Cultivating Communities, News

Five Helpful New Books on the Future of the Church!


Many churches are struggling to rebound after the COVID pandemic …

However, many of our deepest challenges as churches have their roots long before the pandemic began in 2020. These five new books help us understand these challenges and to embody a different kind of faithfulness in our local congregations. 


From Isolation to Community: A Renewed Vision for Christian Life Together
Myles Werntz

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2022.
Buy Now: [ IndieBound ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

It is no secret that isolation–in political, cultural, physical, and social forms–is one of the key ailments of our age. But less explored is the way the church as it is frequently practiced contributes to this isolation instead of offering an alternative.

This book applies Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology to contemporary church practice. Myles Werntz engages with Bonhoeffer’s work, particularly Life Together, to argue for a renewed vision of the church community as a theological therapy to cultural, moral, and sociological isolation. Insofar as the church fails in this task, it fails to be the body of Christ and magnifies the isolation that permeates creation. Werntz offers an account of how familiar church practices–such as Scripture reading, worship, prayer, and eating–contribute to community formation in the body of Christ. Shifting church practice away from isolation is not simply a matter of social engineering but a matter of embodied theological practice characteristic of the church as a community.

Read an excerpt from this book…

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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior

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