Glimpses of Grace
dstoesz@telusplanet.net Donald Stoesz
Is It Possible to Change?

I have included a pdf file of my second chaplaincy book, Is It Possible to Change? A Theology of Prison Ministry below.

Don-Stoesz-theology-manuscript----JW.pdf

Table of Contents

 

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  i

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    iii

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .  1

   I.  The Lure of Conservatism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1

  II. Can Tom Riddle Be Saved?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24

 III.  Justification, Sanctification and the Ability to Love . . . .     43

 IV. Role of the Will and Magic in Effecting Salvation . . . . . . .   58

  V. The Significance of Saint Francis for Prison Ministry . . . .    74

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   91

Footnotes

Bibliography

Foreword

 Is it possible to change? As a lifer who spent years in prison serving time, went on to become an ordained pastor, federal prison chaplain, chaplaincy manager, and Instructor in prison chaplaincy, I can answer that question with a resounding yes.  People do change. But, as with most good news stories, there is a caveat.  The journey through change was long, difficult, and at points deeply discouraging as I was forced to look at the darkness within myself.  The journey of change would not have moved forward were it not for the compassionate, determined care of a few significant people who chose to walk alongside me through the desert of darkness.

Out of this journey emerged several important insights regarding prison chaplaincy, two of which I would like to highlight. First, individuals such as Don Stoesz are a rare gift in our world.  For over twenty-five years, Don has dedicated his life to working with men in prison. His journey has not been an easy one either, yet he continues to persevere. Why? Don is passionate about professional prison chaplaincy.  He lives and breathes the work, constantly looking for innovative ways to practice and teach it. Intertwined with this passion is Don's deep love and care for both the inmates and staff he ministers with.  It is these shared intertwined dynamics that have over the years cemented our friendship.

The second insight I would like to offer speaks to the vision of this book.  There is a natural tendency in some Christian circles to gravitate toward a simplistic perspective of change. Don is under no such illusions.  Don's approach to engaging the reader as he explores the possibility of change is unique. It will no doubt be a challenge for some. That is a good thing. Fundamentally, this is not a book of answers. Good theological works are not always a treasure of answers. Sometimes, they are a treasure of challenges. Forcing readers to think more deeply, viewing a subject from a different perspective, sweeping away old dusty assumptions.

As you read through a lifetime of reflection about change, written by a man who has weathered many turbulent times in chaplaincy, it is my hope that you will find a few precious gems of wisdom for your own journey.  Only when you have personally wrestled with the complexity of change can you provide light for those who are often desperate for change but know neither the path, nor have a companion to join them on the road through the dark desert. 

Rev. Dr. Hank Dixon

March, 2017