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David Crumm David Crumm is the editor of the online faith and spirituality blog,

David Crumm

David Crumm is a journalist and publisher specializing in religion and cultural diversity. For more than 30 years, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. In 2007, David left newspapers and co-founded a collection of online magazines covering religion, values and global culture. ReadTheSpirit also has published more than a dozen books on related topics and consults with groups nationwide that want to encourage cultural diversity in their communities. 

Latest Content by David Crumm

Other Recent Content by David Crumm Article

July 22, 2017

David Crumm: Master translator Willis Barnstone unveils ‘Poets of the Bible’

Enter the master translator Willis Barnstone, now 89 (and we may all pray for his good health to continue his work for many more years). Granted, he’s not a household name among American readers like J.K. Rowling or John Grisham, but the world’s literary treasures are grander and richer because of Barnstone’s work over many decades. Article

June 14, 2017

David Crumm: ‘Changing Our Mind’ and finding the courage to stand with vulnerable minorities

A June 1, 2017, report in The New York Times on the 'Scope of Hate' explored the collective impact of nearly 2,000 incidents of hate and bias in the U.S. in recent months. The next day, the Times reported again on the rise of roving groups of angry right-wing protesters that 'recruit battalions of mainly young white men for one-off confrontations.' While much of this fury swirls around President Trump’s actions toward Muslim and Latino minorities, millions of LGBTQ allies are on alert as well. Article

May 24, 2017

David Crumm: ‘Never Long Enough’ helps families honor loved ones’ lives

This year, the CDC reports that more than 2.6 million men, women and children will die in the U.S.—leaving tens of millions of family members grieving the loss. Year after year, this is a sad truth about life in America that most of us tend to overlook. Article

May 10, 2017

David Crumm: Barbara Mahany on ‘Motherprayer: Lessons in Loving’

This is a memoir spanning many years of maternal experiences by Barbara Mahany, perhaps best known from her earlier life as a beloved Chicago Tribune columnist. Even if you don’t live in the Chicago area, you may have enjoyed her columns via wire services or the Internet. Article

April 07, 2017

David Crumm: Diana Butler Bass asks, ‘What if we’ve got the story wrong?’

What if we’ve been getting the story wrong? That’s the most provocative question historian, author and educator Diana Butler Bass asked a crowd at the First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, across the street from the University of Michigan’s main campus. Article

March 22, 2017

David Crumm: Greg Garrett on Crossing Myself: A spiritual pilgrimage through chronic depression

Depression affects millions of men and women each year. While it is a psychiatric disorder that needs treatment, as Greg Garrett points out in Crossing Myself, depression also can be intertwined with spiritual crisis. In addition to therapy and medication, recovery can often draw on religious disciplines—and the embrace of religious communities—in restoring one’s balance. Article

March 16, 2017

David Crumm: Dave Schmelzer on the revolutionary new Blue Ocean Faith

Five hundred years ago, Reformer Martin Luther nailed a manifesto for religious freedom on a church door in Germany and touched off a worldwide revolution in faith. In 2017, as we have reported, Germany is drawing pilgrims from around the world who are celebrating that anniversary. This is a timely moment for a new network of American men and women to follow Luther’s example—by publishing a manifesto calling for an end to barriers in religious life. That’s the hope of Dave Schmelzer and leaders in growing congregations from New England to southern California. Article

February 04, 2017

David Crumm: Rediscovering pioneering women in American religion: How much do you know?

To this day, the two largest religious denominations in the U.S. bar women from full ordination: the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention. But that stained-glass ceiling obscures a deeper truth: Women have always been the backbone of American religious life. Article

December 17, 2016

Kent Nerburn: Timely Voices from Indian Country

As an author, Kent Nerburn’s fingertips have been on the pulse of Indian country for three decades. Now, he has just published with New World Library, Voices in the Stone: Life Lessons in the Native Way. Article

November 23, 2016

David Crumm: Carrie Newcomer interview on ‘The Beautiful Not Yet’

Rising from the heart of our nation, central Indiana, comes the voice of Quaker singer-writer Carrie Newcomer in the form of a new album and a book of essays and poetry, collectively called: The Beautiful Not Yet. Article

November 22, 2016

David Crumm: America’s Father James Martin on saints, silliness and a serious need for civility

Father James Martin, SJ, is one of America’s most famous Catholic priests—known for such a hearty sense of humor that he wrote an entire book about holy mirth and appeared several times on The Colbert Report. But in late 2016, Martin is deadly serious about one thing: the need to restore civility and balance to our public discourse.
David Crumm Article

October 12, 2016

David Crumm: Glenn Wagner - God is alive and well and calling all of us

David Crumm

A startling Pew Research Center report arrives just as thousands of congregations nationwide are gearing up for the busy autumn season. Article

