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Fire by Night

Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament
Fire by Night

By author: Melissa Florer-Bixler
Product Code: 80418
ISBN: 9781513804187
Pages: 192
Binding Information: Paperback / softback
Size: 8.00 x 5.25 inches

Publication Date: 3/19/2019

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What do we do with the Old Testament? How do we read words written in a world so different from ours, stories so ruthless and so filled with grace?

In Fire by Night, pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler invites readers to marvel at the Old Testament. Page after page, in stories and poems and prophecies, the Hebrew Scripture introduces us to a God who is unwieldy and uncontrollable, common and extraordinary, and who brings both life and death. Using stories from Scripture and from her ministry, Florer-Bixler braids together the text with the sometimes ordinary, sometimes radical grace of God. The same passages that confuse and horrify and baffle us can, if we are paying attention, lure us closer toward God. This God has traveled with people through cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the beginning of time.

The Old Testament is a perplexing book of profound grace, hope, and beauty. It’s a book of fire. To read the Old Testament is to draw close to God’s love, which continues to burn away our expectations and set us ablaze. This God has traveled with people through pillars of cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the days of the exodus.

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  • Foreword [to come]
  • Preface Chapter 1: God of Reckoning Chapter
  • 2: God of Birds
  • Chapter 3: God of the Vulnerable
  • Chapter 4: God of Three in One
  • Chapter 5: God of Wonder
  • Chapter 6: God of Darkness
  • Chapter 7: God of Neighbors
  • Chapter 8: God of Victims
  • Chapter 9: God of Memory
  • Chapter 10: God of Wild
  • Chapter 11: God of Friendship
  • Epilogue The Author

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Review: Publisher's Weekly - February 12, 2019
“In her fantastic debut, Mennonite pastor Florer-Bixler guides readers through a slow, participatory reading of the Old Testament that leads to thoughtful musings on issues including white supremacy, immigration, and the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities. . . . Florer-Bixler proves herself a challenging teacher and inspiring preacher. Her impressive exploration of Old Testament themes will be a blessing for Christians seeking intellectually grounded spiritual guidance.”
Review by: Timothy Tyson - February 12, 2019
“Melissa Florer-Bixler’s words cut deep, deep, still deeper and yet too cleanly for anyone to misunderstand. Fire by Night rescues the Old Testament from antiseptic Christian pieties and places it squarely in the mess of human life. Her language is ripe but limned smooth and spare as bone. This is the work of a Holy Ghost preacher, words burning on the page.”
Review by: Kaitlin Curtice - February 12, 2019
“Fire by Night is a beautifully written, kind invitation to see the God of the Old Testament through both modern and past stories of oppressed peoples who know God as Deliverer. This book is a true gem, giving language to the space between God and us—a relationship of community and presence.”
Review by: Luke Powery - February 12, 2019
“What awaits you in these pages, deeply grounded in pastoral ministry, are not just encounters with Old Testament stories but contemporary stories of children, neighbors, birds, bread, friendship, and more. . . . Melissa Florer-Bixler is courageous enough to engage the strange world of the Old Testament with patience and to wrestle with it to come out with a blessing for today.”
Review by: Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros - February 12, 2019
“Melissa Florer-Bixler’s Fire by Night is an invitation to sit with the tension and unravel the hope present in the Old Testament. With thorough analysis, testimony, and revelation, Fire by Night delivers a powerful approach to Scripture. A slow and rooted invitation into God’s presence is what makes this book a companion piece for a deeper study of the Old Testament.”
Review by: Drew Hart - February 12, 2019
“Fire by Night illuminates how the Old Testament is a beautiful gift for contemporary readers, despite how its ancient contents are often stereotyped as merely an embarrassing problem. Melissa Florer-Bixler is a trustworthy guide through the Hebrew Scriptures as she gracefully brings together the wisdom of biblical scholarship along with the practical concerns for faithfulness in our everyday life. This was a meaningful book for me, and I invite you to read it with care!”
Review by: Ellen Davis - February 12, 2019
“This is a bold exploration of Scripture by a persistent and learned reader. Florer-Bixler does not give up on what the Bible actually says even when it frustrates her. Her essays are full of deep pastoral wisdom and exegetical insight, framed in sentences that are often surprising and beautiful. She is teaching us to read the Old Testament for our lives.”
Review by: Christie Purifoy - June 28, 2018
“Too often, I have read the Old Testament through furrowed brow; those ancient stories and the God they depict feel impossibly remote. But Melissa Florer-Bixler’s quietly powerful book erased that distance, and I am now reading Scripture with a reawakened sense of gratitude and awe. Fire By Night is a book of wonders.”
Review by: Theresa Thames - June 28, 2018
Fire by Night encapsulates Melissa Florer-Bixler’s delight of Scripture, ancient literature, and God. By interweaving assiduous exegesis and personal storytelling, Florer-Bixler invites the reader into relationship with the text, with the voices and experiences of scholars and neighbors, with herself, and most importantly, with God. I found myself challenged as a theologian, inspired as a pastor, and in tears as a person of faith trying to make sense of it all. What makes Fire by Night such an important book is that it speaks to today’s issues without being prescriptive, but by beckoning each of us to take the risk of simply being God’s beloved.”
Review by: Isaac Villegas - June 28, 2018
“Read this book for revelations of God, visions of God refracted through people and stories from the Old Testament and Melissa Florer-Bixler’s life. These pages are full of grace and wonder—images of God’s love for us and the world.”

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