Counterfeit Gospels: The Back Story (How an Idea Becomes a Book)

Counterfeit Gospels wasn’t the book I initially wanted to write, but it’s now the book I’m glad I wrote.

The Development of a Book Idea

As I wrapped up work on Holy Subversion, I remember thinking: Well, Trevin, this is it! Your first and last book. There’s no way you could come up with enough material to write another book. Writing is hard work. You pour so much of yourself into a book that when you finish, you doubt you could ever do it again.

Over time, that feeling went away. About a year after I completed Holy Subversion, I got to work on a second proposal. My idea was to lead readers through twelve chapters of theology in a way that underscores the breathtaking beauty of Truth – particularly the truth of the gospel and the grand narrative of Scripture. I titled the idea Beautiful Truth, a concept based on a post I had written called “Truth is Beautiful.”

Several publishers liked the concept, but the consensus was that my sample chapter was focused so much on getting the “truth” component right that I had failed to make it exceedingly “beautiful”. So, I went back to my notepad and began working on a sample chapter that would magnify the beauty of the atonement. I worked hard to make the sample chapter more devotional and less didactic. (Parts of that chapter eventually were included in Counterfeit Gospels.)

A New Direction

At the end of the day, the editors at Moody were …

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Q&A with Pope Benedict: Notable Quotes

I recently read through the Q&A with Pope Benedict, an interview published as Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times. I highlighted several sections and would like to share them here (along with some corresponding thoughts of my own).

On the State of Our World

First, George Weigel prefaces the Q&A by reminding us of the world we live in. I think that his analysis of the world’s loss of a meta-narrative to be spot on:

What the Pope sees, and what he discusses with frankness, clarity, and compassion… is a world that has lost its story: a world in which the progress promised by the humanisms of the past three centuries is now gravely threatened by understandings of the human person that reduce our humanity to a congeries of cosmic chemical accidents: a humanity with not intentional origin, no noble destiny, and thus no path to take through history.

Truth, Judgment, and Love

Once the Q&A begins, there are plenty of noteworthy quotes from the pope. One of the key themes of this book is the need to hold together the idea of love and judgment. Recent scandals have forced this issue upon Catholics, but wee as evangelicals need to hear this truth just as badly, particularly in regards to church discipline:

The prevailing mentality was the the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather, a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased …

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