Plough My Account Sign Out
My Account
    View Cart

    Subtotal: $

    possesions layed on blanket

    Plough Quarterly No. 9: All Things in Common?

    Summer 2016


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    All Things in Common? With the concept of socialism back in mainstream conversations and increasing numbers of Christians unhappy with “Sunday Christianity,” it’s time to give the lifestyle of Jesus’ first followers another look.


    Three Open Wounds In 1997, paramilitary fighters massacred 45 Mayan peasants, members of a Christian group committed to nonviolence as they prayed for peace. Plough asked their priest how his community has fared since.


    Life Together: Beyond Sunday Religion and Social Activism Community is not easy, but it is the mark of the kingdom of God. From Property to Community Separating and isolating individuals is the poisonous root of property: its curse is that individuals lose connection to one another and, what is worse, to God. The effects are mortal. Arnold explores how and why this is so, then points to an answer. Confessing to One Another Confessing your sins to someone – even someone you trust – is never easy because it means becoming vulnerable. But renewal, freedom, and joy are the reward. The Way: Two Millennia of Christian Community The history of committed Christian community is a story of roads: the first followers of Jesus called themselves “the Way.” An overview of communal Christian movements from the earliest days of Christianity up to the present. Live Like You Give a Damn Isn’t working for the well-being of humankind and God’s good creation central to following Jesus? Sine stirs to action, pointing out that many non-religious people put “love of neighbor” into practice far better than so-called Christians. The Jesus Indians of Ohio As the American War of Independence raged, Christian settlers and Native Americans lived together as brothers and sisters – and paid the ultimate price for their nonviolent discipleship. Why I Love to Wear a Head Covering Bruderhof member Voll shares her reasons for wearing a head covering and dressing modestly. Her style of dress is a flag of freedom: from objectification, from worry over fashion, and most importantly, freedom to be the woman God created her to be.


    Blessing out of Pain God doesn’t waste a hurt. He can use pain to direct us in the way he wants us to go, to reveal what’s inside of us, to perfect us, and to make us more like himself. Read the foreword Pastor Rick Warren wrote to a new book on pain and healing. Solidarity In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to worry over food and clothing. But this should not be misunderstood: It would be a sin to say to someone living destitute and alone, “Don’t worry!” We must first create conditions in which this can become reality. Repentance The practice of church discipline has been abandoned by most churches today. The zeitgeist would have us believe that what people need most is loving acceptance, not confrontation. Yet, discipline is key to experiencing clarity and forgiveness. The Luxury of Being Surprised My family planted ourselves in the most diverse neighborhood in America. We were thrilled as only white people can be, gentrifiers in every sense of the word. But things change when you allow your neighbors’ experience to shape you...


    Poem: Rainfall Ponder the spiritual lesson of the humble raindrop with poet Matthew Baker, an Orthodox priest who died in a tragic accident just six weeks after being installed in his first parish. Water always seeks the lowest place, he writes. Do I? Two Poems In “Jonah’s Lament,” the Old Testament prophet grumbles – much like us – until he realizes that his “hope is failing, and there’s nowhere left to run,” while “Aubade” is an ode to the often-overlooked beauty of little things.


    The Incident in Changu’s Pepper Patch A read-aloud story for Father’s Day: Since early spring, Changu’s mother and older sister have tended their pepper plants. But just over the next hill, a thief lurks in the shadows, waiting to steal the years crop from under the farmers’ noses...

    Editors’ Picks

    Editors’ Picks Issue 9 Plough’s editors share their best reads of recent weeks. This issue (Plough Quarterly No. 9, Summer 2016) they feature books by Eugene Vodolazkin, Samar Yazbek, Duncan Hamilton, and Matthew Desmond.

    Family and Friends

    Serving Children in Pyongyang Dr. Yoon has spearheaded a program in Pyongyang to help children with cerebral palsy learn to walk. He is a member of Ignis Community, one of the few openly Christian ministries operating in North Korea.

    Another View

    The Sacrament of the Last Supper Dalí’s painting, The Sacrament of the Last Supper, can be jarring, even shocking, to both Christian and secular viewers. That is precisely the point. An empty place at the table invites you to share in the sacrament. But only on your knees.


    Readers Respond Summer 2016 Plough readers respond to “Hope in the Void,” “Love in Syria,” and “Invisible People” from the Spring 2016 issue, and to “Snapshots from Lesbos,” from the Winter 2016 issue. One comment pertains to the Winter 2015 issue on Childhood.


    Friars of Manhattan The writer shares impressions from a visit to a Franciscan Friars of the Renewal friary in Manhattan and asks the brothers about their lives. We learn which of their three vows is hardest to keep, and what Folish soup is. American Hospitality: Jubilee Partners Jubilee Partners, an intentional Christian community in rural Georgia, welcomes refugees and other immigrants, offers them a home and English lessons, and works to change global perceptions. Read their story.


    Possessions Of all the things that can come between people and poison life in community, possessiveness is perhaps the most common. In this piece from C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, a senior devil gives advice on how best to corrupt a human. Differences Both sameness and uniqueness can be affirmed in community. Let Yourself Be Eaten Put yourself at the service of your neighbors. At Table Table fellowship is linked to the very essence of being human. When our ancestors went out to hunt and gather, they did not eat individually what they found. They brought the food to the group in what was the first leap from animality to humanity.


    Why Community Is Dangerous America’s most frequently quoted theologian talks with Plough editor Peter Mommsen about the Benedict Option, evangelism, marriage, Christian communism, and why voting is overrated.


    Vincent van Gogh How did a man who in many ways personified the caricature of a tortured artist, who sold only one painting in his lifetime, and who committed suicide at age thirty-seven become one of our era’s most admired painters?

    Featured Authors

    possesions layed on blanket

    About This Issue

    With the concept of socialism back in mainstream conversations and increasing numbers of Christians unhappy with “Sunday Christianity,” it’s time to give the lifestyle of Jesus’ first followers another look. This issue of Plough Quarterly does just that, profiling intentional Christian communities past and present and gleaning wisdom on the daily practicalities and pitfalls of communal living from those with years of experience in following Jesus together.

    four issues of Plough Quarterly

    About Plough Quarterly

    Plough is an award-winning international magazine of stories, ideas, and culture that appears weekly online and quarterly in print. We also publish a line of books, including literary nonfiction, fiction, and graphic novels. Founded in 1920, Plough asks the big questions: How can we live well together, and what gives life meaning and purpose in a complex world?