Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bernie Madoff Guide to Church Growth

My buddy Clint has an insightful little post here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How To Write God Book Reviews and How to Learn From Poor Critiques of Your Writing

Dr. Robert Holmstedt, a professor of mine in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, offers some very helpful advice on writing book reviews in light of two negative reviews of one of his recent books (An analysis of the Hebrew Grammer of Ruth). In his reflections, Holmstedt sets some helpful criteria for writing a good review, and models a willingness to both critique and also learn from 'poor reviews'. In light of the sheer time and energy it must have taken to write this book, his humility is to be commended. Here are the key introductory paragraphs to whet your appetite for read the whole thing:

Two reviews have now appeared and neither is positive. Timothy Lim (Edinburgh) reviewed it forThe Expository Times (122:3) and, just recently, Marjo Korpel (Utrecht) reviewed it in the onlineReview of Biblical Literature.

Both reviews are instructive, even if they are rather dismissive of my work. How then, you ask, are the reviews instructive? Do they point out fundamental problems that I would change if I could go back and write the book over or that I’ll adjust as I write the next volume in the series? Not at all, I answer. Rather, the reviews shall serve as teaching fodder, since how to write a useful review is clearly not taught much anymore and apparently the concept and components of a useful review are not as obvious as one might expect.

Even if you are not interested in Hebrew grammer, you will benefit from reading the whole article here.