IVP - Andy Unedited - Book Culture Archives

January 23, 2019

Making the Rough Places Plain

Philosophy, notoriously, can be abstract and obscure. Yet philosophy is also a noble effort to grapple with some of the most difficult and pressing questions humans can face. What is the good? What is real? How can we know and be certain?

In A History of Western Philosophy C. Stephen Evans provides a model of conciseness and clarity in telling the story of Western philosophy from the days before Socrates to the present. As much as is possible Evans uses plain language to briefly tell the story of each key figure and of their ideas. Obviously, some passages can be hard but that is due to the difficulty of the material not the style of the author.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:11 AM | Comments

December 10, 2015

Books That Can Change Lives

On November 3, I was honored at the annual InterVarsity Fall Leadership Meetings in recognition of my 42 years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and my upcoming retirement in February. About seventy key people from across the country in InterVarsity attended. After hearing some generous comments from Interim President Jim Lundgren and IVP Publisher Bob Fryling, they let me offer a few words. Here is what I said.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:39 AM | Comments (3) are closed

September 12, 2011

Heads Will Scroll

One of my favorite YouTube videos spoofs what a medieval help desk would look like as monks sought to transition from the traditional technology of the scroll to the new technology of the codex. Keeping the debate alive between eBooks and pBooks is Lev Grossman in the New York Times. His observation? That eBooks are a step backward from pBooks.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:00 AM | Comments (8) are closed

September 1, 2011

Discovering the Gospel of Mark

For the last ten years I have lived with the Gospel of Mark—poring over its text, tracing down every Old Testament allusion, reading books, commentaries and journal articles, teaching the book in week-long intensive courses, letting its currents roll over me. All this is no accident, because I am the inheritor of a tradition.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:40 AM | Comments (5) are closed

September 22, 2010

It's the Smell I Remember

It’s the smell I remember.

When my older sister was in high school she got a summer job at the local bookstore in the center of our town. It was only about a mile from home, so I would sometimes walk or ride my bike there to visit her. I tried not to interrupt her professional duties too much. It was there that I first learned to browse.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:36 AM | Comments (2) are closed

September 8, 2010

The Shallows 8: The Future of the Book

The book, as Nicholas Carr notes in The Shallows, has so far proven extraordinarily resistant to computers and the Net. While book sales and book reading have plateaued, this “long sequence of printed pages assembled between a pair of stiff covers has proven to be a remarkably robust technology for more than half a millennium” (p. 99). But what about now?

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:33 AM | Comments (2) are closed

August 20, 2010

The Shallows 2: A Brief History of Reading

In Phaedrus, Socrates muses on the merits of writing. Surprisingly to our minds, he is skeptical. Why? It is a recipe for forgetfulness. We won’t have to exercise our memories anymore. Knowledge of a subject, after all, is much more valuable than a written account of the same thing. The only virtue of writing was as a guard against the forgetfulness of old age.

So Nicholas Carr, in The Shallows, introduces us to the first Luddite in his book on how the Internet changes our brains. (See part one of my review here.) In chapter four he offers a fascinating overview of the history of the written word and how each change created changes in us and in society.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:29 AM

July 29, 2010

Who Do Books Make Us?

Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I'm out of style. Maybe I'm the hipster culture's worst nightmare. But I still think books make a difference.

David Brooks's piece in the New York Times cites another study that shows the power of print. When students take books home for the summer, the impact is as great as attending summer school--aligning with the 27-country study I mentioned here previously.

Brooks makes the interesting point though, that books not only improve our thinking or reading abilities, books make us into different people. They shape not only how we see the world but how we see ourselves. We gain an identity as a learner or science fiction fan or lover of history or maybe just as a reader.

Books help make us who we are. And I think that's a good thing.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:10 AM | Comments (4) are closed

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.