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HarperCollins Christian Publishing: Is Logistical Chaos God’s Judgement?

OPINION

This is an opinion piece and should not be treated as a news item.

 

It’s easy to fall into the dichotomy that church is church and business is business, and that, while the content of the books Christians publish is definitely related to understanding and applying the ways of God, the business practices should not be over-spiritualized.

But lately, I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts from journalist Julie Roys and wondered if I can connect some dots. First, let’s look at the problems that we, as Canadian stores are facing getting resources from HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

  • A single order can result in four different types of shipments with each one having a separate invoice generated and mailed separately, resulting in
    • an onslaught of mail, each invoice bearing a $1.30 US cost, plus printing; creating another statement line item
    • individual shipping costs and packaging costs; this in an age where “green” consciousness is constantly rising
  • long delays getting books back on press, sometimes six months
  • useless, one-time corrugated shipping cartons, which need to be recycled immediately after opening and thereby can’t be used to re-ship/deliver larger product orders to customers; again, strange in a world where “green” awareness is so important
  • insistence that “monitored” or “golden” bestseller product be released manually, sometimes resulting in a delay of an extra week; incongruous considering that these are bestsellers
  • insistence that orders as small as one or two copies of “monitored” stock not be released with small orders
  • invoices bearing what are sometimes retail prices, and sometimes are net prices
  • a website option which promises “invoices and statements” but is incapable of showing account statements
  • statements which cut off early in the month, only to re-classify invoices from the 27th to 31st of the month as overdue in subsequent statements
  • website product listings which do not immediately indicate the difference between a key product and its study guide, or a key product and its Spanish equivalent
  • invoices and packing slips sent with shipments which are for other stores in Canada and the U.S.; or there is simply no paperwork

So is all this simply, as they would have you believe, a result of staff-shortages, bad weather and a worldwide pandemic?

This is where it gets spiritual. Is God withholding his hand of blessing from Zondervan and Thomas Nelson? I’m sure they would disagree and would have us know that everything is moving up and to the right. Which of course, with the recent tidal wave of price increases, it would be.

This morning I looked again at the Tower of Babel narrative in Genesis 11:

NIV.Gen.11.5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8a So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth…

Maybe that’s an unusual case in terms of God’s dealings with us. Perhaps a better analogy is God simply allowing Israel to wander for 40 years for what, as Deuteronomy 1:2 tells us, could have been an eleven-day journey.

What might call God to withhold his blessing, or, as above, do more? This is where the Julie Roys podcast fits in. I want to suggest you listen two specifically,

These are but two of many examples of situations where HCCP stands “weighed in the balances and found wanting.” In the case of Carey Scott whose content was plagiarized by Christine Caine, there was a settlement of a lawsuit in 2018, but there has never been a formal apology from Caine or the publisher. Dennis Swanson’s print acknowledgement of writing/editing material for John MacArthur was removed and for over a year, the publisher simply keeps saying “we’re still looking into it.”

Consider also the HCCP authors whose brand was damaged in 2020. We listed many of them in this article. Ravi Zacharias, Eric Metaxas, Dave Ramsay, John Ortberg, Franklin Graham, MacArthur, etc. were all high-profile authors with Nelson or Zondervan.

It’s important that we not think that because bookstore staff are “in the ministry” that our publishing partners, as with every human endeavour, are not free from corruption. If you’ve been associated with Christian publishing for any length of time, you probably have stories, too; some of which perhaps even I am not aware of.

But when problems are systemic over a prolonged period of time, you have to wonder if God is “confusing the movement” as he did at Babel; or simply withholding blessings which we normally experience everyday without realizing the degree to which God is orchestrating events to make “things work together for good;” and the times God “makes your paths straight.”

