Celebrating MORE >
IVP Commissioning Editor Elizabeth Neep spoke at the London School of Theology last week. Here, she blogs about the event and the launch of MORE > Distinct by Calvin Samuel.
When Calvin Samuel, the impeccably dressed (and seemingly stylish-socks-obsessed) Principal of London School of Theology, agreed to write a popular-level book on the topic of holiness for my MORE > series, I assumed it was because of my irresistible negotiation skills. You can imagine my surprise therefore when at his book launch the other day he told me that if anyone asks him to say anything about holiness in any form he says yes. Turns out MORE > Distinct - Reclaiming Holiness for the World Today was an easy sell.
As Calvin took to the stage to tell an intimate crowd of LST staff and students a bit more about his new book, you can see why. Passion. Calvin is immensely passionate about the topic of holiness. It is a passion that drove him to explore his academic studies, and it is a passion that pulses through every page of his book. For Calvin therefore, finding himself writing about holiness was not a surprise. What he was perhaps more surprised about was the audience for which he was writing.
As I explained to the same crowd at LST, the MORE > series is designed for students and busy young professionals to help them better engage with the bible and what it says for their day to day lives. Though Calvin was incredibly excited that I thought this audience - the ‘Millennial’ audience - would want to read about holiness, I imagine we’d all forgive him for saying, “do millennial want to hear about that?” But the fact of the matter is we need to.
Every day we are bombarded with messages that ‘it’s good to be bad’ and ‘wrong to be right’. As Christians we know we should be ‘holy’ and ‘set apart’ but if many of us are honest that sounds like a lot of hard work. Calvin’s book beautifully reveals how often we have got holiness wrong. It’s not about us, it’s all about God. He tells us to stop striving and simply push into the Holy one as ‘holiness is not so much about sinless perfection as it is about Christlike reflection’.
Beth, a student at LST, shared how the book had helped her better get to grips with the God-centred and God-given topic of holiness. She also shared how her housemate had picked up MORE > Distinct’s fresh-look cover and exclaimed, ‘I’d actually read this book!’
So it turns out, yes – Millennials do want to read about holiness. What a pleasure to celebrate MORE > Distinct – Reclaiming Holiness for the World Today ahead of its release into the world and the readers it is intended to reach!