Are you writing a book?

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by John of Japan, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Are you writing a book right now? If you were to write a book, what would you write about?

    I am working in Japanese on a book of sermon illustrations--there are no sermon illustration books in the Japanese language, to my knowledge.

    In English, I'd like to write a book some day on the will of God. There have been very few books written on that subject, and most of the ones I've seen are so-so. They don't cover the depth of what the Bible says about the subject--the call of God (the vocational will of God), the locational will of God, the sovereign will of God, etc. [​IMG]
     
  2. DesiderioDomini

    DesiderioDomini
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    Hey there John, thanks for the invite!

    I am working on 2 books right now. One is a devotional book, which I have been working on for 2 years now. It is basically a complilation of my sermons/devotions/bible studies I have led with youth. Mine are very challenging, very NOT watered down, and very self-reviewing type of discussions. Many have to do with causing young people to challenge those beliefs which they have accepted and not truely researched by either study, prayer, or discussion.

    This book is still unnamed.

    My life project is my other book. For now, It is titled "The Hearsay Gospel, Choosing truth over tradition."

    It is basically a new system of teaching young people, starting with preschool and contnuing into youth and college age, the basics of the christian faith. It is my contention that we have become a faith (baptist in particular) that has dogmatized things that are in debate. In doing so, we dogmatize these things to our young people. The byproduct of this is that our youth are graduating and going to college without having their beliefs challenged nor researched.

    Case in point, predestination. There are verses that seem to support it, and there are verses that seem to be against it. The debate is how to interpret those verses. I have run into many youth who were so solid in their belief here that they would not even consider the opposing view as allowable. However, they have never truely investigated the veracity of their opponents view.

    My book is about raising our youth with better research skills when it comes to our faith. MORE IMPORTANTLY, to have a better appreciation of the NEED for such research. We should always want to know the TRUTH, not simply to be convinced that what we believe is truth. ONLY THIS will separate us from other religions. As it is now, christianity is not respected in the USA because anyone can be a christian. Everyone claims to be a christian, and since so few know what a true christian is, who can object?

    I strive to teach young people to engage in discussions with those of opposing views. I teach them how to do so without engaging in combative debates with others in the faith. I teach them how to have debates if they so choose, and how to really engage in a God honoring debate.

    Some of these are listening to your opponent, considering his view, LOOKING UP HIS INFORMATION, and answering questions in a straight forward and uncombative way.

    I also encourage them to take seriously the research of evidences OUTSIDE the bible, such as the history of the bible, the history of the civilizations surrounding those people spoken of in the bible, and the evidences supporting things like creation, bible inerrancy, and the accuracy of bible translation.

    In short, my contention is that:

    1). The baptist faith, (and the majority of all christianity) has inadvertantly began to teach that beliefs are more important than facts.

    2). Beliefs are meaningless unless they are supported by facts.

    3). Christianity is a completely worthless religion if our beliefs arent actually true.

    4). We must teach our youth to seek out truth, and not beliefs.

    5.) All knowledge must be incorporated to accomplish this, including: scritpure, history, personal revelation, and factual evidence.

    6). Any belief that has not been tried in the above courts (#5) is not yet a belief, but hearsay.

    I am working with a friend who is finishing her masters in psychology who is going to do some of my research on human behavior and how it affects how religious traditions are passed down.

    Ok, I have rambled on enough. I now open my post up for suggestions/comments/complaints.

    I must say thanks John for this opportunity. I am really excited about this book. I think it is sorely needed. I honestly dont care if I make much money on this. I would love to do it simply for camps or retreats and stuff.

    Hope this was informative!
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Your devotional book sounds interesting. I've been thinking of turning my sermon illustration book into a devotional book, of which there are very few in Japanese as well. I have about a hundred pages written--but a good sermon illustration book should be hundreds of pages--whew, that's a lot to write in another language!

    You seem to have a good concept for your "Hearsay Gospel" book. I've long felt that our biggest failure as Baptists has been that we have not handed down our values to our children and young people, but only our standards and, as you say, "beliefs." I know you are not at this point writing about child rearing, but there is application there. We strove to raise our son "on purpose" for God, as Abraham did--and God praised him for it (Gen. 18:19).

    I urge you to put at least a chapter on comparative religion in your book. Investigate Shinto, which has no "holy book" but only tradition. Investigate Buddhism, which has sutras which no one now understands. I once took our board director to a Buddhist temple, which had a pure gold Buddha and a pure gold chandelier which was beautiful. To our left was the temple's sutra on a little stand. The director asked the priest's wife (the priest wasn't there) through me what the sutra said. She didn't know--it was written in Chinese! (They all are!) [​IMG]

    [ October 11, 2005, 03:15 AM: Message edited by: John of Japan ]
     
  4. Brice

    Brice
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    Desiderio and John,

    Keep up the work on the books. I'm sure it can get rough and exhausting, but they can be a great asset to society. I just finished a book by an unknown author and it was great. I learned a great deal from it. God bless. [​IMG]
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks for the kind word, Brice. [​IMG]

    Is there a book you would like to read but which hasn't been written?

    John R. Rice wrote over 200 books and pamphlets, with several of them being best sellers. His philosophy was not to write what he thought would sell, but to write what he thought was needed. So, is there a book that is needed nowadays in Baptist circles?
     
  6. PamelaK

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    John, actually, I think you hit the nail on the head in your first post as far as a book I would like to read. I would like to read a book covering the wills of God as you stated, relating them to His sovereignty also, and discussing the question of whether or not God has a permissive will.
     
  7. DesiderioDomini

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    Actually, I have that in the plan.

