As a teacher, I’m in a business/ministry that encourages–even requires–writing. However, the most important of my work-related duties include preparing and leading classroom discussions, grading, and other interactions with students. These tasks take so much of my time and energy, that the only way I could pull off writing a book is if I compromise the time I normally spend with my family. Having four young children living at home and the most wonderful wife God ever entrusted to a man, I find it difficult to compromise my investment in my family during this formative time in their life. The main reason I haven’t written much worth mentioning is a lack of time and energy I’m left with after investing in the lives of those to which God has graciously entrusted me.
Still, God has given me much to say, and after years of saying it to various-sized groups, I yearn to put it in writing to see if God might use it in new ministry contexts. Given the rate at which Christianity is spreading through Africa, Asia, and South America, I wonder if my ideas can help my brothers and sisters in Christ as God blesses in those parts of the world as He has so long blessed in Europe and North America. There are books that are written and published for profit, and there are those that cost little or nothing. I love the idea of writing books that are valuable enough to bring in a handsome profit but making them available instead to everyone at little or no cost. I want to enter into Heaven someday having shared what God gave me to share rather than amassing what I couldn’t keep anyway. I’m not opposed to writing books that make a profit, but I’m more concerned with the practical/spiritual benefits the books may generate rather the the financial ones.
Here are some of the book topics I’ve told people I’m interested in getting off the ground in the future.
- Systematic Theology textbook. There has been a need for a book that is user-friendly for theology survey students and the faculty who teach them. This would be a book that is fair and charitable in expressing a variety of views but one that also agrees with Liberty University’s doctrinal statement without apology. It would be written to serve both residential and online students.
- Anatomy of Forgiveness. I’ve noticed that Christians struggle in various stages of the forgiveness process (recognizing sin, responding appropriately to sin, apologies, forgiveness, and sustained healing). There is so much the Bible has to say about each one of these stages. As I’ve discussed some preliminary ideas with church groups, students, friends, family, etc., there’s been very good response and humbling encouragement to put out a book that will guide people through doing well in each of these stages in the process of forgiveness. This book would mainly focus on people’s forgiving people, but our example for forgiveness is that which the faithful receive through God’s grace.
- Image of God. One of my favorite theological topics to investigate is the image of God. How are we similar to God, and what are the ramifications of these similarities? Does everyone bear the image of God even if they don’t believe He exists or follow Him? How did the entrance of sin into the world affect the divine image in humanity? Do some people bear the image of God more clearly than others? What are the practical ramifications of people bearing the image of God? A good long, organized investigation and presentation of this topic excites me.
- American Holidays and the Church. When I first started teaching young adult Sunday school classes, young parents asked me questions about the American holidays. Is it wrong to make New Year’s resolutions or attend parties at which people are getting drunk? What should we do about our evening church services on Super Bowl Sunday? Should we incorporate Easter eggs and rabbits into our celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? How should patriotism towards our country and our ultimate loyalty to God be understood on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day? Is there anything wrong with celebrating one person on their birthday when God is to get all the praise? Is it wrong for our kids to participate in trick-or-treating, and should churches have non-Satanic, pro-life alternatives for the community? Do we celebrate gluttony when we make so much food for our Thanksgiving meals? Does participation in Black Friday encourage greed and unkindness? What should I tell my children about Santa Claus? I thought perhaps a history of each holiday could precede a list of questions I’ve been asked about each holiday and my biblically-based answers and various pieces of advice as a parent who’s had to answer the same questions.
- Theological Questions for Church Planters. When starting a church, there are certain theological issues that will come up in the creating of a doctrinal statement, developing ministry priorities and strategies, and effectively reaching the community. Going into a church planting endeavor prepared with answers to key theological questions seems like a wise idea. This book would identify various answers given to key theological questions every church planter should be prepared to answer.
- Popular Theological Dictionary. I’ve been approached about the possibility of overseeing and editing a popular theological dictionary for use among church leaders.
I’ll be jotting down some ideas about these topics in this blog and would be happy to hear your feedback along the way.