August 16, 2016

David Crumm: Get ‘Grounded,’ part 4: Can we see the forest for our trees? - Diana Butler Bass -

This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new “Grounded: Finding God in the World” and read along with us. For five weeks, David and Debbie will offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, David offers Part 4, looking at the sections of Diana’s book on Neighbors and Commons … Article

August 13, 2016

David Crumm: The Richard Beck interview on the need to recognize the Devil: “Reviving Old Scratch”

Not everyone has dismissed what Richard Beck describes as “Old Scratch” in his new book, Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted. Beck is not alone in talking seriously about Lucifer.
David Crumm Article

August 02, 2016

David Crumm: Get ‘Grounded’ this summer, Part 2: Dirt, Water and Sky

David Crumm

This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new Grounded: Finding God in the World and read along with us. For five weeks, David and Debbie will offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 2, looking at the sections of Diana’s book on Dirt, Water and Sky...

David Crumm Article

July 26, 2016

David Crumm: Get ‘Grounded’ this summer for spiritual renewal

David Crumm

This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new Grounded: Finding God in the World and read along with us. For five weeks, David and Debbie will offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. Here is Part 1 …

David Crumm Article

July 24, 2016

David Crumm: Share Your House of Worship with the World

David Crumm

Can you find your house of worship in Wikimedia Commons? If not, you could upload one or more photos and make your community more notable to the rest of the world. Article

July 15, 2016

David Crumm: The Peter Enns interview on ‘The Sin of Certainty’

Peter Enns is content, much like the late Marcus Borg, in affirming the value of Christianity—while focusing on changing traditionalist concepts about how to read the Bible within the church. Article

June 21, 2016

David Crumm: Dr. David Gushee: Why ‘none of us can walk away.’

After the Orlando shootings, Gushee says, he feels compelled to remind Americans that people of faith bear a collective responsibility to speak out—because religious traditions themselves are at the core of anti-LGBT attitudes. Article

June 02, 2016

David Crumm: Ken Wilson adds a P.S. to his influential ‘Letter’ on LGBT inclusion

'Third way'—the phrase is buzzing through religious groups where members are searching desperately for some graceful and faithful way to welcome gay and lesbian members after a long history of condemning them. The Rev. Ken Wilson is widely regarded as the man who turned the 'third way' idea into a national movement. Article

April 29, 2016

David Crumm: Retired bishop John Spong on rediscovering Matthew’s Jewish roots

Spring is the perfect season to explore John Shelby Spong’s new book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. First, look past the book’s title—those words are a publisher’s way of reminding readers of the controversy retired Bishop 'Jack' Spong has sparked throughout most of his career. Yes, this new book is a provocative re-interpretation of gospel stories and some Christians will disagree with Spong, as usual. But, there’s so much more than mere 'controversy' in this book! Article

April 07, 2016

David Crumm: The Bart Ehrman interview on ‘Jesus Before the Gospels’

Our memories of our greatest heroes change all the time. Whether Jesus as divine has ever changed is a question for Christian theologians. But the truth is—our human memory of Jesus has changed a lot through the last 2,000 years. Article

February 17, 2016

David Crumm: Diana Butler Bass on ‘Grounded: Finding God in the World’

If you are familiar with Bass’s long and distinguished career as a historian, then you know that she has been a specialist in the history of Christianity and has adapted those insights into consulting with congregations. Compared with her past volumes, this book unfolds in a powerful new blend of prose and personal reflection. She moves seamlessly from scholarly observation—to active participation in finding spiritual awakenings in everyday life. Article

February 09, 2016

David Crumm: Journey through Lent with inspiring guide James Martin SJ

After publishing many very popular, longer-format inspirational books, James Martin is publishing a short, small volume for Lent 2016: Seven Last Words—An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus. Article

December 15, 2015

David Crumm: 10 years in research, 2,000-page ‘Study Quran’ is a religious milestone

For years, millions of Christians have opened their thick “study Bibles” for personal inspiration and for discussion in the millions of Sunday School classes and small Bible-study groups nationwide. Now, an equally substantial Muslim volume, The Study Quran, joins the groaning shelves of “study Bibles” as a resource for Muslims—and for Christians who want to learn more about this closely related sister faith. Article

November 28, 2015

David Crumm: Debut of ‘Jesus Christ, Movie Star’ by Edward McNulty

ONLY ONE FIGURE rivals Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as the longest-running characters in world cinema. As veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty points out in his new book, that unique, history-spanning figure is Jesus Christ, Movie Star. Article

November 17, 2015

David Crumm: Interview with Bill Tammeus: Can Jesus bring Catholics and Protestants together?

