So…I’ve published a book!

So…I’ve published a book!

I have just published my first ever book! It is entitled ‘Fear not: What the Bible has to say about Angels, Demons, the Occult, and Satan’. The cover looks like this:

Why would I want to write a book?

A significant part of my ministry involves studying and explaining the Bible to people. A major slice of this is in regular Sunday preaching, with Bible studies also prepared on the same themes. Then there are blog posts, theology classes, and one to one conversations. It is a great privilege to be able to do this.

After working on explaining the Bible for a long time in smaller sections, I thought it would be good for me to work hard on a larger project. In the busyness of day to day ministry, often the focus is just the next sermon, and this would force me to look in more depth at a topic. This would mean reading the Bible in-depth, exploring commentaries, reading what others have written on the subject, and tying all of the threads together. This whole process has been helpful for me, and I hope the result will be useful for others.

Does the world need another book when no-one reads anymore?

Many people I speak to never read books. They read blog posts (sometimes), online news articles, and not much more. Many say that any communication needs to be in video form to connect in our modern age.

I disagree. If our reading diet is only short articles, we only ever get brief summaries of things. We are encouraged to think in shallow ways and not more deeply. Books are a good way of thinking through ideas in a more systematic way to what we usually would.

That being said, the book I have written is short! I want it to be accessible to every Christian, not merely those who have the patience for long, complicated books.

Why this topic in particular?

I chose a topic to write about that I wanted to know more about myself. I felt that the unseen world was something I had a gap in my knowledge about. Even large systematic theologies in the Reformed tradition only spend a couple of pages on angels, and many difficult Bible passages refer to angels only in passing. When I went to read up on the topic, so many of the books were either really technical or just subjective; things like people’s personal experiences of angels. If I felt a gap in my knowledge on this topic, I imagine other Christians do as well, so it seemed the right choice of subject. I preached a sermon series on this in my church and had many good conversations as a response; the book is the product of those sermons and much more detailed thinking on the topic.

Who is this book for? What kind of book is it?

‘Fear Not’ is aimed at a general Christian audience. You don’t need to be a Christian to read it, though it is aimed at those who are. It is short (just under 150 pages) and is tied together by the knowledge that Jesus is Lord of all, both the things we can see and the things we cannot see.

This is a book that aims to explain what the Bible teaches about angels, demons and related things. This means that it is not full of ideas I came up with; I just want to explain what God has already revealed. I tried to make it practical to help those who are afraid of evil spirits and also for those who have previously rejected these things as superstition.

Why self-publishing and not traditional publishing?

I did attempt to find a traditional publisher, and I have a long series of polite refusal letters to show for it. I did get to the review stage with two publishers only to be told they decided not to proceed. The reality is that if you are not a person with a large platform, and you are not American, it is quite difficult to be taken on by a traditional publisher. With so many people writing, they need to select books they are sure they will make money on.

I decided to proceed with self-publishing. I had help with formatting and publishing, while I sorted out editing with my wife Andrea’s help. Two Christian leaders I trust, Allan Chapple and Tim Thorburn, kindly agreed to read and give comments on how the manuscript could be improved. After all, I wanted some confirmation that the book wasn’t heretical and I hadn’t missed anything important!

Self-publishing also means that I keep creative control of the book. My main goal is not to make money, but to share ideas that were useful for me, so self-publishing made sense. With this form of publishing I can also keep the price down as much as possible.

Where can I go to find out more about what is in the book?

There is more information like a detailed description and where you can buy it here.

How can you help?

If you read and enjoy the book, it would be a great help if you could recommend it to others. Not having a publisher behind me means that I don’t have a marketing team working on lifting awareness of the book. And, if you find it useful, a positive review on Amazon would help a lot.

I pray that this book is helpful for you; God says a lot about this topic, even if we find it scary, and my prayer is that we listen well.