Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Help Pick the 100-Word Blurb for ViralHope

Those of us with the Ecclesia Press (the non-profit publishing arm of the Ecclesia Network) are getting ready to launch our first book later this month.  The title is ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs and the Burbs (and everything in between).  We have 50 contributing authors.  I’m the editor, Scot McKnight wrote the foreword and a number of wonderful people read the book and wrote endorsements for the book – Alan Hirsch, Andrew Jones, Todd Hunter, Eugene Cho, Alan Roxborgh, Kelly Monroe Kullberg, John Franke, Eddie Gibbs, Jim Belcher and Alan Roxburgh.  I will share their thoughts on the book later in the month. (Click the cover if you want to get a closer look).

Right now, one of the decisions we have to make is what the 100-word blurb for the book should be.  So whether you have read some of the book or have no idea what it is about, I would love your opinion on which blurb you like the best.  Which blurb is most inviting?  Which one draws you to want to read the book?  Please share your favorite option, your second favorite and your third favorite.   Thanks for your help with this!

OPTION 1
The gospel.  The good news.  The euangelion.  Too often we have boiled it down to four steps, made it an easily memorized list of axioms, a diagram on the back of a napkin.  But in the midst of all this, we seem to lose the wonder, poetry, and even the good-newsy-ness of the gospel.

In ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs (and everything in between), fifty authors take on the task of sharing the good news for their city, weaving together a beautiful tapestry of the gospel in all its depth and complexity.


OPTION 2
The gospel. The good news. Too often we limit it to a list of axioms. But the gospel is not four easy steps. It’s not a diagram on the back of a napkin.  The gospel goes deeper than that.

In ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs (and everything in between), fifty authors share the good news for their city — weaving together a beautiful tapestry of the gospel in all its depth and complexity.  This collection of essays reveals how the gospel brings renewal and reconciliation to people, neighborhoods, and all of creation.

OPTION 3
The gospel. The good news.  Too often we boil it down to four steps, an easily memorized list of axioms, a diagram on the back of a napkin.  But in the midst of all this, we seem to lose the wonder, poetry, and transformational nature of the gospel.

In ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs, fifty authors take on the task of sharing the good news for their city, weaving together a beautiful tapestry of the gospel in all its depth and complexity.  These essays reveal how the gospel lives and breathes in neighborhoods around the world.


28 Responses to Help Pick the 100-Word Blurb for ViralHope

  1. joshua tomme says:

    i pick 3. feels fresh, rhythmic, engaging. definitely inviting.

    in order of preference: 3, 2, 1

  2. MistiPearl says:

    I prefer Option 3 – It is simple, straight-forward, and informative, and the poetic reference draws me in to want to learn more. The language used would suggest that I will not be steeped in academia while reading, yet it is an intelligent book. ~mp:)

  3. jrwoodward says:

    Thanks Josh and MistiPearl for your helpful comments.

  4. jason malec says:

    numero tres. 🙂
    See you soon.

  5. I like 3 best, then 1, then 2

  6. Jill Rhudy Barrett says:

    3 is best because it has parallel structure in the multiple objects of the preposition “to” modifying “boil down.”

    Too often we have boiled it down to
    four steps,
    an easily memorized list of axioms,
    a diagram on a the back of a napkin.

    1 is not as well crafted; there’s no parallel structure. We have boiled it, we have made it, we have a napkin? If you used, “. . . and we have “scrawled it/sketched it on the back of a napkin” for 1, this might work, but the phrase would smack of sloppy coffeeshop evangelism. 2 is too chop-chop-chop.

  7. Option 3 flows so naturally. A perfect fit.

  8. Rob says:

    I’d go #3 then #2 then #1

  9. maria drews says:

    3. done. awesome.

  10. Ryan Bell says:

    Funny. My first choice is #3 as well. Looks like we have a potential winner! 🙂

  11. Nora says:

    #3…but I like the last sentence in #2.

  12. JamesBrett says:

    I assume you want honesty and forthrightness. I hope so, because otherwise I’ll sound like a real jerk….

    I like #’s 2 and 3 best, but either one needs work before I would actually choose it.

    In #2 you left out the word ‘a’ in “we limit it to a list of axioms.”

    In #3 I don’t like the “boil it down” phrase or the sound of “fifty authors take on the task…” I think “boil it down” sounds trite and cliched. And “fifty authors take on the task of sharing…” is wordy for no good reason. It would sound much better to say (as you have in #2) “fifty authors share.” It’s obvious they’ve taken on the task of sharing if they are indeed sharing.

    I like “These essays reveal…” from #3 more than “This collection of essays reveals…” from #2. The first sounds more deliberate, while the second seems to distance the essays from the action of revealing. Also, you’ve already made an allusion to the grouping of essays, referring to it as a tapestry. Then you forfeit the beauty of that word by calling the group of essays a mere “collection.” Collections aren’t woven (together). Which brings me to my next gripe….

    If you use #2 or #3, please think about changing the bit about “weaving together.” If “together” is modifying the fifty authors, then say “together weaving a beautiful tapestry…” (which actually sounds really good). But if your intention is to say (and I assume this is the case) the authors are putting together a tapestry, then just say they’re “weaving a beautiful tapestry.” There is no way to weave, save together; the redundancy sounds unintelligent to me.

    Also, are the fifty authors from the same city? Or is city being used as a metaphor of some sort? If not, it should read that they share the good news for
    “their cities.” But that sounds strange to me; maybe “cities everywhere?”

    And, personally, I’ve heard more “five easy steps” concerning the gospel and its acceptance than I have four. But that’s probably just the denomination in which I grew up.

    I would use a combination of #’s 2 and 3 (I’ve changed or added a word or two):

    ————-
    The gospel. The good news. Too often we limit it to a list of axioms. But the gospel is not five easy steps. It’s not a diagram (sketched) on the back of a napkin. The gospel goes (much) deeper than that.

    In ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs, fifty authors share the good news for cities everywhere, together weaving a beautiful tapestry of the gospel in all its depth and complexity. These essays reveal how the gospel lives and breathes in neighborhoods around the world.
    ————-

    All complaints, editing, and proofing aside, I think the book sounds great. I’m anxious to read it. Thanks for letting us play a small part.

  13. Ali says:

    I love number 3.

  14. Cah'leb says:

    I would go with # 3.

  15. Bryan Cullison says:

    JR,

    I like Option 3 the best. Thanks for asking! Good luck with this. Sounds awesome. Keep up the great work.

    Bryan

  16. Paul Glavic says:

    Grammatically, I think Option 3 is the most polished. It has my vote.

    I’m excited to read this book.

  17. Option #3 gets my vote as well. Hope you are doing well brother!

  18. doug says:

    Number 3.

  19. jrwoodward says:

    Wow, let me see, I’m thinking you guys really like number 3? lol. Thanks a bunch for your input. And kudos to Jill, James, for the extra explanations that you took the time to write.

  20. Carlo says:

    I like number 3, then 1, then 2. Hits the point most clearly for the widest audience….

  21. Danny says:

    Number 3 does it for me.

  22. JR, honestly, I’d put the idea of “fifty authors” in the first sentence or two (essentially flip the ideas in the paragraphs). It depends on the audience, I guess. But a deeper/untruncated gospel is a given for so many of us now, that this first concept doesn’t highlight the real uniqueness of your book: the short, fifty, contextual takes.

  23. annmarie says:

    My vote is with 3!

  24. Option 2 because it is the clearest, which is important for a blurb.

  25. audrey says:

    I like #3 best. Then #2. Then #1.

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