Monday, September 21, 2009

First Draft of Introduction

Ten days ago Kevin asked me to write an introduction to the book that answers as least some of the following questions:

  • What, exactly, is this book about?
  • How is it differentiated from other, similar books?
  • Why should I read this book and not any one of 1000 other books on the Christian life?
  • What will I gain from reading it?
  • Will my benefit be worth the cost?
  • Is this author able to connect with me through clear and straightforward writing?
  • Does he seem to know what he is talking about?
  • Does he have reasonable credentials to write on this subject?
  • Do I feel welcomed into this book?
  • Is the author going to lecture me or encourage me? (Does he motivate by grace?)
I have been waiting for a quiet afternoon free from other responsibilities to tackle this. But around noon today, several ideas came to mind, so I started writing and worked on the intro sporadically throughout the day. Nine hours and 1600 words later, my first draft is complete.

I took Kevin's suggestion that I craft this introduction to capture what may be the unique thing about this book - the synthetic approach to the subject of holiness. Lots of books deal with some aspect of holiness or another: the content of the gospel, the nature and means of spiritual transformation, the work of the Spirit, the necessity of putting sin to death, the role of community, etc. I've benefited from many of these books by authors I love. But what I wanted to capture in my book was a big picture approach, that puts all these pieces together.

Kevin also suggested that I use my lead from chapter one for the introduction. I decided not to do that, and go with a new lead instead. I also tried to make the introduction more personal by referring to my own spiritual journey. Finally, I use the introduction to lay out a plan for the book - almost a road map to what's coming. I'm curious to see how Kevin thinks this first draft does in answering the above questions.

2 comments:

Bill Clarke September 24, 2009 at 3:52 AM  

Wow! Now those are some great questions! Does it matter what you're writing? Those questions apply to any topic or critical writing assignment.

Kevin Meath September 24, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

Variations on these questions apply to just about anything, don't they? Somehow, we still usually forget to ask them, and/or are we aren't very careful about answering them.

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