Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish

Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish

Reading for the Common Good How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish We have been created to live and work in community But all too often we see ourselves primarily as individuals and run the risk of working at cross purposes with the organizations we serve Living fait

  • Title: Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish
  • Author: C. Christopher Smith
  • ISBN: 9780830844494
  • Page: 224
  • Format: Paperback
  • We have been created to live and work in community But all too often we see ourselves primarily as individuals and run the risk of working at cross purposes with the organizations we serve Living faithfully in a neighborhood involves two interwoven threads learning and action In this book C Christopher Smith, coauthor of Slow Church, looks at the local church as an orWe have been created to live and work in community But all too often we see ourselves primarily as individuals and run the risk of working at cross purposes with the organizations we serve Living faithfully in a neighborhood involves two interwoven threads learning and action In this book C Christopher Smith, coauthor of Slow Church, looks at the local church as an organization in which both learning and action lie at the heart of its identity He explores the practice of reading and, in his words, how we can read together in ways that drive us deeper into action Smith continues, Church can no longer simply be an experience to be passively consumed rather, we are called into the participatory life of a community Reading is a vital practice for helping our churches navigate this shift Discover how books can help your churches and neighborhoods bring flourishing to the world.

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      Published :2019-05-02T06:45:27+00:00

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    Summary: Explores how the communal practice of reading in congregations fosters a learning community and shared social imagination the results in clearer congregational identity, sense of mission in one's setting, and wider engagement with the environment, economics, and political order.I came across the work of C. Christopher Smith a few years ago through an online version of The Englewood Review of Books. The online site has become one of my "go-to" places to learn about new releases and also [...]

     C. Christopher Smith is the editor of The Englewood Review of Books, an online and print journal  which  showcases valuable resources for the people of God. Another site Smith, curates is Thrifty Christian Reader, a website which catalogs quality sale books—mostly Kindle, mostly Christian—which explore culture, theology, sociology, justice, ecology, poetry and literature. His own books also promote the kind of thoughtful Christian engagement he highlights online. Notably, Slow Church [...]

    I am an avid reader, and I've always been an avid reader, as can be seen in the very fact that in elementary school I was a member of the Library Club! I've always preferred non-fiction to fiction, with history and then theology being at the top of the list. At any moment in time I have probably five to ten books in play, and my Kindle makes it even easier to access books. Books inform and form us. The open new worlds and new opportunities. When Gutenberg invited the printing press the world of [...]

    Reading normally seems like a pretty private affair, something one does late into the night after everyone else has finally fallen asleep, or in order to better pass the time on a train. While it’s not that hard to find people (rightly) arguing for the importance of thoughtful reading habits when it comes to becoming more deeply rooted theologically on a personal level, it seems more unusual to find it regarded as something with significant implications for community life.In his new book, Read [...]

    “In the age of fast food and fast culture, we are often inclined to speed along with the flow of traffic on the highway leading to the death and destruction of creation. Will we, through practices of reading and conversation, attempt to exit from this highway? Will we begin to crawl, perhaps even to take baby steps, along the path that leads to life and flourishing?” (Page 143)This book is internally-conflicting for me. Perhaps that’s the mark of a really good book, or perhaps that’s the [...]

    More a book about how vital conversation is for our flourishing, conversation with God, conversation with each other, and conversation with our communities. And conversation happens with books, over books, through books! It's great!"[The Church] is the possibility given to man to see in and through this world the 'world to come,' to see it and to live it in Christ. . . . A Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, finds Christ and rejoices in Him. And this joy transforms all his human plans a [...]

    Reading for the Common Good is a good book with good intentions: transform a church into a learning organization. Through personal stories the author highlights the power of a community that is united in a single pursuit of growing in knowledge. I wish I could be part of such a community. Wouldn't that be great, you and I meeting over coffee just to talk about the recent book we read, the lessons we learned and the challenges we're facing in implementing them?Well. That's exactly the reason the [...]

    Read my full review at jenniferneyhartPositives:-Well written-Some good ideas (I especially like the idea of the way books read us and form us.)-Great annotated bibliography at the end of the book. Negatives:-Seems a little thin on the question of how to get our church to be a reading church. (Though Chapter 9 attempts to address this question.)-The question the subtitle of the book sets itself up to answer is “How do books help our churches and neighborhoods flourish?” While Smith does set [...]

    This is an important and excellent book that invites the church to become communities of learning. I especially recommend this book to those who are pastors or leaders in their church communities. The book offered me both exciting theology and practical proposals for how to carry out its vision in my own community. A full review to come!

    Reading for the Common Good, as the subtitle suggests, is written in part for Christian churches. There is considerable focus on the reading of the Bible and on practices for disciplined reading of the Bible such as Lectio Divina. There is broader application to reading of just about any other form of literature, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Application is also made to reading in other types of community organizations beside churches.Reading for the Common Good is about more than j [...]

    Good, but a surprisingly small percentage of this was actually talking about reading, as most of us think of reading (i.e. books as opposed to technical manuals, legislation, etc.). A better title might have been 'Conversation for the Common Good' because books were a small means to an end to start conversations, and while I don't at ALL disagree with him that that would be the goal, I think anyone who picked up this book is likely already on board, so spending 100+ pages convincing of the WHY s [...]

