When Lexham Press first announced the Transformative Word series, we were excited to bring you a series that told the story of the Bible from diverse perspectives.
When we read something, that information is filtered through our own experiences and culture. This is no less true when we read the Bible. Our worldviews are important, but we rarely get a chance to see the Bible from another perspective. Because of language barrier and distance, we have limited access. These unique cultural viewpoints can help draw out scriptural truth that might otherwise have been missed and the Transformative Word series illuminates these perspectives.
We enlisted church leaders and scholars from around the world to show us the transformative significance of each biblical book. The visual design of the series reflected these diverse perspectives in a unified style across the series. But, as these writers began to write their contributions to the series, we discovered that the series had transformed organically through their work. Each book was informed by deeply personal experiences that revealed biblical truth in ways we never expected.
We realized that the work itself had been transformed by the power of the Word!
A new look and feel
To reflect this unexpected shift in tone, we?ve gone back and redesigned the covers for the two books in the series that have been released so far. Here are their old covers and new covers side-by-side.
When You Want to Yell at God: The Book of Job?by Craig Bartholomew
The new cover for When You Want to Yell at God conveys the raw emotion that often goes hand-in-hand with seasons of suffering.?Job?s story is often misunderstood and its themes of suffering and blessing are complex and difficult to fully grasp. Bartholomew was born in South Africa and uses his unique perspective to reveal the book of Job as the height of biblical poetry. This excerpt gives you a glimpse of Bartholomew?s worldview:
One of the fascinating characteristics of Job is that the bulk of the book, chapters 3?41, are written in poetry. This section is enclosed by the frame of 1?2 and 42, which are written in narrative prose. This makes it unlikely that Job should be read as a historical account, although there is debate about this among scholars. What is crucial is that we not make the false distinction that ?historical? means the same thing as ?true? and ?fictional? means ?false.? Literature can be true and powerfully convey truth without being historical in the sense of recounting events that actually happened. For example, I grew up in apartheid South Africa, and to this day when I speak publicly about South Africa I always turn to Alan Paton?s classic novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. Although Paton?s book is a novel and thus the characters and plot are not strictly historical, the book powerfully evokes the relational breakdown that occurred in apartheid South Africa, with its racism and oppression. Story and poetry are able to evoke human experience in a way that straightforward descriptions cannot.
Cutting Ties with Darkness: 2 Corinthians by John D. Barry
The new cover for Cutting Ties with Darkness captures the glimpses of light we may see in our most broken relationships.?Barry examines how the broken relationship between the Apostle Paul and the church in Corinth can help us heal from our own relational scars. Discerning when to reconcile our broken relationships or when to walk away from them is always difficult. Barry draws on years of ministry experience to help us rebuild our relationships on the redemption of Jesus. In this excerpt, we see the full spectrum of God?s grace and mercy that Paul shows to the Corinthian church:
The strength of Paul?s words could prompt us to say that, for him, the world is black and white. But when you get down to the gritty details of 2 Corinthians, it?s apparent that the world is much more complicated than many of the ?religious? people would like to believe. There isn?t just ?us? and ?them.? This isn?t one political party versus another we?re dealing with?or, as Americans say, ?donkeys versus elephants.? There are hyenas and lions, zebras, and gazelles. The spectrum of Paul?s worldview is as bright and colorful as a street market in India or downtown New York City. The whole world?everyone, everything?is made by one Creator. There is potential for everything to once again be good and do good?for all things to be saved by Jesus and to be empowered to live in God?s image (2 Cor 3:17?18; compare Gen 1:27; Rom 8:19?23). With this in mind, Paul says, ?Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? What does a believer share with an unbeliever?? (2 Cor 6:14?15). Paul is not contrasting black and white. Instead, Paul is interpreting how the universe functions now that Jesus has come. ?Light? here does not mean ?white?; it is the full spectrum of the light that first entered the universe?the spectrum we see in the rainbow, which is itself a promise from God (Gen 1:3?5; 9:12?17). Paul is saying, ?Look, there?s darkness here. There is evil. God wants color and life, as we see in Christ. Which realm will you live in? Will you embrace Jesus? realm of life and light or stay in the darkness of all that defies its Creator??
Two new volumes
While they?re not available yet, the next two volumes in the series are almost finished. Here?s a sneak peek at God Behind the Scenes: The Book of Esther by Wayne Kevin Barkhuizen and Between the Cross and the Throne: The Book of Revelation by Matthew Emerson: