Back in 2014, I led a number of Good Shepherd LifeGroups through Sandy Richter’s Epic Of Eden study.
And here is a photo of notes I took from the reading assignment of Week 11, Day One:
That day’s reading involved an overview of the Old Testament book of Judges. And Richter described the book as a series of descending cycles of sin, debauchery, and self-destruction. In her video commentary for the same week, she concluded, “By the end of Judges, the Israelites are now officially worse than the Canaanites.” I know she said that because I took notes on it as well. Here ya go:
Well, that concept of cyclical self-destruction percolated in my mind for a year or so. And then the metaphor came: that’s like crash test dummies! All of a sudden I had a grid through which to teach and preach on a book that most of us teachers and preachers would prefer to avoid. And so in May of 2016 Crash Test Dummies was prepared and then in July of 2016 it was delivered as a sermon series for the people of Good Shepherd.
I knew the series had potential to speak into people’s lives, particularly if they or someone they loved was battling addiction or entering recovery. I also felt it contained some of my stongest exegetical work, including the notion that the book as a whole makes best sense when you read the last sentence first. My editor at Abingdon Press agreed, pitched it to his team, got approval, and Crash Test Dummies was born again, this time as book, released last month.
If you’d like to see how one book led to another, you can order Crash Test Dummies here.