Christopher Smith is the Senior Editor of The Englewood Review of Books, and author of several books, including most recently: How The Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church. Today, Christopher shares the place of reading in his spiritual journey, how he learned to untangle depression from doubt, and why he believes in the power of a great conversation. We also talk about some best practices for hosting conversations at your church. Christopher’s story reminds us that we learn best in conversation.
Listen to Christopher’s story now!
Stories Christopher shared:
- Starting The Englewood Review of Books
- Growing up in a Christian family in Washington D.C. in a Grace Brethren church
- His tenuous relationship with church even in college
- Developing his sense of historical church through reading
- Going to graduate school and learning about the history of ideas
- Learning how to disentangle depression from doubt
- How community plays into depression
- Why embodiment needs to be valued
- How the practice of conversation captured his heart
- Why defining terms is important for a conversation
- What a facilitated conversation looks like
Great quotes from Christopher:
The dark nights of the soul that I’ve been through sometimes feel particularly lonely.
I’m hopeful that when we take our life together seriously, churches can offer hope to those who struggle with loneliness and isolation.
The abundant life of God in community is really good news and much better than the alternative.
Conversation didn’t magically help us resolve things, but it helped us to know and trust one another even when we didn’t agree.
Resources we mentioned:
- The Englewood Review of Books
- Celebration of Discipline, Special Anniversary Edition: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster
- How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church by C. Christopher Smith
- Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari
- The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves by Curt Thompson