Archives For VOLUME 11

 

Contagious Joy and Contentedness
 
A Brief Review of

The Round of a Country Year:
A Farmer’s Day Book
David Kline

 
Paperback: Counterpoint, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Bailey Shannon

 

When I first started reading The Round of a Country Year by David Kline I thought, “This is just an Amish man’s diary…”. Kline writes a short entry almost every day for a full year about life on his farm in Holmes County Ohio. I thought I would become bored after the first few pages.  However, I was quickly absorbed into this farmer’s poetic and meditative observations.

I never realized know how many birds visited rural northeast Ohio. Now, I know that there are at least the following species: towhees, cardinals, sparrows, rough-legged hawks, horned owls, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, Carolina wrens, blue jays, Cooper’s hawks, mocking birds, and cliff swallows. And as far as firewood goes, I learned a helpful poem that informs you which firewood to burn in the wood stove. The list of firewood include: beech-wood, chestnut, birch, ash, oak, poplar, apple wood, pear wood, and, as the poem warns, never use elm.

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Stirring Our Imaginations

A Brief Review of

Divergent Church:
The Bright Promise of Alternative Faith Communities

Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris

Paperback: Abingdon, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 

It is easy for churches to rest in the comfortable clutches of tradition, and many churches that do so for years, or even decades, may eventually find themselves teetering on the brink of death. Throughout the history of the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit has rejuvenated the people of God through communities that embodied their faith in imaginative ways outside the prevailing tradition and convention of their day (e.g., the monasteries that took shape in the desert, the Benedictines, the Anabaptists, the Quakers, the Catholic Workers, etc.) The witness of these communities has echoed through the intervening centuries, well beyond the particular traditions that formed in their wake, reminding us of God’s continuing desire to renew and refine the people of God.

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Many of our readers don’t know that we have a secret little email list called The Daily Book Morsel,

which alerts readers to every new post on our website (our weekly email digest only features a selection of our best posts from that week), and has bonus deals and quotes that are not included in our weekly emails.
 
The Daily Book Morsel, with 3-5 brief emails a week, may not be for everyone. BUT it is FREE, and if you’re a reading fanatic, and want the deepest coverage of all the best book news, deals, and reviews, it might be a good option for you!


TWO recent sample issues of TDBM:
[ January 12 ] [ January 11 ]


 

AND now, we are offering a special incentive for readers who might be interested to try out The Daily Book Morsel.
 
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Who Are You Talking To, Greg?

A Review of

The Genius of One:
God’s Answer for Our Fractured World
Greg Holder

Paperback: NavPress, 2017

Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Fred Redekop
 
 

Greg Holder is the pastor of the Crossing, a large multi-site church in St.Louis, Missouri. He was first on the Elder team there and has now been the pastor for 20 years. He preaches in jeans and seems to be a very engaging speaker at the church. The church website says:

Greg challenges us to consider pertinent historical and linguistic details in Scripture, without missing an opportunity to weave in humor and personal stories. He brings ancient truths of Scripture to light in fresh ways, while calling those from an unlikely mix of spiritual backgrounds to love as they have been loved.

Holder has written some children’s Bible story books, a book (along with Chris Seay and Rick McKinley) on bringing simplicity back to Christmas called the Advent Conspiracy, and most recently a book titled The Genius of One: God’s Answer for Our Fractured World, which I had the pleasure of reviewing. Holder’s style is concise and readable. As the title says, the book is about bringing the church together, to work with Christ as a unified body of believers. Holder writes, “Loving those who in these uncertain times, we must — and here’s the point of the book — love one another too”(x).  So, the premise of Holder’s book is quite simple.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

  

Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World

Sarah Quezada

*** Read an interview with the author

 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Monastics, Mystics, and More

A Review of

A Course in Christian Mysticism
Thomas Merton

 
Paperback: Liturgical Press, 2017
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Alexander Steward
 
 
 

If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, I would recommend you take the time to do so. My visit to Gethsemani several years ago was one of my first true encounters with the work of Thomas Merton. Staying for a week at the Abbey allows one to hear Merton’s lectures during meal time. His voice coming through the speakers with an air of authority yet a playfulness that exudes an openness.

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A Modest Proposal
 
A Feature Review

The Pietist Option:
Hope for the Renewal of Christianity
Christopher Gehrz and
Mark Pattie III

Hardback: IVP Academic, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by David Swanson

 

Find a brief summary of the Pietist Option here:
What is the Pietist Option?

 
When, in 1675, Philipp Jakob Spener wrote Pia Desideria (Pious Desires), the German theologian and pastor was responding to the tumultuous circumstances of his age. The Thirty Years’ War was nearly thirty years past, yet the memories of the millions of casualties as well as the war’s religious roots were still fresh and the spiritual questions it raised remained relevant. Lutheran theology had developed intricate doctrines since the Protestant Reformation, less than two hundred years earlier. This scholastic theology relished minute points of nuance and, borrowing the same philosophical tools that Luther had disdained, was built upon elaborate systems of doctrine that were more at home in the universities than the churches. Although Spener’s small book was a reaction to his circumstances, in time it proved to be a signpost toward the future for those searching for a personal, vital faith in the midst of a changing world.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Marilyn McEntyre, Walter Brueggemann, Nadia Bolz-Weber, MORE )

 
Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.

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:
Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

*** $1.99 ***

 
Not only is this a timely book, it is essential for any Christian who writes or preaches. 

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NPR is one of the many sources we look to for tips on excellent new books!
We especially love their interviews with authors.

 
Here is a Top 10 list of our favorite NPR author interviews of 2017…
 

#10 – Turtles All the Way Down:
A Novel

John Green

Hardback: Dutton.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon  ]  [ Kindle ]

 
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Concrete and Pragmatic Love
 
A Review of

The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion
Rabbi Shai Held

 

Hardback: Jewish Pub. Society, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jon M. Sweeney

 
I remember two decades ago when William Morrow announced they were publishing a book of sermons by the chaplain at Harvard. I knew the chaplain, Peter J. Gomes, had published a New York Times bestseller (The Good Book), but that was no excuse for a book of sermons. “No one reads books of sermons,” I said to friends, in all my wisdom. On top of this, the publisher actually titled the book, Sermons. The book was a hit. I remembered those feelings when I received this 2-volume collection of sermons by Rabbi Shai Held. You wouldn’t think reading these sermon-essays would appeal as much as hearing them might. But they’re insightful and inspiring in printed form. I hope they reach a wide audience of not just Jews. Christians need this, too.

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