Sunday, October 26, 2014

It Was Good: Music — Book Release Parties

It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God is such an important book to us that it required TWO release parties! The North event was October 4 in Lancaster, PA. It included a workshop at Lancaster Bible College then a concert at The Trust Performing Arts Center. The contributors included: Diana Bauer, Rob Bigley, Bethany Brooks, Paul Buckley, Ned Bustard, Mark Chambers, Julius Fischer, Joy Ike, Steve Nichols, Doug Plank, and Gregg Strawbridge (CLICK HERE for Joy Ike's impression of the Lancaster Book Release Event.). The South event was October 18 in Nashville, TN. It included a round table forum at Belmont (CLICK HERE for a write up about the Belmont discussion) then a concert at the Massey Performing Arts Center. The contributors included: Diana Bauer, Katy Bowser, Bethany Brooks, Paul Buckley, Ned Bustard, Ruth Naomi Floyd, Steve Guthrie, Joy Ike, Sarah Masen, Sandra McCracken, and Brad O’Donnell.

Two photos from each event are shown below. North is first and South is second. For more photos and video clips, visit our Facebook page. 

C.S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands

On C.S. Lewis’ birthday we released the newest book from Square Halo Books: C.S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands. The book is a collection of essays edited by Rod Miller and featuring David C. Downing, Bruce Herman, Scott B. Key, Don W. King, Jerry Root, David Rozema, Peter J. Schakel, Charlie W. Starr, and Will Vaus, with a foreword by Theodore Prescott.

Lewis holds a notable place in the church and in the world for both his creative literary contributions as well as his informed reflections upon artistic activity. He negotiated the intellectual and aesthetic issues of his day in his creative endeavors and sought to ground those in relation to his faith. The arguments, perceptions and values Lewis posited benefit those today who seek to use their creative gifts beyond mere fad but towards the holy. 

“Helpful and worthwhile. Anyone seeking to understand Lewis’s approach to the arts will profit from this array of interesting perspectives.” —Dr. Michael Ward, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis

“Even fifty years after his death, C.S. Lewis remains one the most popular and influential Christian writers and thinkers of the twentieth century. So much has been written about him, one wonders what else can possibly be said. But this book is a fascinating exploration of Lewis’s thinking about the arts, making it a must read book for anyone who loves Lewis and loves the arts.”—Mary McCleary, artist

“We need more books like this: books that not only celebrate and decipher Lewis’s defense of the arts and of the ineradicable links between the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, but that wrestle alongside Lewis, extending and nuancing his arguments so that they will speak with direct and prophetic power to our modern and postmodern colleges and universities.” —Dr. Louis Markos, author of Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It Was GOOD: Music —But Don't Just Take Our Word For It!

Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission writes, "Musicians will be encouraged and uplifted by the essays is this book, which seeks to put into words our shared wonder and gratitude for the gift of music in our lives."

Dave Perkins, Associate Director of the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program at The Divinity School of Vanderbilt University writes, “Is it possible to fully elucidate the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, even physical experiences of music making?  Perhaps the best way to go about it is to gather a choir of voices. It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God offers a rich resource of perspectives, each working to share some aspect or moment in the experience of that mercurial characteristic of human being we call music and its place in the life of faith.”

Erin M. Stephens writes, "If the Church is the Body of Christ, then music is its heartbeat. Music reverberates in the spirit, draws individuals together into community, and guides them in the common desire to exalt their Savior. Through music, Christians experience an inexplicable link to their Creator. Though mysterious, this interaction is a central facet of Christianity that intimately informs your relationship with God. Each follower of Christ, regardless of personal musical ability, should cultivate a God-centered understanding of music. For such an endeavor, It was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God edited by Ned Bustard is an ideal resource. In its engaging pages, thirty devout music-professionals offer their unique perspectives on music-making. Its content is accessible, its contributors authoritative, and its captivating insights universally applicable, making this book a necessary pleasure for worship leader and worshiper alike." CLICK HERE to read the full review.

Jeremy Begbie, author of Resounding Truth writes, "Lively, engaging and eminently readable—this book shows that it is still possible to write about music in a way that enriches our experience of it. Above all, it will renew your gratitude to God for making such an art possible.”

Denis Haack writes, "I was delighted about the first in this series, It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, and equally delighted by this second volume on music. Each chapter explores a different aspect of the topic, from silence to listening to improvisation to instruments to touring to harmony and much more. Written by musicians, theologians, songwriters and musicologists, it becomes a valuable resource for both musicians and those of us who cannot make music but cannot live without it. Reading this book is like hearing from the other side—from those writing the music or recording it or playing it live—so the experience of music is less fragmented and we are better able to see how it can all play out to God’s glory." CLICK HERE to read the full review.

Composer J.A.C. Redford writes, “Making music to the glory of God is both a calling and a delight. Dialoguing with other artists who embrace the same vocation is a source of particular joy for me, and this collection of thoughtful essays invites readers into reflections and conversations that will nourish and inspire. The diverse voices represented in It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God weave together rich harmony with subtle dissonance. If you listen carefully, you may just hear the answering voices of saints and angels in heavenly counterpoint.”

