Published my first book

Discussion in 'Christian Issues' started by Cornish Steve, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    It's why I've been missing in action for over a year. Every spare moment has been spent researching and writing my first book. I felt very called to do this.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016WUQM4O

    I've seen too many young adults wrestling with the issue of homosexuality and mostly being dismissed by leaders when they ask valid questions. For example, why would God create someone with same-sex attraction only to condemn them for it? Most books on the topic start with a premise - condemn or support it - and then cherry-pick Bible verses and interpretations to fit the claim. Few seem to consider the matter objectively or address the more difficult questions.

    So, as an evangelical Christian who believes in the inerrancy of scripture, that's what I've attempted to do. I don't give my own opinions: Instead, I encourage readers to study in depth and draw their own. In addition to being a Bible study (with focus on the original Hebrew and Greek words), the book considers the plight of gay Christians, how gays are persecuted, the science of same-sex attraction, and addresses some of the social issues we face.

    The struggle has been to make what is, in effect, a scholarly book (with about 750 references) also a readable one. The style is conversational, but I decided to include three fictional short stories to get some of the points across. It will be interesting to hear whether or not this works.

    The book is available (in Kindle format) at the Amazon website. In response to my wife's request, I chose to use a pseudonym. This is an attempt to avoid the hate mail that, sadly, too often accompanies any discussion of this difficult topic.

    I do hope this book will help some as they struggle with how to address this issue of our time.
     
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  3. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    Wow! Congrats! I've never written a book, but I have a friends who have, so I know how much time is involved. Kudos to you!
     
  4. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Fantastic, Steve! I read the Kindle preview. I didn't get when you said Bible study that you meant it has questions for group discussion. Looks great!
     
  5. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Yes. It was a LOT of work. Given the nature of the topic, I had to check and double-check every single statement. Also, the temptation was to write too much. At one point, it was 112K words (excluding references). The final tally is 69K words.

    I've learned so much! It helped that one of the leaders in this field of science is an evangelical Christian, and he pointed me in some useful directions. As for the Bible study part (most of the chapters), I took a lot of time considering the many different interpretations of the Hebrew, in particular. One really interesting thing is that some of the English translations, frankly, not a true reflection of the Hebrew - which was a big surprise.

    Another surprise was the extent to which many of the existing books on the subject are little more than personal opinions. One prominent author, for example, actually says that there's no point in studying the original words in detail since their meaning is obvious. That, to me, raised a big red flag.
     
  6. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Thanks, Lindina.

    Yes, I took quite some time coming up with questions that I thought might prove interesting. Here are a few from later in the book:

    - Is it better to support an immoral person who agrees with your stance on homosexuality or a moral person who disagrees with you?
    - Do you worry about what others might think before commenting in a group Bible study? What must change to prevent us from being so concerned about our image?
    - Is there any significance to Paul’s choice of words in his letter to the Galatians: there is not "male and female"?
    - The men of Gibeah raped the Levite’s concubine. Why did the men of Sodom not rape Lot’s daughters?
    - Why does Leviticus 18:14 prohibit a man from having sex with his uncle? What does this tell us, if anything, about Leviticus 18:22?
     
  7. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    We have a friend who, of his five children, one daughter and one son are gay. This same friend is delving deeply into The Complete Jewish Bible (in general, not topic-specific), which you noted is one of the many resources you used. I'm wondering whether he would find comfort or challenges in your book, Steve? Would he find answers or more questions?

    One of my gay friends, a devout Catholic, once presented a video of a young man (I wish I could remember his name) giving a speech in which he posited that nowhere in the Bible does it forbid a long term loving committed relationship (marriage) between two men or two women, only those which are "unequal" in terms of power/influence of one over the other, or which are abusive and without consent. Are you familiar with this video?
     
  8. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I use the Complete Jewish Bible in perhaps the most controversial chapter, which is a short story based around Romans 1 - with both Jews and Gentiles listening to Paul's letter to them. The most relevant chapter to your friend is what I term "The Heart of the Matter." Of all the approaches I encountered doing research, the most sensible is that of the Jews - both reformed and orthodox. We can learn a lot from their sensitive approach to this topic.

    I'm not familiar with that particular video, but plenty of authors make the same claim. While it's a mistake to draw conclusions from what the Bible doesn't say, there are many interesting things the Bible does say. Why is only male homosexuality condemned? (Some say that Romans 1 condemns female too, but that's not how the early church fathers interpreted that passage.) Why does the writer of Leviticus demand no sex with an uncle if homosexuality is barred more generally later?

    Why have we felt free to change the rules governing marriage through the years (abandoning polygamy, levirate marriage, arranged marriages, child marriages) while allowing interracial marriage, the remarriage of divorcees, and so on)? There's a big double standard operating here.

    If I learned one thing, it's that the relevant Bible verses about homosexuality are not clear and different people draw different conclusions from what it says. The single most important verse, for me, is Lev 18:22. What exactly does the Hebrew mean? I spent a good deal of time writing about this one verse and two equally valid interpretations.

    But all this, quite frankly, is secondary to the fact that we must treat gays with Christ-like love - and, in general, we fail abysmally in this area right now.
     
  9. eyeofthestorm

    eyeofthestorm Active Member

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    Steve, thanks for sharing the link, and for making your book available through Kindle Unlimited, too.
     
  10. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    The goal of this book is to help people and bring Christians together, so the more accessible it is to a wider audience, the better.

    I'd love to hear comments, both good and bad, from anyone who plows through it!
     
  11. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Just now seeing this!!! How awesome, Steve! Congratulations!!!
     
  12. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    For anyone interested, the paperbook version is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Thoroughly-Christian-Study-Homosexuality/dp/1518779387/ .
    Also, from December 13-17, you'll be able to download the Kindle version for free.

    In some ways, I feel like I'm back to homeschooling days. In particular, I would always urge my children to edit and re-edit their written work, to get it into the best shape possible. Communication is one of the more important skills in life, and I was quite tough on them.
    Now, every time I read my own written work, I want to make changes and improve it. I'm having a tough time just letting go. Yes, that may mean I missed a grammatical error, but so be it! :)
     
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  13. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Lindina, your post points out something unexpected that's happened since friends found out I wrote this book. I'm getting requests all the time along the lines of "I have a friend whose son is gay and is having a hard time with it. Could you speak with him?" or "My daughter knows a girl who's a lesbian and her parents have rejected her. What would you advise?"
    I'm no counselor, and I was not expecting this. What it's pointing out is that this is a very real issue in our Christian communities. People seem afraid to mention the matter in church because many leaders hold dismissive views. "Will the church think I'm a weak Christian for not toeing the line?" This is how I interpret these sudden and quite numerous requests.
    As Christians, we should never be afraid to discuss any topic and always be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It's good that people feel able to ask questions, but we now need church leaders willing to listen. Clearly, the need is great.
     
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  14. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Clearly, it is.
     
  15. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Just so you know, the Kindle edition of my book can be downloaded free of charge until this Thursday.
     
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  16. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Thank you, Steve! I've got it downloaded. Now to find time to read it! :)
     
  17. violet

    violet New Member

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    Congratulation on your new book Steve. I think it is good of you to write about such a difficult topic and make it much more understandable and justifiable.
     
  18. Eveline Page

    Eveline Page New Member

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    Congrats on your first book! More books to come! :)
     
  19. nightsky

    nightsky New Member

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    Congrats on your book, I wish you all the luck .
     
  20. Celine Fame

    Celine Fame New Member

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    Congratulations on your book.This is an achievement! I wish to have the same accomplishment.
     

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