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Is it worthwhile to author Christian books?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by blackhole, May 25, 2019.

  1. blackhole

    blackhole Member

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    I love writing, especially treatises; it's nearly my raison d'etre. I have two Christian books; one is just a collection of verses on a specific topic, and the other is comprised of poems that I wrote. So, those two aren't very scholarly. But I have a third on the way, and this one will be very argumentative and (I think) substantive.

    However, I doubt the value of dedicating myself to writing Christian treatises; it seems that there isn't much merit in this. I assume that most valuable topics which I could write about will be rehashes of thoughts which have been thoroughly addressed by our ancestors. And if so, then changing my interest would provide more utility. For example, by instead translating their works, writing more poems, or focusing on a secular topic and tacking the gospel onto it. Do you agree with this? Specifically, is Christianity already exhaustively understood, and therefore there isn't much for me to contribute in the way I want?

    I know that I could become formidably knowledgeable and aim to become a professor, a leader in a church (etc.). But, those involve doing what I said I'd rather not: simply reiterating old data.

    And note: I'm not missing the value of study for personal growth.
     
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  2. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    I don't think Christianity is well understood by the public at all. To hear the non-believers talk, you'd think Christianity is a bizarre self-help program rather than a religion.

    To put it another way, yes, I do think that writing a book would be a productive use of your time.

    Fair warning: a lot of Christian authors take a lot of flak from Christian readers. Somebody somewhere will declare you a false teacher or, worse yet, a full-blown heretic. Think of this as a word of caution.
     
  3. Andrew77

    Andrew77 The walking accident Supporter

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    Well.... I do see value in having knowledge re-written to be understandable to a new generation of people.

    The fact is, culture and language changes over time. I've read some old books. The oldest being I think about 70 years old. It was brutal. Nothing like needing a dictionary to read... while reading...

    And cultural references that make no sense today.

    I would wager that the knowledge that you are writing about needs to be made easier to understand for this generation. I think there is real value in that, provided you don't lose any of the meaning in the process.
     
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    We are always thinking about Christian things and talking to God about how to walk with Christ more closely. There are times when we get ideas and insights into aspects of God's Word, and I think that it is important to get these down in writing, because they can be easily forgotten and something valuable is lost.

    I have written articles that have come to mind and submitted them to a friend who has an international literature ministry. It is amazing to me that someone in the back blocks of Africa has read my article and been blessed of God through it. I have written books and have put them on Amazon Kindle. Sometimes someone will buy one, and I have probably given away more of my books than I have sold, but if I believe God has given me an insight into some aspect of the gospel, it is important that I get the message out there.

    Even if no one ever reads what you have written, you have a copy of it, and there will be the opportunity to publish at some stage. People have kept diaries for years, and then was able to write an autobiography from them. If the person has been significant in the history of a society, an author has got access to the diaries and has written a biography of that person.

    Many people don't have the confidence that what God shows them will be helpful to others. They mistakenly believe that, "Everyone should know this", but in reality others don't know it from how God reveals it to you.

    I have encountered folk who have asked my advice over a particular issue, and I have been able to email them a book or article I have written on that very issue!

    So, I would encourage you to put your thoughts, studies and insights into writing and if you do nothing else, file them away until there is an opportunity to use them in the public domain in some way.
     
  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It goes with the territory. But if the exegesis of the Scriptural backing for what is written is sound, then any accusation of being a false teacher would fall to the ground.
     
  6. blackhole

    blackhole Member

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    I intentionally take on controversial topics. One of my best skills is tearing things apart (as my poor professor learned), and for some reason I have a bent against dogmatized tradition.

    So, I'm used to being a target.
     
  7. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member

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    The Bible is still the fastest and highest selling book in the world. This might mean more readers are seeking to understand it, you can be a willing vessel for God to use in helping them to gain knowledge on it, "the more the merrier". God bless
     
  8. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    If what you posted here reflects your true feelings in regards to writing about God's Word and Christianity then you are not "called of God" to expound on His Word and should definitely find a new field of writing, if any.
     
  9. blackhole

    blackhole Member

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    A very concrete statement with absolutely no explanation given, which then leads to an implied far-reaching conclusion ("if any").

    Yawn.

    If you're going to express such an opinion and tack my calling onto it, then have the decency to defend it.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  10. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

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    sadly, our local Christian bookstore sold to a chain
    recently popped into the chain Christian bookstore only to find out it's closing & ALL the stores in the chain closing

    how to get your work out there and sold is now the question
     
  11. blackhole

    blackhole Member

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    Yes. I have four books, almost no sales. I didn't expect any sales, because I don't have any marketing.

    I'm a programmer, and once I finish school I should have a good salary which I can put into advertising my books.
     
  12. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

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    Since you appear to be a student, why don't you seek out the oldest professor in the religion department and pull a few of their oldest and newest publications. The vast majority of the time, you will see great differences as the person ages. Related to this is that its pretty unlikely you will simply see the reiteration of old data... but more so the development of new insights as life experience rolls forward. Granted, when it comes to teaching, New Testament 101 covers mostly the same material from year to year.

    That being said, scholarly writing has an abysmally small audience. Consider Pannenbergs Jesus, God, and Man. It's a hard core academic style, it approaches Christology from below, rather than from above, and is prone to misinterpretation, if read apart from the whole of his works... but to those in academia, it is a very well regarded text that takes Barth's ideas to another level. To a general audience, it would likely be headache inducing as its a real slog and then some to push through.

    And then there is writing to a more general audience, I think of Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God and while the overall concepts are not necessarily new, he makes them accessible to the masses. Add in that he is coming from a mystical form of Christianity rather than pragmatism, the book is going to disturb the consciences of some.

    Thus there is plenty of room for new authors, but I think the key is you need to be passionate about dong so. If you don't have the fire in the gut, its hard to finish things, its hard to deal with adversity, its hard to deal with critics. I think of the late Rachel Held Evans whose works were excluded from lifeway. It made her growth trajectory quite a bit more difficult than had they been alongside. Then again, despite that, she made a huge difference in her short 37 years.
     
  13. blackhole

    blackhole Member

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    I'm triple majoring entirely through online classes; the campus is half a country away. None of my majors are in religion.

    As for your other comments: I appreciate them, but ironically they dissuade me from wanting to write. Part of the reason I aimed for authoring is that my works would last long beyond me. But as I'm learning from this thread, language (etc) develops too quickly. If they don't sell well during my lifetime, it's doubtful they ever will. I know there are exceptions (e.g. Jonathan Edwards).

    I'm not sure what I'll do. Perhaps I'll focus instead on earning money; I could author after that, and invest in advertising in order to get my books sold. I barely care about profiting from my books; I just want them to be read!
     
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