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Buy Now ReadTheSpirit is an online magazine and publishing house edited by David Crumm, a journalist for more than 40 years who has covered the impact of religion around the world.

DAVID CRUMM is the founding editor of ReadTheSpirit, an online magazine and publishing house. As a journalist for more than 40 years, David has covered the impact of religion around the world, including assignments in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Through ReadTheSpirit, David now works cooperatively with other journalists, authors and websites to promote high-quality coverage of religion and cross-cultural issues. For several years, ReadTheSpirit and the Day 1 website have been piloting fresh ideas for sharing quality content. Click here to add person body

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Judith Valente on ‘How to Live’: What St. Benedict’s 6th Century Text Can Teach Us About Our Communities Today


EDITOR'S NOTE-Judith Valente's new book, How to Live, is so timely that we invited her to write our Cover Story, this week, focusing in particular on wisdom from the 6th Century Rule of St. Benedict about leadership. In this column, she is drawing on just one of the nearly two dozen reflections in her new book. This is a terrific choice for holiday gift giving. You-or someone you love-may want to read a chapter a day for several weeks.

Read full article...

Other Recent Content by Article

September 28, 2018

David Crumm: C.S. Lewis Is Alive and Well! Why an Oxford-Cambridge Professor who Died 55 Years Ago Remains a Best-Selling Author

Clive Staples Lewis is back! HarperOne has just released two new C.S. Lewis books that fans of the prolific Christian author should regard as magical wardrobes—literary doorways that open into the world of Lewis’s creative mind and heart. Article

September 04, 2018

David Crumm: The Original ‘Outlaw Christian,’ Jacqueline Bussie Leaps from Despair to ‘Love Without Limits’

Based on the success of her first book, What Jacqueline Bussie did not realize is that her 'outlaw' idea was edgy and popular with her evangelical editors—until she revealed the next steps she wanted to take in her spiritual journey. In writing this new book, Bussie simply assumed that her editors would follow her lead in calling for loving relationships with actual 'outsiders'—including Muslim and LGBTQ friends. Article

August 27, 2018

David Crumm: Reviving Our Soulforce: Reesheda Graham-Washington and Shawn Casselberry Distill Dr. King’s Wisdom into Seven Pivots for Courageous Communities

“Soul force is where the Spirit of God and our human resilience meet. The Spirit doesn’t override our will, nor does it bypass our humanity. The Spirit works in concert and collaboration with our ingenuity gifts and grit,” Reesheda and Shawn write in the introduction to their new book, Soul Force: Seven Pivots toward Courage, Community and Change. Article

August 20, 2018

David Crumm: Solus Jesus: Emily Swan and Ken Wilson are following Jesus into a world where everyone feels safe

Just imagine: A world where everyone feels safe. Everyone is loved. That alone is an astonishing vision in this era when each morning’s front-page headlines chronicle yet another crushing confrontation between our nation’s leaders. And then imagine: In this world shaped by Jesus’s vision of compassion and justice, everyone is invited to explore God’s goodness—because everyone recognizes that a loving God continues to remains active in our world. Article

June 25, 2018

Ben Pratt: In this time of turbulence: How can we learn to talk to each other again?

Civility requires courage. In fact, that kind of courage may be the missing ingredient in our anger-drenched era of daily conflict. I was reminded of this truth by an old friend as we compared the conflicts we faced in the 1960s with the conflicts we face today. My friend is 61 now. I’m a good deal older. Article

May 30, 2018

David Crumm: Marianne Borg on Rediscovering Marcus Borg through ‘Days of Awe and Wonder’

To borrow a couple of Marcus’s own earlier titles, this newbook could have been appropriately titled: "Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time—Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary." Article

May 14, 2018

David Crumm: Matthew Kaemingk invites Christians and Muslims to envision a table as the core of healthy community

