Archives For David Fitch


Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(David Fitch, J.K. Rowling, Soong-Chan Rah MORE)


15 Essential Ebooks Under $3ea!


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


Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission

David Fitch

*** $5.99 ***

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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…)

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Tish Harrison Warren


Read a review by Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds Books
(and for a limited time, buy the book from him for half-off!)



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David Fitch

Here is the second of the audio recordings from the Slow Church Conference that we hosted last week here at Englewood Christian Church.
*** CLICK HERE for the 1st talk that we posted, by Willie Jennings.

Our aim for the conference was to foster conversation around the work of several key theologians whose work inspired the Slow Church book that John Pattison and I wrote.

[ Download a FREE sampler of the SLOW CHURCH book here… ]

David Fitch is B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary in Chicago.

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On April 3-5, we will be hosting:

Slow Church Conference

The Slow Church Conference

A conversation curated by Chris Smith and John Pattison,
co-authors of the Slow Church book
(coming June 2014, IVP / Praxis Books)

Registration and More Details:

When: April 3-5, 2014 (Thursday evening through Saturday lunch)
Where: Englewood Christian Church / Indianapolis
Cost:  $99 (Early Bird, through Jan. 31 Feb 7)  / $149 (Feb 8 and later)
NEW: Starting Feb 8, we will be offering a Student Rate of $99!
(Students should use promotion code: STUDENT2014 )
        This price includes 6 locally-sourced meals during the conference

Keynote Speakers Include: Christine Pohl, David Fitch, Phil Kenneson, Carol Johnston
(Plus one other distinguished speaker, who will be announced soon)

We’d love to get your help spreading the word about this special event… (Even if you won’t be able to be here yourself… )

  1. If you plan to participate, register now

  3. Share the link to the conference website with others who might be interested:

  5. Invite Facebook friends who might be interested, using our special FB E-vite.


We really appreciate your help in getting the word out
about the Slow Church Conference!


Are You Prodigal Enough?

A Review of

Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier
David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw

Hardback: Jossey-Bass, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Christian J. Amondson

CLICK HERE for a video overview of the book

It was the winter of their discontent. David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw (co-pastors of a missional church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago) found themselves left out in the cold, disappointed with the “third-way” paths beyond the conservative-liberal theology wars of North American Evangelicals. The Emergent path (McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, Bell) initially offered a sense of hope for conversations that “challenged existing assumptions and sought new ways of moving forward” (xxi). Yet, as helpful as those conversations were, they ultimately left participants feeling uneasy, unable “to enter confidently into God’s living presence” (xxii). The Neo-Reformed path (Piper, DeYoung, Mohler, Carson, Keller) offered a necessary corrective to this disquiet, reminding Evangelicals that one can be missional and committed to gospel proclamation. But these commitments were often articulated dogmatically, focusing more on being “right” than being in right relationship. Was there an alternative to these dead-end options? Was there a path that could be both thoroughly committed to the proclamation of the gospel and radically sensitive to the cultural realities of real people in our post-Christian world? Fitch and Holsclaw believed there was, so they collected their notes, blog posts, and essays in an effort to articulate a new way by which Evangelicals could move out of the patterns that kept them “trapped within a bygone cultural consensus of Christian dominance that no longer exists” (xxiv). Prodigal Christianity is what emerged from their reflections.

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This new book offers a challenging new perspective on Christianity that is alternative to both traditional evangelicalism and emergent Christianity.

Watch for our review coming later today!

Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier
David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw

Leadership Network Series
Hardback: Jossey-Bass, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

These videos offer an overview of the book’s argument…

Introduction to the book:

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Reviving Evangelicalism?

A review of

The End of Evangelicalism?:
Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission
By David Fitch

Review by Chris Smith.

The End of Evangelicalism? - David FitchThe End of Evangelicalism?:
Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission
David Fitch.
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

David Fitch’s first book, The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from… cemented his role as a prominent critic of contemporary evangelicalism.  Although he laid out some pointed critiques in that book, he also demonstrated a deep love for the evangelical tradition, out of which he sought to reform rather than abolish evangelicalism.  In his newest book, The End of Evangelicalism?: Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission, Fitch continues on the same trajectory, hammering home a multi-faceted critique of evangelicalism and yet arguing just as vehemently that the heart of evangelicalism should be retained.

