Archives For Church

 

Moving Toward the Other

A Feature Review of

Befriend:
Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear
Scott Sauls

Paperback, Tyndale 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Ashley Hales

 

After America’s recent election, we’ve discovered (again) how divided we are. It is not simply that one-half of the nation disagrees with the other, but that each half is afraid of the other, as noted by ABC News. In a climate of fear, Scott Sauls’ Befriend is a timely book. Its subtitle, “create belonging in an age of judgment, isolation, and fear,” speaks to a human desire for community that transcends divisions based on race, class, socio-economics, politics, and sexual orientation. It plots a way forward for the church.

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Our Book of the Month for November is…

Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church
By John Nugent

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]

We will be reading through the book this month, and posting discussion questions as we go. We hope you will read along with us, and share your thoughts and questions. (Or, even better, get a group of people at your church to read through the book together!)

NOTE: Our read-along of this book will likely go through the end of December…

 

Part 2:
Chapters 3-5

Here are some quotes and questions, please use the comments below to share your own thoughts and questions.

Chapter 1: Toward a Better Vision of a Better Place

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Our Book of the Month for November is…

Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church
By John Nugent

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]

We will be reading through the book this month, and posting discussion questions as we go. We hope you will read along with us, and share your thoughts and questions. (Or, even better, get a group of people at your church to read through the book together!)

Part 1:
Chapters 1 – 2

Here are some quotes and questions, please use the comments below to share your own thoughts and questions.

Chapter 1: Yearning for a Better Place

Central Questions of the book:

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One of this fall’s best theology books is: 

Endangered Gospel:
How Fixing the World
is Killing the Church

By John Nugent

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon [  Kindle ]

This is a provocative book that asks vital questions about how the church should live in the world, and how we bear witness to the good news of Jesus.

 

Watch an introductory video
and read an excerpt of the book:

*** ALSO, we are planning to do a month-long read-a-long discussion of this book in November, so get a copy and start reading now!
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McKnight-Fellowship

This is a brief, but excellent introduction to two of Scot McKnight’s recent books:

Kingdom Conspiracy:
Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church

and 

A Fellowship of Differents:
Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together

( Our 2015 Book of the Year!)


 
Watch this conversation between Scot McKnight and Leslie Leyland Fields on Scot’s greatest concern for the future of the Church…

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101-TransformativeBooks - MEDIUMAs a companion to his new book Reading for the Common Good, ERB editor Chris Smith has also published a companion ebook, 101 Transformative Books for Churches to Read & Discuss (which is available for FREE for those who subscribe to our email digest).  This companion ebook organizes its book recommendations into 12 questions. Over the next month or so, we will be featuring each one of these questions, and listing the recommended books (without annotations, you will have to get the ebook to read those), as well as some more recent books on this question that are worth discussing.

 

Previous Questions:    [ One

 

Question #2:
How do we live faithfully as the people of God?

A careful reading of scripture will reveal that the people of God – first ancient Israel and then the church grafted onto the tree of Israel (Rom. 11) – are at the very heart of the reconciling work that God is doing in the world. Given this conviction, what does it mean for us to live faithfully together as God’s people? How have churches in past eras understood this calling and structured their lives together in order to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit and bear witness to the love and reconciliation of Jesus? Amidst the prevailing individualism of our day, these books will help stir our imaginations about what it might mean to share life together as the community of God’s people in the twenty-first century.

 

Classics listed in the ebook:
(With links to FREE ebook editions)

 
Continue Reading…

 

101-TransformativeBooks - MEDIUMAs a companion to his new book Reading for the Common Good, ERB editor Chris Smith has also published a companion ebook, 101 Transformative Books for Churches to Read & Discuss (which is available for FREE for those who subscribe to our email digest).  This companion ebook organizes its book recommendations into 12 questions. Over the next month or so, we will be featuring each one of these questions, and listing the recommended books (without annotations, you will have to get the ebook to read those), as well as some more recent books on this question that are worth discussing.

 

Question #1:
What is the nature and character of God?
What is God up to in the world?

These questions are essential to our identity as Christians. The Bible goes a long way in helping us answer them, but like any text, it must be interpreted, and it has not always been interpreted the same way across the wide diversity of churches throughout the two millennia of church history. The books I have selected here don’t offer definitive answers to these questions, but together they do serve as a guide to addressing important struggles that the church has had throughout her history.

Classics listed in the ebook:
(With links to FREE ebook editions)

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The Tough Work of Living a Story

A Review of 

One Ordinary Sunday:
A Meditation on the Mystery of the Mass
Paula Huston

Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Callie R. Feyen

 

Paula Huston was one of my first writing teachers, and without a doubt, the toughest. I would send her pages and pages of gorgeous description, witty dialogue, and hefty characters and she would send them back with comments like: “No conflict!” Something needs to happen.” “Dig deeper.”

I didn’t want to write conflict. Conflict made me uncomfortable. I wanted to write what I knew, and I didn’t trust that I’d be able to resolve an essay or a story if I brought up a problem. However, under Huston’s mentorship, I slowly began allowing space on the page for conflict, and learned to endure and eventually enjoy coming to the story and looking at it again and again. I believe I am a better writer after studying with Huston, but it wasn’t until I read One Ordinary Sunday that I considered looking at and embracing conflict as a spiritual practice.

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Seeking Rootedness
 
A Review of
 

Subterranean:
Why the Future of the Church Is Rootedness
Daniel White, Jr. 

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Jonathan Schindler
 
 
Subterranean: Why the Future of the Church Is Rootedness begins in an unexpected place. Author Dan White Jr. was offered “the opportunity of a lifetime to lead a successful megachurch” (p. xiii). White, however, was uneasy with this proposition and began exploring why that might be. He didn’t accept the position, and his loss is the reader’s gain: Subterranean catalogs White’s thoughts on the nature of the church and how to return to its, well, roots.

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Our Book of the Month for March is…

Trouble I’ve Seen:
Changing the Way the Church Views Racism

Drew G.I. Hart

Paperback: Herald Press, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

We will be reading through the book this month, and posting discussion questions as we go. We hope you will read along with us, and share your thoughts and questions. (Or, even better, get a group of people at your church to read through the book together!)
 
 

Part 1:
Foreword and Chapter 1

Here are some quotes and questions, please use the comments below to share your own thoughts and questions.
 

Next Conversation: Part 2 >>>>>>

Continue Reading…