Archives For *Excerpts*
The finalists in the running for the National Book Award were announced earlier this month…
If you are like us, then there probably are a number of these books that you haven’t read yet.
So, we thought we’d give you excerpts from ten of them to give you a taste of their contents.
These excerpts feature books from all four categories
Letters on the Spiritual Life
Read the editor’s preface to this collection, and Brene Brown’s foreword:
Yesterday (Aug. 29) marked the birthday of theologian Gerhard Lohfink, one of the thinkers whose work has been most formative for us at Englewood Christian Church…
His work also was a major contributor to the theological foundation of my book Slow Church (co-written with John Pattison).
Here is a recent talk that Lohfink gave that has been translated into English and published by the Bruderhof in their Plough magazine…
(If you know German, there is also a video recording of this talk…)
Did the Early Christians Understand Jesus?
Nonviolence, Love of Neighbor, and Imminent Expectation
This is a translation of Gerhard Lohfink’s keynote address on November 21, 2015 at a conference commemorating Eberhard Arnold.
There are statements so bewildering that they are quoted again and again. Among these is a remark, now a century old, by the French biblical scholar Alfred Loisy: “Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God – and what came was the church.” I’ll leave to the side the question of what Loisy himself meant by this sentence. Rather, I’ll focus on how it’s understood by those who gleefully quote it. Usually, they understand it as bitterly ironic.
Here, on the one side, is the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed: the immense, all-comprehensive, yet incomprehensible transformation of the world under God’s reign – and there, on the other side, is the church that came after Easter: a finite body with all the limitations of any other social structure. Clearly, then, there’s a gaping chasm between Jesus’ proclamation and the post-Easter reality! Here the glory of the kingdom of God; there the bitter paltriness of the actual existing church.
One of this fall’s best theology books is:
How Fixing the World
is Killing the Church
By John Nugent
This is a provocative book that asks vital questions about how the church should live in the world, and how we bear witness to the good news of Jesus.
Watch an introductory video
and read an excerpt of the book:
*** ALSO, we are planning to do a month-long read-a-long discussion of this book in November, so get a copy and start reading now!
In honor of the occasion,
here’s an Excerpt from
“Faith and Fiction.”
If someone were to come up and ask me to talk about my faith, it is exactly that journey that I would eventually have to talk about—the ups and downs of the years, the dreams, the odd moments, the intuitions. I would have to talk about the occasional sense I have that life is not just a series of events causing other events as haphazardly as a break shot in pool causes the billiard balls to careen off in all directions but that life has a plot the way a novel has a plot, that events are somehow or other leading somewhere. Whatever your faith may be or my faith may be, it seems to me inseparable from the story of what has happened to us, and that is why I believe that no literary form is better adapted to the subject than the form of fiction.
Setting the World on Fire: The Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena
In the fourteenth century, Catherine’s public persona as a strong-willed woman who never backed down was extraordinary to the point of being freakish. At the time, women were so subservient to men that they didn’t speak unless spoken to. And when they were spoken to, they kept their eyes lowered. Legally, women were not allowed to appear in court. They weren’t allowed to hold any public, political or professional office or to become a member of any of Italy’s influential guilds, such as the dyers’ guild Catherine’s father belonged to. And they weren’t allowed to wear anything that was not of their husband’s choosing. Women without brothers were able to inherit land from their fathers, but they were forced to surrender it to their husbands as soon as they married. Always, the law excluded women as second-class citizens. “The good woman was invisible. She wasn’t supposed to leave the house. She wasn’t even supposed to be seen standing at the window of the house,” said Elizabeth Petroff, a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “Yes, people looked askance [at Catherine], but she won them over, many times. She must have been just what the times needed.”
Ishi Means Man
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Ishi, the last member of the Yahi, a group of the Yana of California. Widely acclaimed in his time as the “last wild Indian” in America, Ishi lived most of his life completely outside modern culture. (Wikipedia)
In the title essay of Merton’s book, he reflects of the genocidal tendencies of modernity. Here are the opening pages of that essay…