Archives For *Conversations*


Wish you could be at the Wild Goose Festival?

(Or, just returned home and want to dive into a speaker’s work?)

Here are twelve essential recent / forthcoming books by authors speaking at Wild Goose:

(We hope these books stir conversations in the communities where you live!)


Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe


Erin Lane
(IVP Books)


Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation


Rev. William Barber
(Chalice Press)


Thomas Merton Peacemaker


John Dear
(Orbis Books)

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Earlier this year, we published a list of Top 50 Books to watch for in 2015. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the publishing industry, most publishers had not released their fall catalogs at that point, so the bulk of the books on that list came out during the first half of the year.

Here are 25 books that you should watch for that will be released in the second half of the year….

What new books are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2015?


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This year is the centenary of Brother Roger of Taizé…

Roger Schütz founded the Community of Taizé seventy-five years ago. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of his death.

Born in a Swiss Protestant family, Br. Roger felt drawn towards community life as a young man. At the onset of World War II, he sheltered Jewish and Christian refugees in the tiny French village of Taizé until forced out, returning in 1944 with other young men to start a common life. In 1949, seven committed to a “new monastic” life of celibacy and simplicity, and shortly thereafter Br. Roger wrote the Rule of Taizé to guide their community. [Read our review of The Rule of Taizé]

With brothers coming from both Catholic and Protestant traditions, Br. Roger intended Taizé as “a parable of community,” a vision of Christian reconciliation. He welcomed young people and was known as a man ready to listen to all who came to him. His message, if it can be put into words apart from his life, was simple: “Christ did not come to earth to create a new religion, but to offer to every human being a communion in God.”

Today, the Community of Taizé welcomes thousands of visitors each year from all countries and religious backgrounds. All work, pray, and sing with the brothers, who now number over a hundred.

In honor of his centenary, here are seven videos that help capture Br. Roger’s vision and give a glimpse of what life is like at Taizé.

Enjoy these short videos of Br. Roger and Taizé

(Compiled by Joe Krall, who went to Taizé three years ago and loves it still):
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Grace is Everywhere


A Reflection on

The Diary of a Country Priest
Georges Bernanos
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]


By Joe Krall

“Mine is a parish like all the rest. They are all alike. Those of today I mean.”


It’s risky to begin a novel that way – so humdrum, almost cynical, without delicacy or poetry. The Diary of a Country Priest is a novel submerged in ordinary life. One sees a nameless priest walking the muddy French roads through the village. One feels the squish of mud under his boots, the damp and drizzling rain. The priest is a young man, an introvert, not physically strong and not quite healthy. His parish is, in his own words, covered with “boredom” as with fine dust.


There is nothing attractive or enchanting about this village, this priest, or this novel. And that is precisely its glory. I can’t explain why, when I reread this book, I occasionally get tears in my eyes, or an ache in my chest. But hidden within the pages of this book is an overwhelming sense of the world as a gift.


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As many of you know, The ERB is produced by Englewood Christian Church in the Englewood Neighborhood on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.  It is one of the businesses that fall under the umbrella of Englewood Community Development Corporation (ECDC, a separate non-profit, but understood as a part of the church’s work).

I was delighted to wake up this morning and find that ECDC was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition!  Give the story a listen, as it gives a deeper look into our neighborhood, and the work of the church (via ECDC) in seeking the shalom (health/flourishing) of our neighborhood.  Excited to play a role in this transformative work!
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This Sunday, June 28, marks the birthday of John Wesley.

In honor of the occasion, we share this sermon, which has been very helpful for us at Englewood Christian Church.

We challenge you to consider the meaning of this sermon in the age of social media?  How do we avoid evil speaking in our online interactions?

The Cure of Evil-speaking
(Sermon 49)
John Wesley

“If thy brother shall sin against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he will not hear them, tell it to the Church. But if he does not hear the church, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican.”   [ Matt. 18:15–17 ]
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One of this week’s best new book releases


Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Justice
Adam Benforado

Hardback: Crown Books, 2015
Buy now:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Read an excerpt from this new book
(via Google Books)…


Listen to an NPR interview with the author:

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Yesterday was the birthday of Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. . .

Williams, who led the Anglican Communion as Archbishop from 2002 from 2002, is a poet and theologian, with a keen interest in literature and beauty. In his work, he interacts with everything from patristics to contemporary novels, from Teresa of Avila to C.S. Lewis. (Read our review of his book The Lion’s World: Into the Heart of Narnia.)

We reviewed Williams’ book, Meeting God in Mark, in our Lent 2015 print issue. Are you a subscriber?

In honor of his birthday, here are seven videos which begin to encompass Williams’s range and depth of thinking, from a short clip on what church is to a full dialogue with Richard Dawkins.


Enjoy these short videos with Rowan Williams
(Compiled by Joe Krall):

What is Church? | Why Read C.S. Lewis for Lent?
On Dostoevsky | On His Theological Development |
On Contemporary Theology
On the New Atheists | Dialogue with Richard Dawkins

What is Church?:

“Gratefulness becomes the beginning of the church’s life.”

NEXT (C.S. Lewis) >>>>>>

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Though the goal of most literature is to tell a good story, it is not always the only thing that the author sets out to do. Sometimes, what is equally important is innovation, a blending with the unusual to tease readers into a new way of thinking.

Here’s a list of favorite post-modern, experimental, or otherwise unconventional novels for your enjoyment.

Compiled by Sarah Lyons.


These are novels of unusual voice, whether they sport a first-person plural as the first two on the list, or are written, in some part or in their entirety, in the second person.

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We have two interns this summer that are helping with the work of the ERB, and we are pleased to introduce them to you here:

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