With all the buzz on Twitter, I would love for this space to contain a review of Matthew Paul Turner’s Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever Growing Deity but alas, getting review books from Hachette Book Group is like pulling teeth and only once — with Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book which, by the way, is coming out in paperback in September — have I been successful. (I really wanted to review Rob Strong’s The Big Guy Upstairs so I could present my conspiracy theory that Strong is really Rob Bell; a theory I maintain despite the lack of physical resemblance…)
But I found it interesting who is on the list of review citations appearing at Ingram Book Company, the world’s largest book distributor. It’s certainly A-list, but it’s also a list of progressive writers who would be unlikely to say anything negative. (Not that they would; from what I hear the book is a must-read.)
Here’s a sample:
- Ed Cyzewski author, The Good News of Revelation and A Christian Survival Guide
- Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Start
- Micha Boyett, Author of Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer
- Nish Weiseth, author of Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World
- Frank Schaeffer, author, And God Said, Billy!
- Peter Rollins
- A. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically
- Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist
- Timothy Kurek, author of the bestselling book, The Cross in the Closet
Okay, so maybe I’m not quite in their league, but I’m not asking to be part of the print edition, I just want to review the book on the blog. Jericho Books, are you listening? Still, it’s interesting to see the omission of endorsements by Max Lucado, Jerry Jenkins or even Bill Gaither. (Does Bill read?)
Oh and by the way book marketing people, Peter Rollins looks really lame on this list, so I will say what the online product detail didn’t: Peter is the author of at least seven books and an unpublished PhD thesis that “offers a survey of religious thinking in the aftermath of Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. It engages directly with Martin Heidegger’s critique of onto-theology and explores the religious significance of Jacques Derrida’s post-structural theory and Jean-Luc Marion’s saturated phenomenology…” (Wikipedia) Hence the doctorate in “Post-Structural Theory.” But onto-theology is out of my league also.
And that’s just a sample of what my research department would provide Matthew Paul Turner if Hachette/Faithwords/Jericho wants to ante up with a print copy, mailed to my lavish executive offices (see yesterday’s post) in the next 72 hours.
Not exactly the way you remember it…
It was battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three”,
From the room far back a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered, But I just cried,
I hardly could believe
I’d almost got that old violin -
I could have had it for three.
‘Til that interfering old know-it-all sod
Stuck his nose where I wished he had not
And some overdressed twit outbid my three bucks
By a thousand times what I had brought.
So I watched that old fiddler return to his seat
Near the back where he had been sittin’
As he passed where I sat, I just couldn’t resist
I stuck out my foot and I tripped him.
On the one hand, he has 63,300 followers on Twitter. On the other hand, not everybody is on Twitter and this deserves a wider readership, not to mention preservation since Twitter offers little in terms of accessible archives. Welcome back to more from my favorite presence in the Twitterverse, Church Curmudgeon:
- Our drummer hasn’t seen many dangers or toils, but he’s sure gone through a lot of snares.
- Who among you, if his son asked for a donut, would give him a scone?
- Worship leader found the old choir music closet. I told him they’re Greek manuscripts. Doesn’t know the difference.
- When Noah realized how long he was going to be on the ark with those animals, he felt like he’d been hit with a 2 by 2.
- A guy got caught stealing an idol from our local museum in hopes of auctioning it off. Baal has been set at $50,000.
- The church cut the Senior’s group budget to 20 bucks per event. So tonight we’re going to party like it’s $19.99.
- Please pray for the children’s director, who fell off a ladder and suffered injuries to her head and shoulders, knees & toes, knees & toes.
- I tried to cancel my meeting with Hank from the King-James-Only church, but he didn’t receptus my textus.
- Headed over to the seminary barbecue this afternoon. Otherwise known as casting a pig into a herd of D. Mins
- They kicked the guitarist off the worship team, and won’t let him come back until he finds Gsus.
- It would be easier for the congregation to lip-sync if they’d put the right words up.
- It’s one thing to be at a loss for words in worship. It’s another to write a song called “Jesus, I’m All, Like, Dude”.
