Monday, March 05, 2018

The New Book is Out and that Elicited Some Reflections

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These are a few first meditations on the process of writing and publishing.

A week or so ago, Mere Science and Christian Faith arrive at my house. Holding a book that’s published in my own hands is uniquely moving. As I re-read the book through for the first time, I thought, “Those are some hard fought words.” I remember many weeks through last summer, aching over the right synonym, wondering about the construction of my argument on the historical Adam and Eve.

Me, talking about the book... 
What did I do differently in this book?
Because I knew I’d be engaging an evangelical audience, I worked to integrate Scripture throughout the manuscript. I also kept thinking of those who care about the Gospel and how powerfully it can speak to our contemporary world, which is saturated in science and technology. I wanted to connect with thoughtful evangelicals—like those at the seminary on which I’m adjunct faculty, Fuller. I wanted, as clearly as possible, to create points of connection between the contemporary world and the Bible.

In the process—and in the ensuring years since C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian, I’ve been reflecting on style, and in the process a smaller, stylistic point for Mere Science was that I spent enormous effect on transitions. Why? Because frankly my style tends to be jumpy—i.e., I jump from one insight to the next. I know what’s in my head, but does the reader?  

As the expert writer C. S. Lewis put so well:
“The reader, we must remember, does not start by knowing what we mean. If our words are ambiguous, our meaning will escape him. I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the reader will most certainly go into it.”
I’ll leave it there for now. More to come (I hope)….


Thomas Jay Oord said...

Nice CS Lewis quote!

Praying that your book is read widely,


Greg Cootsona said...