Shine, by Newsboys (Whitaker House, 2002)
The Newsboys are my favourite band, and their music both blesses and entertains me. So when I saw their book, Shine, I had to pick it up.
Like their song of the same name, Shine is subtitled “make them wonder what you’ve got.” It’s a book that challenges Christians to do just that. Each section includes song lyrics, relevant quotes, and personal anecdotes from the Newsboys (at the time of this book: Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jody Davis, Jeff Frankenstein and Duncan Phillips).
Most importantly, it includes solid thinking and teaching on key issues. Section titles are Where’s the Light?, Living in an Upside-Down Kingdom, Knowledge of the Glory, The Fruit of the Light, Light for the Land of Shadow, and Appetite for Eternity.
There are journal pages at the end, each with a question designed for prayerful reflection. There’s also a list of further reading material, both contemporary and classic.
I was a little afraid the book would turn out to be entertainment hype. Then I started reading, hit words like ‘postmodern’ and feared it would get too deep and philosophical. Wrong again. It refocused and encouraged me, especially the section on the Kingdom.
Like the band’s more serious songs, it takes an honest look at life in our culture and at ways we as Christians haven’t got it all together yet. And like their more fun, off-the-wall songs, it’s packaged in one of the funkiest covers I’ve seen.
You can see the cover art with this review, but there’s more. This is a textured cover; the black sinks in and the white is raised. And still more: this book cover glows in the dark. The white is bright, and there are faint green crests and designs. It was my bedtime reading, and at first I wondered where this glow was coming from after I’d put it down and turned out the light.
Shine is available through the Whitaker House site, the Amazon sites, and Christianbook.com (English and Spanish – the English is also available as an ebook but you’d lose the cool cover). It doesn’t seem to have received the attention it deserves, and I’m glad I found a copy in my local Christian bookstore (thanks, Miracles!).
To see what the Newsboys are up to now (current band members: Michael Tait, Jody Davis, Jeff Frankenstein and Duncan Phillips) visit the official Newsboys website. For an overview of the history of the band, see the Wikipedia Newsboys page.
Other reviews of Shine (the book): Deus Nobiscum, Kiwi Reviews.