Archives For VOLUME 6


[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”150640135X” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”218″]Get into the Game

A Review of 

Reviving Old Scratch:
Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted

Richard Beck

Paperback: Fortress Press, 2016
Buy now: [  [easyazon_link identifier=”150640135X” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B01GOZRQ42″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by Josh Morgan.
Christians view and interpret Christ rather diversely. However, there seem to be even wider discrepancies between understandings of Satan. Is he real or a metaphoric personification? Is he a fallen angel or playing a designated role in God’s court? Does he have real power or not? Do Christians need to worry about Satan, or should we have no fear because we live in Christ? Many modern Christians in developed countries seem to avoid the issue, perhaps reading C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, but not having much more conscious experience with the Devil beyond that.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”251″ identifier=”0830846077″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”179″]One of the best new releases of this week is

Consider Your Calling:
Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation

Gordon T. Smith

Paperback: IVP Books, 2016.
Buy now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0830846077″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B01BDW9ABS” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]


As an introduction to the book, here are the six questions that it asks (with a tiny clip for each that sheds light on what it means)

You’ll have to get the book for the full explanation of each question and why it is important…

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“The first duty of love is to listen.”
– Paul Tillich
who was born on this day, 1886
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Poem of the Day:

By Edgar Guest,
who was born on this day  1881
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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story
by Wyclef Jean
Only $1.99!!!  Tweet this ]
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The Wake Up Call – August 20, 2014


[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1606062689″ cloaking=”default” height=”333″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”236″ alt=”Willibald Sauerländer” ]A Flemish Master Returns to the Church
A Feature Review of

The Catholic Rubens: Saints and Martyrs.
Willibald Sauerländer

David Dollenmayer, Trans.
Getty Research Institute, 2014.
Buy now:  [ [easyazon_link asin=”1606062689″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]

Reviewed by Sarah Jane Holsteen


For a book examining the Counter-Reformation altarpieces of a Baroque artist, Willibald Sauerländer begins in an unexpected spot: with the painting of a pagan suicide. Peter Paul Rubens’s The Death of Seneca (circa 1612), depicts the Stoic philosopher fulfilling Emperor Nero’s order of death, his (likely wrongful) punishment for plotting against the Roman ruler. Sauerländer commits the whole first chapter of The Catholic Rubens to a discussion of this painting. Why? Stoicism’s exhortation to self-control and reason run counter to the heightened emotions and tumultuous narratives of the Baroque art which Rubens helped define.  And why begin a consideration of Rubens’s artistic service to the Catholic Church with this “Pagan Prelude” (the title of Chapter One)?

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[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1625640676″ cloaking=”default” height=”333″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”208″ alt=”Rosario Picardo” ]The Cultivation of New Churches

A Review of

Embrace: A Church Plant that Broke All the Rules

Rosario Picardo

Paperback:  Resource Pubs., 2014
Buy now:  [ [easyazon_link asin=”1625640676″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]   [ [easyazon_link asin=”B00JJAHZMS” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Reviewed by Christopher Brown
Rosario Picardo’s thin book Embrace tells the story of his call to ministry and the planting of Embrace Church in Lexington, KY. With refreshing honesty and candor, Picardo gives an account of his church’s life which should embolden other leaders of new worshiping communities both to venture into uncharted territory and to persevere when they encounter unexpected challenges.


The beauty of Picardo’s story in Embrace lies in its messiness, which in turn reveals the wisdom which can be gained from Picardo’s example. To write a book which so openly shares not the successes but the apparent missteps of a new church requires a level of humility that is rare among church planters.

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0827243081″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”217″ alt=”Jeffrey Gallagher” ]Sojourning Through the Storm.

