New Ebook – The Virtue of Dialogue

The Virtue of Dialogue - C. Christopher SmithChris has has a new little ebook that is now available from Patheos Press:

The Virtue of Dialogue:
Conversation as a
Hopeful Practice of
Church Communities.

This ebook narrates Englewood Christian Church’s practice of conversation, how we — a failed megachurch — stumbled in the practice of conversation 15 years ago, and how it has transformed us and continues to transform us. A strong case is made that open, conversation is an essential and timely practice for all churches.

Conversation — and particularly dinner table conversation — is essential to our concept of Slow Church, and this little book will serve to point us in a direction that will be fleshed out in much more detail in the coming Slow Church book.  For people who want a sense of where we are going with the Slow Church project, The Virtue of Dialogue offers the tiniest taste of where we hope to go.

The Virtue of Dialogue is available for download as a Kindle ebook for only $2.99!

If you do not have a Kindle, Kindle apps for your computer or smartphone are FREE and easy to install…

Now available for Nook through (Also $2.99!)

“There is something very 1st Century about Englewood, and there’s also something very postmodern — that’s because Englewood is seeking to be missional, not by theorizing about it but by actually doing it. Where they began is where we all need to begin: with conversation. We must face one another in a listening mode. Only then can our words become genuine conversation. This little book could be revolutionary for your own faith community.”
- Scot McKnight, author of The King Jesus Gospel and Junia Is Not Alone
“The story of the Englewood Christian Church is a compelling one, not because it’s unusual (which it is), but because it narrates a story of church rebirth many people are experiencing under the radar of the ‘success-driven’ U.S. Christian establishment. Beautifully written, stunningly simple, this piece by Chris Smith gives hope for all those working in churches in the midst of long decline. To you who are looking for a way forward that is different from the latest mega church conference, I urge you to read this little book.”
– David Fitch, B.R. Lindner Professor of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary, author of The End of Evangelicalism?

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  • Adcockbe

    Check your site. Remove that thing that moves up and down the page. It’s annoying. Can’t read the page

    • Anonymous

      Done. I had also noticed that on mobile and other small screens that floating bar did cover up the text. I just kept forgetting to turn it off. Thanks for the reminder.

  • John W. Morehead

    I look forward to reading this book. It is great to find a church that recognizes the value of religious conversations and relationships between those in various religions. This is related to my work in the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (

  • Bob M.

    On Scot McKnight’s comment: 1st Century Christianity was all about the TRUTH. Postmodernism denies truth claims. There is no intersection.

  • Anonymous

    Many Christian sects are running scared, closing ranks, suppressing dissent and becoming ultra conservative. They blame outside forces for their lack of clarity and vision and inevitable decline when the reality is they lost their trust in God and let their message of faith, hope and charity towards all get stale and trite. Good Christians started a mass exodus for the door. It is refreshing to find a group who identified the problem and has implemented real solutions to stem the tide of Christian abandonment and bring the flock back to the Lord. Good luck and God’s speed.

  • Robert19741

    Conversation is all good and well, but why call it “church” or “Christian.” People sitting aroud and talking about God, faith, and religion is a wonderful thing. So why not just call it “people sitting around and talking about God, faith, and religion.” That way we don’t have to fool with labels like Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. It would make the world a much better place.

    • Anonymous

      So, like Descartes, you’re proposing that we ignore all the tradition that has gone before us? That line of thought has led us into our current mess in Western culture: individualism, consumerism, industrialism. Like Alasdair Macintyre / Stanley Hauerwas, I’d much rather that we talk as adherents to a particular tradition,engaging each other where we are at. I use the language of Church and Christian, because that’s the audience for which this book was written. As deeply as I want to see and participate in interfaith conversations, the purpose of this book is to encourage Christians to see their local congregation as a place to relearn the practice of conversation within the “safety,” so to speak, of the shared convictions of our tradition. I would think that a similar thing could be encouraged for faith communities in traditions outside Christianity, but that’s outside the scope of what I aimed to do here. ~ Chris Smith

      • Robert19741

        Fair enough. Two thoughts: 1) I am not sure why we should call everything from indoor plumbing to ipads a “mess”: it seems to me that individualism, industrialism, and capitalism (or “consumerism” as you call it) have led to some pretty good things–actually, a ton of really amazing things for all of humankind. In a very real sense, your e-book would be an impossibility if it weren’t for Descartian thinking. 2) So you are suggesting that ideally all faith traditions first start with intra-religious dialogue for “safety” reasons, then move to inter-religious dialogue. So when you “advance” to inter-religious dialogue, is anybody allowed to make truth claims? Or is it all just lisening and talking and learning from one another and loving and respecting our diverse traditions. I am all for that. But if that is where it ends, then why do we all need to start within our own traditions in the first place?

  • Mike Boos

    When will it be available for Kobo Readers? I’ve converted Kindle books before for my Kobo, but I’m pretty sure it’s violating the terms of service to do so.