Friday, May 17th, 2013
A Feature Review of
Making Manifest: On Faith Creativity and the Kingdom at Hand
Paperback: Seedbed Publishing, 2013
Buy now: [ Seedbed ]
Reviewed by Sam Edgin
Dave Harrity’s Making Manifest had two strikes against it by the time I had finished the introduction (“to begin” on pp. xi-xv). First, it is arranged as a combined group study and personal devotional. This form – a youth group staple – specializes mainly in covers splashed with either neon or explosions, faux-edgy graphic design swirling about cool praying teens, and a troubling overuse of phrases like “chew,” “the meat,” and “on-fire.” It also has an unhealthy preoccupation with the almighty “you,” and with writing on pre-printed lines at the end of each day/chapter.
My second – and I admit, needlessly personal – issue with Making Manifest is that latter feature. I hate writing in books. Anything that mars the original condition of a book flares compulsion within me. Dog-earing is a cardinal sin; highlighting, an offense to nature. I read trade paperbacks through a thin V of pages in order to avoid breaking spines. Within the introduction of Making Manifest Dave Harrity asked me to do all those things. “There’s space for you to write… crack the spine so the book rests flat, dog-ear, sketch and scratch,” He says (xiv). I almost flipped the book to the floor in frustration.