- When my pastor’s discouraged, I’ve always found that a note reminding him how to do his job helps me feel better.
- If you leave your Bible at church, we highlight all the really weird passages to make your children wonder about you when you die.
- Blowout deals on hymns at How Great Thou Mart.
- You can’t debunk someone who had nowhere to bunk in the first place.
- Today, in an effort to be more accurate, the tech team is just going to type in what they think we’re singing as we go.
- Changing our vision statement from “Excellence in All Things” to “Somebody Has to Be Below Average”.
- Joel Holstein – Your Best Life Cow
- People don’t care about how much you grumble unless you grumble about how much they care.
- I love how people who mock the Bible for having food laws change their whole diet on the basis of a Facebook link.
- Pastor’s “attending” a webinar today. I’m assuming this will lead to a degree from a webinary.
- If our creepy puppet ministry saves one creepy kid, it will be worth it all.
- What’s the SleepNumber® on your pew?
- In a better world, there would also be a theologian named OT Wong.
- If you don’t think God is patient, forgiving, and long-suffering, consider that He has read ALL of Twitter.
Well that covers about a 90-day window, but is just a small part of the 4,600+ Tweets on the curmudgeon’s feed.
So is it just me, or is Church Curmudgeon a Christian publishing deal waiting to happen?
So…if anyone from Cornerstone Television, or even TBN is listening, I have a great idea for a Christian weekly half-hour sitcom, and the script ideas already exist online. Here it is:
Jamie The Very Worst Missionary
Jamie Wright, now living in the U.S., has built a huge blog following on being inept at various things; and yet behind the self-deprecating humor, there is a great deal of both insight and heart. I was thinking we could get Jenna Elfman (Dharma and Greg; 1600 Penn) to play Jamie. And Jamie Wright could have some kind of creative control, thus adding Jamie The Very Worst Scriptwriter to her list of ‘worsts.’ And how about a nice 1960’s style opening theme song, “She’s Jamie, the very worst miss-ion-aa-ree…”
A big shout out this week to the people who track me down and submit link suggestions. Weekly deadline is 6:00 PM Eastern on Mondays. To view clickable links for all that follows, read the Wednesday Link List at Out of Ur.
- Although this movie trailer was posted in May, it was new to me: Coming in January, 2014 a movie about singer/songwriter Rich Mullins, aptly titled Ragamuffin…
- …and a more recently posted trailer for a documentary exploring “the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality,” with interviews with “a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers.” The 7-part DVD series is titled Painting The Stars.
- It’s not just a Catholic problem; a group is actively protesting to push for the ordination of Mormon women.
- Just weeks before his formal installation, the President of the American Bible Society announces that the Board of Trustees has “brought [his] service to a close.”
- “Christians in the Middle East are hostages in the hands of Islamic forces.” “Many of Israel’s Christians feel that their history, culture and heritage have been hijacked by Muslim Arabs in the region.” Read more at this report from a recent conference.
- Sometimes in the quest to free ourselves from the constraints of religion, we discover we’ve simply immersed ourselves in a different form of religion.
- Thanks to Canadian blogger Michael Bell, I was finally able to track down data on megachurches in Canada, a much shorter list than its U.S. counterpart.
- 1-Source, a collaboration of four Christian publishing companies will offer titles by established authors like Bill Myers and Brandilyn Collins, as well as self-publishing.
- David and Goliath becomes the theme of a TED Talk, but this explanation of the story is a little different from the one we know.
- Essay of the Week: From right here at Christianity Today, Andy Crouch on the power we confer to those in church leadership and why it matters.
- Find of the Week: Christian cartoonist Wes Molebash whose adventures with JP and Miles at the fictional Paper City Church make up the comic Insert Image.
- Retort of the Week: Russell D. Moore responds to Pope Francis’ recent interview with an Italian journalist and the danger severing the love of God from the holiness of God…
- …while Shane Claiborne remembers the original Francis.
- There is so much to read at the blog of Samantha Field that it’s hard to just link to one post, but here’s 15 things you shouldn’t say to a recovering Fundamentalist.