The joke in this new book’s title is funny. But, the point of the book is earnestly serious: This is a historic moment when Pope Francis and Protestant leaders might finally complete the mission of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s and link hands as Christians. The new book says: If our leaders aren’t ready to do that, then we as ordinary men and women can start the process of making friends across the great divide of the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago. Article

November 07, 2015

David Crumm: Peacemaker Daniel Buttry publishes his best inspirational true stories

Dan sometimes describes himself as a 'peace warrior.' One meaning of that phrase is Dan’s ongoing struggle with perceptions of global threats and violence from Hollywood, TV networks, newspapers and magazines. He’s not a media basher, but he says, 'So much of what we see and hear and read, these days, is governed by fear and is trying to set people up in adversarial situations.' Article

October 16, 2015

David Crumm: How ‘Changing Our Mind’ changed thousands of lives, starting with the author

One year ago, Dr. David Gushee’s life changed—and so did thousands of lives he began to touch all around the world with the publication of his startling book Changing Our Mind. Article

October 09, 2015

David Crumm: New book from Iona’s Wild Goose invites us to recommit: ‘We Will Seek Peace’

Announcing an important new book, We Will SEEK PEACE and Pursue It, edited by Iona’s Neil Paynter and featuring contributions from authors around the world, including our own Benjamin Pratt. Article

June 24, 2015

David Crumm: Best quotes from the Pope Francis environmental encyclical

An encyclical is the highest level of teaching any pope can hope to issue from his own pen. It’s a book—in this case more than 180 pages. Today we are publishing some highlights of this enormous letter to the world—with the hope that Pope Francis’s spirit will touch you and encourage further dialogue. Article

May 23, 2015

David Crumm: The Martha Spong interview about her book and RevGalBlogPals

What’s so delightful about Martha Spong’s new book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, is that she lets a little girl make the case in the book’s opening chapter written by the Rev. Ruth Everhart. Indignant at the injustice of her family’s church leadership refusing to ordain her mother—or any woman—young Hannah Everhart declared to her mother: "Even a first grader knows you’re a good minister. Stupid-heads!" Article

May 10, 2015

David Crumm: The Eileen Flanagan interview about her memoir ‘Renewable’

An early sign of spring’s renewing power is the rise of common violets, pushing heart-shaped green leaves through even the thickest thatch of winter-mottled lawns and fields. And just in time for spring, Quaker writer and activist Eileen Flanagan sends us all Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope. Article

April 22, 2015

David Crumm: The Adam Hamilton interview on ‘Revival’ of John Wesley

Much like today, the mid 1700s was 'a perfect seedbed for the revival in which [John] Wesley would play so prominent a part,' Hamilton writes in his new book, Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It. Wesley’s life parallels many religious trends today... Article

April 10, 2015

David Crumm: Best-selling author Rachel Held Evans on ‘Searching for Sunday’

A new book by best-selling author Rachel Held Evans is a clarion call to Christians to reclaim the great treasures within their tradition. In our new interview with Rachel, she says that too many “Christians” seem to have forgotten about the core of their faith, especially those conservatives pushing for legalized bias against LGBT men and women. The truth is: Christianity is a spiritual treasure trove, if only Christians would remember and reclaim the best of their tradition. Rachel’s interview is both provocative and filled with hope! Article

April 02, 2015

David Crumm: The Bob Alper interview: ‘Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This’

Every day in America, someone chuckles at Bob Alper. Sometimes, hundreds laugh at him. On purpose. Alper is the world’s only practicing rabbi who also is a full-time standup comedian. Alper also is a wise teacher, a sought-after rabbi, and this is the time of the year when the vast majority of Americans—millions of Christians and Jews—are marking treasured holidays. Article

March 22, 2015

David Crumm: The Ragan Sutterfield interview on ‘This Is My Body’

ASHAMED of your body? Overweight? (Millions of us are.) Not attractive? Not athletic? Addicted to chocolate or cigarettes or worse? Are you wondering: Who could love such a body—including you yourself? If so—then here’s good news. Ragan Sutterfield has written a book just for us: This Is My Body—From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith. Article

March 20, 2015

David Crumm: The Doug Pagitt interview: Why do we need to be ‘Flipped’?

