Archive for category Book Reviews
I want to thank Adrianna Wright at InterVarsity Press for sending me a courtesy copy of The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John W. Walton.
The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
John H. Walton
Intervarsity Press, July 2009
I’ve been making my way through my stack of books for review on Genesis in, essentially, reverse order of receipt. I’m glad I started on the top of the stack and not the bottom because I would have read The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John H. Walton a year ago, and my reading of the other books would have been colored by my reading of this one.
As with many theological questions, I think we tend to develop a theological framework and then read scripture within that framework. It would be very easy to do that with The Lost World of Genesis One because Walton’s propositions are extremely persuasive and his conclusions compelling.
And I in no way intend for this to be a slight, quite the opposite.
Walton organizes The Lost World of Genesis One into a series of eighteen propositions. Admittedly, as a former high school debater, I initially found Walton’s proposition approach somewhat irritating because the organization allows for little reader interaction. What I mean is that Walton breaks his thesis down into so many of its tiny component parts that there is little to no mystery. Again, this is not a slight on the book, it is a confession of my own predisposition to be intrigued by ideas more than details, and Walton constructs the larger idea one detail at a time. By the end of the book, my mind was changed about the effectiveness of the approach because Walton leaves little room for disagreement.
Walton’s initial assertions (and I’m paraphrasing his propositions), our reading of Genesis 1 in terms of material creation is wrong because Genesis 1 was never intended to describe material creation. Instead, Genesis 1 is meant to describe the function of God’s creation rather than the manner and means of creation.
Walton asserts the ancients would have thought and perceived Genesis 1 in terms of function rather than elemental material creation. Walton begins his function analysis using the example of the creation of a computer. When is a computer a computer? Each hardware component is manufactured, but until each component is brought together there is no computer. Software programs are written and installed, but without a power source the computer is not functional. Even with a power source, unless a person uses the computer it remains non-functional. Walton’s question is one of ontology. When does the computer exist? At what stage is the computer created?
Walton maintains that if we think of Genesis 1 in terms of assignment of function, not creation of the component parts, the questions relating to Genesis 1 and scientific accuracy become irrelevant.
We should not worry about the questions of ‘truth’ with regard to the Bible’s use of Old World Science. … Adoption of the framework of the target audience is most logical.
Using other ancient creation accounts as comparisons, Walton concludes that in the ancient world, to create something meant to assign it a function, not create its material properties.
Again I’m paraphrasing, Walton next determines that the creation account in Genesis 1 is a cosmic enshrinement. It is the creation of a cosmic temple suitable for God to take up residence. He terms this view the cosmic temple inauguration view.
Walton also views this reading of Genesis 1 as a literal reading, as it would have been understood in the ancient environment as opposed to a reading that requires reconciliation with modern science.
But most people who seek to defend a young-earth view do so because they believe that the Bible obligates them to such a defense. I admire the fact that believers are willing to take unpopular positions and investigate all sorts of alternatives in an attempt to defend the reputation of the Biblical text. But if the Biblical text does not demand a young earth there would be little impetus or evidence to offer such a suggestion.
Walton also spends a fair amount of time discussing competing creation theories, as does virtually everyone else, so I won’t here, but the excerpt above should fairly well sum up the author’s take on competing creation accounts.
I give Walton a lot of credit for bringing something new to the table (see also my review of The Genesis Enigma). As I’ve written before, the old methods of resolving the Genesis debate don’t work because the debate itself is pointless. And viewing Genesis 1 in terms other than purely scientific terms is certainly a more appropriate approach.
My only real criticism of The Lost World of Genesis One is that the author falls into the same trap as most by (1) entering the public policy debate in proposition 18 which will unnecessarily ostracize young-earth creationists and ID proponents, and to a lesser extent (2) crafting the cosmic temple inauguration view such that is excludes other possibilities. I acknowledge that in the author’s Q&A at the end he acknowledges that Genesis 1 could theoretically be both functional and material, but that we cannot demand such a reading. But Walton doesn’t embrace those possibilities.
Fortunately, my reading of The Lost World of Genesis One has coincided with my intensive study of related material, specifically the feasts of the Lord and the tabernacle (and later temple). And it makes perfect sense to me that the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle would reflect a cosmic temple. So, for that and many other reasons, I would highly recommend The Lost World of Genesis One. I am a slightly less inclined to accept the cosmic temple inauguration view as the theory of everything on Genesis, but it certainly adds another dimension to Genesis 1 that is worthy of study.