 

More Social Media Graphics

NavPress – Canadian author – See our review on January 13

Baker/Bethany – Journal and Study Guide also available

Donna VanLiere (Christmas Shoes author) – Harvest House – Book 3 is March release

NIV Artisan Collection Bibles

NIV Artisan Collection Bibles

The Wonder of Creation – Room in lower centre/left to add store info

Tyndale: See previous graphics for alternative image

Order from Goodseed

CA Gifts – Mugs with matching fabric coasters (Some graphics here appearing to be cut off on the right margin are in fact intact when copied.)

Wall/Tabletop plaques – approx 8 designs – Word Alive

Scented candles from Abba – approx. 10 different styles – Word Alive

Harvest House Kids – mid February release

Canterbury Classics journal – Book Depot – blue one may be sold out

Books for Seekers – Nelson/Zondervan

Word Alive Press – Eastern Ontario authors

Revell – New Release Tuesday – January 2022

Generic 720px x 180px header


  • None of these graphics were created specifically for this blog post, but I do appreciate hearing about where you are using them.

Books About What We Do and Where We’ve Come From

December 4, 2020 2 comments

Last summer I was able to get my hands on The House of Zondervan, released in 2006 when the company was celebrating 75 years. As someone who has been in this business for awhile, I really enjoyed this, and once they got to around the mid 1980s, there were names and organizations in the story which I recognized. Besides, it’s always valuable to reconnect with the original vision.

I was told that a year or two ago a similar book about Baker Book Group was in the works. I was even given a working title, and it occurred to me at the time they ought to send it out free to people who’ve been at this a long time. But if the book ever existed — and perhaps it was just about Chosen Books or Bethany House — I can’t even locate the title anymore. (This is another example of why Google completely fails at certain types of searches. It latches on to key words to the detriment of what you’re actually seeking.) If you have one, please send me the proper title and/or ISBN.

In looking, I discovered Leap of Faith by Norman Grubb (who wrote Rees Howells: Intercessor) which is a history of Christian Literature Crusade (CLC).

I mention all this today because I just picked up a remainder copy of Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength: An Anecdotal History of InterVarsity Press, 1947 – 2007. Having worked for IVP at both the Leslie Street location in Toronto and the Denison Road warehouse in Markham, I know I’ll recognize some of the players, at least from the late 1970s.

I’m also fairly certain there’s a history of Thomas Nelson, and if not, Michael Hyatt wrote some helpful online articles which are still available.

If you really want to go deep, the periodical The Christian Librarian has an 84 page history of Christian publishing that’s free to read at Digital Commons.

Are there any books about NavPress? David C. Cook? Anyone else? Feel free to mention them to me in an email or in the comments.

7 More Men in the “7” Series from Eric Metaxas

One of the challenges booksellers face is finding titles which function as great gifts for men. This is one of those books, not for the obvious reason in the title, but because the concise chapters and fast-paced writing style is in keeping with the attention of span of even men who might be considered non-readers. This is a preview of a mention of the book which will appear at Thinking Out Loud.


I have to give him credit. Eric Metaxas knows how to take biographical data and make it interesting and relevant to the greatest number of people. In a 2007 interview he said that his books, “don’t touch upon anything at all where Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians differ. They express just the basics of the faith, from a basic, ecumenical Christian viewpoint. They only talk about the Christian faith that they have agreement on.” 1

Back in 2013 I reviewed 7 Men and the Secrets of their Greatness, and in 2015 I also covered 7 Women and the Secrets of their Greatness. (You may read those here and here.) Those two titles are also now available in a single volume. This time he’s back with the hardcover release of 7 More Men and the Secrets of their Greatness (Zondervan).

As with the other two, it’s not necessary to read the chapters in the sequence they appear, but I started with the first, Martin Luther, but then found the chapter of George Whitefield (pronounced WHIT-field) even more engaging. The man was a bit of a superstar in “The Colonies” and on his home turf in England. While I was aware of him, I had never taken the time to learn about his life or ministry.

And that’s the problem. There are people, including those in vocational ministry, who never are confronted with some of these figures in church history. That George Whitefield was mentored by John and Charles Wesley made him all the more interesting to me, but I was saddened to learn that towards the end they differed over “predestination and election.” It’s the same old song today, isn’t it?

