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Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434764656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434764652
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Blase’s publications include the Living the Questions and Living the Letters Bible-study series, the Worldviews reference book (TH1NK), Real Life Stuff for Couples, and The Message Children’s Bible. A former pastor, John currently serves as an editor for David C. Cook. He lives with his wife and three children in Colorado.


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Customer Reviews

Very informative yet creative with a story that we think we know well and done in an intriguing way.
Glenn
I will read this book during Advent every year with great anticipation of finding something new in one or all of the characters, each time I read it.
Trace
A beautiful reflection on the true meaning of Christmas and the people surrounding God's story of love.
J.M. Lamb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on September 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's easy to complain about the consumerism of Christmas. We Christians get all up-in-arms when holiday decorations hit the stores the day after Halloween, when Saint Nicholas is better known as Santa Claus, and when more money is spent on Black Friday at shopping malls than is spent the rest of the year on missions projects. But perhaps a better way to counter the culture is by engaging more in the Christmas narrative. This isn't so easy to do. Although we find nostalgia singing the same carols every year, sometimes the lyrics come out automatically without us really pondering their meaning. Sometimes when we ramble off the Christmas story it sounds as plastic as the figurines in our nativity sets.

John Blase's new book, Touching Wonder, is an antidote for going through another "Christmas as normal" season. Blase retells the stories surrounding Jesus' birth, starting with Zechariah being struck dumb in the temple when he finds out he is going to be a late-life father and ending twelve chapters latter with Anna and Simeon viewing the Christ child after his parents bring baby Jesus to the temple to be dedicated.

The stories are told from the perspective of the participants, their hopes, fears and feelings expressed with descriptions that will bring you to tears. The Incarnation is truly full of wonder and Blase has artfully crafted these stories to pull the reader into the raw and the reality of Jesus' birth. Each chapter is preceded with a passage of scripture (using Eugene Peterson's, "The Message") and is followed by an application prayer from the heart of the author. The book also has some simple, yet beautiful sketches that fit the stories.

Not only do I plan to read "Touching Wonder" during this Advent with my family, I also plan to send this book to several friends. Recapturing the awe of Christmas is truly a gift worth giving!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After all, Christmas is because of the Christ child, the birth, the life, eventually eternal life. This book is a simple, easily read, way to refresh yourself this and every year of the true meaning of the Christmas holiday season.

It may not be a best-seller, nor one that you'll buy by the dozen to send as Christmas cards, but it is basic, easily appreciated, the story of the nativity as seen through the eyes of those that were there--so to speak. Each chapter takes a portion of the Biblical story, from The Message, and then follows it with a bit of first hand reporting, of a sort, appearing to be coming from the character involved in the selected verses that tell a portion of the birth story. Their common, human-like depiction of the event, as seen through their eyes, depicts the scene with a more earthly awareness than is often found in Christmas versions of the Nativity story.

It is the intent of the author, as I understand his own words, that "Touching Wonder" is to get us all in touch with the wonder of Christmas, the splendor of the event, but at the earthly level that it actually did happen. Birth in a stable. Common shepherds heralded. A mother who felt the birth pains. A husband concerned for his mate. Earthy, yet designed by the Master of Heaven.

Christmas is a great story for all to believe. This book shares it simply.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wyn on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A short novella book featuring the human side of the birth of Christ. Each chapter leads with a verse/scene from Luke and then the human story, from the person's perspective, then a note from the author in the form of a letter to God (one wishes that the author had better penmanship). The birth of Christ has attained story-telling, mythic proportions these days and this little book brings it back to a humanized situation. A story of a family where an old man and an old woman suddenly receive the gift of a child and an unwed girl becomes pregnant, her fiance has to give up his dreams and become a father of someone else's child, and not only that but she has to give birth in a stinky stable. John Blase has succeeded in bring this story into the human perspective and turned the participants into real people rather than characters in a play.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Davey Jones on November 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Touching Wonder provides a great condensed version of the Christmas story. But it tells another perspective of the story, a perspective that addresses the spaces in between the epic moments. It doesn't adress prophecy or symbols but rather doubts and suspicions and fatigue and second guessing. It epitomizes a poet thinking out the steps of the people as they all moved toward a manger.

Touching wonder intends to be an "earthy" perspective of the Immaculate Conception and so dwells a lot on sensations--touch and hearing and smelling. It also talks about awe and so tells the story in second person-like watching over shoulders rather than providing a bird's eye view of the grand scheme of it. Woven in and out is the author's own musings, presented as intermittent letters to God addressing morales garnered from the story. In that way, the tale is a lot like a personal devotion or Bible study.

It makes an apt exercise for the start of the holiday season-an effective way to re-ground and avoid the apathetic commercial Sirens' song typical of the holidays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lane M. Arnold on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In wondrous words, John Blase returns us to the dusty days of another century...a time just as full of wondering and waiting as our dusty days here and now are. Walk back into a time and story so familiar that most of us are dulled to its freshness. Give yourself the gift of Advent...waiting again for the Holy One to appear. In this brief book, you will find volumes so deep that you will know, as a tear rolls down your cheek, that you have found a holy offering. Return to the truth of the Christ-birth. Return to the common people encountering an Uncommon God. Walk back to the past, to find, in the here and now, the birth that changed all of life for all who will come, and touch Wonder. John Blase is a master storyteller, wooing us to look afresh, listen with undulled ears, smell the humble places, taste the yearnings long forgotten, and, once more, touch wonder. Such a book brings us again face-to-face with Christ, with Christmas as it once was and can yet again be...God-with-us in the Baby joyously given as the best of gifts.
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