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Called to Community

The Life Jesus Wants for His People


Saint Benedict, Joan Chittister, David Janzen, John M. Perkins, Mother Teresa, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and others.
Edited by Charles E. Moore

4.21 Stars on Goodreads Read Reviews

Fifty-two readings on living in intentional Christian community to spark group discussion.


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About The Book

• Gold Medal Winner, 2017 Illumination Book Awards, Christian Living

• Silver Medal Winner, 2017 Benjamin Franklin Award in Religion from Independent Book Publishers Association

Why, in an age of connectivity, are our lives more isolated and fragmented than ever? And what can be done about it? The answer lies in the hands of God’s people. Increasingly, today’s Christians want to be the church, to follow Christ together in daily life. From every corner of society, they are daring to step away from the status quo and respond to Christ’s call to share their lives more fully with one another and with others. As they take the plunge, they are discovering the rich, meaningful life that Jesus has in mind for all people, and pointing the church back to its original calling: to be a gathered, united community that demonstrates the transforming love of God.

Of course, such a life together with others isn’t easy. The selections in this volume are, by and large, written by practitioners – people who have pioneered life in intentional community and have discovered in the nitty-gritty of daily life what it takes to establish, nurture, and sustain a Christian community over the long haul.

Whether you have just begun thinking about communal living, are already embarking on a shared life with others, or have been part of a community for many years, the pieces in this collection will encourage, challenge, and strengthen you. The book’s fifty-two chapters can be read one a week to ignite meaningful group discussion.

About the editor: Charles E. Moore is a member of the Bruderhof community and teaches at the Mount Academy in New York. He writes for Plough Quarterly and has compiled and edited several acclaimed books, including Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, Everyone Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ, and Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship.

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About The Authors

Eberhard Arnold

Eberhard Arnold was a theologian, educator, publisher, and community leader. Read More

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Unwilling to allow the church to compromise its most fundamental beliefs in the face of Nazism, Dietrich Bonhoeffer worked tirelessly to keep the true spirit of the church alive in Germany. His resistance cost him his life. Read More

Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day was an American journalist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Day devoted her life to defending the downtrodden and serving Christ by serving the poor. Read More

Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier, a Catholic philosopher and theologian, founded L’Arche in 1964 as a residential community for people with disabilities. He is the author of over thirty books. Read More

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis, a British novelist, poet, and Christian apologist, has been called one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Read More

J. Heinrich Arnold

Johann Heinrich Arnold is best known for his books which have helped thousands to follow Christ in their daily lives. Those who knew him best remember Arnold as a down-to-earth man who would warmly welcome any troubled person in for a cup of coffee and a chat. Read More

Johann Christoph Arnold

A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, education, and end-of-life issues, Arnold was a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. Read More

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

A German pastor and religious socialist, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt influenced theologians such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eberhard Arnold, Emil Brunner, Oscar Cullman, and Karl Barth with his unconventional ideas about religion, faith, and the kingdom of God. Read More

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

One of the greatest writers of Western literature, Fyodor Dostoyevsky continues to receive undiminished popularity and acclaim. He is best known for his novels The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov, and Crime and Punishment. Read More

Richard J. Foster

Richard J. Foster is the founder of Renovaré, an ecumical Christian community, and the author of several books including A Celebration of Discipline (Harper San Francisco, 1988). Read More

Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and spiritual writer. Read More

Gerhard Lohfink

Gerhard Lohfink, a Catholic priest, was professor of New Testament studies at the University of Tübingen. Read More

Charles E. Moore

Charles E. Moore is a writer and contributing editor to Plough. He is a member of the Bruderhof, an intentional community movement based on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Read More

George MacDonald

George MacDonald wrote over fifty books that are still cherished for their literary quality and spiritual insight. C. S. Lewis has said that MacDonald’s influence can be found in every book he wrote. Read More

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, pacifist, poet, and bestselling author, was a leading spiritual voice of his generation. Read More