Whitefield’s passion and appreciation for preaching in the streets was shared by William Booth the Salvation Army’s founder, and so I skipped ahead to chapter four. While this was shorter than other accounts I’ve read of William and his wife Catherine, I never tire of them. There are certain “must read” books that are recommended to young Christians, but not to discount those, I would suggest that a biography of William Booth should be near the top of that list.

Then it was back to chapter three for George Washington Carver. I knew next to nothing about this man, a certifiable genius who literally rocked the agricultural world with discoveries that affect us to this day. Sadly, he grew up amid the segregation in the U.S. South, but that only made him more determined to better the lives of both his own people, and all of us. Appearing before Congress, he was asked where he learned all of his various food applications. He told them he got them from a book. When asked what book that was, he said, “The Bible.”

Next, I was off to chapter six, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I must confess that this was also an author I only knew superficially and reading this account of his life is almost exhausting as the man is moved from prison to prison for his crime of daring to critique the Soviet regime. I wasn’t sure about his faith. Was he a Christian or simply a deist? That became more clear toward the very end of the story, and his roots in the Orthodox church would certainly resonate with Metaxas.

Chapter five is about Alvin York, among the most decorated soldiers of World War I, and chapter seven is about Billy Graham, and consists mostly of material culled from Graham’s autobiography, Just as I Am. Sections on Graham’s interactions with U.S. Presidents and world leaders was where I hoped Eric Metaxas would find his own voice, especially with his background working for Chuck Colson, but these are succinct biographies and Metaxas stuck closely to the script. Billy Graham is still very much with us, so there were fewer things here I had not already seen, but I didn’t remember reading that Graham himself had been encouraged to run for President. His wife, Ruth, told him that if he did she would divorce him!

Overall, I enjoyed this volume every bit as much as the two previous “7” books in this series. Maybe even more. But what was the secret of their greatness? I think the question is a bit of teaser, with readers left to figure that out for themselves for each of the men profiled.


1Greek News: Eric Metaxas and the God Question


This volume in the series is currently available in hardcover only. Thanks to Mark H. of HarperCollins Christian Publications for an opportunity to review an advance copy.

 

 

Zondervan to Differentiate Sections of Its Brand

Baker has Baker Academic. InterVarsity has IVP Academic.

Now Zondervan, which has always been a leader in scholarly and high-level Bible reference publications is going to clarify what readers of its Zondervan Academic Blog have long-known, by making Zondervan Academic a distinct publishing imprint. The academic division’s tag line has been: “Equipping biblical scholars since 1931.”

The official media announcement was posted on March 11th.

“As a leader in Christian higher education and digital learning, Zondervan Academic seeks to show the breadth and diversity—both theologically and globally—of Christianity in its broadly evangelical expression,” says Katya Covrett, executive editor. “As a publisher of textbooks, reference books, and monographs, we consider ourselves both a broker of ideas and an equipping partner for our readers, wherever they are teaching and learning.”

…Upcoming titles in the Zondervan Reflective imprint include Clay Scroggins’ How to Lead in a World of Distraction (September 2019), a follow-up to the bestselling How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge. Lead titles this fall for the Zondervan Academic imprint include The New Testament in Its World by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird and America’s Religious History by historian Thomas S. Kidd (both November 2019).


In the same announcement, the publisher launched Zondervan Reflective,

…a new imprint featuring the familiar voices of Christian leaders, pastors, and leaders in ministry like Andy Stanley, Clay Scroggins, J.D. Greear, and Peter Scazzero. Books in this imprint aim to spur readers toward insight and responsible action in their personal lives and in the public realm. Zondervan Reflective focuses on deep, yet applicable content, and will address topics related to leadership, the intersection of faith and culture, and growing and exploring a reader’s ministry.

Zondervan, Thomas Nelson and Vida are part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The parent company also publishes faith-interest books under the HarperOne imprint.

