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Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making Kindle Edition
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About the Author
In 2008, driven by a desire to cultivate a strong Christian arts community, Andrew founded a ministry called The Rabbit Room, which led to a yearly conference, countless concerts and symposiums, and Rabbit Room Press, which has published thirty books to date.
He’s been married for 24 years to his wife Jamie, with whom they have three children. His eldest is an animation student at Lipscomb University, his second son is a touring drummer and record producer, and his daughter recently released her first album. In his spare time Andrew keeps bees, builds dry stack stone walls, gardens, draws, and sleeps.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B07Y9H3NJC
- Publisher : B&H Books (October 15, 2019)
- Publication date : October 15, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 1616 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 174 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #84,408 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Much like Peterson’s music, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. The subtitle, “Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making,” seemed an awfully big goal for a short book. Likewise, the Amazon summary had a significant emphasis on the writing process, which although fitting under the category of “the Mystery of Making,” nevertheless increased both my interest and my skepticism that someone could pull off so much in such a short span of pages. I was wrong. Again. Perhaps I should have expected this success from one who can pack so much truth, goodness, and beauty into a three-minute song. Moreover, when I began reading the book, I found that Peterson also tells a lot of personal stories as a way of elucidating his points. I found his transparent, sincere, and humble approach both helpful and inspiring.
My short review is that writers of all kinds (not just songwriters) and Christians with all kinds of gifts (not just writers) should read this book, as it brings valuable insight into the Christian life, the human condition, the value of community, and the beauty and power of words. My long review, well, I don’t really want to write that one. It couldn’t do this book justice anyway. So instead, here’s my “medium-length” review, and in the style of Peterson’s book, it’s more personal than it is academic (hence my intentional use of contractions, which I normally loathe).
Peterson’s book was the exact book I needed at the exact time in my life that I needed it. God often does these kinds of things. With my ever-growing reading list, I often really don’t know why I pick up a certain book and not another to read. Sometimes it’s perhaps coincidence, but I have no doubt that this time it was Providence. God knew I needed this book at this time. Of the many valuable insights in this book, a couple stand out as most notable, primarily because the margin of my book reads, “Wow! I needed to hear this!” and “I needed to hear this, too!”
First, Peterson writes: “Wrench your heart away from all the things you think you need for your supposed financial security, your social status. Set fire to your expectations, your rights, and even your dreams. When all that is gone, it will be clear that the only thing you ever really had was this wild and Holy Spirit that whirls about inside you, urging you to follow where his wind blows” (2-3). I find myself in a difficult stage of life, and my wife and I have been deeply, frequently, and fervently praying for the Lord’s guidance. My own fear is that He has answered time and again, but my own fear of financial security has deafened my ears to His voice. As I read Peterson’s word, tears filled my eyes as I asked God again to speak, and I’m starting to hear whispers.
Second, Peterson writes: “You can’t blame your equipment. You can’t blame your lack of time. You can’t blame your upbringing. Either you’re willing to steward the gift God gave you by stepping into the ring and fighting for it, or you spend your life in training, cashing in excuse after excuse until there’s no time left, no fight left, no song, no story” (125). Conviction isn’t a strong enough word for my feelings in this respect. My lack of time has been a constant excuse to hide the gifts God has given me under a basket and shove it under a bed. I won’t do it any longer. I’m ready to fight. I ready to get out of training and into the game. I ready for the story to get out of my head and onto the page. And I have Andrew Peterson to thank for that.
So thank you, Andrew. To the rest of my readers, go buy and read his book.
If you think this is for the religious, Christian world you'd be right and very wrong at the same time. Peterson is spot on when he says good non religious art beats bad religious art hands down. In fact, for the Christian artist, musician, writer, poet, accountant, pastor, blogger, etc. I think there is a challenge here to create the best, not the most popular or marketable art. Yes accountants are creating as they bring order out of chaos.
This is not a how to book (although the last chapter of pointers is great). It is a look at Andrew Peterson's journey. Not just an autobiography but a stream of encouragement to keep going. Someone, somewhere, at sometime, needs to hear what you have to say, so say it. And after listening to quite a few of Andrew Peterson's recordings and saw him live with Michael Card, all the pieces fell into place. I have always loved his music, and now I can see the influence of Rich Mullins on his work, without being a Rich Mullins copy.
If you appreciate honesty, truth, and beauty this book is for you. If you want to communicate honesty, truth, and beauty this book is for you. If you have every enjoyed a song, book, painting, sculpture, a delicious meal or a sunset, this book is for you. And if you have never enjoyed any of those things this book is here to open you up to a whole new world.
There were times throughout the book where I felt his prose fairly sang, as when he said,
"Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your homesickness keep you always from spiritual slumber..."
The grand narrative of this book is that we were all created to create because we have been created in the image of our Creator God, and we each have a true, beautiful and honest story to tell that is unique and needed in a world darkened by Satan and his lies.
Top reviews from other countries
We had the privilege of a visit from Andrew at our church in Cardiff a year or so back. I do not think I have ever experienced a concert where narrative was so integral to everything. Each song is a finely crafted jewel of narrative, and during the performance, he managed to weave each individual piece into a larger narrative. This transforms the separate songs into something more compelling and rich.
The book is doing something similar. He writes about writing. He writes about the inexplicable, sublime business of creativity, especially when composing music, or crafting lyrics. He writes about his own story, his fears and inadequacies and hopes, and how he has been blessed whilst being a blessing to others. The book is not some carefully organised manual, but a provocative and highly individual account of the nature of the creative process from the inside. And, as always with this chap, the language is well-crafted and draws you into the more powerful truths.
There's a lot to do you good, here. If you've ever felt that there's a song inside you, waiting to get out - or a painting, or even a short story, then you'll find plenty on to feed your imagination. And I will certainly pick this up again.