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.

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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!

 

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bishop-tom

Yesterday (Dec. 1) was the birthday of theologian N.T. Wright.

To mark the occasion, we offer the following introductory reading guide to his most significant books.

David Fitch recently remarked:

 

This list is for the pastors that Fitch mentions, and for anyone else who hasn’t read N.T. Wright, or who wants to read more of Wright’s work…
 
We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and offered a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve also included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.

 

1) Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Surprised By Hope may likely be Wright’s book that is most transformative book for the life and thought of local churches. Wright locates our hope not solely in a distant hereafter, but in the life of the church as Christ’s body in the here and now.

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Our Book of the Month for November 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:
Chapters 10-13

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

Chapter 10: God Calls the Church to Embrace a Better Place

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A book trailer video was just released for one of the books forthcoming in the next few months that I’m most excited about…
 
 

The Year of Small Things:
Radical Faith for the Rest of Us

Sarah Arthur / Erin Wasinger

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2016
Pre-order now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle  ]
 

Watch the trailer and pre-order the book!

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Thoughtful, Committed Citizens Changing the World
 
A Brief Review of 

Battle for Bed-Stuy: The Long War on Poverty in New York City
Michael Woodsworth

Hardback: Harvard UP, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Leslie Klingensmith
 
 
Too often, we learn history as an impersonal set of dates, geographic locations, and the names of the major players.  While those academic facts are important, our collective past can potentially be much more alive to us in the present and, therefore, more helpful as we seek solutions to the social ills that affect us all.  Historical writing is most effective when it is able present people and scenarios from the past in a way that humanizes those who were there and shows us how decisions made “at the top” actually changed the lives of ordinary people.

Michael Woodsworth, in his book Battle for Bed-Stuy:The Long War on Poverty in New York City, makes a credible attempt to look at one community through a period of decades.  He analyzes Bedford-Stuyvesant’s (“Bed-Stuy”) efforts to combat poverty and remain a safe, vibrant, appealing place for people to live.  Battle for Bed-Stuy is especially useful for learning how President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation and its programs played out in a real community populated by people committed to improving their surroundings and their lives.

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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!)

Q/A with ERB Editor Chris Smith

As an offshoot of our readthrough, John was kind enough to answer some questions that I had about the book…

Chris:  

My take on the book in brief:
I absolutely agree with you about ecclesiology. Our primary call is to be faithful together as communities of God’s people, and this ecclesiology is missing from the activism of many well-intentioned Christians. My experience concurs with you in wanting to call out the sort of activism that too often omits the role of the church from the salvation of God’s coming kingdom. That being said, I wonder if you might be swinging a little too far in reaction to this sort of activism that you minimize the role of the local church in action in its place?  I wonder if there might be a perspective that is located between the ones that you call world-centered and kingdom-centered. Perhaps I could call it incarnation-centered. To begin imagining such a view, let’s start with your chart on page 112, and particularly the two columns on the far right hand side. I’m not completely comfortable with the labels for either of these columns, but it seems with a tiny tweaking of the verbiage, an incarnation-centered view could have incorporate these two as a both/and and not an either/or.  Yes, God is ultimately “replacing the fallen order,” but scripture also speaks of God redeeming and reconciling all creation. (More on this in a moment). The final column “Christians begin fixing fallen order,” also is problematic. I agree that we don’t “fix” the world by our own human wisdom or human strength. But the nature of God’s design for creation is one of collaboration, and God has provided the Holy Spirit to guide our churches into an active life that embodies Christ among our neighbors in ways that they can engage and be transformed. So, to the extent that we faithful discern the presence of the Spirit in our midst, we become part of God’s “fix” for healing a broken creation.

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Let them Flow in Ceaseless Praise
 
A Brief Review of 

Moments & Days:
How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith
Michelle Van Loon

Paperback: NavPress, 2016.
Buy now: [  Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Leslie Starasta
 
 

As individuals and families turn the calendar to December, thoughts turn to Christmas, and for some, Advent.  Celebrations of Advent and Christmas may cause some to wonder about the remaining seasons of the Christian year.  The celebration of Chanukah may cause thoughts of wonder about the Jewish year as well.  For individuals who wish to learn more about the Jewish and Christian year, Michelle Van Loon, best known as a Her.meneutics blogger, recently published Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith.

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Moving Toward the Other

A Feature Review of

Befriend:
Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear
Scott Sauls

Paperback, Tyndale 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Ashley Hales

 

After America’s recent election, we’ve discovered (again) how divided we are. It is not simply that one-half of the nation disagrees with the other, but that each half is afraid of the other, as noted by ABC News. In a climate of fear, Scott Sauls’ Befriend is a timely book. Its subtitle, “create belonging in an age of judgment, isolation, and fear,” speaks to a human desire for community that transcends divisions based on race, class, socio-economics, politics, and sexual orientation. It plots a way forward for the church.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( N.T. Wright, Leonard Cohen, Best American Short Stories, 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:
100 Years of The Best American Short Stories

Lorrie Moore, Ed.

*** $3.99 ***

 

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