Book Feedback

Thank you for taking the time to download and read the first chapter of  The Attractive Shepherd. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! Please comment below with your thoughts.

Thank you!

Dave Knickerbocker

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25 thoughts on “Book Feedback

  1. Very good Dave. I enjoyed it. It is funny and thought provoking. Interested in the rest of the book and where you go with it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this chapter! I want to let you know that it touched a nerve in my own life, and I affirm your main points, which seem to be that God wants us to desire relationship with him, and that such appropriate desire is possible, even for people who may have struggled in the past. I want that and am eager to learn the direction the rest of your book takes me.
    As your Christian brother, I want to share a few critical points that I know you’ll take gracefully:
    In the opening story, you represent Vanda’s question in two seemingly discontinuous ways, so you might want to edit that. What exactly did she ask you?
    It is advisable to remove Dr. from Leon Morris’s name on page 12. He may have a PhD and be a legitimate “doctor” in the biblical scholarly world, yet scholarly audiences would not use “Dr.” as a technical term to refer to him in print, and the title merely adds generic authority for a lay audience.
    Generally, you present good, faithful, and careful Scriptural exposition. I have a friendly caution about the weight you give to the possibility that kathos and agathos have the narrower/distinctive meanings you suggest. For one thing, pressing this point is not fundamental to your overall proposition, so don’t be afraid to back away. Further, if in some contexts, kathos has the meaning you suggest (Definitely check BDAG and/or Louw-Nida, which you may already have done.), the key question is whether this is such a context. The words clearly have overlapping semantic domains, as you openly affirm in your survey of scholarship. Is a translation of “attractive” necessary to understanding these passages in the context of John, or does it merely make your case better? Again, this translation is not fundamental to the truth of your main points.
    One other comment on exposition (again, somewhat peripheral to the main thrust of your chapter): In the story of Jesus turning Water to Wine, I would not be so certain that Jesus was explicitly or implicitly critiquing ritual as such as a means of pursuing relationship with God. It may even be that such a deprecation of ritual might hinder certain people (individual as you affirm them to be) from approaching God in a way that is meaningful for them.
    Overall, this is truly excellent material, direct and easy to understand. I know the sort of people to whom I can recommend this book – people seeking a more vibrant, genuine, and robust relationship with God through Christ Jesus. I really appreciate the opportunity to read it and your invitation to make my own comments about it. Many blessings!

    • Wow. You’ve put a lot of work into this for me and it’s greatly appreciated.

      I’m not claiming that the translation of “good” for “kalos” is definitely wrong. I’m making a case for the plausibility of “attractive, noble” as a legitimate translation for the word. And, I can’t help but wonder if the language is a both/and situation as with prophecy in the Old Testament about Jesus, like in Isaiah, Isaiah. Hezekiah was the immediate reference to what was written about a branch from Jesse, but it foreshadowed Jesus as well. If “kalos” can mean both, maybe that was the Holy Spirit’s intent. John is about Jesus as the truth (which I emphasize in a later chapter) which would promote the idea of “good” for “kalos”. There is also an emphasis on how people followed him around, amazed and attracted by what he said and did. Anyway, some of the other chapters in the book continue to make the point. It is good to know the the point is legitimate in your opinion even without this translation of the word.

      Thanks for all the time you spend on this, bro. I knew you wouldn’t let me down!

  3. Very interesting, easy to read chapter. Nice mix of bible reference and modern day analogies. I like the technique and look forward to reading more.

  4. You’ve raised a topic which every Christian has to deal with and struggles with. The way you approach it kind of sucks you in right from the start.
    I’m one of those readers who if I don’t get anything out of the first paragraph or two, I won’t read any further. I can’t wait until it is published so I can read the next chapter.
    I feel like this book has the potential to bring a lot of healing to a lot of people while causing others to begin growing again.
    I thought the area where you used the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine became a little sluggish and technical for a few moments but over all I was BLESSED!
    I’ll be praying that someone sees the merit in publishing your work. Love you Dave!

    • Hey Mark! You were the inspiration for one of the devotionals I was contracted to write for Wesleyan Publishing House’s “Light From the Word”. It’s about what you said to me back in our Syracuse days during a volleyball tournament held in Auburn. It stuck with me. It will be published in their devotional book that has a circulation of 50k, but you’ll be able to read it online at http://www.wesleyan.org/doc/devotions

      They work way ahead, so it will be one of the devotionals I wrote for the week of October 8-14 this year. It is the first contract I’ve ever received as a writer!

