Archives For *Conversations*


Next Tuesday willl see the release of Brené Brown’s latest book Rising Strong!

In honor of the occasion, we offer an introductory reading guide to Brown’s previous work to get you up to speed…
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Don’t miss our essay The Vulnerable Faith of Brené Brown
by Jamie Arpin-Ricci.

For the quickest immersion into Brown’s work, here are the videos of her immensely popular TED Talks:

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Becoming a Healing Community
An Interview with Jen Hatmaker

By C. Christopher Smith

ERB editor Chris Smith recently had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Jen Hatmaker about her new book, which arrives in bookstores next Tuesday:

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

Nelson Books, 2015. Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


ERB: I read your book last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was particularly intrigued by the central theme of grace. Why is the message of grace so important and so timely today? Why is it worth, as you say, fighting for?

JH: I just turned 41, and am likely halfway done with my life, more or less. What I see at this point is that everyone is doing their best. When I was in my twenties, I knew everything. I had all the right answers. Now I see that we are all trying hard. We are doing the best that we can. We are loving our people, and trying to use our gifts.
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With the release of Stanley Hauerwas’ newest book this week, we thought it would be a good time to offer an introductory guide to the work of “America’s Best Theologian” (TIME magazine, 2001).

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.

*** Don’t miss some of our favorite online Hauerwas videos


1) Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir


This late-in-life memoir is a great place to start as it offers a biographical context for understanding Hauerwas’s theology.




NEXT BOOK >>>>>>



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

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Learning to Tell Stories
An Interview with Walter Wangerin, Jr.

By Joe Krall

ERB intern Joe Krall recently had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Walter about his new memoir:

Everlasting is the Past

Rabbit Room Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

An extended version of this interview will appear in our Fall print issue.
(Are you a subscriber?)


ERB: You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction that has impacted many, many people. In Everlasting is the Past, you chose to tell three inter-connected stories – your story of doubt and finding faith, your story of call, and the story of Grace Lutheran Church. What motivated this memoir, and why did you structure the memoir as you did?

WWJ: Well, I suppose this is something I’ve thought about for a long time, especially the depression that I felt in graduate school, and then that whole episode with the sheep. It seemed to me, by now, a natural thing to present that story, and to make it a kind of a hinge, between what goes before it and the events that follow – parts two and three. But there was not a time when I suddenly said, “Oh! Let me write this.” I think it was always just somewhere in the back of my mind.

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CA Tim Otto-1

Becoming a Reconciled Community
An Interview with Tim Otto

By Joe Krall

Tim Otto’s book Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships was one of our Best Books of 2014.

ERB intern Joe Krall recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tim and talk about the significance of his book in the wake of the recent Supreme Court case upholding same-sex marriage.

Editor’s note: Oriented to Faith is one of our Books of the Month for August. Join us in our forums for conversation on the book, starting Sat. Aug 1…


ERB:  After last month’s Supreme Court Decision, we saw a lot of polarization, especially in the church. In your book, you call Christians to resist pulling away from each other. How can the church create space to not diverge?
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go-set-a-watchmanI’m Proud of You, Scout
How to Appreciate Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman

By Rachel Joy Watson


Editor’s note: Go Set A Watchman is one of our Books of the Month for August. Join us in our forums for conversation on the book, starting Sat. Aug 1…


Article, tweet and review after review have fixated on the literary world’s disenchantment with Atticus. That daydream of a lawyer. The ideal father. The man who fought for Tom Robinson when the rest of Maycomb would have liked to see him hanged. And along comes Go Set a Watchman, an unexpected sequel to our beloved To Kill a Mockingbird, to dash our perfect portrait of arguably the best character in literature.

And this is exactly what Lee’s “new” novel is about: disillusionment. Specifically, Scout’s disillusionment with Atticus; her epiphany that every person, regardless of their merits, is indeed human. Lee equated this realization with maturity. The following are a few ways to get the most out of Go Set a Watchman.


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Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola…

Ignatius of Loyola (c. October 23, 1491 – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. (via Wikipedia)

Struggling to know how to pray?
St. Ignatius offers three practical methods of praying.

Here’s an important passage adapted from his classic book The Spiritual Exercises

Download the full book as a FREE PDF ebook (via CCEL)


Three Methods of Prayer
St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Why Adults Can Read Whatever They Want
(Or, Why You Might Want to Read Children’s Books)

By Sarah Lyons



You may already be familiar with the (probably unnecessary amount of) controversy over whether adults should be allowed to read children’s literature. It’s not an uncommon topic today, considering the popularity of The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, and Harry Potter; adults and children alike are curious about whether these stories will be able to grab their attention and immerse them in another world.


And this is often exactly what happens. Novels for children and adults have a lot to offer and can serve as a perfect pick-me-up in the midst of real life. So, to add another voice to the debate, here are some reasons why you might actually want to read a children’s book this summer!

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For us at Englewood Christian Church, conversation has always gone hand-in-hand with reading.

The mission of The Englewood Review of Books has always been to promote the practices of reading and conversation as essential to the life of local churches. We are launching these forums as a conversational resource in the hope that the opportunity to talk with Christian readers around the globe will energize and assist you in the work of reading and face-to-face conversations about reading in your local church and neighborhood.


The forums will fully open for conversation on Wednesday July 29.

CLICK HERE to go to the Forum. Also there is now a link to the forum at the top of our site.
Until then, feel free to take a look, create a user account, and introduce yourself on the Introductions board.
We will begin our book-of-the-month conversations in August, with two books:

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How Calvin and Hobbes Taught Me How to Read,
or, 5 Reasons You Should Read with a Friend

By Joe Krall

At Wednesday night Bible study, I could count on two things: hearing the Scriptures taught, and reading Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat or Something Under the Bed is Drooling or some other volume from the Calvin and Hobbes canon.

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