A Review of

Wilderness Blessings:
How Down Syndrome Reconstructed our Life and Faith

Jeffrey Gallagher

Paperback: Chalice Press, 2013
Buy now:   [ [easyazon-link asin=”0827243081″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00CA67PNC” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]


Reviewed by Chad Abbott

There is not one human being on the planet whose life could not identify with that of a stretch of road or a path in the woods. Having grown up in the flatlands of Illinois and now living in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky, the extremes of these roads seem to remind us that life can be a journey of all different pathways and in all kinds of weather. They can be long flat and enjoyable journeys. Life can be filled with sharp turns and rocky roads. Life can be walks up winding hills and long stretches of uphill. A quick hike in the woods reminds us that the terrain presents itself as extremely beautiful, but we always have to be careful of the roots of the trees popping out on the path, the rocks that are uneven, or the stick in the middle of the path that is filled with mud after a good rain. We can also find ourselves sojourning on such paths in the midst of a storm that we didn’t see coming. We know these things because life is an ongoing encounter with all of these varied terrains. Life is filled with a series of moments and interconnected realities that shape our lives into the kind of people we are going to be. What defines us is our response to and our living in light of the terrain we must face on the road that is our journey in life.  When a rough and edgy uphill terrain or a dark and stormy day is something we must face in life, we can either see that experience as an opportunity to experience blessing or we can wallow in self pity, anger, and fear.

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What is Slow Reading?

December 27, 2013


Our 2013 Book of the Year is Slow Reading in a Hurried Age by David Mikics.

(It was not the only book on Slow Reading released this year, I reviewed another one here.)

[ Our Full List of 2013’s Best Books ]

At the heart of this book, lie 14 rules that define the practice of Slow Reading. We offer these rules here, with brief elaborations from Mikics’s book.

(Presenting these rules in this slideshow format seems to go against the grain of Slow Reading. We do so only with the hope that this representation will entice you to immerse yourself in a slow and careful reading of the full book!)

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1426749503″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”216″ alt=”Debbie Blue” ]Way More Than is Promised

A Feature Review of

Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible

Debbie Blue

Paperback: Abingdon, 2013
Buy now:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”1426749503″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]   [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00E0TN93M” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]


Reviewed by Helen Lee


Four years ago, our family hung its first bird feeder, which wasn’t even a real feeder at all. It actually was an empty two-liter soda bottle filled with seeds, onto which I’d attached the simple $5 accessories needed to transform it into a feeder. And I tried to imagine what, if any, actual birds would be drawn to this clunky contraption. But as it’s been said, “if you feed them, they will come.” And did they ever.


Black-capped chickadees, to start, but then all manner of sparrows, songbirds, and finches followed, an overflowing of unexpected feathered friends who transformed our drab backyard into an constant source of delight and discovery. And it all began with a humble recycled soda bottle.

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0307265749″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”225″ alt=”Jhumpa Lahiri” ]Coming to Terms with our Alienation

 A Feature Review of

The Lowland: A Novel

Jhumpa Lahiri

Hardback: Knopf, 2013
Buy now:   [ [easyazon-link asin=”0307265749″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ] [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00C4BA49A” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]


Reviewed by D.L. Mayfield


Remember that the revolution is the important thing, and that each one of us alone is worth nothing—Che Guevara, in a last letter to his children


Lahiri quotes Che near the end of her book, the long and quiet and powerful novel The Lowland. It is a shocking sentence, written by severe and resolute revolutionary, and the reader feels the sorrow of the intended recipients, the children of the soon-to-be-lost-forever father. By this time, at the end of the story of two brothers and the women in their lives, we are apt to spot the sorrow lurking everywhere. As the novel elegantly slides back and forth between perspectives, time marching on and then doubling back on itself, we slowly start to understand these basic ideologies that drive and fail the characters. Revolutionary actions are born out of the pain of inequality; duty and obligation are seen as a means to transcend the chaos of life; people become inward and closed-off, unable to count their blessing still they are almost all gone. It is a novel about separate lives, coming together and crashing apart.

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1619021986″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”232″ alt=”Wendell Berry” ]One of the Best Books of 2013 is…

This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems: 1979-2012

Wendell Berry

Hardback: Counterpoint Press, 2013
Buy now:   [ [easyazon-link asin=”1619021986″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]

[ Our full list of 2013’s Best Books ]

Read excerpts from ERB editor Chris Smith’s review of Wendell Berry’s THIS DAY.
Earlier this month, Wendell Berry gave the Chubb Lecture at Yale University.  While the whole lecture and the conversation following it is well-worth your time, the session closes with Wendell Berry reading three new poems from THIS DAY.  We have cued the video below to start at the beginning of this reading.
The poems read here are: “Times Will Come As They Must” (2013, starts at 1:13:35), “After the Long Weeks” (2012, 1:17:45) and “As A Child, the Mad Farmer Saw Easily” (2012, 1:18:45).
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