Humility is the first value trampled into the dust of America’s stormy political conflicts these days. So, we start our coverage of Christian ethicist Matthew Kaemingk’s thought-provoking new book by pointing out that Matthew identifies true humility as a foundation for healthy interfaith relationships. If you are among our readers interested in the promising new findings emerging in humility research—then this is a a book you need to add to your bookshelf. Article

May 07, 2018

David Crumm: David Finnegan-Hosey invites us to meet ‘Christ on the Psych Ward’

“Let me tell you a story.” Those are the first words in the Rev. David Finnegan-Hosey’s memoir, Christ on the Psych Ward, an inspiring book that should be read by anyone who cares about the future of congregational life in America. The personal narrative is David’s struggle to overcome his crisis with mental health. Along the way, he invites us to look at how churches can respond more appropriately to the millions of families facing these issues every year. Article

May 01, 2018

David Crumm interviews Diana Butler Bass: Diana Butler Bass: Why should we feel Grateful?

Nearly everyone feels grateful—or so we’re told in a national study by Pew researchers that Diana Butler Bass describes in the opening pages of her new book, 'Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks.' So, if you don’t feel grateful most of the time—do you find yourself feeling like a failure? Diana admits that’s how she feels sometimes—like 'a gratitude klutz.' Article

April 24, 2018

David Crumm: Rediscovering the Tree of World Religions with John Bellaimey

Meet John Bellaimey—a veteran educator at the prestigious Breck School, an independent preK-12 college preparatory school in Minnesota. Breck is known for producing more than its share of Merit Scholars and sending students to Ivy League schools. Bellaimey developed The Tree of World Religions to help students understand the religious foundations of our world’s diverse cultures and nations. Article

April 17, 2018

David Crumm: Jon Sweeney on the remarkable life of Phyllis Tickle

Jon Sweeney’s fascinating new biography of Phyllis devotes two pages to a list of her books, but admits to readers that this is 'not a complete bibliography.' If someone eventually lists all of her publications, including manuscripts she edited plus her own ever-flowing river of journalism—the result would fill another book! Article

April 09, 2018

David Crumm: Stanley Hauerwas on The Character of Virtue, Letters to a Godson

Would you invite Stanley Hauerwas—the famously 'angry' theologian—to become your child’s godparent and agree to write a series of letters to your son or daughter? That is what the Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells and his wife did two decades ago, fully aware of the famous theologian’s 'happy anger,' as Wells describes it. Article

April 04, 2018

David Crumm: Jana Riess on re-discovery of the Christian Prayer Wheel after it was lost for centuries

Do you remember the headlines about this discovery? Sara Griffiths of The Daily Mail in the UK was among many journalists around the world who reported in 2015 on the mysterious chart, which turned up when a medieval illuminated book of Gospels was placed on the auction block. In the front of that set of Gospels was a strange chart for a kind of spiritual discipline no one could decipher. Article

March 19, 2018

David Crumm: John Dominic Crossan on ‘Resurrecting Easter’ and re-envisioning our relationship to Jesus

How do you envision the Resurrection? It’s a timely question as 2 billion Christians around the world soon will mark the most important global holiday in this 2,000-year-old religion: Easter. (April 1 for Western Christians and April 8 for Eastern Christians in 2018.) Article

March 05, 2018

David Crumm: Bart Ehrman on the surprisingly un-controversial Triumph of Christianity

The publication of Bart’s latest book, 'Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World,' certainly is notable because it is unlikely to spark controversy. In fact, from the perspective of many traditional churchgoers who have shunned Ehrman—this new book is likely to be very popular for some its basic conclusions... Article

February 26, 2018

David Crumm: Remembering Billy Graham’s Crusade against Racism

As a journalist, specializing in religion and diversity for more than 40 years, I’ve reported my share of stories about the Graham family. Since his death at age 99 on February 21, I have mourned Billy’s passing. As I read the coverage of his life by my colleagues nationwide, I was struck by one thought: Billy’s legacy would look a brighter if his son Franklin Graham hadn’t doubled-down on the family’s earliest bigotry. Article