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Henri J. M. Nouwen was an internationally loved and renowned priest, professor, and author. He wrote more than forty books offering spiritual guidance and direction. Read More

Chiara Lubich

Chiara Lubich, the founder and spiritual leader of the Focolare movement, was born Silvia Lubich in Italy. Read More

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Table of Contents

Part I  A Call to Community

  1. The Great Idea
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  2. Blessed Community
    Rufus Jones
  3. Style of Life
    Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
  4. Embodiment
    Gerhard Lohfink
  5. Brothers, Sisters
    Hal Miller
    Joseph H. Hellerman
  6. Pentecost
    C. Norman Kraus
  7. Christian Communism
    José P. Miranda
    Helmut Gollwitzer
  8. A Visible Reality
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  9. Counterculture
    Howard A. Snyder
  10. The Way
    Alden Bass

Part II Forming Community

  1. A Vision
    George MacDonald
  2. Life’s Task
    Eberhard Arnold
  3. It Takes Work
    Charles E. Moore
  4. Communion
    Jean Vanier
  5. Idealism
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  6. Illusions
    Arthur Katz
    Elizabeth O’Connor
    Jean Vanier
  7. Obstacles
    Eberhard Arnold
  8. Poisons
    C.S. Lewis
    Basilea Schlink
  9. Beyond Self
    Jean Vanier
  10. Surrender
    Arthur G. Gish
  11. The Center
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    Friedrich Foerster
  12. God’s Call
    Henri J. M. Nouwen
    Jean Vanier
  13. Promises
    Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Part III Life in Community

  1. Love
    Thomas Merton
    Søren Kierkegaard
  2. Deeds
    Mother Teresa
    Jean Vanier
    John F. Alexander
  3. Vocation
    John F. Alexander
  4. Acceptance
    Jürgen Moltmann
    Adele J. Gonzalez
  1. Irritations
    Anthony de Mello
    Roy Hession
    Thomas à Kempis
    Eberhard Arnold
  2. Differences
    Joan Chittister
    Henri J. M. Nouwen
  3. Conflict
    David Janzen
    Jean Vanier
  4. Unity
    Chiara Lubich
    Stephen B. Clark
  5. Dialogue
    Elizabeth O’Connor
    Jean Vanier
  6. Leadership
    Jean Vanier
  7. Submission
    Richard J. Foster
    John F. Alexander
  8. Money
    Jodi Garbison
    Jenny Duckworth
  9. Children
    Charles E. Moore
  10. Family Values
    Andy Crouch
  11. Solitude
    Henri J. M. Nouwen
    Eberhard Arnold
  12. Transparency
    Roy Hession
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  13. Repentance
    Benedict of Nursia
    Johann Christoph Arnold
    J. Heinrich Arnold
  14. Forgiveness
    Johann Christoph Arnold
  15. At Table
    Leonardo Boff
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  16. Celebration
    Jean Vanier
    Richard J. Foster

Part IV Beyond the Community

  1. Revolution
    John M. Perkins
  2. Comfort Zones
    Eugene H. Peterson
    Elton Trueblood
  3. Good Fences
    Elizabeth Dede
    Jean Vanier
  4. Next Door
    Charles E. Moore
  5. Interruptions
    Emmanuel Katongole
    and Chris Rice
  6. Hospitality
    Christine D. Pohl
  7. Welcome
    Jean Vanier
  8. Wounds
    Catherine de Hueck Doherty
    Ed Loring
  9. Mercy
    Dorothy Day

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A Wedding Ring

Meet the Community Behind Plough

The Bruderhof

Plough is the publishing house of the Bruderhof, an international community of people seeking to follow Jesus together. Members of the Bruderhof are committed to a way of radical discipleship in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount. Inspired by the first church in Jerusalem, they renounce private property and share everything in common in a life of service to God, one another, and neighbors near and far. Learn more or arrange a visit