Doug Pagitt's new book is called 'Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God.' In 200 pages, Pagitt lays out his vision of a religious community that focuses far more on the way God unites us—than on our own individual claims about the little pieces of God we may own.
David Crumm Article

March 06, 2015

David Crumm: The Benjamin Pratt interview on ‘Short Stuff from a Tall Guy’

David Crumm

"You hold in your hands a human heart," writes Day1 radio host Peter Wallace in the preface to Benjamin Pratt’s new book, Short Stuff from a Tall Guy: Wisdom Gleaned from Life’s Daily Journey. "It is the heart of a minister. A caregiver. A storyteller. It is the heart of a fellow sojourner on the path to a richer, fuller, more meaningful life." Article

March 01, 2015

David Crumm: The Greg Garrett Interview on our love of angels and demons

An intrepid explorer of the connections between popular culture and the spiritual realms invites us to travel with him as Dante did with his guide Virgil 700 years ago into Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso—a classic tale that we know as The Divine Comedy. Our guide is Greg Garrett, a noted scholar at Baylor University and author of 20 previous books. He calls his book, Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination. Article

February 24, 2015

David Crumm: The Barbara Mahany interview on ‘Slowing Time’

After decades of writing for the Chicago Tribune, Barbara Mahany now is sharing her wonderfully engaging insights with the rest of us in Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door. As we have often found, veteran journalists understand their relationship with readers and have polish their craft until their writing feels like a conversation with a good friend. Article

February 01, 2015

David Crumm: Ellen and Jane Knuth talk about ‘Love Will Steer Me True’

Whatever we thought our relationships were as we first nurtured them as children, they might someday surprise us in wondrous ways. That’s the magic of 'Love Will Steer Me True,' which Jane and Ellen Knuth have subtitled, 'A Mother and Daughter’s Conversations on Life, Love and God.' Article

January 27, 2015

David Crumm: Remembering Bible scholar Marcus Borg (1942-2015)'s David Crumm writes a personal reflection on the death of America’s sometimes beloved (and sometimes controversial) Bible scholar, Marcus Borg.
David Crumm Article

January 09, 2015

David Crumm: Rob Bell and Kristen Bell bring ‘The ZimZum of Love’

David Crumm

ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm interviewed Rob and Kristen Bell about their new book on marriage, The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage. Article

January 07, 2015

David Crumm Interviews Amy-Jill Levine: Rediscovering Jesus

From childhood, Christians grow up hearing the parables (the stories told by Jesus) so frequently that mentioning 'the Good Samaritan' or 'the Prodigal Son' is more likely to prompt a yawn than an inspiring reflection. But today, we promise you this: If you read this new book about Jesus’s parables, you will close the back cover with far more questions than you dreamed possible. Article

November 11, 2014

David Crumm: The David Gushee Interview on ‘Changing Our Mind’

News already is spreading that America’s leading evangelical Christian ethicist, Dr. David P. Gushee, has reversed his traditional opposition to LGBT relationships in a landmark book called, 'Changing Our Mind.' editor David Crumm interviewed Dr. Gushee about his new book. Article

September 26, 2014

David Crumm: The Marcia Falk interview on ‘The Days Between’

Whatever your faith and whatever the season, Marcia Falk has blessings, poems and spiritual guidance to help you through a time of reflection and renewal. Her new book is called 'The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season.' It's a series of reflections, readings, blessings and prayers appropriate to each day from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. But this book also is full of timeless spiritual wisdom. Article

September 16, 2014

David Crumm: Phyllis Tickle interview: How The Spirit is transforming religious life

Journalist and scholar Phyllis Tickle has written a fascinating history of how Christians have come to understand the movement of God’s Holy Spirit. Her new book (written with Jon M. Sweeney) is called 'The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church.' Article

September 09, 2014

David Crumm: The Naomi Schaefer Riley interview on growing your congregation

Anxious Christians, watching young adults slip away from congregations by the millions, have built an entire industry around “church growth.” So, this new book by journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley is both eagerly awaited news—and a startling surprise. What's the big surprise in 'Got Religion? How Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues Can Bring Young People Back'? Riley's extensive research, backed by the Templeton Press, shows that the advice hawked by a lot of would-be church-growth experts simply isn’t worth the money. Article

September 07, 2014

David Crumm: The Matthew Fox interview on Meister Eckhart and connecting peacemakers

Wake up your spiritual life with best-selling author, theologian and educator Matthew Fox. In his newest book, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, Fox inspires us by connecting dots between the medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart—and the lives of visionary men and women in our times who we, at ReadTheSpirit, would call Interfaith Peacemakers. Article

August 21, 2014

David Crumm: The Bud Heckman interview on building interfaith relationships

BUD HECKMAN is an interfaith Frank Lloyd Wright. This pastor, scholar and author is a global architect designing the structures we all will need—if we are to transform religious conflict into interfaith cooperation that can benefit communities worldwide. You may be meeting him for the first time because the majority of Heckman’s work takes place behind the scenes. Article

August 12, 2014

David Crumm: The Kurt Kolka interview on ‘Bullying Is No Laughing Matter’

Millions of American children are heading back to school—and many of them are dreading that first day, wondering: Will I be bullied? Do you know one of these kids? Be honest: Were you once one of these kids?
Charles Marsh Article

August 10, 2014

David Crumm: The Charles Marsh interview on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and ‘Strange Glory’

