Round One of frameworks Reviews

Posted September 18th, 2012 in Books, News by Emily Varner

It was great to see the first reviews appear for frameworks: How to Navigate the New Testament. Here are the full links:

Robbie Pruitt, a high school Bible teacher in Haiti, sums up his praise this way: “As a Bible teacher, a student of God’s word and as a visual learner, I highly recommend Frameworks. Frameworks facilitates a unique way to understand the New Testament and to put the individual books into their larger contexts for a holistic understanding of the New Testament.” The full review is here.

Debbie White, who reviews biblical studies resources at ChristFocus Book Club (and other genres at two other blogs), gave a clear overview mixed with her reflections.

And Wendy Swantek, a chill mother of two young boys and lay leader at her local church, had this to day, “This book is a handy guide, an outstanding roadmap, and a barrel of possibilities. Eric?s joy in sharing what the New Testament has to offer, combined with his no-nonsense style make this a pleasure to read (and re-read!).” The full review is here.

Where to Find Reviews of frameworks

Posted September 13th, 2012 in Books, News by Emily Varner

Check out this great list of reviewers who are planning to give their two cents (and in one case, two mites) about Eric Larson’s frameworks: How to Navigate the New Testament–An Extraordinary Guide for Ordinary People. People will be posting and Larson will be responding throughout next week: September 17-21.

You’ll notice booksellers, pastors, teachers, parents, worship leaders, artists, students–none of them “ordinary” in the negative sense of course, but a great cross-section of the audience who will find this an appealing resource.

I’ll try to post links to the actual reviews as they become available, but here are links to the home pages, in no particular order:

DTS Book Center Blog (DTS Book Center Staff)

Bible Geek Gone Wild (Shaun Tabatt)

Barkma (Ryan Barkley)

Snapshots (Wendy Swantek)

ChristFocus Book Club (Debbie White)

Book Bargains and Previews (Patti Chadwick) (Austin McCann)

Grace for Sinners (Mathew Sims)

Logos Worldview (Brian Holland)

Tom Farr Blog (Tom Farr)

Words on the Word (Abram Kielsmeier-Jones)

My Two Mites (Robbie Pruitt)

Guarding the Good Deposit (Casey Tygrett)

A couple reviews snuck out early too . . . a brief one at Cybertron Reviews is here, and a contact of Larson’s who received an early copy of the book at Musings of an Unemployed English Major.


Blog Tour in the Works for frameworks

Posted September 10th, 2012 in Books, News by Emily Varner

The innovative New Testament introduction frameworks: How to Navigate the New Testament by Eric Larson, recently published by Frameworks Resources, is arriving in the hands of industry gatekeepers and bloggers alike.

The Bible-learning tool that has been making waves among the churches of California’s Bay Area, is self-consciously “an extraordinary guide for ordinary people.” And what better way to assess its value than through the eyes of its intended users: laypeople and church leaders interested in increasing the biblical literacy of every churchgoer. The blog tour, which will run from Monday, September 17 through Friday, September 21, includes pastors, students, Bible teachers, and lay learners from across the United States (and even one in Haiti). Author Eric Larson will be visiting the posts regularly to interact with bloggers and those who comment on their reviews.

Check back for a listing of participating bloggers and links to their reviews of frameworks.

Recent PR Happenings – Winter 2012

Posted February 23rd, 2012 in Books, News by Emily Varner

Monday, InterVarsity Press’s Online Pulpit posted the first of three posts I wrote on A Vision for the Aging Church.

Tuesday, Susie Larson interviewed Mark Buchanan about his new book Your Church Is Too Safe.

Wednesday, a review of the same appeared at ForeWord Reviews.

This morning I woke to Trevin Wax’s Kingdom People review of Journeys of Faith.

Good books getting some attention. Warms the heart.

The Perks of this Work 2

Posted February 17th, 2012 in Random by Emily Varner

In my last post I explained what it is about working with ideas that suits me. But I also find that there are benefits to working with books and ideas on a part-time, freelance basis.

Perhaps freelancers are underpaid and exploited because they provide all their work hardware, don’t receive healthcare and retirements benefits, and generally just work really hard. In fact, I remember a time when I said that working from home is the worst thing I could ever imagine. People who work out of their homes are never be away from work that needs to be done–they constantly make choices about when laundry and meal preparation are going to fit into getting their paid work done, and most of their friends and family see them as non-working people with time for impromptu lunches or visits.

But I have found that a major perk of always having a few plates spinning is that the mundane tasks of life and the social outlets of parenting allow for the percolation time I need on projects, keeping ideas fresh, and recognizing connections that I hadn’t seen before. It is almost like I take mini-vacations from work each week. Just the other day I had one of those “aha” moments (That’s how I need to do that thing!) while I was driving home from the grocery store.

I also have a brilliant husband who is both energetic when it comes to things technical and genuinely interested in the content and process of the work I am producing. He can tell me what tool I need ftp achieve a certain goal, suggest better ways, and be a sounding board about problems I am having or things that are exciting me. It can be so easy for parents of young children to slide into talking only about the kids, with little else to say after those updates are complete. It suits us two chatty people to have an endless supply of ideas and technical plans to process together in our spare moments.

