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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 contributing editor and author for Plough, as well as co-editor of the Blumhardt Source Series. His published works include Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, Everyone Belongs to God, a collection of writings by Christoph Blumhardt on gospel witness, and Following the Call on the Sermon on the Mount.

    View Table of Contents

    About The Authors

    Eberhard Arnold

    Eberhard Arnold (1883–1935), a German theologian, was co-founder of the Bruderhof and the founding editor of Plough. 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

    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. 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

    Catherine de Hueck Doherty

    Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896–1985), founded Friendship House, a house of hospitality to the homeless in Toronto, and later Madonna House, a more rural intentional Christian community and international Catholic lay apostolate. Read More

    Jeremiah Barker

    Jeremiah Barker is a lay member of the Madonna House apostolate in Combermere, Canada. Read More

    Amy Carmichael

    Amy Carmichael, a Christian missionary to India, spent fifty-five years being a mother to hundreds of orphaned children and writing books on discipleship. Read More

    Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster

    Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster (1869–1966) was a German philosopher, theologian, and professor, best known for publicly opposing German militarism and Nazi regime. Read More

    Emmanuel Katongole

    Father Emmanuel Katongole, PhD, is a core faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Read More

    Jürgen Moltmann

    Jürgen Moltmann is a German theologian and professor emeritus at the University of Tübingen. Read More

    John M. Perkins

    John M. Perkins is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement. Read More

    Peter Riedemann

    Peter Riedemann (1506–1556) was an early Anabaptist leader and missionary. Read More

    C. Christopher Smith

    C. Christopher Smith is co-author, with John Pattison, of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus and editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is a member of Englewood Christian Community Church in Indianapolis. Read More

    Mother Teresa

    Mother Teresa (1910–1997) founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity and dedicated her life to serving the poor of India. Read More

    Thomas à Kempis

    Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471), a German-Dutch mystic, was an Augustinian canon and the likely author of The Imitation of Christ, a book of devotional readings. Read More

    Juan Mateos

    Jesuit scholar, professor, award-winning Bible translator and communitarian. Read More


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    Table of Contents

    Part I  A Call to Community

    1. The Great Idea
    2. Blessed Community
    3. Style of Life
    4. Embodiment
    5. Brothers, Sisters
    6. Pentecost
    7. Christian Communism
    8. A Visible Reality
    9. Counterculture
    10. The Way

    Part II Forming Community

    1. A Vision
    2. Life’s Task
    3. It Takes Work
    4. Communion
    5. Idealism
    6. Illusions
    7. Obstacles
    8. Poisons
    9. Listening
    10. Surrender
    11. The Center
    12. God’s Call
    13. Promises

    Part III Life in Community

    1. Love
    2. Deeds
    1. Vocation
    2. Acceptance
    3. Irritations
    4. Differences
    5. Conflict
    6. Unity
    7. Dialogue
    8. Leadership
    9. Submission
    10. Money
    11. Children
    12. Family Values
    13. Solitude
    14. Transparency
    15. Repentance
    16. Forgiveness
    17. At Table
    18. Celebration

    Part IV Beyond the Community

    1. Revolution
    2. Comfort Zones
    3. Good Fences
    4. Next Door
    5. Interruptions
    6. Hospitality
    7. Connections
    8. Wounds
    9. Mercy

    Discussion Guide

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    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.