Reading Guides

Cultivating Kindness, Civility, and Truth in the Election Season

Civility Election Season  Civility Election Season  Civility Election Season

Although it seems quite odd due to the pandemic, we are now in the thick of another brutal presidential election season in the United States.  

Sure, very important things are at stake in this election, and indeed both the Right and the Left would argue that precious human lives are at stake. Regardless of who we will vote for in November, Christians need to be people of truth, kindness, and civility in a culture in which all three of these virtues are rare. I encourage you to check out our reading guide on being people of the truth, and below you will find several books on the importance of kindness and civility in our political interactions. You’ll find more books than any one person could read between now and Election Day, but perhaps maybe one or two of the books here will stand out as ones you need to read.


How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church 
C. Christopher Smith

In today’s highly charged social and political environment, we often don’t know how to talk well with others–especially with people whose backgrounds differ from our own. C. Christopher Smith, coauthor of the critically acclaimed and influential Slow Church, addresses why conversation has become such a challenge in the 21st century and argues that it is perhaps the most-needed spiritual practice of our individualistic age.

Smith likens practicing conversation to the working of the human body. Bodies are wondrous symphonies of diverse, intricate parts striving for our health, and our health suffers when these parts fail to converse effectively. Likewise, we must learn to converse effectively with those who differ from us in the body of Christ so we can embody Christ together in the world. In community, we learn what it means to belong to others and to a story that is bigger than ourselves.

Smith shows how church communities can be training hubs where we learn to talk with and listen to one another with kindness and compassion. The book explores how churches can initiate and sustain conversation, offers advice for working through seasons of conflict, suggests spiritual practices and dispositions that can foster conversation, and features stories from several congregations that are learning to practice conversation.


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