Hearts & Minds BookNotes

annotations, blurbs and ruminations

to enlarge the heart & stimulate the mind

and to happily generate mail order business for Hearts & Minds bookstore

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Location: Dallastown, PA

My lovely wife Beth and I own and operate--proprietors makes us sound more classy than we really are--a cluttered, diverse and independent bookstore in Central Pennsylvania. After well over 20 years, we are still not sure what to say when people ask if our shop is a "Christian bookstore." I do a monthly book review column over at our website; we hope that these new blogged bits will afford friends and customers the chance to see other books I happen to be reading, wishing to read, pretending that I read or at least believe that others should, if not read, know about. We have three children, attend a Presbyterian church in York, PA and have no hobbies.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A great testimony on the impact of N.T. Wright

Yesterday, I posted a brief bit about the brand new N.T. Wright book on Paul, a collection of lectures compiled and expanded into an excellent and accesable new book, Paul: In Fresh Perspective just released by Fortress Press. I suggested it is a very, very good event for anyone seriously intersted in theological books. It will no doubt be considered a "must read."

Today, I learned that one of the guys who got me into blogging---a guy who is in my small handful of friends who has utter loyality to our business and to the ministry of Hearts & Minds and is relentless in bringing folks in, telling them about us, buying books and giving them away---is now back at the keyboard. After a hiatus for a season, the great Derek Melleby, over at Aslan Is On The Move is back. There is no shortage of very good bloggers, of course, and there are some very helpful sites that I consult daily. I feel compelled, though, to refer you to Derek and his story today. He cites my little post from yesterday, true, but the bigger point is how he tells of his desire to live more faithfully--even idealistically--as a Christian in our times. And how a certain number of movements, traditions, writers and authors helped him ask good questions. And, you know, he gets to that point in his narrative when he says, "Enter N.T. Wright." Reading and listening to Wright was a major breakthrough in his journey. It is beautiful to hear how a book we sold and an author we promoted proved to be so fruitful in a guy's life.

Skip over to Aslan Is On The Move and read what he says about N.T. Wright. And then snoop around his other essays and their links to good places. (Including the dramatic stuff about his taking a gang to Thailand to do tsunami relief.) I'm still pretty new at blogging myself, but I am happy to say to Derek, "Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere." Keep writing!

Interestingly enough, another very good friend, fairly new to my church, and new to Christian literature, has been devouring Wright essays in recent months from the link which I cited yesterday. He highlighted to me a few of the thoughtful essays he's picked up on the web...thanks, Dan! As he suggested, I will give you that site again. Read all manner of Wright essays (or download audio lectures) for free, here at www.ntrightpage.com.

Lastly: yet a third friend emailed, wondering sincerely (not at all critically) if I might offer opinion or reviews of books that have been hard on Wright. I am not quite prepared to do that--don't have the time or the smarts, really--but might mention a couple of texts in the future. For now, here is a very scholarly, fair-minded and very critical essay written by a conservative Calvinist theologian. This will make your head spin as the author levels serious accusations against Wright's view of justification. (You might notice that there are several interviews with N.T. on his ntrightpage website and some answers to some of these kinds of concerns. As I noted last night, he has been gracious and mature in responding to these criticisms.) After digging deep into these serious fine points, go back and read Melleby and how Wright's big picture thinking has so inspired him. That sure resonated with me and why I am eager to promote his new book.

And, after that, come on Americans: give this Brit a lift here in the States. Buy the book from Hearts & Minds. Operators are standing by at seven one seven, two four six, three three, three three. All major credit cards accepted. Or fire us an email. I hope you saw the special blog deal mentioned last night...Thanks.