Friday, February 22, 2013

The calm before a fatal blow - personal insights into my new book

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.  (Sir Winston Churchill)


Well my latest monster is almost ready to be slain and then flung to the public.  I have been working on a new book and I am really excited about it.  It's called "Living For and Rejoicing In Christ."  It is a study guide through Paul's letter to the Philippians.  I started out with the idea of writing a short commentary on Philippians and as I was laboring in it a couple of thoughts came to mind.  First, another commentary.  There are plenty of good commentaries already available.  They all stem from a devotional, pastoral, and even critical vantage point.  A few honor the KJB (and a perfect preservation of the Bible viewpoint) while many others (unfortunately) don't, but their technical, historical and practical insights are extremely helpful.  Second, I wanted to write something that could be a blessing to the average person vs. a seminarian or Bible College student.  So audience factor kicked in about half way through the project and a rework was in order.  When I got to where it needed to be the writing process was a bit more enjoyable.  I believe this will be a blessing to those who desire to dig into the word of God either for themselves or for others (as in classroom instruction).


So the study guide is designed to take the reader directly through the book of Philippians in sections or units of study.  The most important aspect is bringing the reader to the Biblical text itself.  Each chapter is divided according to units of thought.  Then, each phrase or line of the Biblical text is succinctly exposited or explained either textually, topically or expositionally.  The chapter endings features a helpful tool for instructors (Sunday school teacher) or speakers (Pastor) which summarizes the unit and provides a helpful outline.  Finally, the last section features a "questions to ponder" type of a set up which is designed to stimulate practical and application thoughts and/or further group discussions from an inductive approach. 


Where it stands right now.  The book is in the final proof reading process.  After the final proof, a reformatting of the manuscript.  Then, the final of the book cover (which is almost done, too).  Then off to the press.  Then finally, flinging it out into the public.  So in terms of percentages, I could say that the book is about 90% done - the monster is being slain, albeit slowly but surely.  I suppose if I stop blogging and tweeting then I could use the time to move the project forward, but this is my way of calming down before fatally stabbing the monster for the last time (at least for this first edition).


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