Plagiarism: Zondervan Authors Ann Voskamp and Christine Caine

October 18, 2018 2 comments

Plagiarism: The challenge is deciding when it’s deliberate copying, and when it’s a case of ‘great minds think alike.’ (left: Ann Voskamp; right: Christine Caine)

I noted the situation involving Christine Caine at the end of another story a few days ago, but because of Warren Throckmorton, I discovered the case involving Canadian writer Ann Voskamp. Both write for Zondervan.

Here’s how we covered both yesterday at Wednesday Connect:

♦ Another plagiarism case: Zondervan has reached a settlement with Carey Scott, the author of Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life (Revell, 2015) whose work was borrowed by popular author Christine Caine in Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny (Zondervan, May 2016), which has sold over 150,000 copies to date. 

“About two weeks before Caine’s book Unashamed was set to launch, I received a promotional email that contained a two-minute book trailer video. Some of the wording at the beginning of the video sounded very familiar, and after some digging I discovered that the first 30 seconds of her personal narration on the promo video came directly from a paragraph on page 55 of my book,” Scott told Publisher’s Weekly. “There are several examples of direct copying and substantial similarities.”   …

♦ … But sadly, not the only plagiarism case involving Zondervan: A quotation in Ann Voskamp’s book The Broken Way was attributed to her father but, “matched almost word for word the writing of author Cynthia Occelli on her social media pages.” In another case, she apologized for when she “lyrically paraphrased” a nine-point list by another writer. But that post was later deleted. Why? In this Occelli case, World Magazine notes:

The problem: Some readers probably missed Voskamp’s apology, submerged as it was in a long scroll of a post concerning a family trip to Israel, a Tim Keller talk, a Mister Rogers quote, Instagram photos from fans raving about her books, and more. The item’s burial was too bad, because this was a teachable moment about likely dangers at a time when internet files can be copied and mislabeled so readily, with unclear attribution.

For his part, Throckmorton — a college professor — noted”

In academia, we will continue to enforce high standards of plagiarism. However, it is jarring to realize that our students will enter a world where plagiarism matters less when they work in media organizations which promote Christianity than in places which do not identify as Christian. [Italics added]

Of course, sometimes a similar idea, concept, metaphor or simile will occur to two people at the same time or at a different time. In a more recent article, Throckmorton looked at a particular Christine Caine quotation that she may have borrowed from Joel Osteen,  Decide for yourself:

Caine:

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried when you’ve actually been planted. You will bring forth life!! (Twitter account, 2015 and 2016)

Osteen:

It’s easy to feel like we’ve been buried, but what’s interesting is the only difference between being buried and being planted is the expectancy of what’s going to happen next.

When you put a seed in the ground you don’t say, “I’m burying this seed,” you say, “I am planting this seed,” because you know it’s coming back.

We all face difficulties but you have the seed of almighty God on the inside. He breathed His life into you. When you go through disappointments, you’re in tough times… you might feel like you’d been buried, but the fact is, you’ve simply been planted.  (2009 sermon)

When you go through disappointments and you’re in tough times, you may feel like you’ve been buried, but the fact is, you’ve simply been planted. That means you’re coming back! (2011 book)

Being gracious and giving her the benefit of the doubt, if Caine heard or read Osteen say that, I can see where she might remember the imagery, but not the source. (Personally, I like the concept and can see myself using it 2-3 years from now and not remembering the where I heard it either.)

On the other hand, she might well remember where she got it, and should give proper attribution.

With Voskamp, what’s most disturbing is that the apology has been deleted. Maybe it would crush her followers too much to be reminded that like all of us, she’s not perfect.


We’ve covered plagiarism here before:

  • Last September, Abgindon Press removed and destroyed copies of a book advertised as containing the devotions used by Hillary Clinton after the author was found to have copied significant paragraphs from another writer.
  • In November, 2013, radio host Janet Mefford brought charges of plagiarism against Mark Driscoll…
  • A few weeks later, Mefford suggested that major publishing houses try to protect their authors from the negative publicity associated with such charges. (In the wake of this, Driscoll’s multi-site church empire came crashing down; he is now, 5 years later, mounting a comeback with the publication of a new book.)

