If this seems unforgivably indulgent, please accept my sincere apologies. No everything's for everyone, and maybe this one for fewer than others.
I promise I'll get to von Steinkronff's thirteenth treatise on parabatical monastic election, or something weightier, in due course. This is all very new to me, and exciting; and I owe it in large measure to Phil, Frank, and you all. So let me share with you some of the "firsts" I'm experiencing as the launch of my literary firstborn gets under way.
So there I am, minding my own business. For some now-forgotten reason, I visited the Amazon page for my maiden voyage, The World-Tilting Gospel, due out August 1. I notice it's offered on Kindle — and I see the date: July 14, 2011. Huh?
So I Tweet it on Saturday, still not sure if it's really available. But various friends on Twitter and Facebook actually buy it, download it, and start reading it... so it must be real. I write Cat Hoort, Kregel's Trade Marketing Manager (handling getting the word out about WTG), and she confirms that booksellers generally ship preordered books when they receive stock, regardless of the formal release date.
Cool! So I announce it on my site and start getting reports of folks making their way through it. Tweets came from some sisters you will recognize:
Hi Dan!Absolutely made my day, moved me to praise and thank God. For folks like the book's endorsers (Johnson, MacArthur, Duncan, et al) to say the kind things they do, and then for Megan to say "I didn't feel like I needed an M. Div. to understand what you were putting forth" — I am a happy, grateful, grateful man. God is so kind and so merciful. Neither the Biblical worldview as a whole, nor the Gospel specifically, is for folks of one background and not another; and so by design neither is WTG. This is exactly what I prayed and hoped for.
WTG on WTG! ;-)
I just finished the Kindle edition of your book, and I must say that it was money and time well-spent. The biggest "Ah-HA!" moment for me was your explanation of how God chooses/calls us, and not the other way around. The way you put it makes a whole lot of sense, and pretty much confirmed my Calvinist leanings (not that I was fully Arminian, despite my Methodist upbringing). Dead things cannot "choose life" either physically or spiritually. Makes sense.
I don't buy "churchy" books very often... I bought yours because I respect your blog writing, and have learned a lot from your posts over the years.
...Even though my own Christian walk has been a "whole Bible" approach, I really appreciate the way you tie everything together from THE BEGINNING. It's all about Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation, and your book explains it in a way that's accessible to those of us who aren't necessarily familiar with theological terms. It's not an EASY read, in that it made me stop and think, but it wasn't dry and scholarly. I didn't feel like I needed an M. Div. to understand what you were putting forth.
I am going to read it again with my Bible and notebook handy. If a straight read-through blew my mind, I'm sure a more thorough study will be even more O.O :-)
There's so much more that I want to say, but I'll save it for later. I pray that God uses you and your book to further His kingdom and add to His Church. Thank you so much for doing what you do. :-)
Then I got an email from reader Chris Hobeck, wondering whether there was such a thing as "PDS" (Phillips Derangement Syndrome). He pointed me to the first customer review on Amazon, titled "Howlers heaped on incompetency." The review referred only to those parts of the book that are available on Amazon's preview. The writer's main complaint in effect is that, in a book subtitled Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging on Tight, the author (me) seemed actually to embrace a Biblical worldview and, you know, hang on tight.
(Would to God that this were the worst charge anyone could truthfully lay against me, either as an author or as a person.)
He was kind enough to give it two stars nonetheless, as he felt I did "write with a clear and lively style," though he lamented that it was "too bad [my] ideas [the Gospel, Biblically framed] also do not display positive qualities."
So far, at this writing, 0 of 23 have found his review helpful. It's early, though. Actually, Stan McCullars did find the review helpful, in a way, as he added this comment (click to enlarge):
This review was followed by Megan Boneski's review, which was rather more positive.
Finally, our last little bit isn't as fun as it would have been if I'd gotten my first screen shot. You know how Amazon lists its alternate dealers and prices, like this?
Out of curiosity (this is all new to me), I clicked on it to see the alternatives. This is what I see now:
Kind or remarkable, isn't it, how out-of-step that fourth price is? It's not a special edition with my name in bacon grease or Peet's coffee stains, or anything. I don't really know what the deal is about it. But I do know this: it's a bargain compared to the first time I saw it a few hours earlier.
Then the price was something like $440.00. So thirty bucks is actually a steal.
When you look at it the right way.
At any rate, the book and its effort to present the Gospel as framed in a whole-Bible worldview is going out, and my earnest prayer is that it may be a tool used by God "that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you" (2 Thess. 3:1 NAS).