Archives For *Conversations*


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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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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