Archives For *Excerpts*

 

Love, Truth, and Conversation:
The Way Forward

 

C. Christopher Smith

 

The following is an editorial that will appear in the
Advent 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine.

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“The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.”
– David Roberts, America is Facing An Epistemic Crisis, Vox.com

 

One of the most unsettling realities of Donald Trump’s presidency is his apparent assault on the institutions by which American society has traditionally measured and assessed truthfulness – particularly the institutions of science and freedom of the press. A cynic might posit that these institutions, and the truths that they uncover in the course of their work, might be taken as a threat to the interests of global corporations. Climate change, for instance, poses a threat to the coal and petroleum industries, and perhaps to a lesser extent the automotive industry and all its ancillaries. Undermine a society’s tools for discerning truth, the logic goes, and darkness prevails, along with all those who profit from darkness.

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Today is the release day for John Green’s new novel…

Turtles All the Way Down
John Green

Hardback: Dutton Books, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Listen to John Green reading the
first chapter from this new book… 

 
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I recently finished reviewing this superb new book for our fall print magazine issue. 
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ACTS: Belief Commentary Series
A Theological Commentary on the Bible

Willie James Jennings

 
Hardback: WJK Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
I’m excited to share the following excerpt from this book with you, which I take as one of Jennings’s central (and most timely) themes in this commentary. 
 

Reprinted from Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible
by Willie James Jennings.
Used by permission of Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved.

 

Word of God against Word of God.
A Reflection on the Story of
Peter in the House of Cornelius
Acts 10-11

(Pages 118-121)

 

“You have heard that it was said, . . . but I say to you . . .” (Matt. 5). These often repeated words of Jesus set the stage for our interaction with the living God, whose words to us are living, because they are bound up with the source and giver of life itself. Acts 11 is a moment of reorientation where the Spirit is teaching us a crucial lesson that the church must constantly remember: God yet speaks and word of God always presses against word of God. What God has said in the past is pressed against by what God is saying now. Israel shows us that the human creature is always positioned between these two words and destined for yet more hearing from a God ever extended in grace toward us. This in-between position  has often been painful for us as we try to grasp clarity of thought and action on a walk of obedience to God on a well-lit path, albeit with multiple twists and turns. (Ps. 119:105) In this regard, the struggle of the church has been twofold: we struggle to hear the new word that God is constantly speaking, and we struggle to see the link between the new word and the word previously spoken.

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This excellent book was recently released…
 
 

Living Sustainably: What Intentional Communities Can Teach Us about Democracy, Simplicity, and Nonviolence
A. Whitney Sanford

Hardback: UP of Kentucky, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
 

Read the Introduction to the book…

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Yesterday marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau.

Although best known for his books Walden and Civil Disobedience, one of Thoreau’s most poignant works for our fast-paced world is his treatise on walking.

 

Here are five of the most relevant and compelling passages from this work:

Download the full text for FREE:
   [ Kindle ]  [ Project Gutenberg

 

1) To Walk is to Saunter

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I have just started reading this excellent new book written in the style of a graphic novel…
 

Heretics!: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy
Ben Nadler / Steven Nadler

Paperback: Princeton UP, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
 
 

Read the Introduction to this book, and an excerpt of it… 
(via Google Books)

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Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Genesis Trilogy was released in paperback editions this week.

Volumes:

And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)

A Stone for a Pillow: Journeys with Jacob (The Genesis Trilogy Book 2)

Sold into Egypt: Journeys into Human Being (The Genesis Trilogy Book 3)

 
This trilogy is a unique mix of memoir, social criticism, and biblical meditation.  Though originally published in the 1980s, it is strikingly timely today!  
 

This new edition features a foreword by Rachel Held Evans
(Each volume contains the same foreword)

“I came to the Genesis Trilogy, as I came to A Wrinkle in Time  — like a child. Frightened. Fledgling. Longing for a good story. L’Engle’s words, lovingly, patiently took me back to the Source.”
– Rachel Held Evans
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TODAY marks the anniversary of the 1970 death of philosopher Bertrand Russell…

Russell, a committed atheist, was the author of Why I Am Not a Christian. This excerpt, however, is strikingly pertinent in our day of “alternative facts,” in which truth has little relevance. It is worth taking the time to read!

 

Free Thought and Official Propaganda
Bertrand Russell
(Excerpt)

Conway Memorial Lecture
Delivered March 24, 1922

 
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One of today’s best new book releases is:

The Way of the Dragon or The Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It
Kyle Strobel and Jamin Goggin

Paperback: Nelson Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

*** Read ERB editor Chris Smith’s
brief review of this book

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Today is the Feast of
St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-c.395)…

 
I’ve been digging into his work recently, especially his theology of the Trinity, and this book by Hans Urs von Balthasar…
 

Presence and Thought: Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa
Hans Urs von Balthasar

Paperback: Ignatius Press, 1995
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I’ve been particularly been fascinated by von Balthasar’s understanding of history as described in this passage…
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