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Scribbling in the Sand Hardcover – August, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press; First Edition edition (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830823174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823178
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here is a beautifully published, inspiring work by a great musician who is a fountain of insight into God's heart and our imagination. Michael Card focuses primarily on Christ in this book on Christ and Creativity, and by doing so, directs our attention to the source and objective of our artist efforts. We, as Christian artists, are Christ's own possession, Card says, living for Him and through Him to accomplish everything by His inspiring strength. With personal, encouraging words, Card writes a wonderfully sound book that should be read by artists around the world. It isn't loaded with practical advice for building or working out creativity (though there are bits here and there), but the chapter of letters to young artists from a diverse group of accomplished, godly artists reads like Proverbs, line after line of memorable advice. That chapter and the bibliography of works on imagination and creativity are worth the price of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Why should a doctor who can't carry a tune in a bucket and can't draw a stick figure love a book about the nature of art and creativity written by a musician? But I fell in love with this book from the first chapter, for it beautifully and eloquently puts forth a vision of Christianity that everyone needs to hear and embrace. As Larry Crabb describes the book, "Every Christian needs to meditate on Michael Card's message...the result will be a thrilling release of the Spirit from depths you hadn't before realized were there.." I had the pleasure of hearing Michael discuss the themes of this book in a coffee-house: he is a humble and wise servant of Christ, and his writing reflects it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is fine; however the way it was listed on the site was a problem. I typed in Scribbling in the Sand and thought that what I was purchasing was the book. Actually, only the workbook showed up and I didn't see the "fine" print indicating it was a workbook (when I wanted the actual book , not the workbook). So I ended up incorrectly ordering the workbook. After receiving the workbook, and realizing my error,I had to order the book and spend more money.
I feel that the way the book is listed is confusing and a couple of other people in our small group who ordered the book had the same problem.
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Format: Hardcover
When I read this book, I loved the ideas more than the excecution of them, in the literary sense. I guess I expected it to be more eloquent, with better excegetics, but I realized that it was not needed.

Some times as a painter, I would keep working on a painting too long, and really make it worse than better. What I was looking for was not needed, it would have muddied the colors Michael was trying to communicate to us.

Thanks for giving us your thoughts, and being willing to share those of others with us in the persuit of excellence in our gifts.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed with Scribbling in the Sand at first... It's not that there was anything wrong with the book, but it struck me as being longer than it needed to be for what it had to say. The book had many good things to say, but it felt like a light read, and I was hoping for something more deep and incisive.

Then, however, I ran across the chapter with letters from various artists and theologians, and it provided just what I was looking for. They were a great contrast with Michael Card's simpler writing about faith and art, rounding out the content of the book with some insightful and challenging thoughts on art as worship.

All in all, this is a good book for someone new to the topic of the intersection of art and Christian faith, and the letters especially are worth reading and re-reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I didn't connect with this book as much as I thought I would, hence the three stars. I have a feeling that if I were to re-read it I would up the rating to four stars.

I've enjoyed Michael Card's music for my entire life and had the privilege of attending one of his concerts and meeting him in person last month. He, and his music, have been a huge inspiration for me as a novelist. Despite having spent almost half of my young life deep in the world of writing, I've rarely read any books on the creativity as a whole - mostly I stick to works the pertain only to the world of writing. It was interesting to step out of my norm and read this book. "Scribbling in the Sand" was an overview of how a christian artist should view creativity and how it is a gift from God, but it's not what should define us.

Overall I found the book to be encouraging and I agreed with a fair amount of what was shared. Mr. Card's descriptive writing style was engaging and I enjoyed it enough to almost bump the rating up to four stars. Sadly, the concepts that he was sharing were a bit ambiguous to my brain, although that's probably my fault as I tend to read rather quickly.

I do hope to re-read this book in the future and think there are some very helpful concepts within the pages.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Card is well-known for his music, and as a Christian author he reaches down deep into the heart. Scribblng in the Sand will challenge artists of all types to use their gifts as worship to God. This is not a how to book. No advice on getting published or how to write better or how to paint or how to improve your talent.
The middle bogged down a bit for me, but the first few chapters and the last few were excellent. Great teaching. Great reading. He includes letters written to artists from other artists. These provide very good advice and were poignant. If you are an artist of any type, get this book and keep in your library.
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