Ambitious Plans and a Busy Weekend

There is a great deal of igno­rance with­in Christendom–not only of the more dif­fi­cult doc­trines, but of fun­da­men­tal ones as well. Tra­di­tion wrapped in tra­di­tion have done their part in bury­ing truth that much deep­er from spir­its yearn­ing for it.

This igno­rance and mis­un­der­stand­ing can be found in teach­ings on music, mar­riage, per­son­al pref­er­ence, church poli­ty, wor­ship, the end times, so much more. This igno­rance and mis­un­der­stand­ing can be found in our sem­i­nar­ies, our church­es, our schools, our lit­er­a­ture, and even on this blog, prob­a­bly more often than I care to admit or even think about. 

A few years ago, I first want­ed to write a book. My good friend Jonathan and I were going to exhib­it our exeget­i­cal nin­jit­su on sub­jects such as angels, the spir­it world, Calvin­ism, and oth­ers we thought we were experts on.

Time moves on, but ambi­tion, it seems remains. This time, it is my good friend Glen–who by the pow­er of the Inter­net I have nev­er met in per­son for he lives well over 1,000 miles North-East of myself–who will be along for the ride.

The goal is the same–to author a book which we feel there is a need for. The idea is dif­fer­ent, for instead of a few spe­cif­ic top­ics, we want an acces­si­ble, open intro­duc­tion to Chris­tian­i­ty (along with two oth­er projects which I’m not going to dis­close at this time). Begin­ning with a clear & con­cise pre­sen­ta­tion of the Gospel fol­lowed by essen­tials need­ed to begin grow­ing in the faith, it will be a hand­book for young Chris­tians who are intim­i­dat­ed by thou­sand-page sys­tem­at­ic the­olo­gies or even the Bible itself.

And we’re not sure how well it will work, but we’re going to author the book in an online (pass­word pro­tect­ed) wiki envi­ron­ment, so that we both can write and con­tribute to any part of the book(s) at any time while a revi­sion his­to­ry is kept to see our progress or res­cue past revi­sions that turn out to be pre­ferred. Plus, it seems a lot more acces­si­ble than Word’s cum­ber­some change track­ing features!

We have no idea whether any pub­lish­er would accept our work, and we can eas­i­ly enough fall back to Cafe­press pub­lish­ing, but we want this book to be as acces­si­ble as pos­si­ble, and Cafe­press works best for niche sitse that get a lot of traf­fic already, not sites rely­ing on the book for get­ting noticed.

Ide­al­ly, I’d like to see the book appear at Wal-mart on the cir­cle rack we have back by lay-a-way for the assort­ed reli­gious and devo­tion­al books. Peo­ple are always look­ing at those things, and it would be nice to get some sound mate­r­i­al set aside that myr­i­ad assort­ment of most­ly non­sense (“holy diets”? sure…).

The web­site itself would fea­ture a mes­sage board for “we hate you” or “we love you” or “what about?” feed­back, and what­ev­er else read­ers come up with. We also have talked about an audio pro­gram of some kind, though col­lab­o­rat­ing on it would be dif­fi­cult as long as Glen is stuck on dial-up. There would also be site-only con­tent such as Q&A type arti­cles and oth­er material.

Need­less to say, we are both excit­ed about the idea, and we both admit­ted­ly have no idea what we are doing. (A book? I have trou­ble read­ing one, let alone writ­ing one!) But we are con­fi­dent that this is a need­ed thing and thus will be a Good Thing, and we are trust­ing in the Lord’s strength and com­fort in us for the dura­tion of the project. After all, we’ll undoubt­ed­ly face some obstacles.

We’re both in our ear­ly twen­ties, and we’re fair­ly cer­tain there are some Grumpy Old Men in the Church who do not want to be told that their tra­di­tions are “whack” by a cou­ple of young upstarts. So we rest in the advice giv­en to Tim­o­thy, to let no one despise our youth.

Plus, nei­ther of us are “cre­den­tialed.” We haven’t attend­ed forty-sev­en years of sem­i­nary (or what­ev­er the stan­dard is nowa­days to be con­sid­ered an expert), nor do we have any fan­cy abbre­vi­a­tions for after our names. I do have an asso­ciates degree of the­ol­o­gy, but I admit it means noth­ing to me. In oth­er words, we do not feel we need the approval of men or a piece of paper to do what God has told us to do in His Word–to teach and to preach the whole coun­sel of God, no mat­ter how much we or oth­ers may dis­like what a pas­sage says. It is our duty to con­form to the word, not vice versa.

So, that being said, I look for­ward to it. I will def­i­nite­ly still be blog­ging here; this place isn’t going any­where, but I may not be as present on my oth­er web­site projects as I am now. They’ll survive. :)

This week­end will be pret­ty busy as well, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to be online much at all, despite an inbox full of stuff I’d love to blog about but haven’t had a chance to yet. It’ll only pile up more through the week­end, but oh well; that’s the price I pay for procrastinating.

Fri­day, we’ll be at my Dad’s house (as far as I know; I haven’t heard back from him yet), and Sat­ur­day we’ll be in Indy to spend time with Ali­ci­a’s par­ents and to pick up air­line tick­ets that we won. (Woohoo!) And Sun­day after­noon we’ll be head­ing to my Mom’s house, and we’re sup­posed to go see Cars again (first time for Mom, any­way); if you haven’t seen it and if you don’t have a per­son­al pref­er­ence against fam­i­ly movies (if you do, I respect that), you will thor­ough­ly enjoy it!

Mon­day I won’t be so busy, oth­er than numer­ous writ­ing projects. And my wife is more and more embrac­ing the idea of a pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design web­site (’bout time, Sweet­ie!), hav­ing already made mock­ups and plans for the whole web­site that she wants me to put togeth­er for her. I have no idea how to inte­grate a shop­ping cart into a web­site for pur­chas­ing stock images, how­ev­er. I’m not sure what the learn­ing curve is on some­thing like that,so it should be interesting!

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Rick Beckman