February 19, 2018

David Crumm: Episcopal Bishop Frank Griswold on ‘Tracking Down the Holy Ghost’

Why do we need this wisdom from former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold right now? Because, at the heart of this little book is an invitation from a survivor of conflict to walk along with him through various dramatic encounters and discover, in the end, that Spirit can guide us not only to our own individual solace—but toward re-establishing ties in a deeply divided community. Article

February 12, 2018

David Crumm: Peter Wallace on Getting to Know Jesus Again in Lent

The global trend may be toward secularization in many regions, but certain populations are drawn toward some of the spiritual disciplines, Peter argues. 'Some of the mysterious, powerful, spiritual practices that the churches observed for centuries are being rediscovered particularly by young adults who are seeking a depth to their lives that they are not experiencing in today’s culture.' Article

November 29, 2017

David Crumm: Auden, the Psalms and Me: A hot new book about liturgy?

We are recommending an intriguing new book on this often-ignored topic. And, we admit this may seem like an eccentric idea. After all, when was the last time you spontaneously started discussing 'liturgy' with your friends? Perhaps … never? Article

November 23, 2017

ReadtheSpirit: Thanksgiving: Americans feast, gather in tradition and gratitude

Join the millions of Americans giving thanks and expressing gratitude over a savory feast, as family and friends gather for the historical and beloved holiday of Thanksgiving. Article

October 27, 2017

David Crumm: Robert Wicks on the enduring power of our stories in ‘Night Call’

'Embracing Compassion and Hope in a Troubled World' is Wicks' subtitle for this new book—no surprise to his regular readers. He’s been writing about resilience from this perspective for years. Article

October 12, 2017

Ben Pratt and James Truxell: As the voice of Doctor No echoes from Las Vegas, can we collectively respond with love?

How can we respond to the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, when the gunman’s dark motives remain such a mystery? There was no war cry from Stephen Paddock. No manifesto awaiting publication. No suicide video. No affiliation with an infamous group. Article

August 04, 2017

David Crumm: Justin Dillon urges us to join in ‘A Selfish Plan to Change the World’

Justin Dillon practices precisely what he is preaching. His 'riot' was a gut-level passion for combatting human trafficking—and he launched a simple, global challenge that has made a huge impact on the darkly shrouded infrastructure of modern-day slavery. 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

April 05, 2017

David Crumm: What religion stories do we need to hear in 2017?

What religion stories are most important to lift up in 2017? What stories are under-covered in the media? Two of us at ReadTheSpirit participated in a global online forum sponsored by the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) asking for responses to those important questions. You’ll be intrigued and inspired to discover what reporters from the six continents had to say. 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

January 28, 2017

Benjamin Pratt: The Workbench

At this remarkable milestone in world history—500 years from the start of the Reformation and 200 years from Thoreau’s birth—we invited popular author and columnist Benjamin Pratt to reflect on the challenges of his own life’s work as a pastor, counselor, writer, father, grandfather and talented woodworker. Article

January 17, 2017

Benjamin Pratt: Martin Luther 2017: 500 Years of Reformation

To kick off this historic year, we invite author and columnist Benjamin Pratt to stir our reflections on the Reformation by describing his own recent visit to Luther’s home... 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. Article

August 23, 2016

David Crumm: Get ‘Grounded,’ Part 5: Where is God? Perhaps—at dinner

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. Over five weeks, David and Debbie have published five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 5, our concluding reflection. 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. Article

August 09, 2016

David Crumm: Get ‘Grounded’ this summer, Part 3: Roots and Home

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. David and Debbie offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 3, looking at the sections of Diana’s book on Dirt, Water and Sky 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. 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. 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. Article

April 16, 2014 Rethinking Facebook: Hospitality in your living room

Everywhere we go, we're asked: 'What are you doing about Facebook?' That’s a natural question. Men and women nationwide are interested in the dramatic changes within Facebook. How dramatically is Facebook changing?Three of our experts respond. 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.