Archives For Discipleship


Christian Faith Worth Imitating
A Review of 

Stories of Deeply Rooted
and Transformed Lives

Redbud Writers’ Guild

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Kathleen O’Malley.
A few weeks ago, I asked God to bring a mentor into my life. Whether that meant a new relationship or the deepening of one I already had, I didn’t know. The next day, I began reading Everbloom, and by the time I was twenty pages in, I realized that I held part of God’s answer in my hands.

Books can’t substitute for the intimacy of a friendship. But Spirit-filled stories can change and enrich my perspective—just like a mentor might. There is something about peoples’ life stories that is tough to ignore; their memoirs nestle into my memories until they become part of my worldview. That’s one reason that books like Everbloom are so powerful. Such books let me be touched by the lives of men, women, and children whom I won’t meet in person.

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Hazardous - Cyzewski / CooperTaking Up Our Crosses.

A Review of

Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus

by Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper

Paperback: CLC Publications, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Christopher Brown.


Jesus gave His followers a straightforward but immensely challenging call to discipleship: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34 NIV). This was not an easy word to accept. Self-denial and taking up the cross is painful. So it’s not surprising that during the three years of Jesus’ public ministry, many would-be-disciples turned away because of His demands. The same is true today. Faced with the dangers of following Jesus, many respond just as one man bluntly said to one of the authors of Hazardous: “That’s too much to ask” (49).


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Widening the Circle - Joanna ShenksA Review of

Widening the Circle:

Experiments in Christian Discipleship

Edited by Joanna Shenk

Paperback: Herald Press, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed By Alex Dye

I feel fortunate to have been in college during the time when Shane Claiborne and The Simple Way began to rise to popularity.  His writings, the movement, and a healthy dose of The Psalters (alternative Christian worship music and vagabond group) really expanded my understanding of the person of Christ, the call to discipleship, and the Christian vocation.  The idea of intentional communities pooling their money together and seeking to bring justice to inner city neighborhoods was new and exciting.  Of course, what I would come to realize soon enough that while these practices were exciting, they certainly weren’t new.  From the interracial work done at Koinonia Farm at Americus, Georgia, to the Reba Place community near Chicago, and even the Hutterites, a branch of the Anabaptist movement formed in the 1600’s who lived together and pooled their resources, Christian discipleship and intentional living, since the church in Acts, has dotted the timeline of Church History.

In her book, Widening the Circle:  Experiments in Christian Discipleship, editor Joanna Shenk collects the stories of 20th century discipleship communities and movements connected with Anabaptism, especially of the Mennonite Church, and crafts together a unique history of these various efforts.  She organizes the various chapters into three bodies of time:  the First Wave (1950s and 60s), the Second Wave (1970s and 80s), and the Third Wave (1990s to Present).

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An Excerpt from

The Cost of Community:
Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom

by Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Paperback: IVP / Likewise, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Our latest print issue includes an interview with the author about this book… Are you a subscriber?


“Engaging Jesus Relationally”

A Review of
Sacrilege:  Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus
By Hugh Halter

Review by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Sacrilege - Hugh HalterSacrilege:
Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus

Hugh Halter.
Paperback: Baker Books, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ] [ Kindle ]

Somehow the church became uninspiring and ineffective for restoration.  It lost its mission, its purpose and its life.  Sure people claim to follow Jesus, and many know about him, but few were inspired to live a life as a disciple.  Hugh Halter in his books takes the church and tosses it into the air, letting the chaff blow with the wind.  From there he takes the seeds of good grain that fall, and that is what he uses to engage the kingdom.

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An excerpt from Scot McKnight’s excellent new book:

One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow.
Scot McKnight.
Paperback: Zondervan, 2011.
Buy now:  [

Watch for our interview with Scot about this book,
which will appear in our next print issue, to be released in February.