Dr. Charles Marsh

ReadTheSpirit online magazine recommends Charles Marsh’s new biography, 'Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer' published by Knopf. Marsh compellingly tells the story of Bonhoeffer’s deep Christian faith, but he also more clearly describes Bonhoeffer’s life-changing experiences while studying for a year in the U.S. Article

August 05, 2014

David Crumm interviews Matthew Vines on 'God and the Gay Christian'

Think of Matthew Vines as a young Gen. George S. Patton. At 24, Matthew Vines is organizing a tough, smart, highly trained force of young evangelicals who are prepared to go toe-to-toe with traditionalist Christians on the issue of whether the Bible allows LGBT inclusion. Article

July 22, 2014

David Crumm interviews Dr. Robert Wicks on Restoring Perspective

Psychologist Dr. Robert J. Wicks is known around the world for helping to restore lives traumatized by such conflicts. He has served in the wake of massive tragedies, such as conflicts that swept across Rwanda and Cambodia. He regularly helps aid workers, medical professionals as well as men and women serving in the U.S. military. Article

July 08, 2014

David Crumm Interviews Brian McLaren on 'We Make the Road by Walking'

While a year-long Bible study may seem like a heavy-duty return to Brian McLaren’s evangelical roots, readers quickly discover that he remains steadfastly committed to his original message all those years ago: The Christian journey is always about change. Article

June 20, 2014

David Crumm Interviews Marcus Borg on His New Book, "Convictions"

Marcus Borg is back with a new book that feels like a follow up to 'The Heart of Christianity.' It’s called 'Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most' and, in this case, although the book rests on Marcus’s considerable scholarship, this book mainly explores the roles of 'experience and memory' in our spiritual journeys. Article

June 17, 2014

David Crumm: The Carrie Newcomer interview on ‘A Permeable Life’

Restless this summer? Eager to roam? Hoping to discover something that will energize and motivate you all year long? Then, don’t wait: Get Carrie Newcomer’s latest collection, A Permeable Life, and start singing along. Here is my interview with her. Article

June 03, 2014

David Crumm: The James Martin SJ inteview on ‘Jesus: A Pilgrimage’ to Jerusalem

That idea of Jerusalem as a life-changing destination runs through the popular Jesuit author James Martin’s latest book, 'Jesus: A Pilgrimage.' Read our interview with Father Martin. Article

May 30, 2014

David Crumm Interviews Bart Ehrman on "How Jesus Became God"

In his new book, "How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee," Bart Ehrman asks provocative questions--the fresh approach that has made him a best-selling author.
David Crumm Article

May 10, 2014

David Crumm: Interview with Barbara Brown Taylor on ‘Learning to Walk in the Dark’

David Crumm

But when a new Barbara Brown Taylor book arrives, this is an occasion for individual reading, small group discussion, quoting from Barbara in Sunday sermons and homilies. And for the editors at TIME: It’s a national news event.
David Crumm Article

April 29, 2014

David Crumm: The Adam Hamilton interview on ‘Making Sense of the Bible’ while growing the church

David Crumm

Adam Hamilton wants to help congregations grow. Within his United Methodist denomination, he already has proven himself a master of church growth. Now, he is breaking out to a wider audience in his first book for HarperOne. And he wants to show congregations nationwide how to fuel revival and outreach—by starting with the Bible.
David Crumm Article

April 19, 2014

David Crumm: 4 Things You Need to Know about Kay Lindahl

David Crumm

If you take 1 thing away from this profile of Kay Lindahl, it should be this: She’s the woman behind The Sacred Art of Listening. As Editor of ReadTheSpirit, a well-thumbed copy of Kay’s book has been a part of my own collection of essential reading for more than a decade.
David Crumm Article

December 21, 2013

David Crumm: The Brennan Manning Interview with Greg Garrett

David Crumm

BRENNAN MANNING is the reason we’re talking with Greg Garrett this week. Since ReadTheSpirit online magazine was founded in 2007, Greg Garrett has been a frequent guest. But, The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story is unique among Greg’s long list of titles. In the months before Brennan Manning’s death on April 27, 2013, Greg collaborated with Brennan to fulfill a final wish: to write a novel embodying Brennan’s central theme about Grace.
David Crumm Article

December 10, 2013

David Crumm: The N.T. Wright interview on the inspiration of Paul and Psalms

David Crumm

N.T. Wright is writing like a man on a mission, now that he has left his role as bishop to devote his remaining years to producing books that he hopes will inspire individuals and strengthen congregations. At the moment, he is publishing his longest book (1,700 pages bound into two volumes weighing in at 5 pounds) and one of his smallest books (a mere 200 pages, less than 10 ounces and small enough to tuck into a coat pocket).
David Crumm Article

November 16, 2013

David Crumm: The Jane Wells interview: How a Hunger Games Bible study can fire up your congregation—and help others