    My reason for including it is that our dealing with other religions and cults have seriously been distorted. We now, instead of teaching our kids to love and accept mormons and JW, we teach them that they are cultic, horrible people. All too often we leave out many good things about their religion.

    I feel that the best way to witness to a cult member is to first find the common ground. There is truth in every faith, even something as slanted as JW and mormonism. Mormons stress families, which is a great trait. Instead of ridiculing them, we should strive to UNDERSTAND THEM, and then we can truely earn their trust enough to witness to them.

    I propose the best way to teach young people about alternate religions is to give them a little background information, including the beliefs that they hold (in their context, there is no need to twist them to make them look worse) and have them look up the verses themselves. Give them questions to ask, and teach them how to get answers to questions. Discourage making assumptions against their beliefs, but to ask geniune questions. They should learn that this is a better way to get information and to witness to lost cult members.

    That way, YOU didnt tell them that mormonism is wrong, but the BIBLE did.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Well, PamelaK, I'll have to go ahead and work on an outline for the book, then. I've studied the issue out thoroughly from the Bible read about 5 books on it (that's all I've ever found), done my best to live the will of God in my life, know what I believe and should be ready to start!
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    And that is the best way after all!
     
  10. Gwen

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    I agree with PamelaK--a book on the wills of God would be most interesting. I have thought of writing a novel based on the story of Esther, only set it in contempory times. It is such an interesting story, and deals with the same subject.
     
  11. Brice

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    Actually a book I think would be beneficial is one on basic discernment of Gods will (basically what you're writing). To be more specific, how does God communicate with us in the current age of grace and how to discern this? Also, how did this form of communication come about? I think that would be a great book and I have yet to see a book that goes into depth in this area. God bless.
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    I have just recently completed writing a book. It is historical in nature: "Approaching 150 - a Brief History of the East Texas Musical Convention and Sacred Harp in East Texas." I chose to go with a Instantpublisher.com and was very well pleased with the quality and price.

    Sacred Harp is an old shape note tune book, and the East Texas Musical Convention (which uses the Sacred Harp) is the oldest continuous singing convention in Texas (org. 1855, thus the 150 in the title).

    Sacred Harp Singing in Texas
    Yourbook.com: Approaching 150

    I desktop-published a few titles for specific needs before, but this was a very different (exhausting, exhilirating, frustrating, satisfying) experience.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Internet publishing has opened up a whole new ball game in publishing, hasn't it? There is some junk out there, but then there is some good stuff, too. Yours sounds interesting--maybe I'll check it out. I've always been fascinated by those shaped notes!
     
  14. Brice

    Brice
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    John,

    Please do pursue a book of that nature (God's will). It is needed and if done well (which I'm sure it would be) it would be a great asset to any christian. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    What an encouragement you folk are! I have just opened a file folder to put all my research in one place and start an outline. [​IMG] To say "Thanks," here is a beautiful statement on the will of God that has had much influence on my life.


    How To Ascertain the Will of God
    George Mueller

    (1) I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
    (2) Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
    (3) I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
    (4) Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
    (5) I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.
    (6) Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

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    Discipleship. Perhaps a god title would be:
    What you need to know to live the Christian Life the Bible way.
     
  17. Brice

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    Desiderio,

    In your book, are you trying to reach youth and youth pastors or just youth? I think a step by step book to help youth pastors would be beneficial. I don't see much dedicated to youth pastors and this is a shame.
     
  18. DesiderioDomini

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    Brice,
    Mine is actually for all associated with youth, including the youth themselves, parents, youth pastors, sunday school teachers, and pastors.

    I think it is just too tempting to want to "protect" them from false beliefs that we go too far the other way. We try to dogmatize OUR beliefs and force them to adopt them. I think a verse we have forgotten is this:
    I think way too often those who work with youth take God out of the equation. We want to do it all ourselves, and make sure they dont belief anything false. In doing so, we also often make sure they never believe anything that IS TRUE.

    I advocate a system of giving youth a source on both sides of a subject, and letting them do the research themselves. THEN, after they have educted themselves, you can openly discuss with them. This solves several potential problems:

    1. You are not the source of their theology. You simply help guide them in their own search.

    2. In case you are wrong, your wrongs have a possibility of being corrected in the next generation.

    3. Young people cannot be lazy in their faith anymore. They no longer will be fed constantly. Once they are old enough to read, they should be old enough to "help hunt for dinner". They should be taught the importance of being a seeker of truth, not merely a baby gulping down the bottle stuffed in their mouths.

    I agree, though, as a youth minister myself, that there are not NEAR enough resources for us. I plan to do lots of surveys, polls, and interviews to get the idea from young people of how their minds work now, and what causes them to hold on to a certain belief. I plan for my book to be done in 5 years.

    Once again, I thank all of you for your support and encouragement. I hope God uses this research in every way He can.
     
  19. Brice

    Brice
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    Desiderio,

    I think you've got a great thing going. It seems there is a lack of research done in the youth realm. The message seems watered down and your effort to create thought and passion in that generation is great. I applaud your effort and keep up the hard work.
     
  20. DesiderioDomini

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    thanks a bunch.....

    as i finish chapters, perhaps i will use this forum as some free advice/comments?

    One thing I have noticed as I have preached this method, everyone seems to like it except PASTORS. I dont know why, but it seems that teaching the people to seek out their own faith isnt very attractive to teh ones I have met.

    I honestly think that many of todays baptist pastors do not truts the youth to discern what is Gods truth.

    Perhaps any pastors who read this can shed light on my thoughts?

    Once again, thanks for the encouragement!!
     

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