Read it and enjoy it!
I want to thank Liza Cassity at Penguin Group USA for the courtesy copy of The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible is Scientifically Accurate.
The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible is Scientifically Accurate?
Dutton (Penguin Group USA), October 2009
Regular readers are aware of my fascination with Genesis. I am, however, usually turned off by debate disguised as discourse about the “accuracy” of Genesis. The sides are typically well-defined, immovable, and predictable. Andrew Parker’s take on Genesis 1 is anything but predictable.
I am also skeptical of claims that claim to prove this or that about Genesis. They rarely, if ever, deliver. In The Genesis Enigma, the author makes no such claims. Instead, he takes the creation account of Genesis 1 and compares it with the fossil record with enigmatic results.
In his words:
Here, then, is the Genesis Enigma: The opening page of Genesis is scientifically accurate but was written long before the science was known. How did the writer of this page come to write this creation account? (emphasis is the author’s)
Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself by beginning with Parker’s conclusion. In his introduction, Parker outlines his thesis and makes the following comparison (edited for brevity):
Let there be light
The formation of the sun
Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let dry land appear…
The formation of the seas and separation of the land areas
Let the earth bring forth grass and herb yielding seed…
The beginnings of life, including single-celled photosynthetic organisms
Let there be lights…to divide the day from night
The first eye evolved and visual information used. Lights turned on for animal behavior and evolution (emphasis added)
Let the waters bring forth abundantly moving creatures that hath life…
The Cambrian explosion-evolution’s Big Bang. Exclusively marine life (emphasis added)
God created the great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly…
Large animals evolved in the seas (sharks and squid-like animals), and later conquered the land (emphasis added)
And every winged fowl after his kind…
Animals adapted to the vision of predators, except birds, which didn’t have to because of flight. It is fascinating that sea creatures and birds are singled out because they are the main characters and exceptions in evolutionary history (emphasis added)
Generally speaking, I think creationists, who I’ll call “old earth” for lack of a better term, accept some similar Genesis/evolutionary progression. What is unique about Parker’s assertion, and, in my humble opinion, scientifically revolutionary, is the light switch theory and the parallel between the evolution of the eye and “let there be lights…”
The light switch theory, in short, holds that the evolution of vision is what led to the Cambrian explosion (of aquatic life). Parker suggests, “The very first eye on earth effectively turned on the lights for animal behavior and consequently for further rapid evolution, while providing accurate recognition of night and day.” It’s an interesting correlation which Parker attempts to make. In fact, I would suggest his whole thesis depends on it.
Using these heretofore unmade correlations, Parker determines,
In essence, when the Biblical text is taken literally, it is left in the wake of advancing science. But when it is read figuratively, it not only keep pace with the hottest science, it precedes or heralds it.
The remainder of The Genesis Enigma tracks the creation account in Genesis 1 and the correlating fossil and evolutionary record. He concludes:
We have passed from the first stage in the creation account on the Bible’s opening page to the sixth, and found it all remarkably accurate, as if the modern scientific story of the universe and life were being narrated. I don’t know the odds against such a parallel-against making a successful guess at the scientific orthodoxy of three thousand years in the future from a knowledge base of nothing-but they must be extraordinarily long. As I first looked through this sequence of Genesis, I did not think that we could possibly reach the end of an impartial history of the universe and life without finding more than a few obstacles. I thought Genesis would fall at the first hurdle or two. I’m amazed that we have made it to the end unscathed.
It should be obvious, but if not I’ll mention that Andrew Parker, Ph.D., is a scientist, a research fellow at Oxford and a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London. And as expected, the young-earth creationists/ID camp don’t buy it, but neither do the other guys (I read one reviewer who actually called this intellectual suicide, yikes!).
Honestly, I don’t understand the nature of the criticism. In the legal community, some judges hold to the theory that if both sides are upset, the ruling must have been fair. Such wisdom has limited application, of course, but this may be an applicable circumstance: since both opposing camps are critical of the book, perhaps the conclusions reached are fair. There’s no way to know if they are entirely accurate, but perhaps they are fair.