- Apologetics in part involves responding to Christianity’s critics, and these are some interesting responses.
- One year ago at this time, I was crusading to get a classic book on the history of teaching about the Holy Spirit put back in print.
- Typology: “So [Mommy/Daddy], [was/is] [name of prominent figure] a good guy or a bad guy?” Sometimes the answer is a bit of both. (Tangent: Check out the blogroll on this one.)
- Not only does a portrait of Jesus have to be removed, but an Ohio school district has to pay the ACLU’s $80,000 in legal costs.
- Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas is producing a number of quality videos to go along with a dramatic reading of chapters in Genesis.
- I think this was more common in a previous generation, but why not today? Praying for your children’s future spouses.
- In some conservative Christian circles, the phrase “Guard your heart,” has an entirely different spin with consequences the writer of Proverbs never intended.
- Jamie The Very Worst Goodwill Ambassador articulates her ambivalence after a tour with World Vision.
- In the spirit of what’s termed Paul-Timothy relationships, Donald Miller suggests you should take your cues from people notably older than yourself, not your peers.
- She “is a girl, just like you and me, who made a mistake. She knows when you are talking about her. She knows when you are looking at her and judging her.” An insider look at birth-mothers.
- Don’t roll your eyes, but it’s one more Arminianism vs. Calvinism comparison.
- For Italians, the name Simone Saltarelli denotes both a well known motorcyclist and a figure in Catholic church history.
- The 2013 Catalyst Conference, as covered by the hometown newspaper, or more relevant details at Christianity Today.
- Lost Song of the Week: Standin’ in the Need of Prayer by Deitrick Haddon and the Voices of Unity; a flashback to 2004.
- Christianity Meets Culture: A blog featuring “reviews and news on the board gaming industry from a ministry point of view.” Not surprisingly, it’s called Theology of Games.
- And then there’s this graphic which I’m sure you have use for, but I wasn’t sure how to introduce it. (What’s an .svg file anyway?)
- Back on the comic front, nearly seven years and more than 1,100 panels later, the UK’s Jon Birch is still cartooning at ASBO Jesus.
- Finally, a story for which I’ll quote the entire first paragraph, so you know I’m not making this up: “The Robertson clan from A&E’s reality show Duck Dynasty, will release a Christmas album called “Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” on October 29, featuring several top country stars.”
Link curator Paul Wilkinson blogs daily here and Tweets as inspiration strikes at @PaulW1lk1nson (or is “at @” a redundancy?)
Insert Image is the continuing story of Miles and JP from Paper City Church, as created by Wes Molebash. There’s a new comic panel every Monday.
having trouble viewing the complete image? Click here.
No, it’s not you. There’s something wrong here. I’ll let Jon Acuff followed by some of his friends Tweet their response:
- It bothers me that it’s a cheetah not a lion. Am I a horrible Christian?
- Am I equally horrible for thinking the kid should be STANDING, not crouching?
- Ok so why would you follow someone’s IG if all you wanted to do was rip them apart?? I thought it was funny ( and so were the comments).
- Hahaha, I love when people try to demonize you. You always have great comebacks!
- I was thinking the same thing, before I read your comment!
- This designer doesn’t play by all your direct scripture quoting rules; (yeah you know where this is going) he’s a CHEETAH!
- You should photo shop a lion’s head onto this image… “There, I fixed it”
- If you look closely you can see it’s clearly a lion wearing a cheetah costume.
- Before I read your caption I was like, “b-b-but that’s not a lion…” I’m with ya!
- I think both cheetah and the kid are standing on a lion.
- I looked at that (before I saw who posted it) and thought “That’s a cheetah. What’s going on here?” LOL
- Also, is that the largest cheetah on earth or what? Sheesh.
- It could be kinda accurate! There were mountain leopards in many of the places where David hid from Saul, including the caves of En-Gedi!
- With God you will crouch unharmed next to giant cheetahs. I like the original too. Either way the sentiment rocks.
Well…for another take on Psalm 91; check out the video here by Sonicflood
…and if you missed the excitement over Jon’s resignation this week from the Dave Ramsay team, there’s this article