Working part time reminds me  of attending school part-time while I was working full time. I finished up my M.A. this way, and it made me wish I had gone to school part-time through all my undergraduate and graduate work. My classes seems more interesting, more connected to real life; the work for them was less drudgery and instead a break from the everyday. So also, I find the perks of my part-time work include a sense that what I am doing does relate to the ordinary life of the Christian person and that it is a treat to get to tackle it in regular, solid chunks throughout each week.

The Perks of This Work 1

Posted February 8th, 2012 in Random by Emily Varner

The last few months have been a rather wild ride, as you can tell by the lack of posts since October. I’ve been charging though numerous new personal tasks but also keeping busy publicizing books. But unfortunately I’ve had to turn down some editing gigs, which I really hate doing because the work is so great. It’s like taking a mini-independent study course on some very interesting topic I know comparatively nothing about. Copyediting is a chance to dig deep where I usually only scratch the surface. And often it’s a chance to make someone really smart sound even better than they did at the start. At the end of a copyediting project, I’m “up” (if it only really lasts a few months) on the prominent primary source documents for a particular discipline, the classic works on a defined topic, and the various schools of thought related to that topic. I have an opinion on something I might not have considered before, and I can have a conversation about something new.

But all the aspects of the work I do–even the “scratch the surface” ones–include similar perks. I get to try on the thoughts and ideas of others, see how they sit with me, what other resonances I find with them. In the long run I might not agree wholeheartedly with the position of an author whose book I publicize, but at the same time I don’t take the book on unless I think it makes a valuable contribution to current (or perennial) Christian conversations. That is, the books I work with are worthy of consideration, legitimate contributions to the world of ideas.

And that’s what I mean about the perks. My brain is wired to swim in ideas, to weigh their value, to introduce them to others. It took a while for me to learn that, but I have been a much happier and productive person since figuring it out.

In the next post I’ll turn to the “perks” of taking up this kind of work on a part-time, freelance basis.



We Are Live!

Posted October 27th, 2011 in Random by Emily Varner

Only a couple of months later than we had hoped, the AcademicPS website is finally live! Thanks to Marc at Big Ocean Studios and Rebecca at The Design Room for you professional help conveying what AcademicPS does.

Doug Varner is getting a kick out of checking out who has been visiting and from where using Google Analytics, and of course we’ve figured out so far that mainly is has been us plus someone in Russia who stayed for about half a minute. So if you’re here on purpose, leave a comment to let us know what you think.

Andrew Bronson suggested a couple years ago that a picture of Emily would be a good addition to the AcademicPS cache of informational materials, but she’s still a little squeamish about that. Is there something you’re wanting to see?

Online Reviews from PW and Library Journal

Posted August 27th, 2011 in Books by Emily Varner

Check out this Publisher’s Weekly review of Chaos and Grace by Mark Galli (Baker, October 2011) here.

And Library Journal Online ran a reference review of the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan, July 2011) here. It was the only religious title in the reference review lineup for August 2011.

Well-deserved attention for these books.

The Lost Q&A Text–Dictionary of Christian Spirituality

Posted July 24th, 2011 in Books by Emily Varner

I’m sending review copies of Zondervan’s Dictionary of Christian Spirituality out presently. This is another one of those titles I’m delighted to be associated with. The general editor, Glen G. Scorgie, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me , which I edited and used for a media piece. The text of this piece is posted on Glen’s personal blog here. Below I’m posting the one question and response that didn’t make the final cut. I still think it’s worth sharing:

Some in the evangelical community might suggest that a reference work of this sort should be of one opinion on doctrine and Christian practice, but in the introduction you say the contributors encompass “the full spectrum of Protestants, including Calvinists and Wesleyans, Episcopalians and Anglicans, Pentecostals and Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists and Dispensationalists; also some Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox; and even a few who are not going to church at all right now.” Why do you see this as making a stronger resource? What “core” beliefs are represented in the volume?

This book is not a polemical rejoinder in some intramural debate. We have no axe to grind. Instead, we have tried to produce a volume that represents a generous evangelical identity and voice. It has been gratifying to have already received appreciative emails from people who have sometimes been de-legitimized through exclusion from academic reference works of this nature. In times of great global challenge and opportunity, as we find ourselves as Christians today, much more is to be gained by solidarity and mutual respect than by partisanship. We are certainly not relativists, for not all views are equally meritorious, but our embrace should be as large as that of the Spirit of God.

What unites us, amid all the diversity of our backgrounds, is agreement on what Christian spirituality is all about— Continue Reading »

Off the Clock

Posted July 6th, 2011 in Random by Emily Varner

I don’t take on a PR project I don’t believe in, but every once in a while I can’t help sharing information about a book no one is paying me to publicize. This happened again over the weekend and today when I found myself recommending a book I learned about through working on Baylor University Press’s academic catalog (which I believe just went to press this week): Rhetorical Darwinism by Thomas Lessl. The language of religion and the language of science are profoundly involved subjects to tackle, but well worth the analysis Lessl provides in his book (at least the portions of it that I read). If you’re like me and noted the eschatological nuance in the writings and beliefs of historical figures like William Wilberforce and Christabel Pankhurst with curiosity, his analysis helps make sense of how that aspect of their message has diminished among Christian circles but increased within the scientific and pseudo-scientific community.