Some Books' Temporary Boxed Lives & Our Travels by Van
A few days ago we sold books, back to back, with two of our favorite organizations. We set up all night--getting done at 6:30 am--in Ligonier PA for the campus ministry organization, the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) and their regular staff training seminar. It is from the CCO that Beth and I first learned of the whole worldviewish- engage-the-culture-from-a-Christian-perspective-kind of approach and first heard of heroes such as John Stott, Francis Schaeffer, Abraham Kuyper, Brian Walsh, John Perkins, Calvin Seerveld...So it is always good to be with their energetic and zany crew.
The always-excellent Derek Melleby gave a keynote talk to set the stage for their Biblical studies topic, and showed the new trailer for the upcoming Hollywood Spring blockbuster, The DaVinci Code, staring Tom Hanks. Whew. He suggested that collegiate ministers had best bone up on their answers to questions about the authenticity of the gospels and be prepared to give good answers to important questions. Yet, besides suggesting solid stuff to counter the silliness of the Gnostic gospels, he quoted a lengthy and powerful passage of Walter Bruggemann, inviting us to consider ways that the Biblical vision runs counter to our typical ways of doing things, and is subversive to the ways of the American culture. Not only do we need details about the historicity of the texts, but we need poetic proclaimers who can invite us to live into the world of the text. The Bible Makes Sense (St Anthony Messengers Press; $9.95) from which the quote came, is still one of my favorite little overviews of the Bible. The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Gohen (Baker; $19.99) is another that is a bit more substantial as handbook to the unfolding redemptive plan of God. Check out the link! Praise God for the CCO's efforts to be Biblically rooted and for the Bible books, commentaries, and apologetics titles we sold there.
My good buddy and cyber-savior Scott Calgaro then drove me, sans van and books, to the C.S. Lewis Institute's big event in DC where we caught up with Beth and rented van, bigger and more red than some fire trucks I've seen. There we got to hear Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God and dozens of other titles) and talk to Lewis geeks (and not a few Baptists there to hear Blackaby who, believe it or not, had never heard of Lewis. So it was a good event, with our hats off to Scott, Gordon--out of Hearts & Minds retirement for the trip--and volunteers there who pitched in getting the books down the freight elevator.
A couple of really late nights, some great conversations and a batch of books sold. Sam Van Eman--whose wonderful On Earth as It Is in Advertising: Moving From Commercial Hype to Gospel Hope I blogged about weeks ago--drove our van back from CCO and, voila, we're all home again. We rested on the Sabbath; slept after church, watched TV, helped with homework. Ordinary, restful stuff.
Now, Beth and I drive again to DC to be a part of a prestigious launch of an amazing book Deepening the American Dream edited by Mark Nepo and recently released by Jossey Bass. We will get to sell books at the National Press Club with presenters who contributed to this important new title. Parker Palmer, Huston Smith, Vincent Harding, Elaine Pagels (yep, the Gnostic scholar. Sometimes my head swirls as we travel from event to event.) We have to set up late tonight, and then work all day. That event, and the book which brought the event to Washington, deserves much more. I'll fill in the details in a couple of days. Thanks for your prayers.