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Scribbling in the Sand


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Card's stunning little book on creativity opens with a story about Jesus: faced with an adulterous woman that he was asked to punish, he knelt down and scribbled something in the sand. Card says that commentators have asked the wrong question what Jesus wrote rather than the more provocative question of why: "It was not the content that mattered but why he did it. Unexpected. Irritating. Creative." This same praise can be heaped upon his perceptive, original combination of storytelling and theological insight. Like Card's other books, this is profoundly biblical, teasing out fresh interpretations of Scripture through deep interaction with the text. Who but Card would imagine Noah's construction of the ark as a creative, imaginative act? Who but Card would then contrast this creation to the erection of the Tower of Babel, which demonstrates what happens when people create out of selfish ambition? Various chapters discuss the role of imagination in the prophetic books of the Bible, the activity of Jesus in helping to create the universe and the need for "a lifestyle of listening." Card's tone alternates between a gentle call to embrace God's beauty and a stinging jeremiad against the glib it's-all-about-the-artist approach to creativity that dominates both Christian and secular thinking. The book is not prescriptive; it doesn't help would-be artists and writers enhance their creativity through innovative techniques or exercises. It simply describes what it is like to know God and, as a result of that experience, to want to respond to him. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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