Archives For Midweek Edition



Our work here at The Englewood Review has always been focused, on promoting reading, and conversations about what is being read, as practices that are beneficial to local church communities. ERB Issue No. 2 - Cover

So, as we get ready to celebrate the most important holiday of the church year, we would like to encourage you to take this Easter Season as an opportunity to share the ERB with your own church.

Specifically, we are offering our lowest price ever on our print edition ($13.95 for 1 year or $25 for two years – Save over 50% off newsstand price!), and inviting you to purchase a subscription for your church library, pastor(s), elder(s), teacher(s) and/or whomever you think should be reading the ERB.

AND, every subscription purchased will get a free copy of our second issue, featuring interviews with L.L. Barkat, Scot McKnight, and reviews including Read Mercer Schuchardt’s review of Marshall McLuhan by Douglas Coupland and an essay on congregational conversation by Mike Bowling. (The subscription will start with issue #3, which will be out in June…)

Also, if you have not yet subscribed yourself, this is an excellent opportunity for you to do so!

**** If you live outside North America, you can share our print edition with your church for FREE.
Invite them to sign up to receive our print edition via email (PDF):

HAPPY EASTER! Christ is Risen!

Click the link below to purchase subscriptions for your church….

Continue Reading…


Subscribe to the Print Edition!

Announcing our Brand New, Quarterly Print Edition.

As we continue to encourage the practices of reading and theological conversation in our churches, we will, starting this Fall, be supplementing our online edition with a print edition that contains more reviews, interviews and book news of note for missional church communities. Our first issue will feature reviews by Debra Dean Murphy, Brett Foster, Ragan Sutterfield and others, and will explore the work of Seamus Heaney, Gregory Jones, Mary Oliver, William Stringfellow, Slavoj Žižek, Willie Jennings, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and more! You won’t want to miss this exciting new venture!

Be one of our first subscribers, pay $19.95 for a one year subscription (Save almost 40% off newsstand prices!) and get our very first issue free and your whole second year free (You’ll receive the ERB print edition free through the end of 2012! 9 issues in all.)

Also, after you subscribe, you can give as many gift subscriptions as you want for $16.95 each (same 9 issue deal)!
Gift subscription offer ends 30 September 2010.

And if that isn’t a sweet enough deal for you, if you subscribe on or before Monday September 13, you’ll have a chance to get your subscription for FREE! We’ll draw the name of three winners and refund the fees paid for their subscription!

[ CLICK HERE for more info and to subscribe! ]


Fall 2010 Contest

We’re Giving Away 10 Free books from IVP !!!

Thanks to our friends at IVP Books, we are giving 10 free books in our Fall contest!!!

Invite your friends (or yourself) to a FREE email subscription to the online edition of The Englewood Review this September,
and you and any friends who activate their subscription will be entered to win two free books from IVP!

The Prize –

We will draw five winners, who each will receive a copy of these two books:

  • Pilgrimage of a Soul – By Phileena Heuertz (Read our review here…)
  • Walking Gently on the Earth By McMinn/Neff (Review coming soon!)

Total value: $30+

[ Go here to enter to win! ]


A Review of

835324: The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting On the Character of Christ The Good
and Beautiful Life:
Putting On the
Character of Christ

By James Bryan Smith
IVP Books, 2010

Buy now:
[ ]

Reviewed by Josh Morgan.

The Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith is the second book in his Apprentice Series. The focus of the series is “to draw people into the divine conspiracy of love and transformation” (p. 10). The first book focused on God and the nature of God. This book explores the work of God in our individual lives. The final book, available later this year, emphasizes how to bring all of these lessons and transformations into the larger community.

I personally was excited by this particular entry into the series as my much of my personal and professional passion is in the area of spiritual formation, particularly on the individual level. Smith is also a founding board member of Renovaré, one of my favorite spiritual formation organizations. He also got excellent endorsements from respected people, including one from Dallas Willard, stating this series is “The best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation.” I’m not sure I would agree with that statement. I say that primarily because I’m not convinced spiritual formation practice can be fully conveyed in a book. It is a lived-out, incarnational and relational experience.

Continue Reading…


Ragan Sutterfield - FARMING.Thanks to Doulos Christou Books, we are giving away three copies of Ragan Sutterfield’s FARMING AS A SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.

Three lucky winners will win a copy of this book!

How to enter to win:

  1. Announce the contest on Twitter, Facebook or your blog: I just entered to win  a copy of FARMING AS A SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE by @Ragan Sutterfield from@ERBks . You can enter too:
  2. Post a comment to this announcement with your name and a link to your post for #1.
  3. You may enter one time per day for the duration of the contest.
  4. We will pick a winner at random from the eligible contestants and notify them this weekend.

