I am very thankful to the publishers who saw fit to send me manuscript editions — collector’s items to be sure — of books not yet published; but today I am reviewing a book that is available in two very different editions, however, the manuscript copy I have possibly resembles neither.
This is rather critical, since the book, or more correctly books in question rely heavily on an amazing set of pictures; and I have no idea what the page layout is of each, though I can make some basic assumptions.
The book(s) under review are titled Indescribable: Encountering the Glory of God in the Beauty of the Universe by Louie Giglio and Matt Redman. The simpler of the two is a 192-page paperback edition, retailing at $14.99 U.S. The second, the one you’d really want to own, is the 224-page, full-color hardcover illustrated edition, retailing at $24.99 U.S.
The book(s) take on a subject as big as all the universe, and I believe are based somewhat on the extremely popular Indescribable video which forms part of Passion Talk DVD series, and which EMI-Christian Music Group is offering for a limited time for only $7.99 U.S. in recognition of the book’s release.
The authors had me at the introduction; quoting Paul Hawken:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course… We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.
The book also highlights the subtleties of scripture that we often miss. In a chapter outlining the behavior of different types of stars, Matt Redman, a worship song composer and worship leader notes:
Literally every place the Hubble Space Telescope has looked, it has found something fantastic. Making one splendor-filled discovery after another, this instrument is turning out to be one of the world’s best worship leaders, introducing us to scenes of such compelling majesty that to bow low before our Maker is the only fitting response.
In I Corinthians we read, “The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another, and the stars and other; and star differs from star in splendor.” (15:41)
There are a number of similar passages where you say to yourself, ‘I’ve never thought about that particular scripture verse that way.’ It’s now easy for me to understand the popularity of the DVD series, and Indescribable in particular. This is a book that would make an excellent gift for anyone, but could be especially helpful to a skeptic, and especially formative to a younger individual.