Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Great Emergence

I just started reading The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle. Quite frankly, I believe this may be one of the most important books written in the last number of years, particularly for anyone who is an observer of the changing times we live in, both within and outside the church. I'm only four pages in and am already astounded. Check this quote:

"When we become agitated - and agitate each other - about how we are drowning in information overload, in correspondence, and in the stress of unending "TO-DO" lists, we are talking about the Great Emergence, or at least about one small part of its presence as a new time in human history. When, for example, we discover we can no longer do so simple a thing as running sums in our heads, but instead have to turn to our calulators, we are recognizing that we are storing more and more of our "selves" outside of ourselves and thereby creating a dependency that is, at very least, unsetteling." (italics mine)

Tickle is not the first to identify this "self outside of self" concept, but she has a way of saying profound things in simple ways that make me look forward to where she is heading with this observation and the rest of the book.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shop Talk: Christian Books in Canada

Just a small, but I thought significant observation in this weekend's Globe & Mail Books section.

The number one book in the hardcover fiction list is The Shack by William Young...a Christian book that is selling by the boatload right now. And why, dear reader, is this one showing up when The Purpose Driven Life, Left Behind, and the Prayer of Jabez never did? Because a mainstream publisher just picked up the rights to the book.

That's right, when a Christian book is published by a Christian publisher, it will not appear on a bestseller list in Canada even though it would in the U.S. That's why the Purpose Driven Life, one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time did not show up on any lists in Canada.

If any of you are feeling that the Christian community in Canada is insignificantly small, The Shack hitting the #1 position tells me that there's more of us than we are led to believe.

Shop Talk: NLT Study Bible

Tyndale House is releasing the NLT Study Bible in September and now that the first sample editions are out, the buzz in the blogospehere has been intense. It seems that the Study Bible and the NLT in particular is becoming the translation of choice for a lot of people as discussed in detail by Rick over at This Lamp. See his post Rise of the New Living Translation for all the commentary.

I obviously have a biased interest in the translation discussion, but putting all biases aside, I do find my NLT is the Bible I use most often at home or to carry to church. I have one of the sample editions of the Study Bible and can't wait to really dig into it.

For all of you eager beavers there's also a new NLT blog that the translation editors regularly contribute to. Great insights and insider info to be found here.