My day began as usual. First, the all-important task of starting The Coffee going. Then ablutions and garb-donning. Then a reading from Spurgeon's Chequebook of Faith, from Frame's The Doctrine of the Word of God, from Jeremiah 52, and from 1 John.
In the latter, I was really encouraged by verse 9's bold assertion that God is faithful and righteous to forgive believers our sin as we confess. One might have expected other words, such as gracious and merciful, or good and kind. But God is faithful in that He has promised to forgive believers and may be relied upon to deliver on that promise; and He is just in that His Son has made full satisfaction for their sins, and it would be unjust for the Father to refuse to forgive them (2:1-2). Glorious, wonderful, life-and-sanity-saving truth. So then I prayed, and thanked God for that reality.
Pause: if you don't want to hear anything about me or my literary firstborn, spare yourself the irritation of reading further, and, sincerely, have a great day.Then in my email I find a note from Albert Garlando, who has put TWTG to good use, alerting me to, of all things, a review by pastor Doug Wilson.
Now, I'd had an inkling in mid-February:
Then there was this, and now this.
Anyone who hasn't had a book published shouldn't be expected to understand how an author feels towards his oeuvres. It's a little like being a parent: you want your child to do well. The difference is that a child is capable of taking what you've labored to give him and going far beyond what you'd hoped and dreamed, with his own God-given efforts... or he can turn it all to shame and pain. A book, on the other hand, has just what you've put into it. Then it's up to God, marketers, reviewers, readers.
Those who love what the book is and does naturally want to see others discover and enjoy and profit from what they've found. Others just don't want to hear of it anymore. It's hard to understand how folks blame authors for being excited and invested; after all, if you weren't passionately-committed, why would you bother to go through the hundreds (thousands?) of hours of effort to produce it? Yet some do.
All that to say, for Doug Wilson to speak as kindly and enthusiastically as he does — that doesn't ruin my day. As Wilson himself graciously notes, we're not carbon-copies of each other doctrinally. But Wilson is a remarkably gifted writer and speaker, and a sharp thinker. Some of his sallies with Christopher Hitchens, for instance — the analogy of the tree; two soda cans fizzing — were so effortlessly brilliant that they're in my memory and arsenal for as long as I have either.
I guess it's like having Alton Brown say you served him a darned fine dinner at your restaurant, and then hearing him go on to say that all his fans ought to go give it a try.
Wilson chooses TWTG to be his first Book of the Month, and says
This is a really good book. Even if you are not in a position to read it right now, authors like this need to be encouraged. Buy it right now, and read it as soon as you can.How kind of him. What can I do but say thanks to all of you who have graciously talked-up TWTG and now to Doug as well, and thank God, and pray that God uses his encouragement to raise visibility and spread the ministry of my little paper emissary?
Thanks for indulging me as I bubble, and I hope you don't blame me too harshly