerable and never trite, Gulley gives a great introduction to how Quakers seek to live in the world. There are lots of overlapping emphasis with Anabaptist streams of Christianity, without some of the biblicist tendencies that I have noticed in the Mennonite world. Really a challenging book that has helped me to think again how I live my beliefs in the world, or in many cases don't.
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Philip Gulley has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, Gulley is the author of the Harmony series of novels, as well as If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, which are coauthored with James Mulholland.

He hosts "Porch Talk with Phil Gulley" on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI television's flagship show Across I
More about Philip Gulley...

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