InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that James Bryan Smith, author of the bestselling The Good and Beautiful God, is launching a series of three new books beginning with the August 2017 release of The Magnificent Story: Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.
Smith is the author of ten books, five with InterVarsity Press, including the award-winning The Good and Beautiful Series, which is part of IVP’s Apprentice Resources. The series includes The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautiful Life, and The Good and Beautiful Community. His most recent book, Hidden in Christ, released in May 2013. Smith is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and is a founding member of Richard J. Foster’s spiritual renewal ministry, Renovaré. He also serves as the director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation at Friends University.
“We are pleased to be continuing with James Bryan Smith and the Apprentice Institute with three new books,” said Cindy Bunch, IVP’s associate publisher, editorial. “Jim brings real-life application to spiritual formation concepts in a way that is bearing fruit in the lives of many. As Jim’s editor, I am grateful to be one of the first to read his new work.”
Smith says this new series of books will focus on the life of Jesus, who revealed God’s glory (beauty), who went about doing good, and who was himself the truth. “The subjects of beauty, goodness, and truth are of great importance to all people, and these ideas I have been working on have deeply impacted my life with God,” he said. “God is beautiful, good, and true, and he has created us to long for all three. I pray these books will bring a sense of wonder and gratitude and faith to all who read them.”
The first book, The Magnificent Story, is a spiritual formation resource that is meant to help both individuals and groups understand the magnificent story of Christ in their lives.
“James Bryan Smith has opened his new series with a book that slices open the tough layers of the false, ‘shrunken’ gospel that has formed within the Christian tradition to reveal the tender truth of Christ. The true gospel is winsome, fragrant, and heart-stirring,” Bunch said. “Where the Apprentice Series began with the important question of who God is, this series now begins with the good news of God’s message to us in Christ. It is a magnificent story.”
Soon to be followed by The Magnificent Journey: Living Deep in the Kingdom (Fall 2018) and The Magnificent Mission: Called and Sent by the Storyteller (Fall 2019), the field-tested material within these resources includes spiritual practices at the end of each chapter and a group discussion guide.
Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary, said, “The distinctive contribution of The Magnificent Story is its attentiveness to the power of stories to destroy us, diminish us, and deprive us, or to free us, redeem us, and empower us. Spiritual formation teachers have occasionally known the power of story, but none has it so central as James Bryan Smith. I consider The Magnificent Story to be a long leap into the deep graces of spiritual formation, not just for individuals but for small groups and churches.”