For example, Parker does not adopt or espouse a Judeo-Christian perspective, but he does conclude:
If my inference is right, then the writer of Genesis 1, or rather the announcer of the story-Moses-surely must have received divine intervention. That is to say, he must have been spoken to by God. I would argue that the Genesis Enigma, under this line of reasoning, becomes evidence for God.
Parker is cautious, however, in his approach and confesses that his conclusions took him by surprise. He also confesses:
But I must admit, rather nervously as a scientist averse to entertaining such an idea, that the evidence that the writer of the opening page of the Bible was divinely inspired is strong. I have never before encountered such powerful, impartial evidence to suggest that the Bible is the product of divine inspiration. The Genesis Enigma may provide us with support for this proposition on a whole new level.
This is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Christian perspective, but it does cross invisible scientific barriers in an attempt to bridge the (perceived) gap between science and religion.
Parker succinctly characterizes the issue he presents:
The possible explanations for this parallel between the Bible and modern science are clear-cut: Either the writer of the creation account of Genesis 1 was directed by divine intervention, or he made a lucky guess.
One thing I must give Parker immense credit for is bringing something new (the light-switch theory vis-a-vis Genesis 1) to the table. I doubt Parker will change any minds that are firmly entrenched in one camp or the other, but he deserves additional credit for extending this olive branch to the competing sides, who have yet to realize there is no reason to compete.
The Genesis Enigma is certainly interesting, it is entertaining, and thought provoking. If you are at all interested in science/religion-related issues , I encourage you to read this book. If you are prone to offense when traditional interpretations of scripture are questioned, perhaps you shouldn’t.
The What’s in the Bible? website describes this new video series as follows:
What’s in the Bible? is a new DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer designed to walk kids and families through the entire Bible.
As you can imagine, I was excited to be included among those asked to review the first two episodes in this series, especially since my 20-month old daughter (The Libster) and I are VeggieTales-aholics.
So, here goes. First, What’s in the Bible? with Buck Denver (and friends), is a puppet-human collaboration in the tradition of Sesame Street. The hosts are Phil Vischer (human) and Buck Denver, Man of News, (puppet). The cast of puppet characters includes the gray-haired Sunday School Lady, the piano playing Pastor Paul, explorers Clive & Ian, and other memorable characters. There is also an entertaining meta-character, Michael, who is a puppet child traveling in the backseat of a vehicle that appears at the beginning and between segments asking his mother to change DVDs. He’s quite amusing, really.
Second, each episode, which consists of two half-hour programs, begins with a “Big Question” such as, “What is the Bible?” “Who wrote the Bible?” and “Who picked the books to be in the Bible?” There are also “new words” where Biblical and theological terms and concepts are explained.
Each episode is filled with song, self-deprecating humor, sarcasm, and, of course, Bible stuff. The first episode, “In the Beginning,” explains “What is the Bible?” in the first segment and takes the viewers through the first eleven chapters of Genesis in the second segment. The second episode, “Let My People Go,” takes the viewer from Abraham to Moses and through Exodus.
The theology appears to be traditional Protestant/Evangelical. The humor ranges from slapstick to high-brow and everything in between. The concepts covered are considerably more complex than what can be found in Christian cartoons and Bible-story programs. This is because What’s in the Bible? aims at teaching the Bible and not just Bible stories. It’s a bold move, but one I expect to pay off.
The downside, if there is one, is that the audience might be limited to children over a certain age. On the Libby test, What’s in the Bible? struggled to hold the attention of a 20-month old. She liked the music and the children interviews, but she has yet to make it through a 30 minute segment after three or four attempts (as opposed to similar length VeggieTales episodes, which she can watch and still want more). I doubt, however, the audience is intended to be so young.
I do appreciate the working assumption: that children are capable of learning and appreciating more than simple Bible stories. Buck Denver and his crew take on concepts such as “redemption,” “salvation,” and the Christian “canon,” and they do so quite well. I suspect there are many adults as well who need refresher courses in these concepts.
In short, if you are looking for VeggieTales retold, look elsewhere. What’s in the Bible? is a more grown-up kids series. It is, however, a great way to introduce kids to more complicated Biblical ideas and to go beyond Bible stories. I would recommend for parents and children to watch together if possible. I would also recommend this series for Sunday school classes, vacation Bible school curricula, even as a supplement to grade school and possibly junior high age lessons.
