Archives For *Conversations*

Raising Racial Awareness

February 15, 2019 — Leave a comment


In the last month, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Jemar Tisby, and then this week attending a talk he gave at a local university… 

Jemar Tisby is a historian and author of the new book The Color of Compromise: The Truth about The American Church’s Complicity in Racism. [ READ our review ]  As the way forward toward a culture of anti-racism, Tisby suggests the course defined by the acronym ARC: Becoming AWARE; Fostering deep interracial RELATIONSHIPS; and COMMITTING to act against the forces of racism. 

Following Tisby’s rubric, here are some books that will help raise our awareness, and orient us into committed patterns of action:

[ Awareness of the History of Racism ] 
[ Awareness of Black Theology ]
[ White Authors Explain White Privilege ]
[ Vision for Anti-racist Action ]

Awareness of the History of Racism


Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History
of Racist Ideas
in America

Ibrahim Kendi

Continue Reading…


Fascinating book for all you grammar nerds out there:

Dreyer’s English:
An Utterly Correct Guide
to Clarity and Style

Benjamin Dreyer

Hardback:Random House, 2019
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]


Listen to the author’s NPR interview with Terry Gross:

Continue Reading…


During Lent (starting Wednesday March 6), we will be hosting a conversation on this classic book on our website:

The Sabbath
Abraham Joshua Heschel

Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
*** For a limited time, you can get
the Kindle ebook for only $1.99!!!
We will read through the book in six weekly segments, and each week we will post questions on that week’s reading and invite you to post your questions and observations on the reading…

Make sure you have a copy of the book, and between now and Ash Wednesday, you may want to watch these video clips that introduce Heschel’s life and work.


A fascinating “collective self-portrait of Los Angeles when it thought nobody was looking”:

Dear Los Angeles:
The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018
David Kipen, Editor

Hardback: Modern Library, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Listen to a great NPR interview with the editor:

Continue Reading…


Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are taking a fair bit of criticism these days, and much of it is warranted. But one of the more worthwhile uses I’ve found for Twitter is to follow theologians on Twitter and to engage in conversation with them.

Theology is a conversation, and these days the conversation isn’t just limited to books or the halls of the academy. Today, anyone with a Twitter account can engage online with some of the finest theologians of our day.

Here are some of our favorite theologians * to follow on Twitter:

They represent a broad range of perspectives, and you likely won’t agree with any of them all the time, but they all are worth listening to. (We’ve limited this list to living theologians who primarily tweet in English — Sorry, @LeonardoBoff — and who are relatively active on Twitter — Sorry, @ProfRah.)
* We use the label “theologians” broadly here. All of the scholars featured below do theology in the broad sense of helping us understand God, the scriptural stories about God, and how we best live into the way of God. Not of them are theologians in the narrow academic sense, some are biblical scholars, some are ethicists, etc.


In alphabetical order of their Twitter handle:

(Or we’ve created a list where you
can follow along with the conversation.)

Christena Cleveland
Director of the Center for Justice + Renewal, professor @dukedivinity, social psychologist, public theologian, serving resistance

Daniel P. Horan, OFM
Franciscan Friar | Catholic priest | Theologian | Runner |
@ChicagoCTU Professor | @NCRonline columnist | @FrancisFXpod co-host

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
Author of Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength | She/Her

Eboni Marshall Turman
Asst Professor @Yale l Author of Toward a Womanist Ethic l
Baptist preacher l Arts maniac l #1 Auntie I
Black philanthropy I Black excellence.

David Fitch
Husband/dad, C&MA pastor, author,
Anabaptist holiness evangelical missional theologian,
church planter, professor at @nseminary, work for @FExpressionsUS .

Continue Reading…


This is a fascinating new book…

A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet

Will Hunt

Hardback: Spiegel & Grau, 2019
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

“There’s just so much beneath the streets of New York City that people walking around on the surface don’t ever think about,” Will Hunt says. “Every manhole, every doorway, every stairway going down into the dark [feels] like a potential portal into this like separate world.”

Listen to this great NPR interview with the author:

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This is an important book on Native American history…

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee:
Native America from 1890 to the Present
David Treuer

Hardback: Riverhead, 2019
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]


Listen to David Treuer’s NPR interview
with Scott Simon:

Continue Reading…


Great NPR Interview with the author of this new YA novel…

The Field Guide to the
North American Teenager

Ben Philippe

Hardback: Balzer + Bray, 2019
Buy Now: 
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

Listen to this NPR interview now…

Continue Reading…


This is a monumental work by Robert Alter, the product of 24 years of labor.

The Hebrew Bible:
A Translation with Commentary

(3 volume set)
Robert Alter

Hardback: W.W. Norton, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Listen to a great NPR interview with the author:

Continue Reading…


One of our most anticipated novels of January is:

An Orchestra of Minorities:
A Novel

Chigozie Obioma

Hardback: Little, Brown, 2019
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

Listen to a great NPR interview that
Chigozie Obioma did with Weekend Edition’s Scott Simon:
Continue Reading…