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“Defining Emerging Christianity

A Review of
An Emerging Dictionary for
The Gospel and Culture

By Leonard Hjalmarson.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

An Emerging Dictionary for
The Gospel and Culture

Leonard Hjalmarson.

Paperback: Resource Publications/Wipf and Stock, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

EMERGING DICTIONARY... HjalmarsonLen Hjalmarson has been in the middle of conversations about emerging forms of church for many years now. His blog, , has been not only a place for him to post his keen insights, but also a place for conversation and exploration. Thus, I was excited to hear that he had recently published a book rooted in his experience in these conversations.  An Emerging Dictionary for the Gospel and Culture is indeed as it sets out to be “a roving, eclectic dictionary that is both ridiculously current and particular, and at the same time broadly inclusive, reaching back to Augustine and St. Benedict … the ABC’s of the emerging and missional conversations.”  Hjalmarson does a superb job introducing the topics that he has included here, which basically fall into the two categories of biographical entries and conceptual entries.  All entries here are brief (rarely more than 2 or 3 pages), engaging and helpful in their introducing the person or concept at hand.  I imagine that most readers, even those who have been deeply invested in the emerging and missional church conversations for many years will find at least a few entries here that are surprising or unknown.  For instance, the philosopher of science in me was delighted to see the entry on Thomas Kuhn here, as his work is essential to our work of understanding the times in which we live, and yet his name does not pop up often in church conversations.  There are also a number of terms here that are essential to understanding postmodern criticism – e.g., difference and L’avenir.   Hjalmarson also does a wonderful job at interweaving the entries here; one does not typically think of a dictionary as a book to sit down and read from cover to cover, but this engaging and well-written work flows along nicely and is certainly an exception to that rule!

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David Fitch gives us
a (diet and decaf?) foretaste of his coming book
The End of Evangelicalism?

Last week or so on facebook, some friends were giving me a hard time for comparing evangelicalism to an ‘empty’ Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. Of course I was referring to philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s famous cultural analyses found in his book, The Fragile Absolute (chapter 3). It’s an example I use in the intro to my upcoming book The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission. There I use Zizek’s Coke illustration to ask questions about the current state of evangelicalism in N America. Allow me to explain.

Zizek narrates how coca-cola was originally concocted as a medicine (originally known as a nerve tonic, stimulant and headache remedy). It was eventually sweetened and its strange taste was made more palatable. Soon it became a popular drink during prohibition that still possessed those medicinal qualities (it was deemed “refreshing” as well as the perfect “temperance drink”). Over time, however, its sugar was replaced with sweetner, its caffeine extracted, and so today we are left with Caffeine-Free Diet Coke: a drink that does not fulfil any of the concrete needs of a drink. The two reasons why anyone would drink anything: it quenches thirst/provides nutrition and it tastes good, have in Zizek’s words “been suspended.”

Read the full piece:

A Review of Jamie Smith’s

It has become all too common these days for discussions of North American evangelicalism to transpire solely in terms of disdain, so much so that the very word evangelical has almost become a slur. Obviously, this is not to say that there aren’t many grounds upon which the evangelical tradition, especially in its North American variety, can (and should) be critiqued. Many have balked at the seemingly evangelical idea that the major tragedies of the last decade, namely, 9/11, the tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, and the recent earthquake in Haiti, were somehow divine retribution for homosexuality, idolatry, or general unbelief. In addition, one could consider the ongoing campaign among many evangelicals in the United States to “take back America” through a perverse wedding of white, middle/upper class, conservative evangelicalism and a Republican agenda. Marching ever onward, this group of evangelicals frequently ends up propagating an agenda that often seems more American than biblical.

The criticism could—and should—go on, but while such critique is always necessary for the healthy growth of the church, there is a world of difference between denigrating the evangelical movement and critiquing it from within as a sort of loyal opposition. Fortunately, this is a point not missed by James K. A. Smith in his recent book, The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts. In fact, this commitment serves as his starting point. Understanding his training as a philosopher as providing the platform for a diaconal vocation, a vocation of service to and for the church, Smith here offers a collection of essays directed toward the end of building up the body of Christ.

