Here’s a bit more of what I started in yesterday’s blog. I’m in St. Louis at the annual convention of Christian booksellers. I’m scheduled for some media interviews along with meetings with my editors and my agent. There’s a lot of Q&A that goes on there. For those wondering what some of that Q&A is like. Here’s another sample.
You say you try not to think about Christians while you’re writing. Why not?
Actually, I do think about new Christians along with non-Christians. It’s the veteran Christians I try to ignore.
Here’s the reason. Newbies and nons are like New York City. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
If I can write about the Bible and the Christian faith in a way that intrigues people outside the faith or folks barely on the fringe of faith, longtime Christians will come along for the read.
But if I start with the longtime Christians, I’ll get so worried about offending them that I’ll water down my writing. I’ll stop asking the tough questions that non-Christians ask. I’ll stop mentioning some of the more troubling facts that, at least on the surface, look like they contradict the Bible.
I want my readers to trust that I’m doing the best I can to help them see the Bible from many different points of view—so they can think for themselves and make up their own minds. I don’t want to come across as some guy doing their thinking for them. I’m digging up the interesting research for them, but the decision about what to do with it is theirs.
Converting readers to Christianity isn’t my job. It’s God’s job. My job, as I see it, is to report the story.
That’s the same job Jesus gave his disciples. It was his last request before he returned to heaven: “Be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” (Acts 1:8, New Living Translation).
What was your toughest book to write?
God have mercy on me, it was The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy.
That was a tough topic, and tough year of research and writing.
Most books about Bible prophecy offer one point of view as though it’s God’s honest truth. But I approached the topic as a journalist. So I reported on what different Bible experts have to say about the prophecies, along with the reasons behind their theories.
My head was spinning from all those theories. It was quite a task to wrap them up in one lavishly illustrated book intended to captivate non-Christians. At least I hope it captivates them.
That’s always the worry, that I’ll spend a year of my life writing something no one wants to read. I’ve got only so many years to work with, you know.