What’s in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause

Eerdmans, 2014
ISBN: 9780802871145


Well-known biblical phrases—“in the fullness of time,” “fearfully and wonderfully made,” “in the beauty of holiness,” and others—suggest, evoke, and invite. In this book Marilyn Chandler McEntyre succinctly reflects on more than 50 of these familiar phrases that prompt readers to pray, pause, and pay attention.

Some of these select phrases are devotional, some speculative, some whimsical, some edgy. McEntyre encourages us to see such “words within the Word” as invitations and, in doing so, to discover that they are places of divine encounter, epiphany, and unexpected guidance.

The three sections of the book—“Assurance,” “Invitation,” and “Surprise”—organize the reflections by tone and theme. Rich with eloquence, wisdom, and wonder, these reflections will lead readers to enter the sacred space of Scripture and connect the biblical Word with the ordinary—and extraordinary—lives we’ve been given to live.

With Logos Bible Software, this volume is enhanced with cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

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Key Features

  • Reflects on more than 50 familiar biblical phrases
  • Encourages readers to find new insights into well-known texts
  • Connects the Bible with the ordinary and extraordinary of every-day life


  • Assurance
  • Invitation and Admonition
  • Mystery and Surprise

Praise for the Print Edition

With her profound summonings, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre recovers for many contemporary readers an ancient practice that is reminiscent of rabbinic attention to the dark sayings of Scripture, those compelling, curious, often challenging passages that would nudge us into seeing more, would have us glimpse the inexhaustibility of the one in whom we live and move and have our being, even the inexhaustibility of his Word.

—Scott Cairns, author, Idiot Psalms

McEntyre has again written with conspicuous grace and truth. She sees deeply into the Christian life. She writes simply and nobly, but with an enormous weight of discernment and suggestion. Some passages here are as powerful and lovely as any I’ve encountered in years.

Cornelius Plantinga Jr., author, Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists

Seamlessly blending exegesis, philology, lectio divina, and prayer, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre teaches us how to listen for the divine word in all times and circumstances.

—Carol Zaleski, coauthor, Prayer: A History

Product Details

  • Title: What’s in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause
  • Author: Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 127
  • Christian Group: Evangelical
  • Resource Type: Devotional
  • Topic: Practical Life

About Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre is a fellow of the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California. She also teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. McEntyre is also the author of Drawn to the Light: Poems on Rembrandt’s Religious Paintings, In Quiet Light: Poems on Vermeer’s Women, and Patient Poets: Illness from Inside Out.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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