As is the case with any book of this sort, there is the inherent hurdle of overcoming the occasional nature of each piece in order to create some coherent whole. Smith’s book is no exception in this regard, and it suffers at times because of this. Nevertheless, at the risk of these various writings being reduced to mere cultural musings, Smith successfully manages to offer substantial insights and constructive critiques throughout the volume.

Read the full review:

The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays
on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts
James K. A. Smith.
Paperback: Eerdmans, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Powells Books Review of
THE WHALE by Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare’s account of his “search [for] the giants of the sea” is part travelogue, part history, part scientific discourse, and part elegy, all blended into a wonderful melange. He travels to New England in order to walk around whaling towns that Herman Melville  described in detail in Moby-Dick; discusses at great length the historical development of the whaling trade in both America and England; wanders about museums with various whale artifacts, taking in the immense grandeur of reconstructed whale skeletons dangling from ceilings; bemoans the massive destruction visited upon whale populations over the past century, threatening many species with utter extinction; and even goes into great detail about how ambergris — that rarest of whale treasures used in countless colognes throughout the ages for its distinctive aromatic quality — is actually created (it might lose a bit of its exotic luster when you find out).

All of this would be interesting enough on a strictly informational level, but it’s made especially poignant through Hoare’s eyes and fascination with his subject:

There is something about the sperm whale that leads me on, something that, even now, I find hard to describe. No matter how many pictures I might see, I cannot quite comprehend it. No matter how many times I might try to sketch it, its shape seems to elude me. None the less, my curiosity remains…

Hoare repeatedly mentions the mystical air surrounding these creatures that can dive deeper than any other mammal and who live so much of their lives hidden from our view despite their immense size. Theirs is a world ostensibly set apart from ours.

Read the full review:

THE WHALE: In Search of the Giants of the Sea
Philip Hoare.
Hardback: Ecco, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


David Fitch Reflects on
Brian Mclaren’s New Book

It feels a bit ominous to read the blog reviews of Brian McLaren’s latest – A New Kind of Christianity. The book is raising quite a stink. No surprise eh? One gets the sense there is something different going on this time versus the last couple book releases of Brian’s: The Secret Message and Everything Must Change. One gets the impression we are at a pivot point, a moment that upsets the whole terrain of theological allegiances having to do with the post evangelical emerging church developments of the last ten-fifteen years. It’s like Brian is shaking up the foundations of post evangelical theology. I read the book on my flight home from the ecclesia network national gathering  last week and here are some initial observations.

Read the full review:

Brian McLaren.

Hardback: HarperOne, 2010.
Buy now: [ ]

The NY TIMES Review of
The Rise of America’s Surveillance State
By Shane Harris

At this very moment analysts at the National Security Agency some 30 miles north of the White House are monitoring countless flashpoints of data — cellphone calls to “hot” numbers, an e-mail message on a suspicious server, an oddly worded tweet — as they carom around the globe like pinballs in cyberspace.

The snippets of information could conceivably lead them to Anwar al-Awlaki, a fugitive cleric in Yemen whose fiery sermons have inspired violent jihadists. Or to the next would-be underwear bomber. Or, much more likely in the needle-in-a-haystack world of cyber detection, it might lead to nothing at all — at least nothing of any consequence in determining Al Qaeda’s next target.

This is the world of modern eavesdropping, or signals intelligence, as its adherents call it, and for many years it operated in the shadows. “The Puzzle Palace,” the 1983 best seller by James Bamford that remains the benchmark study of the N.S.A., first pulled back the curtain to provide a glint of unwanted sunlight on the place. And the years after the Sept. 11 attacks — a period in which the surveillance agencies’ muscular new role would lead to secret wiretapping programs inside the United States, expansive data-mining operations and more — gave rise to public scrutiny that made the place a veritable greenhouse of exposure.

Read the full review:

The Rise of America’s Surveillance State
Shane Harris.

Hardback: The Penguin Press, 2010
Buy now: [ Amazon ]