The Relational Consequences
of Sacred Talk

 

A Response to
CHRISTIANITY TODAY’s Review 

(by Tim Muehlhoff ) of Jonathan Merritt’s  New Book
Learning to Speak God from Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing
–and How We Can Revive Them

By D.S. Leiter

 

READ our review of this book

And Watch for our interview with the author
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue.
[ SUBSCRIBE NOW ]

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This reflection was
originally posted on the writer’s blog,

and is reprinted here with her permission.
 
I’ve been getting my mind in gear to teach my general education communication classes that start in just over a week. And so when I read a recent Christianity Today review that’s in my wheelhouse—I’m a communication scholar, after all, and it’s a review by a communication scholar (Tim Muehlhoff) of a recent book about sacred language by Jonathan Merritt—my mind turned to an important distinction that pops up in Chapter 1 of the interpersonal communication textbook I teach.
 
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This fascinating and provocative new book is
one of the best new book releases of this week:

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
Anand Giridharadas

Hardback: Knopf, 2018.
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

 

A Snippet:

“A lot of well-meaning liberals — and it’s going to, it hurts to hear this — but a lot of well-meaning liberals paved the road for Trump. And they did so in two ways. First of all, by peddling a lot of pseudochange instead of actually fixing the American opportunity structure, instead of actually repairing the American dream over the last 30 to 40 years — by doing that, they allowed some of the biggest problems in this country to fester for decades and not be solved. And I think it’s very plausible that had we actually been solving those problems of trade and education and social mobility, Donald Trump would simply not have had the oxygen that his conflagration required. But they also enabled Trump in a second way, which is: They contributed to the correct intuition, across large parts of this country, that elite Americans have rigged the game for themselves.”

 

Listen to the full NPR interview:

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The Roots of Slaveholder Religion.
 
A Review of
 

Christian Slavery:
Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World

Katharine Gerbner

Hardback: U of PA Press, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle
 
Reviewed by Joseph Johnson

 

Katharine Gerbner’s Christian Slavery is a meticulously researched, insightful, and at times haunting read—haunting because it feels like the past is always with us. First and foremost, this is an academic work of religious history, but as Gerbner goes into the historical roots of, to use Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s phrase, “slaveholder religion,” the book’s significance doesn’t seem confined to the past. Throughout its pages, Gerbner endeavors to trouble accounts of this historical period that overly-focus on searching for possible early precedents of the 19th century antislavery movement. She argues that it’s significant to acknowledge and recognize that the history of early Protestant missionary efforts unfortunately includes both ideological accommodation to slavery as well as struggle against it (3-4).

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Christ-like Thinking
about Religious ‘Others’

 
A Review of
 

A Christology of Religions
Gerald O’Collins, SJ

 
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2018.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Leroy Seat
 
 
Australian Jesuit priest Gerald O’Collins was from 1973 to 2006 a professor of systematic theology and of what Roman Catholics call “fundamental theology” at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The author of many scholarly theology works, O’Collins (b. 1931) has now written another book, a slim volume that attests to his scholarship and to his stature as a theologian.

O’Collins begins his book by stating that the term “theology of religions” has been used at least since 1959, but no one has previously proposed a “Christology of religions.” This book is his attempt to sketch the contours of the latter term.

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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…)

  

Healing Our Broken Humanity: Practices for Revitalizing the Church and Renewing the World 

Grace Ji-Sun Kim /
Graham Hill

*** WATCH an intro video for this book…
  

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Transformation Through Play.

A Review of (and Response to)

Learning To Speak God From Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing—and How We Can Revive Them.

Jonathan Merritt

Paperback: Convergent, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]

Reviewed by Chris Schumerth

Who among us hasn’t had the experience of uttering, or perhaps hearing, words and phrases that are expected, so much so that they begin to lose their meaning? And then once the meanings are lost on us, and once the fad has run its course, might we just let the words slip right out of our vocabulary altogether? This is the phenomenon Jonathan Merritt takes on his new book, Learning To Speak God From Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing—and How We Can Revive Them.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Sarah Bessey, John Steinbeck, Peter Rollins, Louie Giglio, 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
 

*** GREAT Audiobook Deals 
Under $10 each!!!
Mr. Rogers, M. L’Engle, MORE

 

  

#1:
Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good 

Amy Sherman

*** $4.99 ***

Great price on one of the most
important books on vocation… 

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Five New Must-Listen Podcast Episodes!!!
Sarah Bessey on Madeleine L’Engle, Localism,
Lies My Teacher Taught Me, MORE

 

These podcasts can be downloaded from the iTunes store
or from the links below.

 

<<<<< The Previous Vital Conversations Post

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Sunday Aug. 26 is the birthday of Barbara Ehrenreich, one of the most important social critics of our day…

In honor of the occasion, we offer this series of brief video clips that introduce her work.

If you want to read her work, we recommend
starting with  Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

[ Other Books by Barbara Ehrenreich ]

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Weaving a Life of
Relationship and Experience

A review of

Mentoring: Biblical, Theological, and Practical Perspectives
Dean K. Thompson /
D. Cameron Murchison, Eds.

Foreword by Jill Duffield
Afterword by Martin Marty

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]
 
Reviewed by Jennifer Burns Lewis
 
Every now and then one encounters a resource that provides a treasure trove of information and perspectives that enhances one’s ministry and life. Mentoring is just such a resource. Educators, parents, seminary staff, field education supervisors, spiritual directors, coaches, denominational leaders and everyone called to nurture and encourage relationships with emerging Christian leaders — as well as the emerging leaders themselves — will find thoughtful reflections from multiple angles as they seek to mentor, understand the mentoring process, or assist those merging leaders in identifying great mentors.

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