Christopher Dicram Hale of Aradhna writes, “A book like this is a life line of hope, encouragement, and joy to a musician whose journey continues to be anything but normal after twenty-two years of worshiping Jesus through Hindi devotional music genres.”

Walt Harrah writes, "For musicians, ruts are a normal (even if potentially hazardous) part of the job. The musician’s field of vision can tend to shrink, unless the musician is forced—often kicking and screaming—outside of his comfort zone. This book had that effect on me, and I trust will do the same for my fellow musicians seeking to make music to God’s glory." CLICK HERE to read the full review.

It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God

We are delighted to announce the release of It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God. It is the second book in what will be a three-volume series. A short excerpt of a review about It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God appeared on the TGC site, posted by Justin Taylor. But to experience that epic review in all of its glory, you need to visit Hearts & MindsAt one point in the full Hearts & Minds review Byron Borger says simply, "This book is a delight to read, a joy, thrilling even, if you are a music lover.  But, also, it is important." We think that sums things up nicely. The book includes the following contributors:

 Vito Aiuto • Diana Bauer • Bethany Brooks • Paul Buckley • Mark Chambers • William Edgar • Julius Fischer • Ruth Naomi Floyd • Jan & Mark Foreman • David Fuentes • Keith Getty • Steve Guthrie • Drew Holcomb • Joy Ike • Tom Jennings • Shai Linne • Sandra McCracken • Brian Moss • Stephen Nichols • Brad O'Donnell • John Patitucci • Charlie Peacock • Doug Plank • Hiram Ring • Michael Roe • Michelle Stearns • Gregg Strawbridge • Greg Wilbur • Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Order this book through Hearts & Minds or through your favorite bookseller.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beauty Given by Grace

Square Halo Books is pleased to report that coming soon is a new book published with CIVA to support and complement the upcoming traveling exhibit, Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe. The book will officially be released at the opening of the show at the Billy Graham Center Museum. Even though Watanabe's art can be found in the most important museums in the world, he always desired to have his work displayed where it could be seen and enjoyed by ordinary people. It is hoped that Beauty Given by Grace will introduce many new communities to the luminous biblical prints of this dedicated and gifted Japanese Christian artist. Lavishly illustrated, half of the book features full page reproductions of the works found in the traveling exhibit along with the passages from the Bible which inspired their creation. The rest of the book contains other works by Sadao Watanabe not in the show with essays by Sandra Bowden, I. John Hesselink (his interpreter), Makoto Fujimura, and John A. Kohan.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Visions of The End

Square Halo is getting into the ebook side of publishing.  We already published a Kindle version of Intruding Upon the Timeless by Greg Wolfe and our most recent ebook is a really helpful little booklet on Revelation titled Visions of The End: A Glossary of the Images in Revelation.  Some of you may have seen or read The End by A. D. Bauer.  The new ebook takes what most people like best about The End which is the glossary of images and presents it in an even more accessible form.  Nice features of the new ebook include; additional images are defined, you can use the table of contents to go directly to the images that start with a particular letter and as with all ebooks, whether you get the book through iTunes or Kindle, it is easy to take it with you on your phone, tablet or laptop.
The thing that is so exciting about this new ebook is that it makes Revelation really accessible.  If you have ever read Revelation, after you get through the first three chapters and you are thinking, ’this isn’t so bad’, you are suddenly bombarded with a series of images that can be completely incomprehensible.  Visions of The End tells you all the places in Revelation where an image is found, it points you to where in the Bible the image originates and it helps you understand the meaning of the image in light of how that image is used in Revelation, and elsewhere in Scripture.  The thing that is so nice about this ebook is that you do not have to start from a particular end time view to benefit from this book.  You can disagree with one or more definitions and still find definitions that help you understand a part of the book that you always found confusing.  Additionally, we are offering discounts on our other traditional books.  How do you get the discount?  Find out in Visions of The End.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A GOOD Look at the Sistine Chapel

There is a wonderful website you should visit to experience the Sistine Chapel, here.

But perhaps before you look around the chapel you should read Dr. James Romaine's essay about the Ceiling in our book It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God. In that chapter Romaine helps us understand the order of it all: "Michelangelo’s frescoes on the Sistine Chapel ceiling represent the Genesis narrative of Creation, Fall, and Redemption as an epic history of divine action. The program is constructed of nine scenes divided into three groups of three. In order beginning from the altar, these are: The Separation of Light and Darkness, The Creation of Land and Vegetation and The Creation of the Sun and Moon, The Bringing Forth of Life from the Waters, The Creation of Adam, The Creation of Eve, The Temptation and Expulsion, The Faithfulness of Noah, The Flood, and The Drunkenness of Noah. The nine scenes that run the length of the chapel thematically group into three triads: God’s creation of the world before humanity, the creation and fall of humanity, and the life of Noah."