You Can’t Sell a Bible Edition You Don’t Respect

Gift and Award Bibles, regardless of translation, have one thing in common: They’re cheaply produced (and they look it.) Fortunately, there are better options.

Thankfully, one of the elements of the Bible publishing industry that seems, from my vantage point at least, to be fading is what is called “Gift and Award Bibles.” Most of the translations on the market have a contract with a publisher to produce these combined Old-and-New Testaments which, like the name implies, are usually given out by churches to visitors or awarded to Sunday School children as prizes.

These Bibles have one factor which unites them all: They’re cheap.

And while a child of 5 or 6 may be honored to receive one, for anyone else, closer examination proves how cheaply they are made. Here’s the way it works:

  1. Newsprint is the cheapest paper available
  2. Newsprint is thicker, meaning the Bible would be “fat” if printed normally
  3. Type-size is therefore reduced to some infinitesimal font size.

So basically, we’re talking about a hard to read Bible printed on cheap paper which fades after a few years.

To be fair, a few companies have tried a better paper stock, but this only resulted in the price going up, defeating their purpose.

I have two observations about these Bibles:

  1. I think that in some respect, these are Bibles churches give away to people that they’re not always sure they’re ever going to see again.
  2. I think that, at least in how it appears in 2018, this genre was developed by people who had little respect for the Bible to begin with.

The only way to avoid giving these away without breaking the church budget was to use pew Bibles (produced in mass quantities and therefore still quite affordable) as giveaway hardcover/textbook editions. But for some reason, people like the appearance of leather when choosing a Bible for giveaway. Also, if your church uses the same Bible edition in the pews, the “gift” can look like you just went into the sanctuary/auditorium and grabbed something off the rack to give away.

The good news is that many churches can afford to do better, and many publishers are now making this possible.

♦ The NLT Bible (Tyndale) introduced some “Premium Value Slimline” editions several years back including both regular print and large print, retailing at $15.99 and $20.99 respectively. (All prices USD.)

♦ Then the NIV (Zondervan) entered the race with their “Value Thinline” editions, again in two sizes at $14.99 and $19.99, with five different covers.

♦ Next, The Message (NavPress) created three “Deluxe Gift” editions in regular print at $15.99.

♦ Then, back to NIV for a minute, Zondervan upped the game by discontinuing their existing editions and replacing them with new ones using their new, much-easier-to-read Comfort Print font. Pricing stayed the same.

♦ Because of their expertise and success with the NIV product, HarperCollins Christian Publishing recently introduced the similar editions in NKJV, using the same Comfort Print font.

♦ Finally, ESV (Crossway) is also in the game, with “Value Thinline” and “Value Compact” editions. I have to be honest here. These are in no way up to the binding standard of the others, and frankly owe more to the old-school, aforementioned Gift and Award Bibles, albeit with better paper stock. The sleeve — from which the Bible is difficult to extract — claims this is “bonded leather” but in my opinion, that’s a stretch. While the others get an A+, I’d give the ESVs a D at best.

These Bibles look like something the church isn’t ashamed to give away, and the recipient is proud to own.

Further, for customers on a budget, there’s nothing stopping these from being purchased individually and becoming someone’s primary Bible.

Foundation Shipping Product for Which it Has No Canadian Rights

On Thursday, February 1st, I accidentally miscopied an ISBN into a Foundation pending order file which was intended to go into a HarperCollins pending order file.

The item I wanted from Foundation Distribution was an NIV Life Application Bible in hardcover. (They own the rights to the hardcover, Zondervan does the leather editions.) Instead, I copied the number for the NIV Listener’s Bible, a $99 product audio product.

So my order actually read:

1 9780310444343 Life Application Hardcover

the ISBN and description not even matching.

