June 23, 2011
So You Think You Can Review This Book
Here is a second edition of a blog from the fall of 2007. DR
One of the annoyances of being an editor is reading negative postpublication reviews of books that you’ve acquired and edited and think deserve better, or at least more serious, interaction. It’s not that we think our books are without fault (editors often know where the faults are better than the next person), it’s that we want them to be treated respectfully and fairly. But editors rarely find it appropriate to respond to a book reviewer, though we do vent in our offices and editorial hallways. In my quest for suitable blog material, I’ve been jotting down types of book reviewing sloth (“sloth” being inspired from my current reading of Barth’s discussion of sin as sloth in CD IV.2.Continue reading "So You Think You Can Review This Book"
February 19, 2009
A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul
A Bird’s Eye View of Paul. That’s what Mike Bird’s book is called in the U.K. We call it Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message. And you thought the Brits were the ones with the humorless, stiff upper lip. Well no, that would be us in the U.S.A. We were going to try to mess with his Aussie humor too, but it wasn’t allowed.Continue reading "A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul"
January 7, 2009
Foaming at the Blurbs
There’s been quite a kerfuffle out there in blogdom here and here and here over Scot McKnight’s endorsement of N. T. Wright’s forthcoming book, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (due June 2009). You can read the endorsements, or blurbs, here. Now, from a publisher’s and an author’s standpoint, that’s a pretty nice spread of folks urging you to read the book, whether you agree or not. And my friend Scot, who knows how to blurb (and now saves his ammo for a select few, salted his endorsement with his considered opinion of some of Wright’s “neo-Reformed” opponents!
We’ve been expecting some fur to fly when the book comes out. But this much over just a blurb? Well, while we do try to be high minded, even handed and above the fray, I can’t help saying that this sort of thing warms the cockles of a publisher’s heart. And it provides an interesting window onto a sector of evangelicalism.
(And thanks to Mike Bird and a few others for stepping into the bloggy fray with the gift of reason and clarity.)
April 22, 2008
Going to School at the Movies
Really, it was so nice to hear someone other than a conservative Christian concerned about academic freedom, public debate and worldview issues. I’m speaking of Ben Stein’s film, just out last week, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It was hard to know what to expect given all the reactions to it in the blogosphere. But when my college senior nursing student daughter heartily encouraged me to go, that settled it. I went. Now, I’m recommending it, too.Continue reading "Going to School at the Movies"
Posted by Gary Deddo at 4:59 PM
February 15, 2008
Yahweh’s Bathtub Toy
Here’s something delightful from the DOTWPW.
Kathryn Schifferdecker, in her article on “Creation Theology,” comments on Leviathan (known in Canaanite religion as Lotan, the twisting sea serpent) in Psalm 104:
Psalm 104 speaks in similar terms of Leviathan, as a creature that God created and in which God takes pleasure (Ps 104:26). In fact, in Psalm 104 God creates Leviathan as something of a bathtub toy, placing the chaos monster in the sea so that God can “play” or “sport” (shq) with it.
Later she returns to the subject:
The word used for Woman Wisdom “playing” (shq) before God is used also in Psalm 104:26 of God’s “playing” or “sporting” with Leviathan. Many English translations of Psalm 104:26 are similar to that of the NRSV: “There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it [the sea].” The verse can also be translated: “There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to play with.” In order to make the antecedent of “it” the sea, one has to go back to the previous verse. It is more likely that the antecedent of the pronoun is found in the same verse, in the name “Leviathan.” God “plays” or “sports” with Leviathan as one would with a bath toy or a pet.
So there goes Leviathan—old Lotan, the monstrous and twisting sea serpent, erstwhile bad boy of Baal epic. Fear not! He’s nothing but Yahweh’s wubber ducky!
Posted by Dan Reid at 9:35 AM
February 13, 2008
The Known, the Known Unknown and the Unknown Unknown
As a very unpopular U.S. Secretary of Defense once declaimed about matters related to the contemporary Middle East:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
He was ridiculed for that. But the fact is that for interpreters approaching OT wisdom, poetry and writings, the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings offers something in each category of Rummy’s known and unknown, and not a few things “we don’t know we don’t know.” And that latter category can make all the difference!Continue reading "The Known, the Known Unknown and the Unknown Unknown"
Posted by Dan Reid at 5:32 PM
January 21, 2008
Blogging Back to Reviewers
Pete Enns, one of the editors of our forthcoming Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings, started a blog recently, and he has, among other things, put it to good use in responding to some of the reviewers of his Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament (Baker, 2005).Continue reading "Blogging Back to Reviewers"
Posted by Dan Reid at 11:59 AM
December 14, 2007
Weigel on Perry
George Weigel is, among other things, the author of a major biography of John Paul II. In his current column in the Denver Catholic Register he is recommending "Books for Christmas," and among them is Tim Perry's (ed.) The Legacy of John Paul II:
One of the major surprises of the pontificate of John Paul II was its enthusiastic reception by evangelical Protestants, especially in North America. The Legacy of John Paul II: An Evangelical Assessment, edited by Tim Perry and published by InterVarsity Press, sheds the light of evangelical theological scholarship on John Paul’s efforts to remind the world that human beings can indeed grasp the truth of things, including the moral truths of things. Put aside your dubieties about the John Paul II book industry and get a taste of the ecumenism of the future, made possible by the man Baptist theologian Timothy George calls “our common teacher.”
Posted by Dan Reid at 1:55 PM
November 13, 2007
One Flew Over
It seems that everyone wants a say about the new book There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheists Changed His Mind. It started with publication of the book last month by Harper One about Antony Flew, a British philosopher who wrote a pivotal essay in 1950 called “Theology and Falsification,” originally presented at the Oxford Socratic Club chaired by C. S. Lewis. Reprinted many times over, it has been a guide for atheists ever since.Continue reading "One Flew Over"
October 8, 2007
Be Not a Slothful Reviewer
One of the annoyances of being an editor is reading negative postpublication reviews of books that you’ve acquired and edited and think deserve better, or at least more serious, interaction. It’s not that we think our books are without fault (editors often know where the faults are better than the next person), it’s that we want them to be treated respectfully and fairly. But editors rarely find it appropriate to respond to a book reviewer, though we do vent in our offices and editorial hallways. In my quest for suitable blog material, I’ve been jotting down types of book reviewing sloth (“sloth” being inspired from my current reading of Barth’s discussion of sin as sloth in CD IV.2).Continue reading "Be Not a Slothful Reviewer"
June 12, 2007
Common Ground on a Meaningful World
Sometimes you never know who your friends will be--or at least, as Francis Schaeffer put it, your cobelligerents.
Recently IVP published A Meaningful World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt. The book seeks to make the case for a universe that is full of purpose, arguing the case from Euclid to Shakespeare to the development of the periodical table.
In a fascinating example of common ground The Muslim Weekly recently offered a supportive response to the book. Read it for yourself!