Which Book Should I Write First

I have outlined and worked on a few book ideas.  I probably won’t get around to finishing any of them unless I win the lottery, or get fired and make my wife work full-time.  But it’s fun to dream.

Here are the main ideas I have thought about.  I have preached on them so I already have a basis of material.

Fruitful Evangelism

A look at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 as the basis for evangelism.  Instead of methods and charts, we need to produce godly fruit.  I think that is the foundation of any and everything else we might do to try to teach people about Jesus.  Without it, our efforts are empty.

God Bless America, and maybe those other Countries, too.

I have lots of things to say.  As of now, it would be a 3 part study.  Part one dealing with the idols that are prevalent in our Nation:  abundance, instant gratification, nationalism, etc.

Part 2 would be based on Daniel and be a guide for how to live in a culture which is anti-God.

Part 3 would deal with the Christian’s relationship to Government.  Maybe this should be three separate studies but they are definitely all related.

The Spirit of Marcion in the Churches of Christ

Marcion was an early heretic who ripped out the OT and some parts of the NT, because he believed the god of the OT was a lesser god and the God revealed in Jesus was the true Christian God.  Sound familiar?

This one I have worked on the most and it is something I get excited about the most.  The study would show how valuable the OT writings are for the NT Christian.  It would look at reasons why we neglect those writings and then consider how Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church valued the OT writings.

What My Children Have Taught Me About God

I have written a few bulletin articles already and would like to develop the thought of God as Father and illustrations and implications from life as a parent.  It would be a devotional book and a gift idea for new parents (hopefully).

So, now I want your input.  Which of these should I focus on and why.

Let’s even create a poll just for fun!

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17 thoughts on “Which Book Should I Write First

  1. I vote for the Marcion book. And no, I’m not even setting up a joke. I’ve seen some of your ideas for that book and think you should do it.

    Try this: set aside a certain time for writing. Even let people know that you will spend that time in that way. I’m out of the habit, but I was doing it from 4-5 p.m. every day. I’m guessing that if you told the congregation that you’d like to spend an hour a day writing, they wouldn’t object. Or an hour 3 times a week. Whatever works for you.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  2. I vote for the OT book. Along this line, I have two pieces of advice.

    1. The answer to How? is Yes. Or, to use another worn-out slogan, Just Do It. (Started to write, Just Say ‘No’, but caught myself).

    2. I think that to adequately deal with borderline Marcionism in Churches of Christ, you’ll have to do more than neutralize mistaken readings of, say, Colossians 2:14. The heart of the problem is not the mis-interpretation of specific passages. Rather, it’s our constitutional view of Scripture. In the Sermon on the Law, A. Campbell was trying to take the Old Testament out of the hands of people who wanted to use it as a source for church forms and practices (e.g., making Sunday out to be a Christian Sabbath). As E. Ferguson has shown, later generations of Campbellites took the words of the Sermon out of their polemic context and absolutized what Campbell said. At best, what Chruches of Christ leaders have taken from this is a view that says, “The O.T. is for our learning (Rom. 15:4) but it’s not our law. This’s what the N.T. is for, to be the constitutive law of the church.” THAT’S the issue. I’m all for not putting words into Campbell’s mouth, but I think he was wrong too; just not as wrong as those who have misappropriated what he said in the Sermon on the Law.

    One more thing, and I’ll shut up. Once you start probing the question at that depth, you’ll be unraveling a Churches-of-Christ historic reason for being (i.e., we’re the constitutional purists, or at least we’re the ones who are closer than anyone else; two shades of sectarianism well-known in our group). Lord, help us!

  3. Brian

    wow! frank, that is helpful
    I needed that kind of direction.
    I already have chapter 2 being about Campbell’s Sermon on the Law’s effect on church of Christ theology and view of OT, but I haven’t even started researching it. It was more or less a theory.

    maybe you should write this book.

    thanks!

  4. Brian,

    I guess you have the E. Ferguson article on the Sermon. If not, you can find it in a back issue of Restoration Quarterly. Also, if you haven’t already see the article by Russ Dudrey on Churches of Christ approaches to Scripture. I think it’s one of the best, most significant things RQ has ever published.

    You write the book. I’m really not into that question so much these days. But I am curious, who would you be writing the book to/for?

  5. Write the book on Marcion. Passion goes a long way in producing a quality study. Write about what you’re most passionate about. This is a book I would read and these concepts need to be on a level accesible to the masses and not just hidden away in RQ for the scholars to read.

  6. Brian

    frank, it would be for the avg church of Christ member.
    that’s why I might not get into constitutional purist very much if at all, although I do agree with your assessment.

    i would use the traditional hermenuetic to make my point: that the OT writings are crucial to faith and discipleship as a “NT Christian”

  7. Because a lot of faithful people are sick of the religion of nationalism. They know that the whole earth is full of His glory and they appreciate it when someone says so.

  8. Yep, if you didn’t get a reply by now (Nov. 24) someone’s got an email problem. Anyway, now you’ve gotten me started on the O.T. thing. See blog posts at Frankly Speaking from today forward.

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