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The Fire of the Word: Meeting God on Holy Ground (Renovare Resources) Paperback – December 14, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Webb is an Anglican priest, author, and speaker passionate about helping people experience a richer walk with God by growing in prayer and the spiritual life. He is author of The Fire of the Word and he serves as deputy warden at Launde Abbey and diocesan spirituality adviser to the Diocese of Leicester. Previously, Chris served as president of Renovaré USA and as a faculty member of the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation. He has ministered in a wide variety of churches, including Welsh parishes in urban and rural settings, and a church for the homeless. Chris lives in Leicestershire, England, with his wife and four children.

Richard J. Foster (D.Th.P., Fuller Theological Seminary) is founder of Renovaré in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of many books, including Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, which has sold over two million copies worldwide, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World, and coauthor (with Gayle Beebe) of Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion.


"Beautifully written and firmly grounded in the breadth of our Christian tradition, every page is permeated with Chris's love for Scripture and the God of Scripture. If you engage even a fraction of the approaches to Scripture he describes here, your relationship with Scripture will be transformed!" (Ruth Haley Barton, founder, The Transforming Center)

"The Fire of the Word makes you want to discover the God of the Bible all over again. Chris Webb dares us to open up the pages of Scripture and enter a new place of intimacy and passion. Each chapter gives practical steps for deeply refreshing discovery to become a life-transforming habit." (R. Lamar Vest, president and CEO, American Bible Society)

"Chris Webb is a man of prayer, action and commitment, fueled always by his love of God. His warm, welcoming new text captures the high beauty of his Colorado dwelling place with his simple dwelling in Christ. Evoking world images from the green spaces of his own Welsh homeland to the dry wilderness of Jesus's own journey, he pours out his love of all Christ's people on the planet, teaching and encouraging us all the while. Here is a new, engaging master of the spiritual life." (Emilie Griffin, author of Souls in Full Sail)

"Evangelicals often peer over the fences of other traditions, seeking to learn time-tested patterns of the Christian spiritual life. Like those who precede us, we want to open ourselves up to the presence of God--the love of God, the grace of God, the person of God. In practical and authentic ways, The Fire of the Word brings together many such ancient gems and invites us specifically and practically into life-giving connection with God in the Bible. A top recommendation to all who seek a deeper, more life-shaping experience in the Scripture." (Mindy Caliguire, author of Discovering Soul Care)

"A huge abyss yawns between how much we know (or don't) about the Bible and how thoroughly we live it. Getting across that abyss is a major challenge to the Christian community. Christopher Webb wrote this book to serve as a kind of suspension bridge from knowing the Bible to living the Bible. He does it by telling stories of the people who live it, by living it himself and by using language that is energetically alive. Walk across this bridge and experience the sheer livability of the Bible." (Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message)

"Once in a great while a book points me directly to God, like the arrow of a compass that points to the true north. The Fire of the Word was exactly that for me. I found myself focused Godward with each passing page as the Spirit ravished my heart, increasing my longing to be with the eternal Word that finds its way to my heart through ink and paper in the Bible. After reading this well-written, honest, funny and wise book, the sacred Scriptures--which I can at times take for granted--are more sacred to me than ever." (James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God)

"The Fire of the Word is an inspiring call to read Scripture as a means of encountering God personally. One by one Chris removes obstacles in our view of God, of Scripture and of oursevels that stand in the way of a transforming relationship with our Bible. The book provides valuable assistance in reading our Bible wholeheartedly: with attention, imagination, reason, emotion and intention. I followed with delight his stories of childhood foolishness, art history, alcoholic friendships and more as this book empowered me to listen to the voice of God through Scripture." (Evan B. Howard, author of the Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality)

"The Fire of the Word is a marvel and a joy. How thrilling to welcome this fresh, new voice to the field of Christian spirituality. Christopher Webb has accomplished what few have succeeded in doing: he has given us courageous openings onto what a life hid with Christ in God can be like." (From the foreword by Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and Sanctuary of the Soul)

"I would commend this book for the challenge it has made to me to think about how I read the bible." (John R. Reid, Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring 2013)

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Product Details

  • Series: Renovare Resources
  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830835636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830835638
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin A. Simpson VINE VOICE on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Bible is a difficult, complex, and multi-layered book. It consists of two testaments, the Old and New, and was penned by numerous authors, with a long history of interpretation, and a longer history of transformation. It has been pondered by scholars and laypersons alike, and the resulting fruit has ranged from profound to commonplace holiness. It is regarded by faithful Christians as the inspired and authoritative Word of God, making wise for salvation and good for equipping every man and woman to live in accordance with righteousness.

