IVP - Addenda & Errata - A Seventeen-Year Alert

November 13, 2008

A Seventeen-Year Alert

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If you think the Homeland Security Advisory System has been going a long time, at seven years, how about IVP’s Academic Alert, which several months ago passed its seventeenth anniversary? My colleague Jim Hoover, after reading the page proofs of this fall’s edition, exclaimed that he couldn’t believe it was that old. I agreed. It seems like just a few years ago that we hatched the idea and made it a reality. But the first Academic Alert appeared in the spring of ’92.

The inaugural edition featured an interview with Grant Osborne on the release of The Hermeneutical Spiral. (Grant looks like a young turk in his photo.) An interesting sidebar in this issue focuses on the philosopher Tom Morris, author of Our Idea of God, and “The Pooh Philosopher,” who was then national spokesperson for Disney’s home videos on Winnie-the-Pooh.

The 1992 autumn edition featured an interview with Roger Olson and the late Stan Grenz on the publication of their 20th-Century Theology. I was fond of that book for what it achieved. And as their editor, I found these two authors to be a terrific collaborative team and fun to work with. Commenting on the book’s subtitle, God and the World in a Transitional Age, Grenz says,

When you look at what’s been written about contemporary theology lately, even the titles indicate that theology is in chaos—The Shattered Spectrum, Tracking the Maze and so on. There are no theological giants today. Theology is uncertain of its place in culture, and culture itself isn’t sure whether theology has a place anymore within it. And then there’s the whole phenomenon of postmodernity. Nobody quite knows what all of that means. But it is an indication that not only theology, but the whole Western intellectual world itself, is in a state of transition and uncertainty.

Oh yes, postmodernity. That was a theme for much publishing. And do we yet quite know what it all means? In Volume 4, Number 2, in the spring of 1995, we featured a spirited interview in which Rodney Clapp interacted with Richard Middleton and Brian Walsh (a photo has them posing with a trash can), focusing on their book Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be. That’s one that stirred up quite a bit of discussion.

The Academic Alert has been a great tool for introducing our books by telling some of the stories behind the scenes and for sharing our enthusiasm for our work at IVP Academic. And the regular interview feature has allowed authors to speak about their books in a less formal way, and allowed our readers to glimpse our authors' personalities. It has also been the venue for some editorial fun (like the one in my next post).

It's startling to think that we might soon--or already!--have some Alert readers who were hardly more than toddlers when we got this publication underway.

Posted by Dan Reid at November 13, 2008 9:07 AM Bookmark and Share

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