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Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey Hardcover – September 29, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Feinberg is a gifted storyteller and spiritual teacher. She has a knack for leading us to an 'aha' insight or a reflective 'hmmm.'' -- The Dallas Morning News

Review

'Margaret Feinberg is a wonderful storyteller, helping us delve more deeply into the narrative of the Scriptures and discover truths we often overlook.' -- Ed Stetzer, author of Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and Churches that Reach Them
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 53282nd edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310291224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310291220
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roxanne Nanney on September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My favorite Margaret Feinberg so far. Margaret's passion for God's Word is contagious. Her insights and candid transparency kindle in me a desire to dig deeper into the treasures of the Bible. As Margaret shared her adventures with a shepherdess, I felt the loving care of the Great Shepherd in a new, fresh way. Listening to her descriptions of tractors and canning tomatoes, I was reminded of the importance of persistence and attention in my spiritual walk. I think her time with the bee keeper was my favorite, reminding me that God has a unique purpose for me that benefits His kingdom. Oh, wait, maybe her time in the Vineyards of Nappa Valley was my favorite, reminding me of the importance of abiding in the True Vine and taking time to rest and observe Sabbath. Then there was the bonus of hearing that she has partnered with Lifeway to publish a 6 week Bible Study based on the book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like the idea behind this book, a sort of participatory journalism in search of spiritual insights. The author visits a shepherd, a farmer, a beekeeper and a vintner in order to study passages of the Bible that are more meaningful in agrarian societies than to our urban and suburbanized communities. (I think she should have taken a fifth trip to see a commercial fisherman.)

The text is driven by dialog as much as narrative, so the author gives the reader a "you-are-there" kind of experience. I appreciate that she allows her subjects to lead her discussions and suggest spiritual insights, rather than try to force them to adhere to a proscribed set of answers that she wants to convey.

I gave the book a middling rating, though, because the author's golly-gee-whiz tone got on my nerves. She gets all giggly about driving a "ginormous" tractor and gushes about skinning tomatoes in a canning session. We also get cringe-inducing conversations with her husband: "Leif, what am I doing?" I asked. "You're being Margaret," he answered with a smile. "And I love that about you." The woman is an author, a teacher and a professional speaker. Why she would want to come off as a ditzy teenager? I would take her more seriously if she sounded more mature.

The insights Ms. Feinberg arrives at are worth considering, especially what she learns about the meaning of giving our "first fruits" to God. But when she attempts to apply them to her own life, too often they sound trite -- and sometimes puzzling -- for being too general. For example, what does she mean when she says "all too often I find myself in a rush, even wanting to do things to hasten the end of days." It sounds like she's trying to bring on the Second Coming. Surely that can't be the case.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe that it's taken this long for someone to pursue and investigate the most used metaphors in Scripture. But, thanks to Margaret Feinberg for seeking out "her own adventures" and spending quality time with a shepherdess, farmer, bee-keeper, and vintner to bring new light to biblical stories. Through Margaret's friends and friends-of-friends, she was able to find details about GOD'S creation that I never would've dreamed. After reading "Scouting the Divine" I realized that GOD wasn't giving us neat stories to interpret and make clever analogies to attract more people. GOD was giving us real examples of the way nature works, and stories about the way life is.
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Format: Hardcover
At a time when many faith based books are watered down with broad brush stroke references to scripture, Ms. Feinberg rolls up her sleeves and digs in until she reaches eye level with the scriptures she uncovers in this book.
For many of us lay readers, such as myself, we have come to expect theocratic or feel good modern translations of scripture. It is refreshing to get a look at them from the eyes of one who spent time with the people and natural surroundings from which they drew inspiration.
This book has reinvigorated my desire for scriptural study by making it accessible and clear without having my MDiv degree. I appreciated her experiences with the various farmers and keepers who ,through modest work, exhibit Godly talents. Especially since the people she sought were not groomed nor their lives "glammed" up to be preachy or self indulgent.
Exactly the qualities Ms. Feinberg has demonstrated time and again and just the reason I scout her books when they hit the shelf. This book will satsfy the neophyte, advanced and non Christian reader alike.
Bottom line: well worth the read!
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Format: Hardcover
About three years ago I had the privilege of meeting Margaret Feinberg and her husband Leif. After meeting her I started to read her books. First, Organic God and then Sacred Echo. Loved them both. I know, for sure, I've give away over 25 copies of Organic God to people. So, I'm a fan. I think Margaret is an important voice in today's world.

A few weeks ago I picked up Scouting the Divine and I want to highly recommend it. Here's why. Margaret loves God. She's real. She understands people. She writes really well. Her stuff helps grow a mature Christian and is accessible to those who are just 'looking around'. Scouting the Divine has Margaret and Leif traveling to visit people who do all those interesting things people in the Bible did. Margaret met a shepherdess in Oregon, walked the fields with a Nebraska farmer, picked grapes in the wine country of California, and hung up with a Colorado bee keeper. Margaret calls Scouting the Divine "an intentional search for spiritual things that can be touched, tasted, heard, seen, smelled and savored." She's hoping that we'll be inspired to 'scout for the divine' in our own lives.

Now here's what's cool about this book. After reading it the Bible comes alive in fresh ways. That's always good. But you also walk away with a deeper appreciation for the lives of those who do ordinary things well and with deep heart conviction. You end up with this intense appreciation for the people Margaret and Leif met and a sense of thankfulness for the work they do. There were some real 'God moments' for me in every chapter.

I'll read this book again. Probably use it with a small group.

Pick it up. Buy a few extra copies. You'll want to give them away to friends.
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