There is no greater book than the Bible. But how do we read? How do we read this great, difficult, complex, and multi-layered book? To read it well we are in need of reliable guides. We are in need of the church, the communion of saints. Chris Webb is one such voice, and in his book, The Fire of the Word, we encounter a companion for our journey, a reliable guide who can help us to read the Bible for transformation.

Chris Webb's prose is tremendous. I have rarely encountered someone who has written so lucidly on the Bible and its role in spiritual formation. He takes the text seriously, and punctuates his grand claims for the transformative nature of its contents with illustrations that range the centuries in accessible, powerful language. Webb's book is designed to be devoured slowly, much like Scripture itself, for each chapter concludes with recommended readings from the Bible that illuminate the concepts and ideas Webb desires to impart. The design is practical, allowing for a multi-level impact on the reader.

As a Renovare resource, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Renovare is dedicated to pulling together diverse streams within Christianity, taking the best from each in order to bring about spiritual renewal.
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Format: Paperback
The FIRE of the WORD

I don't often post my book reviews to my blogs, but seeing how I was asked to read and review this book by IVP Books, I thought I had better make a posting, and in truth, I am happy to do so and to recommend this book to you.

Here is my review as written for Goodreads:

To ask a pastor to read and review a book about reading the Bible is about as smart as handing an Formula One race car driver to read a book about learning to drive.

Oh how wrong I was (nothing new for those who know me.)

This new book, "The Fire of the Word: Meeting God on Holy Ground," (IVP Books, 2012) truly awakened in me a deeper desire to not only know the Scriptures, but know the One who both wrote the Scriptures and about Whom the Scriptures are written. I heartily recommend this book to all who desire to know the Word of God better, and even more importantly, to know God better.

Some quotes from the work may best attest to the gems that are to be discovered within its pages.

The Bible is "a place where the boundary of heaven and earth have been worn through."(p.61) Ans therefore the Word of God becomes a "thin place through which the presence of God breaks into this world and bursts with unpredictable consequences into our lives." (p. 30-31)

The author, Chris Webb, is constantly on the task to draw us away from seeing the Bible as a book written for "theorists", but rather it is a book for lovers. (p. 68) We are encouraged to see the Holy Scriptures as the medium of the Divine kiss, a way into the very presence of God. (p. 77)

The author helps us to see the Holy Scriptures in a way that brings forth its deep riches and encourages us, his readers, to plumb the depths.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished The Fire of the Word, and I have been so very blessed by its message and encouragement. I have been a Christian for decades, and have sought to know God for most of my life. Obviously, reading His Word as revealed in the Bible is an integral part of knowing Him better, but that doesn't mean reading the Bible is always easy. Sometimes, for me, it has been intensely difficult, in fact. Chris Webb's book has changed my perspective. Through his gentle prose he exhorted me to prayerfully and thoughtfully approach the Bible, expecting to meet Jesus Christ in every page and passage. His emphasis on the fact that the whole Book is Christ's story, and his practical suggestions for how to read in such a way as to lead to a deeper relationship with its Author was greatly helpful to me. As I read, I often laughed to myself at just how much Webb "gets it"...he is not "out there", transported into raptures too mystical for me to grasp, he is right here with me, grappling with life on earth and how to live it with my hand firmly grasped in God's, every step of the way. In this day and age, when the Bible is being marginalized and diminished as a simple book of lessons, The Fire of the Word is a call to true reverence for its place in our lives as the conduit through which the Holy Spirit ignites us with passion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Definitely it's not a book to read in one go.I found myself often chewing on every word I read, and more the once I have cried as I see Jesus portrayed in those pages...all of such imagines are taken out directly from the Scripture. It's not just a nice thought or idea about Him, but it's a natural process once you start meditation on the Word. For this very same reason I have tried to do all of the actives suggested at the end of every chapter. Believe me, if what you are looking for is too fall in love with the Scriptures and therefore connect with Him in a deeper level, then this is your book!
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