One of my majors in college was communication, so I have a little (a very little) bit of journalism training, probably just enough to be dangerous, but I've set that aside for the majority of this interview and only pitched Keith one really tough question and four softballs - you decide which are which.
Here is my interview with Keith:
1. Now that we are one month removed from the launch of the Holy Bible Mosaic, what has been the public response to Mosaic? Has it been better than expected, about as expected, or something unexpected?
I have been very gratified that so many people have been saying positive things about their experience with the Bible. In many ways, we weren't sure what to expect, since this Bible is unlike anything that has been available before now. But we believed in the concept and had worked hard to make it as excellent as it could possibly be, so I was very hopeful that it would be well-received. I think the main challenge is helping people to "get it," since it doesn't fit in the usual categories. The blog tour is definitely helping with that, and I'd encourage anyone who finds the Bible useful in their walk with God to tell their friends and church leaders about it. I'd like to see it get as wide an audience as possible.
2. If and when there is a second edition of Mosaic, what is one thing you would include, exclude or change?
Great question. I think I would write a much more extensive introduction to the church year and explanation for how to use the Bible. I think that bears some more explanation than the brief space we gave it, and I plan to round some of that out on the website over time. Some people might prefer that I had excluded a particular author or tradition from the Mosaic of contributions, but I think we'll resist that; it wouldn't be in keeping with the ethos of the product. One thing I might change is to give each week 8 pages instead of six, to be able to include a bit more content and a lot more whitespace. Additionally, there are a few things that I would do differently from an editorial standpoint, to help the process move more quickly and smoothly the second time around, but that would bore everyone to tears.
3. I'm particularly fond of the Epiphanies. What is your personal favorite part of or thing about Mosaic?
Epiphanies is a good week (Epiphany Week 1, p. m50-55). My favorite part of is the extended historical readings. Each week has one extended historical reading (marked with a small cross with dates above and below in the margin), and I love these because they are more than just a one-liner; they draw me into the thought of a Christian very different from myself. I love that.
4. Beyond personal study, how would you advise a pastor, Bible teacher, or small group leader to incorporate a part or all of Mosaic's material into a Sunday school curriculum or the life of a church or small group?
This is only limited by the creativity of the leader, but I do have a few ideas for different contexts in the church. The Devotions for Advent booklet ($1.99) could be a perfect entry point for a church that is interested in using the material without wanting to commit to asking everyone to buy the full Bible. In fact, I plan to offer the Devotions for Advent booklet to every interested member of my church next month.
Small groups could use Mosaic as the jumping off point for their corporate study of the Bible. Each member could follow the weekly material individually throughout the week and then come together to share about what God had been teaching them through the Scripture readings, artwork, quotes, etc. Or a leader can go a little bit deeper by tracking down an original source or two using the Tesserae and help the rest of the group come along as well. This could also work in a Sunday school environment.
Mosaic could be brought into the worship of the church in several different ways. Pastors could choose to use one or more of the lectionary passages from Mosaic as a primary preaching text (with or without explicitly following the church year as a church), and then use the quotes and readings either as part of the sermon or as congregational readings as part of the service. Hymns or prayers could be integrated as such.
Church leaders could encourage the entire church to use Mosaic to share a devotional experience together. Worship and small groups could also integrate Mosaic in some of the ways mentioned above to extend the experience and help members get the most out of their time in the Word and connecting with the global, historic Church.
5. Now, on a more serious note, I've often thought that the one themed Bible that the market sorely lacks is a Blogger's Bible. If I volunteer to edit it, will you pitch the idea to Tyndale House ;) ?
I love the idea, but let's flesh it out a bit. How many bloggers are we going to include? And is there any way you can keep John Hobbins from trying to make everything sound like it was written for a poetry seminar at Harvard?
The blog tour will continue throughout the day with my review of the Holy Bible Mosaic, the announcement of the winner of the Mosaic giveaway at 5:00pm (CST). If you haven't entered yet, you better hurry. You have about 1 hour left, entries will be accepted until 12 noon (CST) - enter the Holy Bible Mosaic Giveaway.
My Other Mosaic Posts:
- Holy Bible Mosaic Giveaway
- NLT Mosaic Coming Fall 2009
- Holy Bible Mosaic Released Today
- Holy Bible Mosaic (It's Gorgeous) and Blog Tour Info