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August 17, 2012


We want to thank everyone who made it a point to stop by the Ministry Development Series this week. I think we can honestly say this was one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done at the store- one of the most substantial, meaningful, and enriching events we’ve had the pleasure of hosting. Every evening was packed with excellent content and interesting conversation.

If you were here, you had a lot of fun with us talking about John Walton’s theo-centric reading of the Bible versus Michael Williams’ Christ0-centric interpretation. The back-and-forth from those two nights had my husband and I talking into the wee hours about how to read the Bible, how to think about the events and the narratives that happened in light of these two Old Testament professor’s thoughts.

John Walton’s thoughts on Job made me, for the first time in my life, want to buy a commentary for no other reason than just to read it and add it to my library (no paper to cite it in, no talk to prepare for). What if the book of Job isn’t supposed to be answering the questions about why the righteous suffer? Maybe Job addresses something else entirely. Maybe it’s addressing a different question than what we think it’s addressing.

You’ve heard me rave about the Bible Story Handbook already, so I won’t go there again, but suffice it to say we’re convinced more than ever of the importance of revisiting how we teach the stories of the Bible in the church, and how we think about the Bible in general.

Michael Williams got us excited about the redemptive arc of the Bible- how it all finds its focus in Jesus. We had a great conversation with him about how to find Jesus in every book of the Bible and why it’s legitimate to do so.

And then the third night- Ruth Barton’s conversation about the urgency of discerning God’s will, of being a mature Christian if you’re a Christian in leadership, and how that maturity doesn’t necessarily come about by being successful on the world’s stage, but rather through slowing down and listening to God through practices like solitude and silence, and corporate prayer.

What was so great about the MDS was that these conversations–about biblical interpretation, teaching, and spiritual formation–weren’t happening in a graduate school or a seminary; they were happening here, at a bookstore. We love being a venue for dialogue about the Bible, about how to know God- some of the most urgent questions people are asking need to break out of the four walls of a university classroom or the intimidating structure of a church building. Maybe your friends are asking some of these questions but they can’t afford a $10k graduate level theology degree, and they aren’t comfortable going to a church. We’re here, now. They can ask those questions here.

It’s our hope to host more events of this quality in the future. If you’re not yet liking us on Facebook, do so: you see us chattering all the time about what we have on the calendar. Make sure to sign up for our eblasts and catalogs as well, because we send postcards and mailings out inviting folks to these events.

Meanwhile, keep coming by and asking important questions. Sit down with us and talk about books. There’s nothing we like better.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Peter E. permalink
    August 17, 2012 5:22 pm

    It sounds like it was such a great event! And now I want to go by John Walton’s commentary. Sad that I had to miss this, but so excited for J&T that it went well. Hope to hear that more and more of these happen throughout the year. Miss you all!

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