OK, I'm just going to say it. Jimmy Davis used to live down the road from me in Knoxville, he seems like a really nice guy, and he took the time to send me a hardcopy of his new book, Cruciform: Living the Cross Shaped Life
. But his book landed on my computer table at just the right time--digestive troubles, end-of-semester stresses, weariness from blogging, and general exhaustion--that I was more or less determined not to like it. It's not that I have anything against Jimmy or his writing (please see sentence #2 above). It's just that Jimmy somehow found the time and energy to write a book, and I didn't even have time and energy to read one.
So, as I took to reading the first chapter of Cruciform
, I grabbed a pen and filled the marginal white spaces with notes: "Tone reads much like Christian NA Zeitgeist
," "Tired of seeing this guy's [Tullian Tchividjian's] name." So far so good--plenty of little things to pick at in the opening pages.
But, as I was actually reading Jimmy's writing, I began to be stirred by both the depth of his insight and his exceptional ability to craft a literary soundbite. By p. 13 the marginal notes had begun to morph: "good point," "yes," and finally, on p. 21, "Yes!" (to Jimmy's insight that "Elvis is still in the building." Read the book and you'll understand). Chapter Two begins in East Tennessee with an extended picture of Neyland Stadium, complete with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band belting out "Rocky Top" to 100k fans. That did it; I was hooked. Anyone who can use UT football to illustrate the Kingdom of God (and not fall into Vololatry) is a writer I want to read. From that point on the margins are all stars, triple-verticle lines and "Yes!"
Jimmy does so many things well in this book: provides an overview of the Bible story, explains the glory of God, and demonstrates how the cross is stitched into the very fabric of creation. Don't let Cruciform
's very readable style obscure its theological depth. Whether you're a seeker, one new to the faith, or a mature Christian, Cruciform
shines a lot of light on a lot of life.
And now for an anti-climactic postscript. The cost at Amazon
for a paperback copy ($9.99) is very good, but the Kindle price is way too high. Jimmy, if you went down to the magic number of 99 cents for a Kindle edition, you would probably sell ten or twenty times as many copies as you would at $5.99. Think about it, bro.