ESN Book Club: Your Mind Matters (Updated)


Your Mind Matters

Update: To give you more time to order and start reading the book, we’ve moved back the dates of the book club by a week.  The updated dates are all below. (And, if you’re worried you still won’t have time, chapter one is very short, and we’ll be posting passages to discuss.)

Starting next week June 9, we’re going to try something new here at the ESN blog: an online book club! We’ve chosen John Stott’s classic, Your Mind Matters, for our experiment, both because it is a must read for ESN members and because it is very short (4 chapters, 85 pages).

Here’s how it will work: each week in June, Tom or I will write a post about that week’s chapter, focusing on a particular selection, with discussion questions for the community. Feel free to respond to the questions, or start your own discussion about the week’s chapter. I’ve just installed a “Reply to Comment” feature that I hope will make it easier to carry on a conversation by creating discussion threads and emailing you when someone replies to you (an option that you can turn off, BTW).

If you don’t already own a copy of Your Mind Matters, here are some easy ways to get a copy:

Whew, that’s a lot of options! Just an FYI – Your Mind Matters was originally published 25 years ago, but we’ll be using the updated, “Americanized” edition that was published in 2006. The cover looks suspiciously like the cover photo in this very blog post.

In case you like to keep track of these sorts of things, here’s a schedule, which also serves as a preview of the book.  The book club posts will be published each Tuesday:

  • Week of June 1 June 9 – Chapter 1: Mindless Christianity
  • Week of June 8 June 16– Chapter 2: Why Use Our Minds?
  • Week of June 15 June 23 – Chapter 3: The Mind in the Christian Life
  • Week of June 22 June 30 – Chapter 4: Acting on Our Knowledge

That final week June 20 through 26, I’ll be at the Midwest Faculty Conference, and would LOVE to have a face-to-face conversation with you there. (Financial assistance is available, in case you want to go but aren’t sure how to pay for it.) I’m sure Tom would be interested in face-to-face discussion as well, but I’ll let him talk about that.

And, in case you don’t really care to discuss the book, we’ll have another, unrelated post each week Thursday, as well as our usual Friday Week-in-Review.

OK, now on to some housekeeping. First, we’ve added a new About Our Bloggers page so that you get to know Tom and me a little better, as well as see what handsome devils we are. FYI – we’re both standing in front of trees, but that’s pure coincidence, as those trees are several hundred miles apart.

Second, we’ve also created a new commenting policy, borrowed with permission and modified slightly from Overall, your comments have been remarkably well-written and on-topic, but we thought it would be better to have a policy without needing one, rather than need a policy and not have one. I’ll add a small link to the commenting policy at the bottom of our post template, but I hope it won’t be intrusive.

Next week On June 9: Chapter one of Your Mind Matters!

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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    Nate commented on May 28, 2009 Reply

    Hey can you push this back a week or two? It sounds like a great idea, but it’ll take a few days (if not a week) for most of us to go out and get the book, let alone start reading it.

      Micheal Hickerson commented on May 28, 2009 Reply

      Hi Nate. That’s a great point. Let me check with Tom, but I think we can do this.

        Micheal Hickerson commented on May 29, 2009 Reply

        Done! The book club will now be starting on June 9. And, as I note above, the first chapter is very short (6 pages, in a small paperback format), so you shouldn’t have trouble getting up to speed.

    miller peck commented on June 17, 2009 Reply

    John Stott asks for knowledge with zeal (as the apostle paul for truth with love). But if we are to grow in understanding, we need a venue for civil discussion. We see shibboleths (judges 12) smothering discussion, and being used to test loyalty, and as a basis for friendship…in secular and religious places. Francis Schaeffer wants honest answers to honest questions. It’s said that students need a place where “heresies can bounce off the walls”. But where? Emotions are more powerful than reason now. NT Wright in chicago grad conference said that with the departure of truth, reason, & evidence discussions become shouting matches. Schools like Harvard, once a “marketplace for ideas” are becoming “insane asylums”.

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