David Crumm

In Jane Wells’ new book—a Bible study for congregations, called Bird on Fire—Jane explains why The Hunger Games is such a hit with readers and moviegoers. Themes in this series of novels and movies tap deep into biblical history, including the lives of Esther, Gideon and David. The main symbols in Hunger Games echo powerful images established hundreds of years ago when mainline congregations first were sweeping across the American landscape.
David Crumm Article

October 31, 2013

David Crumm: C.S. Lewis interview with HarperOne Publisher Mark Tauber

David Crumm

ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm interviewed Senior Vice President and Publisher of HarperOne Mark Tauber about all of this news—and C.S. Lewis’s enduring popularity. Article

October 09, 2013

David Crumm: The Shirley Showalter interview: So much beneath this bonnet!

Every American knows something about the Amish. However, few Americans know much about the Mennonites, a major branch of the centuries-old Anabaptist movement that today is known for its courage and generosity in peacemaking and community building. 'Blush' is a welcoming doorway into that world—a world that Shirley Showalter herself still proudly represents. Article

September 19, 2013

David Crumm: The Sacred Art of Hospitality: Interview with Nanette Sawyer

Hospitality is all the rage in communities coast to coast this year, in part because we are approaching the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s declaration of a national Thanksgiving. But what is hospitality? Emily Post? Serving tea? A suite at a convention with mixed drinks? Where do we turn to rediscover the spiritual core of hospitality? Article

September 10, 2013

David Crumm: The Nadia Bolz-Weber interview on ‘Pastrix’ and spiritual treasures

Do not dismiss the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber and her book’s quirky title, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, when you encounter them this week. And, you will encounter her, most likely in multiple sightings. Nadia is debuting as a major Christian author, this week, thanks to Jericho Books—an imprint of the world’s second largest publisher, Hachette.
David Crumm Article

September 05, 2013

David Crumm: Seamus Heaney: Treasures of his life that we may have missed

David Crumm

Seamus Heaney’s death at age 74 leaves the world with one less spiritual hero in tangible form and a fresh new voice in the chorus of saints all around us. His voice is rising already in the current celebration of his life on front pages and TV broadcasts around the world. Rather than echo the familiar themes we see in news media, ReadTheSpirit is bringing readers some treasures from Heaney’s work that you may have overlooked.
David Crumm Article

August 14, 2013

Sorting Fact from Fiction: Martin Davis on Social Media for

David Crumm

TWO HEADLINES compelled us to help readers sort fact from fiction concerning the popular myth that church growth depends on widespread use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like). The myth of explosive growth is perpetuated, we both agree, by a new report in the online Christian Post, headlined: Top 5 Churches That Use Social Media Best. Some truths, we think, come from a second new headline out of the Pew Research Center. Here is our report …
David Crumm Article

June 28, 2013

David Crumm interviews Bishop Spong on the Gospel of John

David Crumm

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong certainly is one of the world’s best known religious leaders. Now, in his 24th book, Jack Spong tackles his namesake book in the Bible—hoping to guide his readers in thousands of congregations to a greater appreciation of this sacred text while avoiding its lethal dangers.
David Crumm Article

March 07, 2013

Ed McNulty on "The Bible" Miniseries -

David Crumm

THE BIBLE—As Seen on TV. Those six words capture what faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty describes as a “spectacular new series”—great for individual viewing and small-group discussion—if we watch with a bit of skepticism.
David Crumm Article

February 28, 2013

David Crumm Interviews Day1's Peter Wallace on His Book, The Passionate Jesus

David Crumm

For years, ReadTheSpirit has recommended both Peter’s work and the Day1 network. Currently, our websites share a popular columnist, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pratt. This mutual encouragement includes our recommendation of Peter’s newest book, The Passionate Jesus: What We Can Learn from Jesus about Love, Fear, Grief, Joy and Living Authentically.
David Crumm Article

February 15, 2013

David Crumm Presents Edward McNulty's Top 10 Spiritual Movies of 2012

David Crumm

Movies are a global language that speaks to the head, the heart—and the spirit. Today, faith-and-film author Edward McNulty shares his own list of Best Pictures—focusing on films with spiritual themes.
David Crumm Article

February 04, 2013

David Crumm Interviews Richard Rohr on His New Book 'Immortal Diamond'

David Crumm

RICHARD ROHR inspires you—even if you don’t recognize his name. From his base in the American Southwest, this Franciscan priest has become a master teacher of other famous teachers. Richard wants to reach ordinary men and women like you and me. Ask your friends to list writers who have moved them and you’re likely to hear Richard’s name.
David Crumm Article

