- File Size: 130 KB
- Print Length: 37 pages
- Publisher: Patheos Press (January 24, 2012)
- Publication Date: January 24, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0071EY8KG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#236,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #281 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > One hour (33-43 pages) > Religion & Spirituality
- #404 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Ministry & Evangelism > General
- #3324 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences
The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
We live in an age that demands immediate results, that has become increasingly segregated, not only along ethnic and linguistic lines, but also political and generational lines. The old homogeneous principle that Church Growth enthusiasts hailed as the key to success, has been successful, but I'm not sure that the results have been beneficial to society or the church. We also live in an age where civility in conversation is a rare commodity. I realize that civility has always been something difficult to attain and maintain, but it seems as if things have gotten out of hand, making fruitful conversation difficult at best. But, there is hope and there are models that can guide us, if we're willing to engage and be patient along the way.
Part of our problem is that in our embrace of democracy, which can mean the rule of the majority (or in some cases the tyranny of a noisy minority), we find it difficult to move toward consensus. There are faith communities that work on this model, but few try it - I've yet to really try it, but it's a model that is suggestive of possibilities. It is a model that is described and illustrated in a new e-book written by Chris Smith, editor of the Englewood Review of Books and a member of the Englewood Christian Church of Indianapolis, which is the focus of the book.
Before I comment further on this brief but insightful book, I need to reveal that I've been a regular contributor to the Englewood Review of Books, and Chris has reviewed my own books.Read more ›
This is where Chris' new e-book triumphs. Englewood commits to having a regular conversation about issues weighed down with tension, and they carry on through everything rough. He admits that it was not the easiest thing to do at the beginning. The section where he explains some of the reasoning behind this is excellent:
"What would have been a tense conversation anyway was amplified by the deep fragmentation of our recent history. Like so many Western churches, we had nurtured a culture of individualized faith. Thus, when we gathered the individuals of our church community for conversation, they brought with them not only a divergent array of theological, social, and political convictions, but also deep emotional attachment to these convictions. Additionally, we found ourselves part of a broader culture that was rapidly losing the capacity for conversation..."
All of these things and more made the conversation quite messy. Chris says that people yelled, walked out, and even left the church. All of the initial fears I had about meeting for dialogue were right there. They all happened to Englewood, and there's no way it was pleasant to participate in.
Yet they survived.Read more ›
In "The Virtue of Dialogue" (VOD) Chris Smith introduces the reader to a concise history of Englewood. Center to Englewood's commitment is communication. The long road of agreement, disagreement, and agreeing to disagree is sketched for the reader. Chris establishes the salient features of communication that come out of Englewood's experience. Inundated by the spirit of democracy, efficiency, consumerism, individualism, and power the American church often falls prey to a business model of "doing church."
One primary, overriding concern in VOD is church size. If folks don't know each other, how will they communicate? And if people do not live in the same place, how will they truly know each other? Fostering conversation encourages unity amid diversity. If Church history teaches us anything, we know that inclusivity comes only through exclusivity. Christ followers are commited to one universal: Jesus as The Way, The Truth, and The Life. All peoples are given invitation to salvation; no one is left out. The practice of Jesus' Grace is the gift of grace to each other.
Giving space to others by the practice of grace reaches far beyond a congregation. The city of Indianapolis is bettered by the presence and work of ECC through conversations in political, economic, and philanthropic venues.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chris is speaking at a meeting I am hosting and using this book as fodder for conversation. Although I am thoroughly, looking forward to his visit, I found myself capturing my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beth Scibienski
a great little book- worth reading for the last chapter alone. short and concise yet still surrounding itself in localised narrative.Published on December 22, 2013 by Ellis Barnsley
Had trouble relating to what the author was saying. Probably just me ... I must have missed the point. Wouldn't read it again.Published on March 29, 2012 by Naoma E. Mcclung
I purchased the book because the author is a cousin of my children and one of them told me about it. I found Christopher's book interesting and intriquing. Conversation. Read morePublished on March 22, 2012 by Novabelle
As a pastor of a congregation in a changing neighborhood, I would love to have a parishioner like C. Christopher Smith. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by Alexander Joyner
A substantial portion of the book is the telling of the story of Englewood Christian Church in Indiana, where Smith and his family are members. Read morePublished on February 28, 2012 by Rebecca H.
"The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities" by C. Christopher Smith
This is an e-book about how a church brought renewal to a... Read more
A short read, but plenty to digest. I appreciate how Smith doesn't so much try to 'sell' conversation or give a 'how-to', but instead tells us the story of Englewood and how their... Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by Mike Boos
"Come now, let us reason together" (Isa. 1:18) said the Lord. It's right there...in the Bible. Still we seem to be at a time in history, at least in our American context where this... Read morePublished on February 8, 2012 by George V. Hudgins III
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