Archives For Church

 

A Life of Hope
in a Society of Fear.

A Feature Review of 

Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times
Adam Hamilton

Hardback: Convergent Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Ryan Johnson

 

We live in a society where fear has become ubiquitous.  It looms behind every corner, and for many it is impossible to go through a day without feeling its effects.  Those of us tasked with the responsibility of leading others are left wondering how to guide people to hope and courage through a labyrinth of fears.  Adam Hamilton, in his typical pastoral way, offers a resource for just such a purpose in his new book Unafraid:  Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times.

Continue Reading…

 

A Holistic Vision
for Single Christians

 
A Feature Review of 
 

Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness
Joy Beth Smith

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Gina Dalfonzo
 
 

Looking through the table of contents of Joy Beth Smith’s Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness, one is hit by truth after mythbusting truth. It’s all right there in the chapter titles: “God Doesn’t Owe You a Husband.” “Singleness Isn’t Seasonal.” “Jesus Might Not Meet All Your Needs.”

And that’s before we even get to the section on sex.

Continue Reading…

 

The Other Side of  Uncomfortable
 
A Feature Review of

Uncomfortable:
The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community
Brett McCracken

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

Reviewed by Erin F. Wasinger
 
 

Last spring, my church was in the middle of a sermon series that did nothing for me. I forget what it was about. In fact, I only remember we had a lackluster sermon series because I remember a postcard that arrived in my mailbox at the same time.  A new church, opening in a hip neighborhood downtown, promised friendship and free-trade coffee on its invitation. Free-trade coffee! I read that as code for “hipster church,” a place where everyone would care about the things I do, would listen to the same music, linger in the same coffee shops.

Continue Reading…

 

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.

Continue Reading…

 

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. 

Continue Reading…

 

Claiming Too Much.
 
A Review of 
 

5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ.
Alan Hirsch

Paperback: 100M, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Chris Schoon
 
 
Relying on Ephesians 4, one of my early mentors taught: “Ministers are not hired to do the work for the church; they are called to equip God’s people to do works of service.” In light of that teaching, I have followed missional discussions of the five-fold gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor/Shepherd, and Teacher (APEST) with great interest. From Frost and Hirsch’s The Shaping of the Things to Come to Hirsch’s other work in The Forgotten Ways and The Permanent Revolution to works from a few other missional theologians, this conversation has kept my attention. As such, I eagerly engaged Hirsch’s latest exploration of APEST through 5Q.
Continue Reading…

 

Wisdom Sprinkled Lavishly
 
A Brief Review of 

Love Big, Be Well:
Letters to a Small-Town Church

Winn Collier

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Rhodara Shreve
 
 

In this new novel by Winn Collier, you might think letters written by a pastor to his small church congregation would be irrelevant to the modern, urban churches in larger city areas but, you would be so wrong. In fact, reading this book is more about getting a chance to remember what we can be robbed of in this crazy high-tech, global world and why this has to do with our deepest need for friendships that matter as as we journey through life. In this book, a pastor finds himself called to a rural church, and as he writes these letters to his congregation, he shares so much wisdom through the stories of people he meets in this church as he gets to know them and the community they inhabit.

Continue Reading…

 

Developing a Taste of Place

A Review of

The Bees of Rainbow Falls: Finding Faith, Imagination, and Delight in Your Neighbourhood
Preston Pouteaux

Paperback: Urban Loft, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Duke Vipperman

 

If the author speaks as well as he writes, you should definitely consider getting in touch. Preston Pouteaux has written a thoroughly enjoyable manual on being both incarnational and missional captured through the fascinating lens of his beekeeping: a subject I knew less than nothing about, but which now fascinates me. Part One opens up the life of the hive, wandering bees, and the faithful bee keeper. We know that apples, avocados, broccoli, cranberries, cucumbers, grapefruit, melons and onions depend on bee pollination. Blueberries and cherries are 90-percent dependent. Almonds would completely disappear without honey bee pollination. Bees are a keystone of those crops: withdraw the bees and the crops will collapse. The collapse of bee hives across North America is a serious concern.

Continue Reading…

 

A Timely Meditation
 
A Brief Review of 
 

October 31, 1517:
Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World

Martin Marty

Hardback: Paraclete Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 
Today marks the 500th anniversary of the date attributed to Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church Wittenberg. Martin Marty, one of the most distinguished scholars of church history over the last century, has written a powerful and timely meditation on the significance of this event. It is, as James Martin, SJ refers to it in his foreword: “a short book on a big topic written by an expert.”

Continue Reading…

 

Cultivating Shared Presence
 
A Feature Review of 
 

Together: Community as a Means of Grace
Larry Duggins

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Alden Bass
 
 
 
New Testament scholars believe that when Paul entered a new city on his missionary journeys, one of the first things he did was set up a tent-making stall in the local market. Day after day, he would sit in the narrow alleys of the shopping district, doing business and striking up conversations with passersby. Though he engaged local synagogues, there is no doubt that many of his contacts came through the spontaneous communities which formed around his daily presence in the marketplace.

In this latest addition to the Missional Wisdom Library series, Larry Duggins suggests that the church recover something of this model by facilitating missional “communities” – making space on church property and within church life for Christian and non-Christian people to come together for work, play, and fellowship.

Continue Reading…