God Breathed: Connecting Through Scripture to God, Others, the Natural World, and Yourself (Pittsburgh: Crown and Covenant – who knows? Hopefully August 2019 - it's at the press!) is available for pre-order. If you’re interested (and especially if it interests you in purchasing the book) here are some cathartic thoughts on the weirdness of one supremely awkward aspect of book writing and production: the promotion part.
I'm intensely introverted, and I'm an intense introvert. Promotion work has been painful, but it's also been a profound and encouraging blessing. It's redoubled my gratitude for the generosity of my brothers and sisters in Christ who’ve dared to go “out there” with their own work, and in general it's amplified my appreciation for the church as we serve one another in the service of our Lord.
Promoting one’s own work is both frustratingly difficult and disturbingly easy. As someone who often feels like his life is one long socially awkward moment, being forced to "network" has been straight scary. And it's been straightforwardly self-serving, which is uncomfortable – I prefer my selfishness to be more clandestine. I've had to reach out with what feels like parasitic intentions to professionals in the various fields my work engages, to contact well-reputed strangers not altruistically much less for their own benefit, but because I want something from them: namely, their good name attached to what I hope is my good work. It feels gross. And when they respond positively, as has happened with startling and encouraging frequency, it then, quite horribly, feels like the legitimization of what my pride says about my work, “It’s brilliant! A profound gift to every reader, to humanity as a whole, and to literature itself.”
Promotion work is simultaneously humiliating and ego-boosting. My emotions range from, “Please forgive me for this obnoxious and self-centered intrusion on your time, but would you kindly consider reading …?” to “Why haven’t YOU contacted ME about this?! You should be begging me to endorse it!” At times I feel like my book should never be published because it’s the most public confirmation yet of my fraudulence as writer/thinker/minister. And a few seconds later I feel like potential readers are suffering deeply and needlessly because my book isn't out yet. How can I be at peace when they’re being deprived of the best thing Western civilization has produced in centuries?! Clearly, I need balance. So here’s my attempt at some equilibrium, the kind we all need as we strive in the messy complexity of our hearts and lives to serve the One who is infinite and undivided in his glory.
God uses imperfect means to accomplish his perfect purposes. I’m so glad for this! And I pray that he does so with this author and this book. I’m also deeply grateful for all of those who’ve labored behind the scenes, my family first and foremost, to give their time and efforts and in some cases their esteemed names by way of endorsement, to this project. God has blessed through so much good-heartedness from so many people. Look at your own life and service to the Lord, and you'll see the same.
If any of us look at anything fruitful we've done for the Lord, we'll see his blessing through so many fellow servants who've selflessly contributed to work that we're tempted to believe in our pride belongs to us. God designed humanity, and the Lord Jesus leads in the church, such that we are there to love and serve one another, and to open our hearts and arms wide to those who’ve yet to know him and his life-giving grace. Those truths settle my anxious heart as I anticipate the release of this book, which was truly written with that outreach as its soul.
I wrote this book with my target audience always before my mind’s eye and deep within my heart. The book has got issues, no doubt. More than I’m currently aware of, and I live on the paranoid side of cautious. It’s imperfect, but I do think it’s unique (hopefully not because of its abundance of imperfections!) May the Lord be pleased to use this unworthy work to extol his worth, especially to those who would self-identify as worthless, or who are seeking their worth and identity in their own thoughts and feelings, which are by definition always so much less than God's for us.
My target audience have deep questions and a sad history of hurt from the established church, and/or have grown up with relativism as the unquestioned ethos of their existence. They've been convinced to embrace dogmatically, before they could even identify and frame the relevant issues much less become aware of a truer way of thought and life, that the Bible is not only inaccurate, but impossible - that if there is a God, his silence serves us much better than his speech. That silence is not only deafening, it's deadening for those who believe in it, for any of us human beings, uniquely and exaltedly blessed as we all are by bearing God's image as our essential identity. Please pray that this book will help those souls, and all of its readers, to find themselves in the one who is our very life.
So toward God’s glory and the eternal - and present - good of its readers, here is a summation of the propaganda, errr….promotion, of my book thus far.
Author Page (with accompanying propaganda video and several of the professional endorsements gleaned)
“Mortification of Spin” – air date TBA, hopefully to coincide with the book’s release date, which is also TBA – but should be this month!!
"Iron Sharpens Iron" with Chris Arnzen –
"His People" with Bill Feltner, August 1, 2019
Scheduled: Interview on “The Ride Home” with John and Kathy, Pittsburgh-based WORD FM. 4:40 on Thursday, August 22nd.
Thank you for reading, and in advance for your (multiple) purchase(s) of the book! 😊