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  The Work of His Hands (Jeffrey Williams)

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Author Topic:   The Work of His Hands (Jeffrey Williams)
Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-27-2010 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod: LCMS astronaut authors CPH book
Col. Jeffrey Williams, who is on a six-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station and is a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston, has authored a book, "The Work of His Hands: A View of God's Creation from Space." It will be available from Concordia Publishing House in June.

The 176-page book ($28.99, plus shipping, item no. 124320WEB), which may be pre-ordered from CPH now, features photos taken by Williams while in space, along with commentary from the astronaut.

"Spaceflight definitely gave me a new perspective on the world around us and provided, in a very unique way, sort of a transcendent view of things above and beyond the immediate elements of life," Williams says in the book. "For example, viewing the Earth from space brought a new significance to the truth of many familiar biblical texts."

But his experiences as an astronaut did not bring him closer to God or change his beliefs about God's existence, Williams writes. "My relationship with God does not hinge on my looking at Earth from orbit and experiencing that 'small whisper' that is so evident in creation.

"True, life-transforming faith in God and relationship with Him is based not on a whisper, but a shout -- the shout of God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His work on the cross as revealed in the supernatural revelation of the Bible."

The Concordia website has a PDF of some of the pages in the book. No matter what your religion is, the photos are just breathtaking.

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-28-2010 01:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
No matter what your religion is, the photos are just breathtaking.
Because you can dissociate the two? I'll pass.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-28-2010 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to get into a theological debate, but what I meant was the photos in the book are nice. No more, no less. Just because it's got the word "God" in the title doesn't mean non-religious people or persons of other religions and beliefs shouldn't give the book a once-over and decide for themselves.

And as a bonus, all copies are "autographed" - because there's a photo of Williams signing the cosmonauts' door.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-28-2010 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's at least one signing. I have an email out to see if he's doing any others.
On Thursday, June 10, Colonel Williams will visit the Show Me State to share his experiences with St. Louis. The first stop is the St. Louis Science Center's Summer Science Blast, presented by Mad Science of St. Louis. There, campers will discover why stars twinkle, how rockets fly, how comets form, and how astronauts live, all through hands-on fun- filled activities. Colonel Williams will discuss life in space with this group of 3rd and 4th graders.

The next stop is CPH, where Williams will present photos from his latest six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, show high definition video from his mission, and sign copies of his book. It all starts at 2:00 p.m. in the Concordia Publishing House Bookstore located at 3558 S. Jefferson Ave,. St. Louis, MO 63118-3968.

jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 06-11-2010 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended the book signing yesterday is St. Louis. I was not able to make it to the session Col. Williams had with grade school students at the Science Center in the morning. The signing went well but was mostly attended by publisher employees. I didn't see many like me (collectSPACE followers) in the group.

I did ask Col. Williams a couple of quick questions about training but kept it very short since there was many dozens in line behind me. He did seem happy and eager to talk about space. His signature was still strong although slightly abbreviated.

The book is very nice. Printed in China, of high quality, many nice crisp sharp photos and several sections with some text of the mission, Expedition 13. Concordia is a religious publisher and there are short sections where Col. Williams takes verses from the bible dealing mostly with creation and the "heavens" and relates them to his personal faith. However, the book is mostly and strongly about space exploration and one need not worry they are picking up a religious text under the cover of a book on space.

On my way out of the signing I asked one of the publishing managers if there will be signed copies available at the book store for walk in or internet purchase. I was told no. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for collectSPACE or Don Boggs use their connections to pick up some signed copies for collectSPACE followers. Anyone who has Story's latest book of photography from the T-38 in their collection would like this book right next to it.

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 06-11-2010 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jvertrees:
Concordia is a religious publisher and there are short sections where Col. Williams takes verses from the bible dealing mostly with creation and the "heavens" and relates them to his personal faith. However, the book is mostly and strongly about space exploration and one need not worry they are picking up a religious text under the cover of a book on space.
I do sense a contradiction in this paragraph...

AstroAutos
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Posts: 724
From: Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 06-11-2010 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think he is just saying that there are small sections where Jeff mentions his faith, but that the book deals mostly with his career as an astronaut - I don't see where the contradictions are?

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-11-2010 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
I do sense a contradiction in this paragraph...
If you do not believe there is a creator, then why would you care?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-11-2010 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Look: Why doesn't one just go to the book website, click on and look at the pages that are there, and make up one own's mind as to whether or not the book is for them instead of hashing it out here?

I mean come on... would one not get an Apollo 8 crew signed cover just because it has the stamp with the words, "In the beginning..."?

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 06-11-2010 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
If you do not believe there is a creator, then why would you care?
I care where my money goes. Had Mr. Williams' book been published by a non-religious publisher and had the proceeds then be given by Mr. Williams to a religious organization, that would have been fine by me. If you don't care who you help finance, that's fine by me too - although I find it strange if not scary.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-11-2010 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
I care where my money goes. Had Mr. Williams' book been published by a non-religious publisher...
Chris, recently in another thread, you dismissed a member's concerns about a book being printed in China because as you put it, "I'd rather have this book coming out of China then no book at all."

It seems somewhat contradictory then, to now dismiss this book based on where it was published.

This is not the only astronaut's book to be published by a religious press. Charlie and Dotty Duke's "Moonwalker" was published by Thomas Nelson, which states on its website that its "goal has been to Honor God and Serve People." And Jim Irwin's "To Rule The Night" was originally released by A.J. Holman, which is better known for publishing bibles.

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 06-12-2010 01:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It seems somewhat contradictory then, to now dismiss this book based on where it was published.
Not where but rather by whom. The book you refer to is being published by a US company, even though it was printed in China. It's not contradictory. (and no, I'm not favoring "communist" China versus Christianity).
quote:
This is not the only astronaut's book to be published by a religious press.
You're absolutely right. Regarding Charlie Duke's book, I had no choice for a signed copy. For Jim Irwin's book, I bought it second-hand. But that doesn't make me any happier.

chochman
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posted 06-17-2010 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chochman   Click Here to Email chochman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received William's book yesterday from Concordia bookstore where I had made arrangements for a signed copy. They handled it beautifully. The book is nicely laid out with sharp crisp photos. It's easy to see how some either becomes or remains spiritual when spending that much time in space looking down at the earth.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-03-2010 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jeff Foust with The Space Review reviews The Work of His Hands:
There is a religious message to the book, although it is not a particularly heavy-handed one. Being in space did not bring him closer to God, he said, but it "intensified my faith" by better appreciating God’s role. Even if you do not share his religious beliefs, you can still enjoy The Work of His Hands for his descriptions of life and work on the ISS and his photography of the Earth, something that can be universally treasured regardless of one’s beliefs.

PowerCat
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From: Herington, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-30-2010 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received my copy of Col. Williams book the other day and was impressed with the photography from Expedition 13. Wished his Expedition 21/22 would have been covered.

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