August 30, 2011
It's All Clear, Depending on How You View It
At IVP we’ve gathered our multiview books—the three-views, four-views, five-views books—under the banner of Spectrum Multiview Books, and we’ve given their covers a new look.
So what can you look forward to? Well, we’ve just sent Justification: Five Views to the printer, and it’s coming out this fall. (I challenge you to read the endorsements and conclude you don’t need to bother with the book.) And next spring we will have Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views. These two have been simmering on separate burners of my editorial range.
But with one dish heading for the table now, I’m ready to prepare another. And I think I just heard the order come in. Right now there is a new evangelical controversy breaking out of the gate: the issue is biblicism and its premise of the clarity (or perspicuity, if you like technical terms) of Scripture. So how about The Clarity of Scripture: Five Biblical Views?
Perhaps we could have these views:Continue reading "It's All Clear, Depending on How You View It"
Posted by Dan Reid at 3:52 PM
December 29, 2009
My Great Unfinished Books of 2009
Some of my friends like to record all the books they read in the past year and blog about them. I could do that too, and you might be impressed. But since my New Year’s resolution is to become the most humble reader on the face of the earth—and the most transparent too!—here’s my list of unfinished books of 2009.Continue reading "My Great Unfinished Books of 2009"
July 8, 2009
I’ve been working on our forthcoming Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship written by Brett Provance. Like other volumes in this series, it takes on the knotty vocabulary of an academic area and provides brief and to-the-point definitions. It will be a great aid for students of liturgy.
Having never twittered or even received a tweet, I’ve been feeling a bit sidelined. So the least I can do is provide some twittering fodder for someone else. I know that a tweet can’t exceed 140 characters (though I’m a little confused over whether that includes spaces too, which is just the kind of thing an editor would wonder about). Anyway, here are ten tweets to tuck twixt thine Te Deum and Trisagion.Continue reading "Twittery Liturgy"
July 1, 2009
Remembering July 4, 1969
Forty years ago—July 4, 1969—I was in a Bergschrund (German for “big, hairy crevasse near head of glacier”) on the Eliot Glacier at the base of the North Face of Mt. Hood, Oregon. I had not intended on spending my morning there, by the way. It was not a glaciology field trip.Continue reading "Remembering July 4, 1969"
Posted by Dan Reid at 12:00 PM
April 1, 2009
The April Fool’s Blog That Got Away
Last week I told Andy Unedited that I just didn’t have what it takes this year to pull off a decent April Fool’s blog. Last year I outdid myself and fooled one or two folks who don’t think there’s any humor to be found in over-the-top carbon offsets. I guess counting out your mint, dill and cumin doesn’t put you in the frame of mind for humor.
But if I had attempted an April Fool’s blog, the fodder was to be found in a Chronicle of Higher Education article that Scot McKnight pointed out on his Saturday roundup of “Weekly Meanderings”. It’s about the globalization of academic paper-writing mills. It’s an interesting—and depressing—read all in itself.
The attitude of one student caught my eye:Continue reading "The April Fool’s Blog That Got Away"
Posted by Dan Reid at 9:00 AM
March 23, 2009
Packer By Name
As Jim Packer has said about his own writing, “Packer by name. Packer by trade.” He can put a lot into a very few words. The quotable Packer was certainly in his usual fine form at Christian Book Expo in Dallas last week. Here are just a few:
Reflecting on the head injury he received as a seven-year-old when a truck hit him requiring portions of skull bone to be removed,
March 19, 2009
The Wisdom (and Wit) of Richard John Neuhaus
A couple days ago I received my copy of First Things (April 2009). The theme is “Richard John Neuhaus In Memoriam” (as most readers probably know, he died recently). There are twenty-five pieces from friends and colleagues of RJN (names like Berger, Elshtain, Gerson, Novak, Packer, Weigel and Wilken). It’s a must read for anyone who knew or followed this remarkable man. Plus there are some great photos! Ever since its inception I’ve been a devoted subscriber and reader of First Things. Which also means that for years, as soon as I’ve received my copy of FT, I’ve dropped everything to turn to RJN’s “While We’re At It” at the back of the mag. Agree or disagree with him, it was a wonderful read. Others I know have admitted the same habit. Who will fill that void in our lives?
Reading through the remembrances, I gleaned some great RJN sayings, several of them concentrated in Ramesh Ponnuru’s piece.Continue reading "The Wisdom (and Wit) of Richard John Neuhaus"
Posted by Dan Reid at 11:09 AM
November 22, 2008
July 22, 2008
The Machine of Dry Hair
On the First Things blog recently, a photo of this (presumably hotel-room) sign from China appeared:
The machine of dry hair only last about 12 minutes. If you keep on using it not to stop, It will be destroyed.
What’s more, the machine of dry hair can only use it for making hair dry and for dry skin. Using it dry the clothes is forbidden.
If you can not use it correctly, The machine is destroyed, and you must pay for it by the price!