January 28, 2013

David Crumm: New study shows forces driving church growth and loss

David Crumm

WHAT IS THE U.S. CONGREGATIONAL LIFE SURVEY? The largest and most representative profile of worshipers and their congregations ever developed in the U.S. Here's what it reveals.
David Crumm Article

January 21, 2013

David Crumm on Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural

David Crumm

No one expected that March 4, 1865, would become a memorable occasion for its inspiring vision of healing across a tragically wounded America.
David Crumm Article

December 17, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Henry Brinton on Church Hospitality

David Crumm

THIS WEEK, AS AMERICANS HEAD toward the biggest religious celebration of the year, we are featuring insights from columnist and author Henry G. Brinton on hospitality in churches.
David Crumm Article

December 14, 2012

David Crumm: Welcoming and Hospitality Are More Than Shaking Hands

David Crumm

The nation’s biggest religious celebration of the year is coming soon: Are you ready? More importantly for millions of American Christians: Is your chuch ready?
David Crumm Article

November 03, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Marcus Borg on His New Reorganized New Testament

David Crumm

Marcus Borg's newest book is unusual: It’s not so much a book about the Bible as it is an actual Bible as reorganized by Borg to present the New Testament books in the order that the ancient world first received them. Here's David Crumm's interview with the renowned scholar.
David Crumm Article

September 18, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Brian McLaren: Interfaith peace begins at home

David Crumm

In his 19th book, the prophetic evangelical author Brian McLaren is publishing his first interfaith book. As you will read in our interview, the best-selling writer argues that this new book is far from the typical appeal for interfaith understanding that other writers are producing these days.
David Crumm Article

July 04, 2012

David Crumm: 13 True American Stars We All Should Know

David Crumm

For July 4, we celebrate Americans who are devoting their lives to strengthening our communities in creative ways. CLICK THE LINKS in each of these 13 mini-profiles to read a wide range of creative, inspiring stories. Enjoy!
David Crumm Article

June 11, 2012

David Crumm: The Best of Ray Bradbury Remembrances

David Crumm

He expanded our dreams by expanding the possibilities in our own back yards. He was an artist as much as a technician and, wielding that great talent, he reminded us of the sacred value of the word. David Crumm assembles some of the best remembrances of his life and work.
David Crumm Article

May 20, 2012

David Crumm: Another Great Reason to Join a Congregation

David Crumm

Thanks to Times columnist Tom Friedman and famous Harvard scholar Michael Sandel, here’s a message that I know leaders in congregations will say: “That’ll preach!”
David Crumm Article

April 23, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Bart Ehrman on "Did Jesus Exist?"

David Crumm

Read the Spirit editor David Crumm reviews and interviews Bart Ehrman, the controversial Bible scholar who's written a compelling new book: "Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth."
David Crumm Article

April 15, 2012

David Crumm Interviews John Ramsey on Surviving Tragedy

David Crumm

Read the Spirit editor David Crumm interviews John Ramsey, father of Jon Benet and the author of the new book The Other Side of Suffering about his experiences in the aftermath of personal tragedy.
David Crumm Article

April 06, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Diana Butler Bass on Growing Healthier Churches

David Crumm editor David Crumm interviews noted author Diana Butler Bass on her new book "Christianity After Religion," and explores how to grow healthier churches.
David Crumm Article

April 03, 2012

David Crumm Interviews N.T. Wright on "How God Became King"

David Crumm

David Crumm of interviews the popular Bible scholar N.T. “Tom” Wright on his latest book, "How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels." Tom himself refers to the message of this book as “explosive.”
David Crumm Article

March 27, 2012

David Crumm Interviews John Dominic Crossan on the Power of Parable

David Crumm's David Crumm interviews noted biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan on his new book, "The Power of Parable."
David Crumm Article

March 20, 2012

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Shapes Peacemakers

David Crumm

The Bible is full of violence from bloody battles in the opening books of the Bible through Jesus’ own death at the hands of the Roman empire, yet former President Jimmy Carter opens this book and finds great insight shaping his own worldwide work as a peacemaker. In the third and final part of our interview with Carter, David Crumm asks about these connections Carter sees in scripture.
David Crumm Article

March 18, 2012

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Inspire Caregivers

David Crumm

Jimmy Carter’s publication of his own Bible study reflections and prayers is a treasure trove of inspiration and wisdom about the challenges we face in the world today. One theme that runs through Carter’s writing is: caregiving. In Part 2 of our interview with the former president, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm asks about caregiving.
David Crumm Article

March 15, 2012

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Can Help Us Find Peace

David Crumm

President Jimmy Carter is releasing a new devotional edition of the Bible packed with hundreds of excerpts from his own writings about inspiring and challenging passages of scripture. David Crumm interviewed the former president last week--here is part one of their conversation.
David Crumm Article

February 28, 2012

David Crumm: Church Growth Is About More Than "The Marrieds"