    I can't quite decide whether a book whose purpose is to encourage reading that is also functionally a bibliography is a good thing or a bad thing. It is certainly helpful, in a metaliterary way: Smith opens up a wide variety of texts that would be invaluable for thinking about the imagination and reading as vibrant modes of Christian discipleship. Yet, all-too-often one gets the feeling that Smith is just a medium for those same other texts, that he hasn't relayed enough of his own life, his own [...]

    In Reading for the Common Good, C. Christopher Smith imparts a vision for the local impact that can come through deliberately reading together across a broad range of subjects and taking collective action from what learn for the good of our communities. Reading is more than an individual effort for our own enrichment. It is a way for us to join efforts toward the flourishing that God intends for the world. The book’s theme follows up well on what Smith and co-author John Pattison presented in [...]

    -Love the idea of sermon as Lectio DivinaCh. 2 Social Imaginary (Taylor) in our time becoming important as local challenges corporate. Novels change how we see ourselves in the story, possibly contributing to less violence (loc. 475).Book has great resources for reading on particular topics from science to mentorship.Reading for the Common Good is a unique and necessary book for our time. There are some decent books available on reading from a pastoral perspective, such as Plantinga’s “Readi [...]

    From the back cover: "Living faithfully in a neighborhood involves two interwoven threads: learning and action." C. Christopher Smith skillfully, thoughtfully addresses each of these threads. Reading for the Common Good challenges us to not simply be diligent, purposeful readers but to then put what we've learned into action for the betterment of our church and our communities. His commitment to reading (and writing) is evident and heartening. I believe that this sentence, found near the end of [...]

    In 2014 I read Humanities and Public Life edited by Peter Brooks. In that book the “ethics of reading” was a theme addressed from a variety of perspectives in a scholarly conference devoted to the humanities and public life. One key idea from that conference and the essays published from it had to do with the possibility of reading making people more humane people.I think that C Christopher Smith’s book Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods to Flourish [...]

    As a volunteer church librarian and book junkie, I didn’t need to be convinced, but I was eager to learn what more my fellow librarians and I could do to help our church and its neighborhood flourish. This book broadened my concept of reading and the importance of doing it in community, accompanied by conversation. Chris Smith (editor of Englewood Review of Books and co-author of Slow Church) addresses the value of slow reading, which he advocates not just for Bible study and the reading of [...]

    Chris Smith believes reading can be transformative, and as he shares the experiences of his church and community it becomes clear why. Reading is thinking, and thinking is best done when it leads to conversation in community. Done in prayer and community, slow careful reading can guide local churches in their calling to love God and neighbor and to live in biblical Shalom with God, our neighbors, and the world. What I appreciate about Reading for the Common Good is that it starts with careful re [...]

    Oh my goodness. Could Christopher Smith include any more of my favorite words in this title? I thoroughly enjoyed this read (much the same as I enjoyed Slow Church by the same author). As someone who has been encouraged by writer and theologian Eugene Peterson in the act of spiritual reading, I was reminded again to embrace this practice, and not for myself alone.In "Reading For the Common Good", Chris Smith encourages us to do the slow, thoughtful work of reading in community in order to grow i [...]

    Reading For The Common Good is a wealth of information and truth. As the churches get bigger and the world turns to 140 characters and 10 second sound bites we too often miss out on the richness that comes with the shared love of reading. Chris's love of books and everything involved with learning more comes through on every page. Scripture tells us that we should be continually learning as well as teaching and what better way to accomplish this around good books. Of course our time in the Word [...]

    Through language we are continually creating and refining reality.Excellent ideas on creating communities that live, work, support, and play well together. Beginning with decisions and discernment that influence the shaping of that community. Reading is influential collectively as members read and reflect according to their gifts, interests, and passions. Which increases understanding of the times and the placing of each community recognizing the impact of reading.Fascinating concept for this re [...]

    An important, easily-digestible read for all church audiences. Chris Smith makes a compelling case, so much so that I'm eager to restart a book club in my own church's setting. I only wish his to-read list at the end (along with several of the examples in the text) contained more works by female authors: but for the poetry and fiction recs at the end, he averaged 1 or 2 out of 15:(

    Beside the fact that it's well written, the premise that reading in community (especially in spiritual community) challenges, deepens, and binds us together in mission to the world around (and within) us is cogent and resonating. And we people of faith need to be reminded of the power of reading in community!

    I was so looking forward to reading this when I first heard about it. A book which tells of the importance of reading books particularly within a church context. Can't help feeling disappointed by it. Maybe it lacked something. Maybe I didn't get to grips with all that was addressed. Maybe I was on the wrong part of the journey to really appreciate it at this time.

    The premise of Smith's book is solid but his limited references and very close ties to both his own church and business left me wondering if his definition of communal reading would be feasible in broad situations. Sometimes I was confused about what he was really trying to say.

    I received a review copy of this book. In no way was a positive review required in exchange. You can find my review at. diningwithdonald/2017/01/

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