I grew up in Japan in the 1950s and 60s, and signs and printed instructions like this were a regular source of delight and wonder. Delight at the surprising and humorous manglings of the English language by those who wanted to communicate to English speakers—and apparently hoped to profit by it. And wonder that they did not consult a native English speaker but valiantly forged on with grammar and lexicon in hand.
Decades later, it's the computerized translation program that puts the fun in the transmission. I still get a kick out of these signs. And I know enough to realize that my own occasional attempts at translating my thoughts into foreign languages have probably been the source of just as much amusement. But you know what? We need editors even when writing in our own language. Even when the author is an editor. As our Chinese translator would have it, the book of dry text only last about 12 minutes. If you can not write it correctly, The reader is destroyed, and you must pay for it by the price! Thanks!*
*And thanks to my blog editor, Dave Zimmerman, for his helpful suggestions for improvements!
May 27, 2008
Have you noticed how buying books can turn into a nuisance. Once the books are on the shelves, sooner or later the little darlings beckon to be read. And sooner or later the impulse overtakes you to concede. Wouldn’t it be far more practical to have a library of books that offers its compliments to learning without actually tempting you to engage it? Inspired by the Dummy Book Company, I am recommending that IVP Academic begin offering our customers a full array of faux books to adorn their dens, studies or office walls. Consider it intellectual wallpaper.Continue reading "Intellectual Wallpaper"
April 4, 2008
Offsetting Our Carbon-Offset Program
It's April 4, and time to declare that (contrary to serious-minded folks out there) our IVP-Academic Carbon-Offset program was an April Fools' Day joke. (And we've fired John Tetzel, the program administrator.) Let us be clear: THERE IS NOT AND NEVER WAS SUCH A THING AS THE IVP-ACADEMIC CARBON-OFFSET PROGRAM.
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
November 7, 2007
Top Ten Things to Say on Returning Home with Conference Book Plunder
Here are some verbal tactics you might find useful as you bring your conference book plunder home under the scrutiny of your nonacademic spouse. The premise is that, arriving at the airport, you can’t manage to drop the books off at the office.
10. “Look at how much money I saved! These were all forty to fifty percent off!”
9. “You should have seen the temptations! This is the small price of my restraint.”
8. “Remember, I’m writing a book, and the royalties will more than cover the price of these books. It’s just a temporary investment that we’ll recoup.” (Oh sure. Like your monograph on Athanasius Against the Arians is going to cover the cost of even one of those Brill titles in your bag!)
7. “Look! I’ve taken care of a lot of our Christmas shopping!” (When he/she tells you that no one on the Christmas list wants those books, you act disappointed and rejected, and absorb them into your library.)
6. “Oh, so you’re going to complain about your husband/wife squandering money on books! Do I blow money on alcohol? tobacco? gambling? drugs? sex? stadium box seats? No! Just books on justice and peace, Jesus and Paul, trinitarian theology and the evils of, uh . . . consumerism!”
5. “Don’t worry. It just looks like a lot. Amortized over my lifetime, I’m not spending very much on books at all. Certainly nothing like You Know Who.”
4. “These are all tax deductible.” (This only works if he/she is under the illusion that you somehow subtract the book bill from the tax due.)
3. “These are all tools. Just the cost of doing business in my trade.”
2. Dull the impact by itemizing. “Some of these are for Christmas. Some of these are for the new class I’m teaching. Some of them are for my research. Some of them I might adopt as texts. And one of them is for you!”
1. “Folks who had lost their homes in the fires were selling these books on the streets of San Diego. I couldn’t resist helping them out. If you had looked into their eyes . . .” *
Next year, perhaps we can offer ideas on how to hustle the plunder onto the premises and avoid this conversation.
*This one shows just how low one can go.
June 26, 2007
A Blog on Blurbs
One of an editor’s tasks is to find endorsements for select books. Nearly all of my academic books, for example, are accompanied by them.
But what happens if you get a general book—even a humor book—written by an academic? Well, you get what you see on the back of The Original Dr. Steve’s Almanac of Christian Trivia written by professor of philosophy and ethics, Steve Wilkens. Endorsements from serious guys like Mark Noll, Alan Padgett and Gary Moon that are, well, shall we say light hearted? (And you should know that each endorser really did sign off on their respective blurbs.) Take a look. You’ll be impressed!
Oh, and don’t forget to note the special one from Dr. Steve’s mom.
Posted by Gary Deddo at 12:04 PM
May 6, 2007
Blowin' in the Wind
For those of you who thought there had to be a limit to the talents and abilities of the Bishop of Durham, you have got to hear what happened on Tuesday, May 9, 2006, when Tom (N.T.) Wright (author of Evil and the Justice of God) was in Toronto for an event called empireremixed. Here is the audio from the event. I'm not blowin' (smoke) in the wind.
Check it out and don't miss the interview afterward as well.