“The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.”
- Alexis de Tocqueville
who was born on this date, 1805
Poem of the Day:
(A song actually)
Skin by Bill Mallonee
About Vincent Van Gogh
who died on this date, 1890)

Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
(The Newbery Award Winning)
Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

Only $3.74!
*** Today is Creech’s birthday, she is 69.
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The Wake Up Call – July 29, 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

Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

by Richard Rohr

Read a review from Publishers Weekly

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Barbara CrookerEverything is Present


A Feature Review of

Gold: Poems (Poiema Poetry Series)
Barbara Crooker

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon


Reviewed by Kendra Juskus


In the Preface to Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth wrote that “the poet has “a disposition to be affected more than other men by absent things as if they were present.” In Barbara Crooker’s poetry, everything is present. In the poems of her latest collection, Gold, published by Cascade Books as part of the Poiema Poetry Series, the world is so irresistible that her speakers and characters eat it alive, smacking their lips.


This urge to savor everything has much to do with the intersection between Crooker’s chosen epigraph—Frost’s familiar “Nothing gold can stay”—and the loss of her mother: “We only have one mother,” she poignantly reminds us. But mothers aren’t the only precious metals in this book. Crooker’s speaker also scrambles to hold onto “blue afternoon[s]”; “a spigot of birdsong”;  “the long slow drip of honey and molasses”; “the hoots and calls of [her husband’s] breathing”; and “coffee in a mug, buttered toast, the same old sun returning.” However Crooker may live the present moment, her words inspire nothing less than a desire to be fully absorbed in the fleeting world.

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easter2014-coverThe new ERB print issue has been mailed recently and is beginning to be received by our subscribers…

(Yes, this issue is very late…)

Featuring an interviews with Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight Friesen authors of The New Parish, and Jon Sweeney, author of Inventing Hell, a review of the newly released translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien, an essay by poet Tania Runyan on one of her poems, the inaugural column by Rachel Marie Stone, and reviews of new books by Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor and MORE.

Click the cover image above to view a larger version.
*** NOT A SUBSCRIBER? The ERB Print Edition is the best source for book-related interviews and news for Christian readers!

CLICK HERE to subscribe:
$18.95 for 1 Year (4 issues) / $35 for 2 Years (8 issues)


Below you will find the ERB Table of Contents for this issue,
including sample articles for you to read in full!!!

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Nicholas WolterstorffHope for a New Creation

A review of

Journey Toward Justice: Personal Encounters in the Global South
Nicholas Wolterstorff

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2013
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Marilyn Matevia
Some of the clearest contemporary thinking and writing about the theory and practice of justice has come from Nicholas Wolterstorff.  A philosopher and Christian theologian, Wolterstorff’s standout previous books on the subject include Until Justice and Peace Embrace (1983), Justice: Rights and Wrongs (2010), and Justice in Love (2011).  In each of these, Wolterstorff combines careful theory-building with real-world applications and examples, and always with an undertone conveying the urgency and imperativeness of working for justice.
Journey Toward Justice displays these same characteristics, but weaves in an autobiographical thread.  The book was invited to launch a new series published by Baker Academic, “Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity,” in which North American Christian scholars reflect on how encounters in the global south have shaped or changed their thinking.  Wolterstorff acknowledges in the preface that he is uncomfortable with this format; he considers himself a philosopher who “deals in abstractions,” not a story-teller who deals in narratives.  But Nicholas Wolterstorff has always been very skilled at (and insistent about) connecting his so-called abstractions to concrete situations – that is, at uniting theory and praxis.  Indeed, he urges that other scholars develop this capacity as well (see the final chapter of Until Justice and Peace Embrace).
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Gerard Manley Hopkins

July 28 marks the birthday of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Reverend Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse. (Wikipedia).

The primary collection of Hopkins’s poems
is available as a FREE ebook:

Download now for Kindle  – OR- Various formats via Proj. Gutenberg


Here are 5 of my favorite of Hopkins’s poems:


God’s Grandeur

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Mark EckelTo Be a Thoughtful Learner

A review of

I Just Need Time to Think! Reflective Study as Christian Practice
Mark Eckel

Paperback: Westbow Press, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jennifer Burns Lewis
I’ve had my review copy of I Just Need Time to Think! on my desk for several weeks, and whenever anyone stops by, the vibrant cover catches the visitor’s eye. It is the title, though, that prompts a comment, every time.
“Oh! I need that book!”  “How is that book?  Is it useful? I really need time to think!”  Clearly Eckel has lighted upon a timely, pertinent topic that resonates with many. The cover of the book depicts young people, perhaps students, pensively examining notes or the horizon.  Dr. Mark Eckel is Professor of Leadership, Education and Discipleship at Capital Seminary and Graduate School.  Eckel’s reflections in this helpful book are gleaned from his vocation as a teacher, but they are relevant to anyone who feels overworked, overstimulated or, at the very least, out of the habit of taking time to reflect upon one’s life and decisions.

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“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.”
-Thomas a Kempis
who died on this date, 1471
Poems of the Day:
Three Poems
“The Autumnal Moon” / “Forbearance” / “Love, Hope and Patience in Education”
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
who died on this date, 1834

Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies
by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
Only $1.99!
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The Wake Up Call – July 25, 2014

Stanley Hauerwas

Today is the birthday of theologian Stanley Hauerwas!

Although I don’t always agree with him, Stanley Hauerwas’s work (and that of his many students, e.g., Phil Kenneson and others associated with The Ekklesia Project) has been absolutely vital to the Slow Church book that John Pattison and I co-wrote.

In honor of his birthday, I pick out 10 brief video clips of Hauerwas talking about key virtues and practices related to Slow Church. If you want to read one book by Stanley Hauerwas that is most compatible with Slow Church, I suggest Living Gently in a Violent World (co-written with Jean Vanier).

Several of these clips were made by Travis Reed of The Work of the People. Be sure to visit his website, check out other extraordinary videos he has created and contribute generously to his work!
*** Check out the full catalog of TWOTP’s Stanley Hauerwas videos

Enjoy these short videos with Stanley Hauerwas:

Prayer/Waiting | Presence | Church Growth Movement
Patience | Formation in the Church  | The Whole Church  | 
Hope is Presence | Engaging Evangelicals  | Community and Conflict

Prayer and Waiting:

“If prayer has taught me anything, it has taught me how to wait.”



NEXT (Presence) >>>>>>

Image Credit: From the cover to Hauerwas’s memoir Hannah’s Child… (Buy it now!)

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“We complain of the increased tempo of our lives, but our frenetic lives are just reflection of the economic system that we have created.”
-Stanley Hauerwas
Born on this date, 1940

*** Books by Stanley Hauerwas
Poem of the Day:
by Liberty Hyde Bailey
(Because every day is INTERdependence Day)
*** Our intro to Bailey’s life & work.

Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life
by Robert Webber

Only $2.51!
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The Wake Up Call – July 24, 2014