I think you will be surprised by how easily complex matters are handled and explained. Enjoy!
Buy What’s in the Bible from Amazon?
- Buy What’s in the Bible? Episode 1-In the Beginning from Amazon
- Buy What’s in the Bible? Episode 2-Let My People Go from Amazon
Holy Bible Mosaic (NLT)
Those of you familiar with me and this blog will know that to the extent I am critical of another member of the body of Christ, it is only ever for causing division in the body. That is why I was so excited to post about the release of Holy Bible Mosaic back in June. It seems to me Mosaic is an attempt to bridge division and bring the body together.
Here is an excerpt from the Mosaic website:
- Writings from every continent and century of the Christian Church – Contemporary and historical writings from Christians across the globe such as St. Augustine, Charles Wesley, and Henri Nouwen.
- Full-Color Art – Full color art offers another kind of reflective devotional experience, with artwork from contemporary and historical artists.
- Variety of Reflective Content – The content is arranged so that every week the reader has a variety of content for reading and reflection. Each week follows a theme appropriate to the Church season (such as Advent, Easter, etc). The content included for each week includes full-color art; Scripture readings; a historical reading; a contemporary reading; a prayer, creed, hymn or quote; and space for reflection.
- Space for your response to God’s promptings – Add your tile to the mosaic-write or draw your response, prayers and questions in the provided space.
And that is only a small sampling of what Mosaic contains.
Before I get in to the substance of the review, I want to mention a few technical matters. First, at 8.6″x5.8″ (5.7″ for the softcover), Mosaic’s size is ideal for personal use. It’s not a Bible you have to keep on a coffee table or at home because of its size. It is certainly attractive enough to display openly, but not so bulky that you won’t be able to carry it around if you choose.
The paper (off-white for the insert, bright white for the Bible text), the typesetting, and the cover are as attractive as any Bible I’ve seen in recent memory, and I look at a lot of Bibles.
I have previously reviewed the the NLT Study Bible, so I won’t go into an in-depth review of the Bible text portion. As far as the Mosaic material, it is well worth your time, effort and money. The artwork spans from ancient to contemporary and is included with every section.
The scripture readings, essays, quotations, and other material are laid out according to a church calendar: A four week Advent, the Christmas season, a six week Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and 28 weeks of Pentecost. And there is related material for each week of the year.
For example, according to the calendar, this is Pentecost, Week 23, and the topic is “Diversity.” The scripture readings are Ruth 1:1-22, Psalm 145, Philippians 1:27, and Matthew 12:46. There is also a “Prayer for the Heart and Will of God” by Thomas A. Kempis (c. 1380-1471), an essay by Derek Chinn entitled “Distinguished by Diversity,” quotations from Justin Martyr and Jerome Nathanson, additional suggested scripture reading, an area for your reflections, and more. A different topic is covered each week, including “Blame,” “Forgiveness,” “Justice,” “Apocalyptic Blues,” “Wealth,” “The Birth of the Church,” and many more. Each section, Advent, Christmas, etc., are treated similarly.
Mosaic is not a study Bible, per se, but you will learn a lot by reading it beyond what you would learn from the Biblical text. These particular uses came to mind when I was reviewing Mosaic:
- Obviously, personal Bible study
- Small group Bible studies
- Family Bible studies
- Inter-faith Bible studies
- Sunday school classes
In my interview with Keith Williams, Mosaic’s General Editor, I asked Keith to suggest ways pastors and other church leaders could incorporate Mosaic into their church life, and his suggestions were certainly appropriate and well thought out. Click the interview link above to read those.
I don’t see Mosaic as a replacement for a good study or life application Bible, but, if your primary reading Bible is the New Living Translation, it could certainly replace a regular reading Bible. What I do see Mosaic being is a magnificent addition to any library and a useful tool for every Christian.
Mosaic is not just another themed Bible, and to lump it in with the vast majority of themed Bibles would do it a tremendous disservice. But, there is without question a theme that threads through this book, that we are all part of one mosaic, and it’s a work in progress.
