I’ve been a bit delinquent here on Threads for the last week or so. There’s a good reason for that. My next book, When People Speak for God is near the final step and should, in fact, go to the printer on Monday. The way we do things, that should mean availability for people to get actual copies (I’ve got definitions on the brain) about 10 days later.
I want to link to a couple of posts I’ve done elsewhere, but first just a note on the book. This isn’t new and original material. I have written several essays that I published on the web in my pre-blog days, and a number of additional blog entries since then. I also tend to discuss Biblical inspiration, the gift of prophecy, God speaking to people, and people claiming that God told them certain things when I’m teaching in person. A number of readers on of the internet material have suggested I get it in print, as reading 50-60 pages at a shot on the internet annoys them. Those who attend my classes often ask me for something they can read for more information on what I teach about inspiration. Thus far I’ve referred them to URLs, often an unsatisfactory option.
Print-on-demand technology allows me to create a book such as this for what appears off-hand to be a relatively small audience. My original plan was to collect the essays, write a couple of connecting or explanatory notes, add topical and scripture indexes, and publish. Ah, the wishful thinking! I may be the boss but I’m an incredibly cruel and evil boss. Thus when I looked at the collected essays I said to myself, “This won’t do at all. Get thee to work!” (Note that the archaic language is not an indication of divine inspiration.)
A few months of off and on work later, the resulting volume is 276 pages (243 pages + front matter, glossary, topical and scripture indexes), and based on word counts I’m guessing it’s about 1/3 new material. The backbone is my essay Inspiration, Biblical Authority, and Inerrancy, which you can check out on the web. Added to this is material on the modern gift of prophecy, and practical considerations for handling the situation when someone claims divine authority for their words. You’ll find almost all the existing material in this book (bar the 1/3 new stuff) if you add to that the Biblical inspiration category on this blog and on my Participatory Bible Study blog.
To my non-Christian friends I would simply note that if you’re looking for a book in which I argue for divine inspiration, this isn’t it. This book only discusses that issue peripherally. It is strongly rooted in the Christian tradition. I do argue against the doctrine of inerrancy from within the Christian tradition and discuss a number of related issues. I simply don’t want somebody to think this book is something it’s not.
I’ll probably blog more about that down the road. In the meantime, I wanted to point out that while I’ve neglected this one, some of my blogs have been active.
On my wife’s devotional blog I posted this entry yesterday, reminding all those of us who are Christians that we may be the one and only “translation” of the Bible that some folks may read.
The Running Toward the Goal podcast offered Elgin Hushbeck’s latest, titled Irrational Nobility. It includes some arguments that may annoy non-Christian readers. Elgin would enjoy it if you went and argued with him. You can also check out the transcript of that program here if you prefer reading to listening.