Card's stunning little book on creativity opens with a story about Jesus: faced with an adulterous woman that he was asked to punish, he knelt down and scribbled something in the sand. Card says that commentators have asked the wrong question what Jesus wrote rather than the more provocative question of why: "It was not the content that mattered but why he did it. Unexpected. Irritating. Creative." This same praise can be heaped upon his perceptive, original combination of storytelling and theological insight. Like Card's other books, this is profoundly biblical, teasing out fresh interpretations of Scripture through deep interaction with the text. Who but Card would imagine Noah's construction of the ark as a creative, imaginative act? Who but Card would then contrast this creation to the erection of the Tower of Babel, which demonstrates what happens when people create out of selfish ambition? Various chapters discuss the role of imagination in the prophetic books of the Bible, the activity of Jesus in helping to create the universe and the need for "a lifestyle of listening." Card's tone alternates between a gentle call to embrace God's beauty and a stinging jeremiad against the glib it's-all-about-the-artist approach to creativity that dominates both Christian and secular thinking. The book is not prescriptive; it doesn't help would-be artists and writers enhance their creativity through innovative techniques or exercises. It simply describes what it is like to know God and, as a result of that experience, to want to respond to him.
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"A philosophical yet practical treatise on Christian creativity. . . . Scribbling in the Sand
does a masterful job of exposing an artist-centered approach to the arts as being far inferior to a God-centered approach to the arts—the former having only limited potential, the latter being limitless." (Moody)
"Scribbling in the Sand
doesn't offer three easy steps or five quick methods to becoming a successful Christian artist. Rather, it takes readers on a journey into the heart of creativity and challenges them to become more like their Creator." (CBA Marketplace)
"Art matters. Card takes it one step further, clarifying that art matters—and even draws us nearer—to God." (PRISM)
"By portraying and celebrating the creativity of Jesus, singer, songwriter and author Michael Card succeeds at inspiring others to use their artistic talents to serve and worship Christ." (CCM Magazine)
"Stunning . . . Like Card's other books, this is profoundly biblical, teasing out fresh interpretations of Scripture through deep interaction with the text." (Publishers Weekly, starred review (June 11, 2002))
"This book reached my heart as few others. Every artist (which means every Christian) needs to meditate on Michael Card's message, not just read, but ponder, reflect, pray. The result will be a thrilling release of the Spirit from depths you hadn't before realized were there. At least, that's what happened in me." (Larry Crabb, author of Inside Out)
"Every song I've heard Michael sing makes me think about Jesus. Every moment I've spent with Michael makes me think about Jesus. Who better, then, to make us all think more highly of Christ than Michael Card. May God use this book to do exactly that in your life." (Max Lucado, author)
"Countless books circulate on what it means to be 'creative,' on what 'art' is; relatively few are written from a distinctively Christian perspective. There cannot be many more qualified than Michael Card to fill this glaring gap. Here we learn, powerfully, that creativity, rightly conceived, is a response to God: it is worship. To his own evocative reflections Michael Card appends the musing of several other Christian artists and critics. This is a book to be cherished and savored." (D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
"When Michael Card speaks on Christian creativity, the world listens. I think they listen first because he is a Christian whose faith is his reason to be. I think they listen next because he is creative. In every sentence he writes, His appetite for beauty devours his soul and leaves the rest of us hungry to acquire his taste. I think I personally admire him because he lives in that Promethean torture chamber where mediocrity is offensive and excellence exceeds the grasp. Yet it is his reaching toward aesthetic wonders that refreshes us with a widening vision of Christ. Then having caught the greater view of things, he generously passes the vision forward to us all." (Calvin Miller, author of The Singer Trilogy)
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