Friday, December 21, 2012

A Good, Old-Fashioned Book-Raising

I am really excited to share that my book is being released today! Becoming the Church: Lessons for Today's Disciples looks to the Book of Acts for lessons that were learned by the first disciples--and that speak to today's disciples, too. It is a book well suited for a Sunday School class, Bible study, or personal devotion, as it traces each chapter of Acts and includes questions for discussion.

In these coming days, I need your help! Keep reading for more information.

As you might be aware, it is next to impossible to get curriculum published these days. The denominational publishers just aren't putting out books by unknown authors. I am no Adam Hamilton, you understand.

So I need some help.
  1. If you read this blog, appreciate its perspective, think I am funny, want to help out a guy whose spouse is about to have a baby, etc., please help me publicize this book! You can link to this blog post, or you can link directly to Amazon. You can purchase a paper copy at this link. You can also purchase a Kindle version at this link; if you have a Prime subscription, you can download it for free on your Kindle!
  2. If the church is going to continue in theological conversation,we've got to have some new voices. Blogging is great, but there is a significant segment of the church population we are missing. Since church is the proper place to do theology (this is much of the premise of my book), we need to figure out how to involve the whole church. Let's figure out how to bring some new voices back into the Sunday school classroom. If you do use this book as curriculum, let me know how it goes! We have some significant work to do if we are going to enter into an era of innovation. Let's start now.
  3. This is uncharted territory for me. Obviously having never written a book before, I'm stepping out a bit. The past month has been the most popular for the blog since I started writing in 2008. I hope you will be in conversation with me in the coming days. And I hope you will help a brother out by spreading the word! I'm really proud of this book and the perspective it represents. The disciples had to figure out how to the becoming the church in the days after Christ. We have not got it figured out yet! Let's keep going.
In all of this, I'm thankful for the community I've experienced here! Your emails and comments have tempered me, challenged me, and helped me sharpen my own perspective. You are some great, faithful folks. I would appreciate your help.

With thanks,


An excerpt from Becoming the Church: Lessons for Today's Disciples:
As we look the Bible to teach us how to live, let me share two pieces of good news. The first piece of good news is that we do not have to figure out how to be Christian by ourselves. In fact, one of the core messages of the Bible is that you cannot just pick up a Bible and go live as a Christian by yourself. The founder of my religious tribe, John Wesley, is quoted as saying that “’Holy solitaries’ is a phrase no more consistent with the Gospel than holy adulterers.” We are made for one another, and when we ignore the fact that we must do this work together, we are ignoring much of the Bible. If the Bible belongs to anybody, it belongs to the whole church, and we are called to figure this all out together.

The second piece of good news is that we are not the first ones to try and figure out how to live as Christians without Jesus available for questions and answers. The Book of Acts tells the story of the first disciples, as they struggled to figure out how to use the broken shards of their community after the Resurrection of Christ in order to fashion a new way of living. They had to become the church.

You and I continue this work of becoming the church today. In many ways, we are like the first disciples, stepping out into a strange land with a strange message about a strange savior. The Book of Acts is an excellent guide as we step out in the same faith as did the early disciples.

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