• We Will Feast

  • Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God
  • By: Kendall Vanderslice
  • Narrated by: Sheri Beth Dusek
  • Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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We Will Feast  By  cover art

We Will Feast

By: Kendall Vanderslice
Narrated by: Sheri Beth Dusek
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Publisher's Summary

Explores the practice of eating together as Christian worship.

The gospel story is filled with meals. It opens in a garden and ends in a feast. Records of the early church suggest that believers met for worship primarily through eating meals. Over time, though, churches have lost focus on the centrality of food - and with it a powerful tool for unifying Christ's diverse body.

But today, a new movement is under way, bringing Christians of every denomination, age, race, and sexual orientation together around dinner tables. Men and women nervous about stepping through church doors are finding God in new ways as they eat together. Kendall Vanderslice shares stories of churches worshiping around the table, introducing listeners to the rising contemporary dinner-church movement. We Will Feast provides vision and inspiration to listeners longing to experience community in a real, physical way.

Named one of Englewood Review of Books most anticipated Christian books of 2019.

©2019 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (P)2019 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

What listeners say about We Will Feast

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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An antidote for post-modernism?

I was drawn into this book as a woman who loves to grind her own flour and bake her own bread.
Then, the author ties the nourishing of the body into the nourishing of the soul, if done communally. And not just communally, but as Christian communion, with a mindful recognition of the higher communal order that kneads all of life together, blessing it as well. Jesus fed each individual, knowing communities were made up of such. And knowing each individual longed to belong, vitally belong, inside communities as well. In today's polarized world, the simple message of the gospel seems nearly forgotten. Kendall Vanderslice revisits how to unite, rather than divide, diverse peoples under one umbrella. The solution, as always, is simple, but not automatically accomplished. It requires effort, but is worth its labor in untold blessings, as tangible as bread. I enjoyed these insights and would be amiss if I didn't mention I enjoyed the performer's ability to do the same. Sheri Beth Dusek caught the author's vision and literally speaks it to the hungry listener as well. This was a totally enjoyable and inspiring experience.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating Research and Passion for Community

Wow! There was a great deal of information to absorb. So much research went into this book! Ever since I saw a small story on TV about a daughter who convinced her father to make her a dinner table so she could invite her new neighbors to dine with her, the idea of inviting those around you to share a meal has intrigued me. The TV piece discovered how much we just want to be invited to share with our neighbors and sit and fellowship.

Author Kendall Vanderslice takes us on a journey of several people in ministry who have also discovered both the history of sharing a meal and it's importance in today's communities. I enjoyed hearing about each of their journeys, each a little different and hearing about their discovered pros and cons to this approach to church. Another great gift idea for friends in ministry and who enjoy thinking outside the box.

Bottom line is still to remember Jesus' goal was never a building or a religion, but the people and loving them. It's the story of Martha and Mary. It's nice to be reminded that we all need to seize the opportunity to sit at Jesus' feet and just be present. This might just look like sitting at a table and sharing a meal with your neighbor.

The narration by Sheri Beth Dusek was very clear and clean. Maybe a little too clear - sometimes I felt like I was listening to Siri. There were a few times my ears perked up because there appeared an excitement and a change in tone, but mainly the style Ms. Dusek chose for this piece was factual.

I requested a copy of this audiobook. My reviews are unbiased and voluntarily offered.

Mature Content: none

1 person found this helpful

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Accents Christ as LORD of creation & loving others

I like that Kendall Vanderslice's "We Will Feast" may introduce the reader, especially Protestants, to the concept of the LORD's sanctification of food and, by extension all of life; she repeatedly uses the term Sacramental in one form or another.

While I disagree with much of her theological explanations and exegesis, I pray the LORD will use her work to help those who wish to live as His disciples. For lack of a better term, what seems to me to be a Neo-Gnostic downplaying of the material world in modern, especially Protestant theology, God using the material world in general and food specifically to connect with us and connect us to others is what I like most about this book.

I vehemently disagree with her view that, referring to the LORD, "He didn't first ask us to believe in the right things but to practice them" as unbiblical; nevertheless, I also liked her examples and suggestions on various ways to connect with others, especially in an evangelistic context. For this reason and for how she reminds the reader that Christ, by His Incarnation, sanctifies all of life in general and food specifically.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration

Content is okay, inspiring. But the audio performance was absolutely awful! Mispronounced words, I’ve never listened to a book with so many words pronounced incorrectly! And strange pauses that make me think the editing was terrible too. I feel bad that this book must have had a very small budget to make an audio version. I’d just buy the paperback and read it instead.

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An enjoyable meal

Readers of Norman Wirzba and Wendell Berry will find much of what Vanderslice has to say about meals within the community of faith as palatable.
The author has gone to great lengths to participate and observe numerous dinner-church gatherings. So for those who are interested in hearing about the experiences of the movement there are plenty of examples. I appreciated that while she is a proponent of them and naturally displays them favorably, she did not create a false utopian experience where it’s only sunshine and rainbows forevermore. She was also honest about the fact that in America, the movement is mostly lived out by white moderates and progressives - in some ways it did seem like a new way to be Emergent. That’s not necessarily a criticism as much as it’s a recognition that we’ve seen this before.
Bottom line: whether you want to think some more about the role that food and meals play in Christian community or want to dive deep into the dinner-church movement, this book will give you plenty to chew on (sincerest of apologies for the pun).

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Narrator Issues

The narrator sounded to my like the story was being read by an AI. I’m not sure if she is trying to overcome a distinct dialect but the way she pronounced her “T’s” drove me crazy. She also mispronounced several words in the Christian lexicon that made her dry tone more difficult to listen to. One would think that when asked to narrate a book full of Christian words, sure less used in Protestant Churches, but fairly common words in many Christian books, the narrator would do their homework before agreeing to sit and read. Mispronouncing agape and Nicene to name a couple is distracting. Her pauses and lack of emphasis really killed a great book.

Content wise I loved it! The idea of exploring new avenues of church, community and worship is a great one. The authors heavy use of theology and scripture were well placed and used.

Bottom line - read it...

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Not scriptural

The Church is not to have communion when openly living in sin. No homosexual will enter the kingdom of heaven. How could anyone who has some knowledge of the scriptures recommend this heretical book to anyone?

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Wonderful wish I could give it even more stars

Food and theology YES! This book has put into words what I have felt for years. Kendall Vanderslice has done a beautiful job of talking about how through the act of sharing a meal you are also feeding the soul with the act of community. So many have had issues with the "church". Many feel unwelcome or removed from the church community. But that doesn't mean they don't still have a faith or a love for Jesus. This dinner church is a chance to come together no matter your faith, no matter your social standing, no matter your ethnicity. I also loved how Kendall shows how food is used throughout the Bible by God. Sheri Beth Dusek is the narrator for this book and she is wonderful too. Sheri has a voice that is so easy to listen too. I loved every moment of this book.
I was gifted this audiobook with the understanding that I would leave an honest review.