My Other Mosaic Posts:
- NLT Mosaic Coming Fall 2009
- Holy Bible Mosaic Released Today
- Holy Bible Mosaic (It’s Gorgeous) and Blog Tour Info
- Mosaic Blog Tour Interview with Keith Williams
- Holy Bible Mosaic Giveaway
Tyndale and NLT Links:
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
I rarely plug audio books because I prefer the paper kind, but if you haven’t read, don’t have the time to read, or prefer not to read this book, then you can download and listen to it for free.
As you may recall, I reviewed Just Courage last October for IVP when it was released. I found it to be a great read and highly thought provoking. I especially think men should read this book. It’s quite challenging. Enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Liza Cassity at Penguin Group (USA) asking me if I would like a copy of The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible is Scientifically Accurate by Andrew Parker.
Here’s an excerpt from that email:
What if there was proof that the Bible was divinely inspired? What if the evidence for Biblical truth came from the last place you’d expect to find religious support?
There’s a book coming out this October that provides such evidence, and—shockingly enough—the source is science.
In THE GENESIS ENIGMA: Why the Bible is Scientifically Accurate, respected evolutionary biologist Andrew Parker seeks to cross the boundaries between the Genesis story and evolutionary theory by dissecting the parallels between the two accounts, piece by piece, to show that both sides are indeed compatible.
THE GENESIS ENGIMA has already stirred much discussion and recognition in the UK—The Daily Mail calls it “Jaw-dropping… an astounding work.”
Needless to say, I was excited and I’m eager to read it. It arrived today. I will post the review as soon as I am able.
Those of you familiar with this blog know that I will read anything and everything about Genesis. I also think I can prove Genesis true, literarily speaking, if not scientifically. It should be fun.
I want to thank Tyndale House for the courtesy copy of Every Man’s Bible: A Bible for Every Battle Every Man Faces.
Every Man’s Bible (NLT)
For anyone familiar with and who benefited from Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker’s Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, Tyndale’s Every Man’s Bible will be a familiar and complimentary study Bible.
Every Man’s Bible is jam packed with study notes, essays, sidebars, charts, graphs, and what the editors call “Personal Gold,” described as snapshots from Christian books about men living the Christian life.
The inserts and materials are non-traditional with topics like “What the Bible Says About Sports,” What the Bible Says About Getting Old,” What the Bible says about Failure,” “What the Bible Says About Money,” and “What the Bible says about Competition.” The language is contemporary and the graphics are prominent, appropriate for a younger male audience.
As a specialty Bible, it is broader in scope than you might initially think. I would actually describe it more as a “Life Application Study Bible” for men because the focus is on applying biblical principles to day-to-day life. In that respect, it works well. If I had a teenage boy, I would give it to him as required reading. Come to think of it, I might give it to my daughter when she reaches about 16 or 17 so she knows what to expect from her male peers and/or suitors.
The format is not for everybody. If you don’t like graphics, inserts, and other modern features that make publications busier, you will probably find the format distracting. I have written before that I personally prefer thinlines or text-only Bibles for personal reading and church going. However, I have several heaftier Bibles for at-home use. This Bible is a hybrid. It has the additional stuff of a large study Bible, but the size of a personal-sized, mid-width Bible.
The hardcover edition is sturdy and will hold up to considerable wear. It is also considerably less expensive. The Tu-tone, imitation leather edition is attractive and suited to young men. In other words, it’s a Bible a young man would look cool carrying.
I would highly recommend Every Man’s Bible for the any or all of the following:
- Young men (teens, college age)
- Newly married (men and women)
- Single men
- Parents of teenage boys
- Youth organizations
- Youth pastors and leaders
- Young women who want insight into men
- Newbie Christians (men and couples)
- Anyone counseling young men (or couples)
My blogging buddy Polycarp is giving away a copy of Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols by Mike Aquilina.
It looks like a fascinating read. To enter, simply comment on the original post for one entry, or write a post about the giveaway for two additional entries.
The one atypical catch is you have to write a review about the book if you win. There don’t appear to be any special rules about the review (re length, etc.) however. And if you don’t have a blog, you can post your review on his blog.
The date and time for the drawing are sometime next weekend. Good luck.
The contest runs through July 31 with the winner to be drawn on August 1. Enter by commenting on the original post. Enter a second time by posting about the contest.
You can also read her review of The Justice Game.