Book Review: Luke: The Gospel of Amazement
Author: Michael Card
Publisher: InterVarsity Press ISBN: 9780830838356
I’m not sure I would classify this book as a Bible commentary, at least not in my accustomed understanding and experience with commentaries. Michael Card’s work in Luke: The Gospel of Amazement shares certain attributes and characteristics with standard commentaries, but it is very different in tone and voice.
The InterVarsity Press website says this about the Biblical Imagination Series of commentaries:
In the Biblical Imagination Series, Card invites readers to enter into Scripture as he has learned to do, at the level of the informed imagination. These volumes will help you discover the biblical text for yourself, ask your own questions and uncover deeper truths. Taking seriously the individual life and voice of each biblical writer, the Biblical Imagination Series will help you reintegrate your mind with your heart to recapture your imagination with the beauty and power of Christ.
This is a very different approach to most academic work, and Bible studies in particular, although imaginative Scripture reading and imaginative prayer have been around for a while. Ignatius of Loyola incorporated imaginative reading and prayer as part of his spiritual exercises dating back to the sixteenth century. I find it refreshing to see this imaginative approach toward Scripture incorporated in this gospel interpretation and this is what makes this study-commentary a real delight.
Michael Card brings the gospel story as written by Luke alive. The story is not dusty history; instead, you smell and feel the dust of ancient Palestine as Card stimulates the senses and thinking of the reader to consider details of this gospel account they may have previously breezed over on other occasions.
As mentioned, the book is not intended to be an exercise in academia; consequently, there are not many additional resources (footnotes, bibliography, etc.). The book is organized in chapters paralleling the chapters of Luke’s Gospel. This makes for a great structure for reading in the context of a group study. I have enjoyed my study of Jesus through the eyes of Luke and the storytelling of Michael Card. I look forward to reading and reflecting on other works from this Biblical Imagination Series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from InterVarsity Press to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”