A Book I Slaved Over Has Won an Award

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings has won the ECPA Christian Book Award in the category of Bible Reference and Study.

Of course this book wasn’t by brainchild or anything, but I did spend many hours with my nose hovering over the nine-hundred-some pages, so it’s at least gratifying to know it wasn’t disqualified on account of an egregiously large amount of typos!

One other point of cynical observation, which I hope doesn’t make me sound ungrateful: I always give a wry smile at what these awards reveal about the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the Christian-evangelical publishing industry. There is a category, as noted above, for “Bible Reference and Study,” another for “Christian Life” (a John Piper book won this year), another for “Inspiration and Gift,” another for “Fiction,” even a category simply called “Bible.” There is, however, no category for theology. What does this say about us? That we don’t publish enough theology to warrant a category for it? Or, more likely, do we think that if we have  categories for “Bible” and “Bible Reference and Study” then a category for theology is intrinsically unnecessary? In other words, do we simply conflate the categories of theology and Bible reference? That is, to read and understand the Bible is ipso facto to do theology? That would be nice, but if it were that simple we surely wouldn’t have the doctrine of the two natures of Christ, or even of the Trinity. Not that these aren’t scriptural doctines, but it takes (or at least, in the historical development of doctrine,  it took) an alarmingly large amount of philosophical reasoning and speculation, and huge amounts of controversy, to get from the earliest Christian confessions of Jesus as Lord to the Nicene Creed, for example. I’m just sayin’.


4 comments so far

  1. Robert on


  2. lucashannon on

    Congratulations, Jeff! Interesting (and agreeably sad) note about theology; oh, evangelicals…

  3. Josh on


  4. Ryan Cordell on

    Way to go!

    In my personal opinion, the Grandmother’s Bible was totally robbed in the Bible category. How could a book that “gives guidance and encouragement for today’s active grandmother” not be the big winner?

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