764744: Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who"s Already There A Review of
Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There

By Leonard Sweet.
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2010.
Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

As one who grew up in the midst of the heyday of evangelicalism and who was never completely comfortable with notions of evangelism that amounted to little more than proselytizing, evangelism has come to be a dirty word.  However, in the concept of evangelism, like all dirty words (and I would argue all dirty people as well) there lies the possibility for redemption.  Leonard Sweet, in his new book Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, offers a fresh, new take on evangelism that points us toward recovery of the language of evangelism in ways that are more consistent with the whole of the scriptural narrative than what passed for evangelism in the days of my youth.  In the book’s preface Sweet gives form to this new understanding of evangelism:

Evangelism for too long has been disconnected from discipleship.  In Nudge, evangelism is discipleship.  What yokes evangelism to discipleship, I propose is the art of attention, attending to life and attending to God (21).

Certainly, in our increasingly technological age, social critics have been denouncing our inability to pay attention (see for example, Maggie Jackson’s recent book Distracted LGT: our review), so it is refreshing to see the fundamental role that the recovery of attention plays in Sweet’s reframing of evangelism.  Another particularly refreshing facet of Sweet’s work here is the holistic way in which he describes evangelism using imagery connected to all five senses.

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Our friends Kevin Rains and Aaron Klinefelter are coordinating an effort in Cincinnati to explore what a “Curriculum for Christlikeness” might look like. Over the next 10 months, they will host a monthly topical gathering for conversation and learning.

The first session will be on “SoulKeeping” and will be led by Dave Nixon.
Saturday, September 4: 10AM-12PM
St. Elizabeth’s – 1757 Mills Ave. – Cincinnati

This promises to be an exciting course!
If you are in the general vicinity of Cincinnati, you won’t want to miss it!

More info:

We  have recently made a slight change to our format and the reviews, excerpts, poems, etc. of our Midweek update will be posted to “pages” on the ERB website, and announced via social media.  If you’re a “first-to-know” sort of person, you can get these updates when they first come out in one of two ways:

Midweek postings from this past week:

In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we are going to be collaborating more intentionally with Christian Book Distributors. Primarily, we will be offering you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest. Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s Bargains:

219179: Westminster Dictionary of Early Christian Literature Westminster Dictionary of Early Christian Literature

By David E. Aune, ed. / Westminster John Knox Press

$12.99 – Save 74%

This book details the variety of literary and rhetorical forms found in the New Testament and in the literature of the early Christian church. This authoritative reference source is a treasurey for understanding the methods employed by New Testament and early Christian writers. This encyclopedia will illuminate the ways words shaped the consciousness of those who encountered Christiam teaching.

3796X: Dissident Daughters: Feminist Liturgies in Global Contexts Dissident Daughters: Feminist Liturgies in Global Contexts

By Westminster John Knox Press

$2.99 – Save 90%!!!

With its focus on narratives, its attention to contextual and material realities, and its collection of women-identified liturgies in global context, Dissident Daughters claims prominence within the growing literature on women’s ways of worship. This book not only introduces liturgical texts, but also focuses on the communities that create and celebrate these liturgies. Dissident Daughters gives voice to women activitsts who show how their communities came into being; how social, cultural, and political realities shaped them and their liturgies; and how they envision their lives in and as communities of faith. In drawing the different narratives together, Dissident Daughters displays the expanse fo the worldwide expression of women’s rites and the formation of each by distinctly different contexts of struggle and hope.

431513: God, Truth, and Witness: Essays in Conversation with Stanley Hauerwas God, Truth, and Witness:
Essays in Conversation with Stanley Hauerwas

By Edited by L.G. Jones, R. Hutter & C.R. Velloso Ewell

Hardback: Brazos Press.

$5.99 – Save 85%!!!

430789: The Divine Voice The Divine Voice

By Stephen H. Webb / Baker

$2.99 – Save 89%!!!

What can the primordial nature of noise, speech, and hearing teach us about what it means to be speakers and hearers of God’s Word? In this thoughtful work, Webb explores philosophical concepts including “Theo-acoustics,” “The Protestant Reformation As an Event Within the History of Sound,” and “The Sound of God.” 244 pages, softcover from Brazos.

43086X: Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity

By Paul J. Griffiths / Baker

$3.99 – Save 86%!!!

Is lying ever justified? Exploring the Augustinian pronouncement that telling a lie is always wrong, Griffiths examines Augustine’s belief that dissembling disfigures the image of God; contrasts Augustine’s thought with the ideas of Plato, Jerome, Aquinas, Kant, Nietzsche, and others; and argues that Christians should heed Augustine’s ban on lying.