Back in the day, when I worked for InterVaristy Press Canada, and later for the Canadian Bible Society, and finally when I worked for CMC Distribution (with fulfillment from Beacon Distributing/David C. Cook) when a customer placed an order like this, it would appear on the customer’s invoice with the notion “NOP” which stands for “Not Our Product.” As someone who has also been a wholesale customer in this industry for 43 years, I also know this as the correct way to handle this.

Or make a phone call to clarify the order.

That’s the proper way to do things.

That’s the type of principle which guided our industry for years.

That isn’t what happened here.

Foundation filled the order. That’s right. They filled the order for a $99 item for which they have no Canadian rights to do so with complete disregard to industry protocol.

Has anyone else had something like this happen?

Furthermore, I did obtain the product from HarperCollins, and at my non-returnable discount, not 40%. I would never buy Thomas Nelson or Zondervan product from Foundation.

For years, Foundation Distributing, which distributes product for Tyndale House, NavPress, Standard Publishing, P. Graham Dunn and Christian Art Gifts has been in the habit of buying large quantities of HarperCollins — usually Zondervan — product from liquidators such as Book Depot, and including those titles in its marketing catalogues. But those products are sold to dealers at a discounted price.

This is the first time we’ve had tangible, physical evidence of the company selling a HarperCollins frontlist title as if it’s their own. I now have proof. There are simply too many steps that need to be taken to obtain this product for this to happen accidentally. There is no excuse. Foundation owns stores, but the ISBN number shouldn’t exist in their wholesale system.

I know many reading this are good friends with the management of Foundation. I am not. I have never been. Either way, someone needs to call this out for what it is, the desperate act of a company so hungry for sales that it’s prepared to sacrifice all moral authority to do so, even to the point of stealing sales from HarperCollins. This is the action of a company which is, as I have been saying privately for years, indulges in practices which are difficult to justify ethically.

One should expect better of the leadership in our industry.

Furthermore, can you imagine their reaction if Parasource started selling Tyndale product? Do you think they would stand for that for even a minute?

The invoice was not marked sales final.

UPDATE: We got a return authorization, though no apology or explanation. Now I want to know how widespread this is, how many other stores who are friends of FDI are getting their HCCP product through them. I cannot accept this was a one-off event, only that they picked the wrong guy.

UPDATE from HCCP: We had a follow-up discussion with HCCP in Nashville on Friday (23rd) and while this situation is considered unusual to them, it’s not exactly a crime in progress from their perspective. They’re making a sale either way. So you and I may see this occur in the future. Hopefully FDI would inform the store that it’s not a regular wholesale item but they’ll get it if there’s a need and let them know it will take longer than if they ordered direct. That’s just the decent thing to do. And of course in our case, it was mis-matched ISBN, so there should have been contact. I still think that unusual is an understatement. To me, it’s wrong, but if the affected party isn’t as offended as I am, then I don’t know what to say. I was simply looking out for HCCP’s best interests and they certainly appreciate this. I also think it’s important that companies don’t get so hungry for sales that they act in desperation.

An Apologetics Toolbox in a Book

There is so much going on in this book. I feel like I’ve been handed an impossible task, somewhat akin from being dropped off a metropolitan core for a few days and told to write a review of the entire city. Every person. Every business. Every park and school.

Canadian Pastor Mark Clark has set himself to answer ten of the major objections to faith raised by outsiders, skeptics and seekers. It’s a tough assignment, even if you’re leaning heavily on the writings of Tim Keller and C. S. Lewis. Not as tough for Clark however as it would be for you or me, in part because this is his own story; the book is as much testimony as it is apologetics text.

I think that’s what make this one different. Until his later teens, Clark was camped on the other side of the border of faith. Partying. Drugs. Disbelief. So he has those still there clearly in view as he writes this; these are the type of people who made up the nucleus of Village Church when it was founded in 2010. Today they are in three locations on Canada’s west coast with satellites launching in Calgary and Montreal. Mark is part of a new generation of pastors and authors who really does his homework before speaking and writing and his passion and energy rock the house each week.

