I'm in Orlando for the International Christian Retail Show, formerly known as the Christian Booksellers Association convention. It's always fun to be here and to see industry friends. Things seem quite a bit slower this year, in terms of people and activity - a lot of the publishers have smaller booths and have been sending fewer people to attend. The economy has been affecting a lot of retailers and publishers. But it's still quite a gathering. Random stuff:
IVP hosted a breakfast with Leighton Ford, author of The Attentive Life. He talked about how as life has changed, his writing has changed. When he was a public evangelist with his brother-in-law Billy Graham, he wrote on evangelism. When he started developing new leaders, he wrote Transforming Leadership. In recent years he's been moving into spiritual formation and spiritual mentoring. Hence this new book on the attentive life and paying attention to what God is doing. He mentioned how American Christians are too frenzied and busy, and he exhorted us to "ruthlessly eliminate hurry." That comes from a John Ortberg book (which I quoted in my suburban book), and Leighton mentioned that the unnamed person who had told Ortberg to eliminate hurry was Dallas Willard.
IVP received a Logos book award for Gerald Sittser's Water from a Deep Well in the Spirituality category. Yay!
Andy Crouch's much-anticipated book Culture Making is now in print, and it's being received well. Had a good lunch with him yesterday. Andy did a signing and will be talking about it at IVP's author dinner tonight.
I was at an agency reception yesterday afternoon and met Gabe Lyons, coauthor of the much-discussed book unChristian. He mentioned to me that he lives in a suburban area and that he's reading my suburban book. It's on his nightstand. That's cool. His book is on my nightstand shelf as well.
A few new books being featured at this show that caught my eye:
Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans)
The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle (Baker). The tagline describing the book is "Every five hundred years, the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale." I heard Phyllis give a talk on this at a National Pastors Convention a few years ago.
My friend Margaret Feinberg was supposed to be signing her new book The Sacred Echo about hearing God's voice, but there was a problem with the printer and the books aren't ready yet. Bummer. So she was signing copies of her The Organic God instead.
Ellen and I didn't have any industry/trade show events last night, so we went to see Wall-E instead. It was excellent. I love Pixar movies, and this one was done very well. (See Ashleigh's insightful review and commentary on it.) And there's something oddly appropriate about seeing a Disney movie here in Orlando. When in Rome, y'know.