Archives For Stability

 

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I’m going to start assembling some reading lists to accompany the Slow Church book… The book includes a Recommended Reading List as an appendix, but these lists I’m working on will go deeper than that, and will include books that have been released since the launch of Slow Church.

 
Haven’t read Slow Church?  Get a copy now… 

 

Part 3: Stability (Rootedness in a place)
Previous Parts of this list:  [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ]

Chapter 3: Stability is the Benedictine concept of being rooted in a particular place. We argue that a healthy dose of this rootedness is essential for the well-being of our churches.

 

Here are some books that fit with this chapter:

The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

*** If you can only read one other book, on stability, read this one.

*** Read our review

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Continue Reading…

 

Best Book of 2010

2010 Englewood Book of the Year!

The Wisdom of Stability - Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

The Wisdom of Stability.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
Paperback: Paraclete, April 2010.
Buy now: [
ChristianBook.com ]

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove has offered us, in The Wisdom of Stability, a challenging and yet very readable argument for stability in our local church communities. Although Wilson-Hartgrove has written a number of other excellent works to date (His book God’s Economy was on our Best Books of 2009 list and his Free To Be Bound was one of the Best Books of 2008.), TWOS is undoubtedly his finest work to date.

“Stability is essential to our faithfulness as we share life together in our church communities, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s The Wisdom of Stability is the finest reflection on stability in the contemporary world. Through stability, we learn to mature together in a place toward the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4), becoming, by the grace of God, a vibrant contrast to the madness of our hypermobile culture. In The Wisdom of Stability, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove orchestrates the voices of those before us who have set out to cultivate the practice of stability and poignantly calls us to the threshold of this journey of growing into stability. May we have the courage to heed his call and set out together on this journey and the even greater courage needed to weather the many demons that will assail us as we continue to be faithful in our place, day by day and year by year.” (from our review)

The Wisdom of Stability poignantly reminds us that community and place are essential elements in our following in the way of Jesus. It should be read and discussed in all churches!

 

“A Vibrant Contrast to
the Madness of our Hypermobile Culture

A Review of
The Wisdom of Stability:
Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture
.

by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.


The Wisdom of Stability:
Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture
.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2010.
Buy Now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove THE WISDOM OF STABILITYTransience is a major curse of our age.  From those who are always on the move to avoid their creditors to the upwardly mobile who are always seeking greener pastures, it seems that everyone is on the move.  In our urban neighborhood, it is a fairly common practice for renters to move into a new place, paying the first month’s rent, and then forego paying the second month’s rent, and then at the end of the second month when their account is 30 days past due, the eviction process is started and the renter then has 30 days until they are evicted.  Thus, crafty renters can get three months worth of housing for the price of one month, and force themselves into a cycle of moving every three months (or more if they are able to scrape together more than a single month’s rent).  These habits have larger cultural implications; I have heard of a public school in our neighborhood that has turnover rates as high as 95% from one year to the next (i.e., only 5 % of the students who started in a grade one year were still at the school a year later).  Lest I get too critical, it occurred to me recently that I myself have, in the last 15 years (since the summer before my senior year of college), lived at a staggering twelve  addresses in four different states!  Thankfully, I have been fortunate to live in the same house for the last six years, and have no intention of moving any time soon, and am slowly learning here about the historic Christian practice of stability.

Given the great mobility of American culture, it is not surprising that stability is virtually unknown in our churches today.  In the historically Black Walltown neighborhood of Durham, North Carolina, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and the Rutba House community have been growing roots over the last decade in that place and re-learning the practice of stability.  Hartgrove has reflected on these experiences and on the Christian tradition of stability in his excellent new book, The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture.  This new volume features a foreword by Kathleen Norris, who herself has reflected eloquently on stability in her most recent book Acedia and Me (which was our 2008 Book of the Year).  The book also features narrative “Front Porch” reflections interspersed between the chapters, in which Wilson-Hartgrove captures vignettes from his own life that cut to the heart of the “craft” of stability.

Continue Reading…

 

An excerpt from the recent book

A Blessed Life:
Benedictine Guidelines for Those Who Long for Good Days
.
Wil Derkse.
Paperback: Liturgical Press, 2009.
Buy now: [ A
mazon ]


 

Here is a wonderful video introduction to Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s brand new book THE WISDOM OF STABILITY (Paraclete Press 2010), which is perhaps my most anticipated book of 2010, and this video only makes me more eager to get my hands on it!

Watch for a review coming in about a month…