      Thanks for the encouragement on the book. The prayers are greatly appreciated!

      • Thanks Dave for your response. I was curious to read the Devotional you referred to in your reply but upon going to the web sight, it would not give me a way to read your October 8-14 devotional.
        Maybe you can help me to find them.

        Blessings!

      • I wasn’t clear in my response. I got the contract to write them in December to be published in October of this year. I don’t think I can post it because they’ve paid me for it. I’ll send it to you as a message on fb.

  5. I love your writing style! It’s honest, clear, humorous and most importantly, full of biblical truth presented in a way that makes me think about things from a different perspective. When reading this, I’m immediately drawn in and captured by your words. Great stuff!!

  6. Great first chapter – very provoking! Can’t wait to read the rest…praying this book gets published Dave. Looking forward to reading the rest of this book – and how God will speak to me and for the changes He wants me to go through in my own Christian life! Blessings as you continue to write and share what God has laid upon your heart!

  7. That cookie addiction must be contagious! Bravo for exposing sin as sin, even the non-stigmatizing kinds. I’d like to read a bit more about how your addiction to cookies affects your relationship with God. You sort of touched on it as a gateway food, but I love to read something more explicit about it, if only 2-3 more sentences.How does eating cookies, or any food for that matter, keep you from fullness of life the way that God intended?

    I love “getting Greek” (or Hebrew) on a Bible passage, so your comparison of agathos to kalos really interested me. I’ve studied both words in Greek class before, but I never thought to compare them that way. A previous commenter suggested that you spend less time and focus on the difference between the two words, but I might suggest that you spend more. Most notably, you’ve spent a good deal of time talking about agathos, which is not in the passage, and very little time defining kalos, which is in the passage. It would also help me better understand that comparison you make if you add a sentence that clearly summarizes what you believe to be the key difference between the two words.

    After reading what you wrote, I looked up the story about Jesus at Mary and Martha’s house, found in Luke 10, in my Greek Bible. Interestingly enough, when Jesus says that “Mary has chosen what is better” (Luke 10:42) he actually used the word agathos for better, rather than kalos. That surprised me, as I thought he might have used kalos. Could you speak a bit to how this relates to your word study?

    • Ahhhhh. You’ll have to read the rest of the book to get the answer to your first question. I’ll touch on it little by little in the other chapters.

      Your second paragraph can be answered in the rest of the book as well. I focused on agathos in Chapter One to show why I believe “good” may not be the best translation. It was my intention to get that point across with the sentence: “The word agathos is a factual description denoting the godlike essence of someone or something; kalos is the agreeable effect the subject has on others,” in the middle of page 14. Perhaps changing the word “essence” with “quality” would make that clearer?

      NIV, Common English and maybe one or two others translate the Luke passage as “better” instead of “good.” Jesus is comparing Mary’s choice of what is important over Martha’s. So while Mary’s choice is “good,” or “righteous,” it is also “better” (or even “best” in one translation) than Martha’s or anybody else’s approach to what is important. That would be my guess, anyway. I can see why it takes so many people to decide on how to translate a passage!

      Interestingly, The Message has, “One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it,” and I’d assume that “essential” is from God’s point of view, which would make it “agathos” by the description I’ve outlined in the chapter, particularly early on in the comparision of the words.

      Thanks for your thougthful reading and comments, Karen. You’ve helped me add clarity to the main point of the chapter.

  8. Dave, I never knew you were such a good writer! I’d love to have you write a devotional for my devotional blog – Daily-Devotionals.com. I let my guest bloggers include a link back to their websites. You could link back to your first chapter if you wish. Let me know if you’re interested. (Back links help your website get indexed faster by Google and provide a way for new readers to find you.)

  9. Sorry it’s taken me so long to read and absorb your first chapter. But, I’m not sorry I did! But I am sorry I can’t read the rest of it….
    Anyway, your writing is absolutely topnotch and professional and it’s time for this important book to get published. I’m adding you to my prayer list of first-time author friends who are also grappling with the whole book publishing conundrum. I’m almost inclined to suggest that you go ahead and self-publish. It appears that you have a good start on market demand. But then, I could be wrong–going forward with the query process to agents and publishers might be right for you as well. Oh, that pesky conundrum!!

    • Hey Willow! Wow, prayer for this would be great. I’ve started reading your book and I’m loving it. And, I don’t read much fiction (although my wife, the librarian, has helped me in this area).

      I’ve thought about self publishing, but we don’t have the moolah. Besides, the amount of followers on this blog is a bit misleading, like many blogs. Thanks.

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