Sunday, October 29, 2006

Time to write a chapter of this new book

I HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING and reading for more than a year to write something on the Creed (mostly Apostle’s though including Nicene). I wrote a proposal to my publisher and they are interested and want a sample chapter before they issue a contract. That makes sense because I live in a non-Creedal denomination—why would they want a book on the creed? My goal is to write in a different style, less “instructional” and more devotional and praise-inspiring. We’ll see if I am up to that.

ANYWAY yesterday I finally knocked out a first draft of chapter two: “Creator of heaven and earth.” I usually don’t start with a front chapter in a book and didn’t here (e.g. I believe, or Father or Almighty).

IS IT ANY GOOD? Who knows? I can’t tell. A writer does their best and lets it to editors and reviewers to decide if it ever meets the light of day, then of course my readers will decide if they agree with the publishers.

IF IT NEVER GETS PUBLISHED I’ll probably write it anyway. I am in the stage of life where the core beliefs of the Christians are more important—an old fellow is not required to believe anything at all to keep his job or advance politically. As my fellow boomers approach their 60’s and later they too will have to determine all over again what they really hold personally and not just what they held due to their association with friends and family. So we will be just like the 20something folk—examining their core beliefs and either affirming them or walking away in unbelief. Those who already went through a meltdown in their younger years often hold firm through this echo effect, those who never faced the big issues sometimes lose their faith in their heart and never tell their spouses or people at church—they die secret agnostics and secretly in spiritual despair.

I ALREADY KNOW WHERE I’LL COME OUT, because I’ve already come out on this—I hold firmly by choice to the “Common Ground” that Christians everywhere at all times have always believed…. (my working title for this book). So I’ll be writing an uplifting book reminding us all what we Christians all hold in common—and always have. The last year or two’s research reading for this book has been filled with the likes of Alister McGrath, Luke Timothy Johnson, Ray Prichard, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Hans Urs von Balthasar, William Barclay, Martin Luther, Emil Brunner, Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas, & Augustine. I can’t go wrong reading these people—even if I never wrote a book at all!.

(AS FOR SCHOOL and classes there is no special news…we’re in the doldrums after mid term… this week we start registration/advising for second semester and there is an FNL… nothing else of significance… it is the quiet before the final push of the semester….)


pk said...

Your thoughts on the similarity between 60-somethings and 20-somethings was really insightful for me. Thanks for being willing to share that phenomenon with us.

And thanks for pushing us toward Common Ground.

::athada:: said...

Let's all talk about Common Ground and keep making more denominations... ok, I'm done. Time for exercises:
"I believe in God the Father Almighty..."

Christy Lipscomb said...

I auditioned a person new to our church today for our worship team. After a 45-minute interview in which I asked her tons of questions, we concluded the audition with her stating: "You didn't ask me about my doctrine! You need to know what I believe!" So I listened to her basically paraphrase the Apostles' Creed.

It's been so interesting to me to discover that people raised in theologically sound traditions have entered into a new kind of freedom. People feel very free to create their own theology. They don't "buy into the system" just because it's part of their denomination. They don't even seem to have much of a problem creating their own theology. There's not a sense of impropriety or danger associated with it. It's considered "independent thinking" or one's "personal views."

I think we'll see a big shift back toward doctrinal, creedal church in the next few decades. I think we'll have to!

Christy Lipscomb