Writing advice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Greektim, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    So I have published some theological articles in journals. These articles are views that I no longer hold.

    I am about to have another article published, and I have been considering changing my authorship name. It was First name, middle initial, last name. I was thinking of changing it to first initial, middle name, last name or even just initials and last name.

    Would you advise the change to indicate a distance from previous views?

    Or would you keep the same name admitting that people grow and change through the years?

    (FWIW... I don't even put those former published articles on my resume)

    The articles are unrelated to each other by the way.
     
  2. JamesL

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    You're always going to have criticism from people trying to catch you. And regardless of how long ago you wrote something, that's what they're going to hang on.

    Just look at people who write against Benny Hinn's teachings. They quote his "Trinity if Trinities" nonsense, but he said it back in the late 1980s. Where are more recent quotes from Him?

    Whether your views were right or wrong before, there are always those looking for disingenuous means to discredit everything you say today.

    Lord knows my views have changed over the last 15 years that I've been a believer. I used to write short papers, just so I could learn to accurately express my views. And I've looked back on some thinking "who the heck wrote that?"

    I wouldn't worry about perceived fallout. God has propped you up, and He will sustain you
     
  3. kyredneck

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    ...which is a dilemma in one form or another for serious students of the word everywhere, example:

    "In his early Spiritual life Arthur Pink a devout dispensationalist. His views started to change in the late 1920's and in his book A Study of Dispensationalism he discusses his core complaint against dispensationalism, that it destroys the unity and applicability of Scripture...."
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8544938-a-study-of-dispensationalism


    IMHO, I wouldn't sweat it too much, state the case briefly up front and go on with it. I think people will ultimately respect the admitted change of views.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Welcome to my world...;)

    Actually welcome to the world of scholarship and folks like Barth, Schleiermacher, GE Ladd, Carl FH Henry, Pannenberg, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

    You can't hide, we'll figure out who you are...don't try. :laugh:

    Actually, I would keep whatever name you've started publishing under. If for no other reason than you already have a base of literature that you've worked hard to construct and walking away from it leaves years of work behind. Leverage that work. Maybe add a personal website that contains a brief section explaining how, through prayer and rigorous scholarship, you've changed some positions. Folks understand that when properly articulated.

    No, see above.

    I have some stuff from years ago that I published that contains views I no longer hold. Its on my CV. Took my long hours to cobble that stuff together, and some of it is very good writing too. Why not include it?

    At the heart of this is whether you're willing to admit that people can, reasonably, change their minds about certain things. Now, if you've abandoned some significant doctrines and foundational beliefs, we need to have a different (and private) discussion. However, knowing you (as well as anyone can via this crude form of community) as I do, this isn't the case.

    Here's a list of some issues that I've changed my mind about since my university days:
    1. Eschatology
    2. No longer dispensational
    3. Nature of inscripturation
    4. Process of canonization
    5. Women's roles in ministry (refined more than changed)
    6. The NT use of the OT
    7. The historical nature of the earliest Christian communities
    8. Miraculous gifts
    9. Worship styles
    10. Leadership of local churches
    11. Politics
    12. Evangelism
    13. Using the number 13
    14. Authorship of some biblical books
    15. Apologetic methodology
    16. Cosmology
    17. Anthropology
    18. Afterlife issues

    I can keep going if necessary. Now, my foundational beliefs have remained anchored and been refined. Since not all beliefs are the same weight in our philosophical systems, other views have changed and that's okay.

    Anyone who says they haven't changed their views of some things is either lying or so woefully ignorant of the truth they aren't worth your time. Even Jerry Falwell changed his positions on some issues. :)

    To add: For what its worth, in academic circles, being willing humbly admit you've changed your views actually gains you credibility...it does not diminish it.
     
  5. JonC

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    For what it's worth (my opinion :smilewinkgrin:), I would recommend keeping the same name acknowledging the growth and change through the years. Otherwise it may come up anyway (you can't say it wasn't your view) and you'd appear indecisive at best...dishonest at worst. Nothing discredits an author quite like having a bygone and unacknowledged view creep up (from the perspective of a reader...I'm not an author).
     
  6. Jerome

    Jerome
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    And what are you going to do when your theology shifts again?
     
  7. kyredneck

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    If the shift was from Dispensationalism, I doubt there'll ever be any other quakes that come close to that magnitude.
     
  8. PreachTony

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    If I were in your situation, I would stick with the original published name. If someone calls you out for changing beliefs, then just be prepared to explain why your belief changed. I've always been bothered by people who think that once you state a point of view you are never allowed to change. I've dealt with that both academically and in political discussion.

    Like JamesL said, God has propped you up and He will sustain you.
     
  9. Greektim

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    Wow... I was not expecting such an overwhelming tendency towards one direction. Thanks so much to everyone. You all have convinced me to keep my originally published name.
     
  10. Greektim

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    Nail on the head... I was published in the Journal of Dispensational Theology... twice!

    :tonofbricks:
     
    #10 Greektim, Nov 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2014
  11. kyredneck

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    Is Piper an Old Baptist? His quote you carry sounds like one.
     
  12. Greektim

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    Not sure what you mean by an "old baptist", but it came from his book God is the Gospel.
     
  13. Rippon

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    Augustine made extensive revisions of many of his earlier works late in life. They were known his Retractions or Reconsiderations. You have not achieved his level of fame or old age yet. So you are ahead of the game. Keep your name the same.
     
  14. Zaac

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    Well said.:thumbsup:
     
  15. Crabtownboy

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    Greek, I have a friend who wrote a book when in his 20's. He now says he thanks God that no one would publish it.

    If anyone gives you a hard time, just say your beliefs have matured and now you speak with greater maturity and understanding ... but that as you mature into old age you hope and pray that your understanding grows and later in life you will speak with more maturity and understanding.

    Blessings.


     
  16. Greektim

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    Again, I appreciated the sage advice from all of you, friends. I really do.
     
  17. quantumfaith

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    I will add my voice to the chorus which suggests that you keep your name and when appropriate define and explain the variables which led you to the theological changes and "evolution" :) that you have personally experienced.
     

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