Charles Murphy
The Wind of the Spirit:  Now and Then

A Feature Review of

Reclaiming Francis:  How the Saint and the Pope are Renewing the Church

Charles Murphy

Paperback: Ava Maria Press, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jess O. Hale


A wind is blowing through many lands in our world and many are finding this wind to be renewing or at least refreshing.  It may not be the first time this wind has blown through a few of these locales.  Could it be that we may just find  the breath of God’s Spirit in this wind?  To many Catholics and Protestants and even a few of those outside of the traditional faithful, the arrival of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Latin America as bishop of Rome counts at least as a breath of fresh air and quite possibly as the renewing wind of the Spirit of God on the church of Jesus.  After all, Pope Francis has forgone many of the more ornate trappings of his new office to live more simply and communicate more directly with the faithful and the world.  He focuses more directly on grace and love and justice than on the more controversial topics of sexuality.  To this end he has upset Rush Limbaugh with his economics and startled the mainstream press as he becomes Time’s Person of the Year.  He has stirred up the faithful outside of his Catholic flock as well—-even Sojourners magazine has given him an iconic cover as the joyous Pope Francis waves  with a bird perhaps representing the Spirit hovering close by.  However, as the continuing presence of the saint of Assisi witnesses, it is not the first time that a wind of the Spirit has come through troubled lands.

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CCDA 2014

Are you going to the CCDA 2014 Conference next week?

We will be there and will be running the main conference bookstore, as we have for the past 4 years.  Please do stop by and say hello!

Here are seven new books that we will be featuring in the bookstore!
(All of these books have been released in the last year…)

Most of these authors will also be speaking at the conference. Be sure to attend their sessions.

John Perkins | Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Lisa Sharon Harper
  | Leroy Barber
Chanequa Walker-Barnes | Slow Church | Eugene Cho

John Perkins

Mobilizing for the Common Good: The Lived Theology of John M. Perkins
(U of Mississippi Press, 2013)


NEXT (Wilson-Hartgrove) >>>>>>

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George MacDonald

This is the latest post in a series that will, in effect, create a library of classics that are available as free ebooks.
Check out the full library to date here….

This week we focus on the works of Scottish writer George MacDonald, whose work influenced C.S. Lewis and others. We have selected the following books as recommended reading.


We are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books.

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Bishops on the Border“You Welcomed Me”

A Brief Review of

Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Responses to Immigration
Mark Adams, Minerva Carcano, Gerald Kicanas, Kirk Smith, and Stephen Talmage

Paperback: Morehouse Publishing, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Gil Stafford


Living in Arizona, immigration and border issues confront the average citizen almost every day. The news and political advertisements remind everyone living here that Arizona is a border state held hostage by volatile polar opinions. Even the church cannot avoid the controversy. Parishioners stand firmly in their opinions on both sides of the aisle. Any pastor who dares takes sides will suffer the wrath of one or more passionate parishioners. As with any political issue, religious people have their own personal opinions, some formulated by scripture, others by popular media, and a few by personal experience. However, there are few issues, if any, in Arizona that can inflame more people quicker. Arizona’s Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith wrote, “I have received far more hate mail (and to be fair also many complimentary letters) for positions I have taken on immigration than on any other actions that I have ever taken as a bishop. I know that my coauthors have also experienced verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence.”

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George MacDonald

This week marked the anniversary of the death of George MacDonald, a noted Scottish novelist of the 19th century, whose work influenced C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden and others.

MacDonald was also a poet.  Here are three excellent poems from his collection A Hidden Life and Other Poems.
(This book is available as a FREE ebook for Kindle and other devices…)
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It is not systematic education which somehow molds society, but, on the contrary, society which, according to its particular structure, shapes education in relation to the ends and interests of those who control the power in that society.
- Paulo Freire,
who was born on this date, 1921

Poem of the Day:
Late September
Amy Lowell

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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
The Last Gentleman: A Novel
by Walker Percy
ONLY 1.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – September 19, 2014

Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.”
- George MacDonald,
who died on this date, 1905
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Poem of the Day:
George Macdonald

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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women
by George Macdonald
**FREE**!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – September 18, 2014

The fire has its flame and praises God.
The wind blows the flame and praises God.
In the voice we hear the word which praises God.
And the word, when heard, praises God.
So all of creation is a song of praise to God.”
- Hildegard of Bingen
Today is the feast of St. Hildegard

Poem of the Day:
The Desolate Field
William Carlos Williams,
who was born on this day, 1883
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*** This poem is one of three poems by Williams that we featured here
Read our review of The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford
By Wendell Berry


Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
by Rachel Held Evans
ONLY $3.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – September 17, 2014

The Kingdom of God is not in the wisdom of the world, nor in eloquence, but in the faith of the cross and in the virtue of dialogue.
- St. Cyprian
Today is the feast of St. Cyprian.

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Poem of the Day:
The Author to Her Book
by Anne Bradstreet,
who died on this day, 1672
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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Fifteen Poems
by Leonard Cohen
ONLY $1.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – September 16, 2014

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…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

New Book Releases > > > >
Next Book

The Sacred Year: Mapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice — How Contemplating Apples, Living in a Cave, and Befriending a Dying Woman Revived My Life

by Michael Yankoski

Read an excerpt of this book here

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