I have been working on a book off-and-on for about five years now. The work began when I was asked a theological question and needed to do some research to find the answer, after which I blogged about it and sent the link to the questioner. That spawned more questions, and more people started to read, and before I knew it I had a regular following going where I was writing daily to answer questions. I managed to do this for about a year before I burnt out.
A couple of years later, I returned to review those essays and begin again. Realizing what rubbish they were, I began rewriting and coming up with new topics. I did this for a while before getting sidetracked with college ministry, school, and work.
Now I’m returning to it for perhaps the fourth time, determined to make some progress, and I’ve already got a couple of chapters in first draft form. As I began my research for the next chapter, though, it occurred to me that the subject has already been clearly answered. An honest reading of the Bible outlines the proper Christian doctrine pretty simply, and a ton of fairly straightforward essays have been published online that deal with the subject matter.
This leaves me with two thoughts.
Thought the first: Why bother?
It has already been written about, and written about well. Why should I repeat what has already been done? This sort of also raises the question, “Why do other people repeat what has already been done?” because the same subjects come up again, and again, and again. I don’t want to waste my time writing what has already been written.
Thought the second: Why do people still not know this stuff?
The second is the more interesting question, and one I find both intriguing and troubling. I learned last year that some of the long-standing questions I had about Christianity had mostly been answered by the Jews thousands of years ago in their interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Doctrinal questions that Christians and non-Christians alike wrestle with on a regular basis have been laid to rest for millenia, but we never caught on.
Why don’t we learn these things, and why aren’t they taught in our churches? I want to make the connection between these two people groups, these two pools of knowledge, to get the answers to the questioners. I just have to figure out how.
Send me your questions
What’s been bugging you? Bothering you? What passage seems to stick out like a sore thumb? I’m just curious.