David Crumm

Church leaders nationwide should consider a New York Times front-page report about unwed mothers a wakeup call to rethink so-called church-growth strategies.
David Crumm Article

January 31, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Hymnwriter John Bell

David Crumm

David Crumm, editor of, interviews John Bell, who is personally responsible for a long list of hymns and anthems sung in churches around the world, and is a popular teacher on Iona-Celtic-Christian approaches to prayer, worship and work with the world’s most needy communities.
David Crumm Article

January 22, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Bishop John Shelby Spong

David Crumm

In an interview with's David Crumm, controversial retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong discusses his new book, "Reclaiming the Bible for a Nonreligious World."
David Crumm Article

January 14, 2012

David Crumm Interviews Parker Palmer: Healing the Heart of Democracy

David Crumm

In 2012, Parker Palmer is using the considerable authority of his voice and pen to push us toward a whole new perspective on what we typically call “politics.” Instead of polling and political horse races, he is pushing us to focus on “the heart of democracy.” David Crumm interviews.
Bishop N. T. Wright Article

November 28, 2011

David Crumm Interviews N.T. Wright on "Simply Jesus"

Bishop N. T. Wright (other)

Former Bishop N.T. “Tom” Wright is a best-selling Bible scholar and one of the most popular figures to appear on ReadTheSpirit over the years. Today we recommended his two new books and also highlighte a special Christmas passage that Wright doesn’t want Bible readers to miss.
David Crumm Article

November 15, 2011

David Crumm interviews Sarah Arthur: A literary guide to prayer

David Crumm

David Crumm of interviews Sarah Arthur, author of "At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer."
The Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell Article

November 11, 2011

David Crumm: John Philip Newell's Prayer for Peace on 11-11-11

The Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell (other)

Here is the prayer John Philip Newell is sharing across the Internet, inviting like-minded men and women to pray in solidarity with this movement on 11-11-11.
David Crumm Article

November 04, 2011

David Crumm Interviews Benjamin Pratt: New Guide for Caregivers

David Crumm

Caregiver duties and responsibilities dragging you down? Keeping your spirit healthy begins with simple steps. David Crumm talks with Dr. Benjamin Pratt about his new guide for caregivers.
David Crumm Article

October 31, 2011

David Crumm Interviews Jana Riess: "Flunking Sainthood"

David Crumm

David Crumm interviews Jana Riess—the well-known journalist and author—who spent a year discovering and now is sharing the experience for the rest of us in a delightful new memoir "Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor."
David Crumm Article

September 24, 2011

David Crumm Interviews Paul Franklyn about the CEB

David Crumm editor David Crumm talks with Paul Franklyn about the new Bible translation pitched toward mainline Christians: The Contemporary English Bible (CEB).
David Crumm Article

September 18, 2011

David Crumm Interviews John Dominic Crosson on The Challenge of Jesus

David Crumm's David Crumm talks with theologian John Dominic Crosson about his new curriculum, "The Challenge of Jesus."
David Crumm Article

August 28, 2011

David Crumm: A Conversation with John Philip Newell

David Crumm

Journalist David Crumm of talks with author and Celtic spiritual leader John Philip Newell about his new book, "A New Harmony."
David Crumm Article

July 26, 2011

David Crumm: Norway Tragedy Is Grim News on Eve of Ramadan

David Crumm

Norway's worst armed attack since World War II is grim news in the week before Ramadan, which starts August 1 for more than 1 billion Muslims around the world.
David Crumm Article

July 16, 2011

David Crumm Interviews Marcus Borg on "Speaking Christian"

David Crumm

Marcus Borg’s latest book ranks with his earlier volumes, The Heart of Christianity and Embracing an Adult Faith, as inspirational efforts to renew and rebuild Christianity by healing long-standing wounds and welcoming millions of alienated men and women. David Crumm of interviews Borg.
David Crumm Article

June 16, 2011

David Crumm: Richard Rohr & Brian McLaren on Aging

David Crumm

In an unusual author interview today, we’re welcoming both Brian McLaren and Richard Rohr to talk with us about Richard’s new book, "Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life."
David Crumm Article

June 01, 2011

David Crumm Interview: Matthew Fox on "Christian Mystics"

David Crumm

Matthew Fox prefers to be called just “Matt”—perhaps because his full name in news media usually comes with “Provocative” or “Controversial” attached like it’s his first name. There is some truth to those labels: Matt doesn’t suffer fools lightly and throughout his career in preaching and teaching, his activism has stirred fiery reactions.
David Crumm Article

May 27, 2011

David Crumm: Malick's "Tree of Life" Is Award-Winning Film on Prayer

David Crumm

David Crumm, editor/reporter for, takes a unique position regarding the controversial new film by director Terence Malick: It's about prayer.