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What's in a Phrase?
Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause

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POD; Published: 4/20/2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7114-5
Price: $ 16.99
127 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 7.5
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An invitation to seek the sacred space of Scripture's words and phrases

Well-known biblical phrases — "in the fullness of time," "fearfully and wonderfully made," "in the beauty of holiness," and others — suggest and evoke and invite. In this book Marilyn Chandler McEntyre offers brief reflections on more than fifty such scriptural phrases that prompt readers to pay attention, to pause where we sense a beckoning.

Some of these select phrases are devotional, some speculative, some whimsical, some edgy. McEntyre encourages us to see such "words within the Word" as invitations and, in doing so, to discover that they are places of divine encounter, epiphany, or unexpected guidance.

The three sections of the book "Assurance," "Invitation," and "Surprise" — organize the reflections by tone as well as theme. Rich with eloquence, wisdom, and wonder, these reflections will lead readers to enter the sacred spaces of Scripture, play with possibilities, and connect the biblical word with the ordinary — and extraordinary — lives we've been given to live.

Read more about this book on Eerdword.
Christianity Today 2015 Book Award for Spirituality
Scott Cairns
—author of Idiot Psalms
"With her profound summonings, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre recovers for many contemporary readers an ancient practice that is reminiscent of rabbinic attention to the dark sayings of Scripture, those compelling, curious, often challenging passages that would nudge us into seeing more, would have us glimpse the inexhaustibility of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, even the inexhaustibility of His Word."
Cornelius Plantinga Jr.
—author of Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists
"McEntyre has again written with conspicuous grace and truth. She sees deeply into the Christian life. She writes simply and nobly, but with an enormous weight of discernment and suggestion. Some passages here are as powerful and lovely as any I've encountered in years."
Carol Zaleski
—coauthor of Prayer: A History
"Seamlessly blending exegesis, philology, lectio divina, and prayer, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre teaches us how to listen for the divine word in all times and circumstances."
Library Journal
"McEntyre's elegant writing and sensitive awareness of nuance make this brief book a pleasure as well as a source of instruction and insight, excellent for poets and general readers as much as for Christian and spiritual ones."
John Wilson, Books and Culture
"Over the past few years, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre has written a remarkable series of books. . . . These books are fresh, concise, not quite fitting in familiar genres, informed by scholarly learning and literary study but not `academic.' It must give her great joy to write just the sort of books she wants to write, and that joy is contagious. Her latest, from Eerdmans — What's in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause — is a slim volume of brief meditations, each one triggered by a very brief passage from the Bible. Put this on your bedside table as soon as possible."
The Banner
"McEntyre invites readers to join her in quietly, prayerfully contemplating passages that have caught her attention. . . . This book embraces the Bible as God's living Word — mysterious, powerful, and meant to be engaged."
Presbyterian Outlook
"This is a lovely book. . . . A generous, wise book that will make us more generous and wise because we have learned to pay attention more carefully to words that evoke such virtue."
Retailing Insight
"Marilyn McEntrye describes small, familiar phrases as `places of divine encounter' which invite us in and inspire reflection. . . . This is a breath of fresh air with a very creative edge to it."