The ten “problems” form ten chapters:

But to say just that is too simple. Each one of these breaks down into several other subsections. These issues are complex and we’re given a look at each through several different lenses.

Overall, the book stands somewhere between academic apologetics textbook (for its thorough treatment of each of the issues) and biography (for the times Clark references his own story.) It is the latter that makes this book what it is; an apologetics resource which wears a face and a name, and that makes it accessible to all readers.

I know I say this a lot — I choose my review books carefully — but this is definitely another of those “go back and re-read” and “keep handy for reference” titles.

The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity | Zondervan | 272 page paperback | September, 2017

 

 

HarperCollins Timeline Integrates Its Christian Publishing Divisions’ Histories

In 1817, James and John Harper open the modest printing establishment of J. & J. Harper, Printers, in New York City; which means this is an anniversary year. A BIG anniversary year!

To celebrate, the company has created a special website 200.hc.com which is divided into five sections. Of special interest to readers here is the Timeline page, which includes histories of divisions added through mergers and acquisitions, such as Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. As you’ll see however, Thomas Nelson goes back a long time too, with a history that’s not so shabby. And Zondervan isn’t exactly a new kid on the block.

Title page from the Collins King James Bible, circa 1839.

New Joni Devotional Offered in Hand-Size Format

A Spectacle of GloryOn October 4th, Zondervan is taking the rare step of releasing a new devotional by a top author immediately to a small hardcover format, not dissimilar to, and no doubt following on the heels of the popular Jesus Calling.

Joni Eareckson Tada’s A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day is 384 pages total and will retail for $16.99 US or $21.00 CDN. It includes a short one or two paragraph reading followed by a prayer. Many of the daily entries are personal or autobiographical.  Scripture references are cited, but not printed; though on a few certain days the reference specified the NASB or NLT; the rest assumed as NIV. I wasn’t sure if this was in anticipation of an expanded edition later on, or licensing the product for perpetual calendars.

Here’s the publisher marketing from the Zondervan website:

Overview:  God does not choose to display His glory through burning bushes; He chooses you! This inspiring, year-long devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada, focuses on your Heavenly Father, how He cares for you every day, and how His love enables you to live as a spectacle of His glory.

Description: Do you ever wonder why God created you? The Bible spells it out plainly: God created you to showcase His glory—to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those you encounter.

After nearly 50 years of living as a quadriplegic, and dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis, Joni has learned firsthand the importance of glorifying God through the toughest of situations. Through this devotional, Joni will help you discover how to put God’s glory on display—how to say no to complaining and say yes to daily following God down even the most difficult paths. Along the way, you will find great comfort and encouragement by focusing on the one who longs to lead and guide you every step of the way, every day.

Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant. All of it is a stage set for you to glorify God.


Thanks to Mark at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Canada for a preview copy of A Spectacle of Glory. 9780310346777
 

 

 


Don’t Miss This One

Saving the SavedMost of you know that I like to run reviews closer to the release date, and then copy those reviews with extra trade info here at Christian Book Shop Talk. But I wanted to briefly mention this one in case you haven’t ordered it yet. 

I spent my Labour Day reading Saving the Saved by Bryan Loritts, releasing in paperback through Zondervan in October. I rarely binge read like this, but like the cliché says, I couldn’t put it down. The subject is countering the belief in performance-based faith, but it also serves as a commentary on Matthew’s gospel.

This would be a great first Christian living book for someone to read, but also applicable to the rest of us who’ve been on this journey awhile. A good mix of personal stories and material from other sources. Loritts is the son of Crawford Loritts who is a pastor and frequent conference speaker whose name some customers will recognize.

The bright cover will cause people to pick it up, but you can’t sell what you don’t stock! Before I was halfway through, I’d already clicked a few copies into an order.


Thanks to Mark H. at HarperCollins Christian Publishing for this one! Really appreciated.    9780310344995