Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Cross & Christian Ministry

The Cross and Christian Ministry is, I think, one of the best books on Christian service. It comprises of an exposition of 1 Corinthians 1-4 by Don Carson. But there's a problem. It cost's £9.99 ($20?), has a stinker of an academic cover and is only available on request from it's publisher IVP.

In late 2006 I asked them why this is. They responded by saying that since Don Carson no longer comes to the UK regularly the demand for his books has fallen. Fair argument I thought.

Last week I checked his itinerary afresh...

In 2007 Don is speaking at events and conferences in the UK in In addition to which he'll be at new Word Alive in 2008. That seems rather often to me.

The temptation presumably would just be to get the current version back in print. But... as mentioned it's price and appearance are the kind of things that can kill good books. [See Pete Lowman's non-selling excellent introduction to reading the Bible Gateways to God for another example of great content killed by poor publishing, and Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis for lesser content well delivered and selling highly.]

Here's what I'd love to see, but I don't think I can convince IVP on my own...
  • The Cross & Christian Ministry reissued in 2007.
  • Reformatted to the £5-6 price-range.
  • Typeset to make easier to read.
  • Given a 21st century cover to make you pick it up..


  1. Is this book aimed at all Christians, or church leaders in particular?

    I found one book review via Tim Challies'

  2. leaders, but would benefit all.
    we all need to know what leaders should be like.

    i imagine leaders buy more christian books than anyone else, so there has to be a market for this book.

  3. All agreed. In the meantime, ICM are selling it for £6.97 and though I know we should support local booksellers, pastor's budgets are just sometimes too frugal...

    What I also love is that though the standard amazon US price is $10.39 there is always a second hand one which puzzles me - in this case someone is selling the book (see here) for $91.58 - marked with a low item price tick. Perhaps they are selling it based on worth rather than RSP?

  4. There is a version published by Baker Books, with a much better cover
    It also only cost me £2.97 + £2.75 postage from aphrohead books on Amazon Market Place.
    I am looking forward to reading it, particularly after hearing his excellent exposition of the gospel from 1 Corinthians 15.

  5. Of all the Carson books I have read, this one had the biggest impact on me and that is really high praise.

    We stock this in our church bookshop but well, with that cover, I don't think it will jump into the best-sellers anytime soon.