The First Great Book of the New Year

The Invitation.jpgYipeee.  Somebody finally listened to me.  Okay, okay, that sounds both paranoid (surely some people listen to me on occasion) and grandiose. Ooops.   Still, I’ve been saying this for years.  I’ve told the publisher.  I’ve told the author. I’ve told other publishers.  I’ve prayed, which I guess counts for telling God.

One of the best features of Eugene Peterson’s vibrant, folksy, interesting paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, is the spectacular introductions to each book of the Bible.  His entries are at once poetic and insightful.  Style and substance combine, making these short overviews just fabulous;  interesting, fun, helpful, wise.  I’ve wanted somebody—some power that be in the publishing world—to take those one or two page introductory reflections and put them together in one little volume.  Call it Eugene Peterson’s Introduction to the Bible, or The Message Handbook, I don’t care.  It would be the best intro to the grand sweep, the broad narrative, the Christo-centric vision, the God-drenched flavor, the humanly-written, history-heavy, creation-restoring nature of every single book of this wild and wooley text we call The Bible that we’ve yet gotten.  Short, pithy, smart, solid. 

And lo and behold, it is incarnated, the light cometh, before Epiphany, even. It is called (oddly, I’d say, and, unfortunately, only in hardback) The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible.  It does serve well as an invitation to study the story, to live the word, to know the history, literary stylings, and theological message of the drama of Scripture.  So, consider it an invitation for curious seeker, nervous beginner or seasoned reader who needs a delightful, mature, creatively-told and very important reminder of What It’s All About. As the back cover promises, “Simply Profound.”

And invitation to you:  buy this book.  Buy a couple copies of this book.  Tell others about it. Get it in your church library.  My blog, here, is more enthusism than review, but that’s okay: spread the word; forward the link.  Let folks know it is available.   I’m pretty excited, you know, that, finally, the publishing world actually listened to me. Ha.

The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible  Eugene Peterson (NavPress) $16.99  hardcover 203 pages.

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2 thoughts on “The First Great Book of the New Year

  1. Light me up! light our way, Eugene….
    Way to Go, Byron.
    I have seriously entertained the notion the last few days (so it’s cool that you’re blogging this)
    of starting a new order (or joining one) where we put into practices of Eugene Peterson and other like minded folks–Foster, Willard, RH Barton et al…
    Rule of St. Eugene or St. Peterson as some of my good friends call him…i know he would blush at such a thing or disregard it as he’s a godly, humble dude—-but i’m pretty serious here…anyway, enough of my idea—
    great work!

  2. woo-hoo. I’m excited that this book is out, but I am even more excited that YOU are so excited. 🙂

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