I GOT A GREAT FACEBOOK MESSAGE recently. It made my day.
Here’s part of it:
Just wanted to say thank you for your books! I grew up in a cult-like church. We were taught that only the elders were allowed to interpret the Bible. Often the Bible was used to instill fear in the congregation.
I despised anything related to the Bible or any church. For years I strayed from God. It’s a long story but eventually I found myself at a great church! Though I have been going to church the past four years now, I avoided reading the Bible.
A friend gave me your book “A Complete Guide to the Bible” as a gift. My brother and I have been going through it together. Which is a big deal as he considers himself an atheist. Thank you again.
Oh my goodness.
This writer and her brother are the people I keep telling myself are out there and who want help getting into the Bible.
But I’m forever getting pressured to write to the sensibilities of longtime Christians. To not offend them. To not cover topics that are unsettling to them. To keep the questions about God and the Bible respectfully holy.
But people outside the faith or new to the faith approach the Bible with their own sensibilities. The topics they most want to read about are sometimes the most unsettling topics for longtime Christians. And the questions they ask would get some longtime Christians mad enough to cuss.
When I hear from Bible newbies who find my books helpful, it energizes me with the kind of “I told you so” that keeps me focused on helping them into the Bible.
When I keep that focus, I believe I’m helping most longtime Christians, too.
From what I can tell, most Christians aren’t particularly familiar with the Bible. It’s a sad observation I’ve made over the years.
So while I target Bible newbies, I’m also hitting the needs of an audience of readers much broader than I used to think was out there.
Whether I’m right or wrong about that, I think I’ll keep erring on the side of writing for people who don’t know much about the Bible, but who want to know.
For more about Christian writing
- What writers do when the book arrives
- Puzzled about how to spend my time
- Me: One writer’s to-do list
- Coffee with a writer? Nope
My problem is not with those who don’t know anything about the Bible and claim that they know what it says – it is with the people who claim to know what the Bible says and really don’t understand what it says by their interpretation and behavior. Thank you for this ministry, your books, and for getting me excited every day!
Stephen M. Miller
Yep, there are a few out there who don’t practice what they preach. Let’s start a list of names. That’s what I’d like to do. But then, I wouldn’t be practicing what I preach I guess.
Right on, Stephen! You do good and meaningful work.
I have to chime In because of the date …January 12th is my birthday. I enjoy hearing people commenting on how wonderful it is to get back to the Bible after being away from it for so long. It is my favorite book. And Steven I am enjoying your book (A Complete Guide to the Bible) so much that Im giving everyone in my family one for CHRISTMAS. I have a large family. And I plan on trying to be a good Sunday (anyday) teacher and try to have everyone go thru it at the same time no matter what age they are. Make it fun and teach and learn at the same time. !!!
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Jerri. And happy birthday next January. Peace to you.