An Open Letter

 
on 
 

Reading for the Common Good:
How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish
C. Christopher Smith

Paperback: IVP Books, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
By Ragan Sutterfield

 

Dear Chris,

I couldn’t write a straight review of your book.  I know you too well and I couldn’t really be objective (not that that is an ideal).  Instead I want to offer a kind of open letter, a way to reflect with you about the book and invite others into the conversation.

There are two things that guided my understanding of Reading for the Common Good.  The first is that, like you, I cannot conceive of my faith apart from reading.  As a child my faith was formed by fiction—Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and so many others.  Later, it broadened to include philosophy and theology, the classics of the spiritual masters, and profound fiction such as The Brother Karamazov.  My reading now is steady and varied, this year I’ve enjoyed books about microbiology and woodworking, Christian ethics in a time of climate change and a novel about a community in the midst of a fracking boom.  All of it has something to say to my life as a Christian because such a life is lived through the God who is the creator and sustainer of all things.  This is something you get and communicate so clearly in Reading for the Common Good.  You share this deep love and dependence on books and you make that alive to the reader.

Continue Reading…

Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Leonard Sweet, Roxane Gay, Martin Marty, MORE)

 

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

  

#1:
From Tablet to Table: Where Community Is Found and Identity Is Formed

Leonard Sweet

*** $2.99 ***

 

Continue Reading…

Dwell and Savor.

 
A Review of

Word by Word:
A Daily Spiritual Practice
Marilyn McEntyre

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle
 
Reviewed by Alisa Williams
 
 
 
There are books that seem to appear in one’s life when they are most needed. So it was with Word by Word by Marilyn McEntyre. In the midst of packing up boxes for a move across state lines, McEntyre’s thoughtful devotional served as a little lifeline of peace and profundity in the midst of the chaos that accompanies ending a chapter of life and beginning anew.

In Word by Word, McEntyre reflects on the richness of words – fifteen words to be exact. She invites the reader on a journey that involves patience and discipline, especially for those of us who like to fly through a book so we can be on to the next great read.

Continue Reading…

Our Book of the Month for November/December is…

Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church
By John Nugent

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

We will be reading through the book this month, and posting discussion questions as we go. We hope you will read along with us, and share your thoughts and questions. (Or, even better, get a group of people at your church to read through the book together!)

NOTE: Our read-along of this book will likely go through the end of December…

Previous Parts of this Conversation:
[ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ] [ Part 3 ]  [ Part 4 ]

 

Part 5:
Chapters 14-16

Here are some quotes and questions, please use the comments below to share your own thoughts and questions.

Chapter 14: The Better Place in Action

Continue Reading…

One of the best new book releases of the last week was…
 

Liturgy of the Ordinary:
Sacred Practices
in Everyday Life

Tish Harrison Warren

Paperback: IVP Books, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 

Watch the book trailer for this excellent new book:

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Advent2016 - COVERThe new Advent 2016 ERB print issue has been mailed recently…

 

Featuring interviews with singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer and theologian David Fitch, reviews and articles by C. Christopher Smith, Cara Meredith, and Todd Edmondson, two new poems by Luci Shaw, reviews of new books by J.D. Vance, Ann Patchett, Zadie Smith and MORE.

Click the cover image above to view a larger version.

We are pleased to offer a FREE sampler of this issue,
featuring the first 13 pages:

[ DOWNLOAD NOW ]

CLICK HERE to buy a digital copy of the full issue

$2.95 for a limited time (Through Mon. Dec 12)
40% off the usual single digital issue price!
(May take up to 48 hours for the issue to arrive in your inbox)

*** Even Better, SUBSCRIBE NOW in print or digital format!


Print edition:
$18.95 for 1 Year (4 issues) / $35 for 2 Years (8 issues)

Digital edition:
$12.95 for 1 Year (4 issues)


 

Below you will find the ERB Table of Contents for this issue:
(CLICK image to enlarge)

Continue Reading…

Rock & Roll and the Racial Imagination
 
A Review of 

Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination
Jack Hamilton

Hardback: Harvard UP, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Adam P. Newton

 
 

This might be the best book about rock & roll history I’ve ever read.

That’s a pretty bold claim, considering the amount of biographies, anthologies, oral histories, critical studies, and autobiographies from across the musical spectrum I’ve consumed in the past 15 years. And it’s not a declaration I make lightly, because I’ve recommended classics like Cash by Johnny Cash, Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azzerad, Just Kids by Patti Smith, and Life by Keith Richards to people who don’t even love music, and they’ve devoured the stories.

Continue Reading…

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Tish Harrison Warren

 

Read a review by Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds Books
(and for a limited time, buy the book from him for half-off!)

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

 

Continue Reading…

The Unique Values We Each Bring to the Table

A Feature Review of 

The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

Hardback: IVP Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Seth Vopat

 

It’s a common narrative: It’s always going to be someone else, it’s not going to be me.

Clergy burnout may be high, but I was never going to fall into that category I told myself. I naively thought with proper preparation I would be able to avoid the statistics and perhaps help change the narrative. And then it came. I rapidly descended like an Apple iPhone into the lower-power mode to conserve energy several years ago. It was in the midst of this descent I was introduced to the enneagram for the first time. A colleague and friend suggested I check it out.

Continue Reading…

Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Richard Foster, Kathleen Norris, Madeleine L’Engle, MORE)

 

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

  

#1:
Freedom of Simplicity: Revised Edition: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

Richard Foster

*** $1.99 ***

PLUS, Buy the Ebook, and get
the Audiobook for only $3.99!

 

Continue Reading…