When Life Gives You Hardback Lemons, Turn Them Into CD-ROM Lemonade.

Several years ago, the good folks at Westminster/John Knox Press announced a new set of biblical commentaries, a series of twelve volumes on Revised Common Lectionary texts. It is called Feasting on the Word, and it is a massive undertaking. There are four short articles for every scripture text in the lectionary. With four texts per Sunday to choose from and three years in the lectionary cycle, that amounts to some 2,500 articles in all, if my math is right. Read more about the series here. My first question upon hearing about this series, lo these many years ago, was, "No CD-ROM edition? Ex-squeeze me?" Alas, it appeared not. And the publishers appeared to be proudly "of the book," writing in their promotional materials, “We offer this print resource for the mainline church in full recognition that we do so in the digital age of the emerging church.” Which, to be honest, I found a bit irritating. Was this some kind of line in the sand? I do not like lugging books around. It is so mid-Gutenberg-era, no? What I DO like is writing sermons in St. Arbucks and especially Panera, which my friend Michael says is Latin for "sermon birthing room."

But, Feasting is a great resource for lectionary preachers and still well worth having, even in its less ideal (for me) format. So, thanks to a nice discount for contributors, I made the investment.

You know where this is going.

It's 2011 now, and guess what "proud to be hardbound" series is now available in CD-ROM? Now that all twelve volumes are sitting on my shelf?


I am choosing to believe that WJK changed their minds about CD-ROM after a groundswell of requests, rather than believing that they had a super secret plan all along to be coy about the CD-ROM, get people to buy the books and only then spring the (searchable and in many ways superior) CD-ROM format on us.

Still, Grr.

After I vented to Robert about this for a moment, I thought, "How can this annoyance become redemptive?" The CD-ROM is way more useful to me and how I work, and I have the book allowance to make it happen, thanks again to a contributor discount that puts it within reach. But I don't need both the CD and the books... and some people out there might prefer books, but can't afford the series.


I am giving away my 12-volume Feasting on the Word hardbound commentary.

Between now and Friday, I am taking nominations for worthy recipients. Tell me why you or a friend should be the recipient of this series (which I will ship, book-rate, anywhere in the continental US at no cost to you). New pastor? Recent seminary graduate? Off to serve a small church with minimal resources and not much of a theological library? Tell me why you're the one.

Leave your nomination in the comments, or if you'd rather keep it private, e-mail it to reverendmother03 (at) gmail (dot) com. Nominations are due at 5 p.m. EDT Friday, May 27.