The contest will end at 4PM ET on this Friday April 9th.


Here is a wonderful video introduction to Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s brand new book THE WISDOM OF STABILITY (Paraclete Press 2010), which is perhaps my most anticipated book of 2010, and this video only makes me more eager to get my hands on it!

Watch for a review coming in about a month…


A Brief Review of

Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints
Scott Wright.
Photos by Octavio Duran.
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith

Easter itself is now the cry of victory.
No one can quench the life that Christ has resurrected.
Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred
raised against Him and against His church can prevail.
He is the victorious one!
Just as He will thrive in an unending Easter,
so we must accompany Him in a Lent and a Holy Week
of cross, sacrifice and martyrdom.
As He said, blessed are they who are not scandalized
by His cross.

— Oscar Romero

So begins this lovely new biography of Oscar Romero, which was released just in time for the 30th anniversary of his assassination.  Not only does this book trace the narrative of Romero’s life, it also is chock full of black and white photographs, many of which were taken by Octavio Duran, a Franciscan from El Salvador, who served as Romero’s personal photographer.  The photo-record of Romero’s life is the book’s greatest asset, as most of the stories told here can be found elsewhere.

This is a wonderful book, accessible in its format and yet challenging us at every turn with the story of Romero’s faithfulness.   Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints is the finest introductory biography of Romero, and I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.  Indeed, it is perfect reading for the Easter season, as it embodies for us Romero’s deep faith in the resurrected Christ for whom “Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred raised against Him and against His church can prevail.”

[ Download a free eBook edition of


Lines Written in Early Spring
William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure: —
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?


A Review of

Homer Simpson Marches on Washington:
Dissent Through American Popular Culture
Timothy Dale and Joseph Foy, eds.
Hardback: University Press of KY, 2010.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

HOMER SIMPSON MARCHES ON WASHINGTONHomer Simpson Marches on Washington: Dissent Through American Popular Culture is a fine follow-up to the earlier volume 2008’s Homer Simpson Goes to Washington.  In the book’s introduction, editor Joseph Foy, gets to the heart of the book’s purpose:

In the premiere episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert announces that the viewers of his show are “heroes” who know that “something must be done.”  He then pounds his fist on his C-shaped desk to inform them that they are doing something right now – they are “watching TV.”  His proclamation might be met with smirks, guffaws, and skepticism, but the authors of the chapters of this book lend credence to this tongue-in-cheek commentary.  Although true activism requires mobilized engagement to inspire change, the empowerment of political dissent via mass media and popular culture reflected in these pages provide an argument that true public, democratic action is occurring through popular culture.  We merely have to tune in to join the conversation (14).

The essays in this collection explore a diverse range of media from television (The Simpsons, of course, The Daily Show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and more), to music (“Protest Songs in Popular Music,” Hip-Hop) to the movies (M. Night Shymalan’s The Happening, and more).  Although this is an excellent and engaging book, a few of the essays were difficult to read because I was unfamiliar with the TV show or film that they were examining.  Perhaps the most captivating piece, however, was Matthew Henry’s “Gabbin’ About God: Religion, Secularity and Satire on The Simpsons,” which not only explores these themes as they are played out on the show, but also critically examines other books that have explored The Simpsons’ treatment of Christianity.  Two more of the best essays in this volume were Jamie Warner’s treatment of the “Politics of Truth” on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and Carl Bergetz’s piece “It’s Not Funny ‘Cause It’s True: The Mainstream Media’s Response to Media Satire in the Bush Years.”  On the other hand, Jerry Rodnitzky’s essay on “The Evolution of Protest Songs in Popular Music” was rather disappointing because it limited its focus to only the most mainstream of popular songs, ignoring more marginal arenas of pop music like rap (e.g., Public Enemy) or punk/post-punk ( The Dead Kennedys, Rage Against the Machine, etc.).

Homer Simpson Marches on Washington is essential reading for anyone who believes that mass media can be effective in exposing the oppressive powers that be and inspiring people to resist them.


Thanks to Thomas Nelson, we are giving away a copy of St. Patrick by Jonathan Rogers (our review) and Isaac Newton by Mitch Stokes (our review).  Both of these books are a part of the new series “Christian Encounters” from Thomas Nelson.

One lucky winner will win a copy of both books!  How to enter to win:

  1. Announce the contest on Twitter, Facebook or your blog: I just entered to win  bios of St Patrick & Isaac Newton from The Englewood Review (@ERBks ). You can enter too:
  2. Post a comment to this announcement with your name and a link to your post for #1.
  3. You may enter one time per day for the duration of the contest.
  4. We will pick a winner at random from the eligible contestants and notify them this weekend.

The contest will end at 4PM ET on this Friday April 2nd.