Jesus was a Baptist

July 23, 2011

Did you know that? Of course he was. He was baptized by a Baptist, right?

Back during the first quarter of the year I was offered the opportunity to write this book for an Episcopal publishing house. I jumped at the opportunity because it was a paid writing opportunity (one of my goals this year) and because it gave me an opportunity to return to my roots as a Baptist and explore our distinctives anew.

What is this book about? The publisher is doing a whole series of books trying to re-introduce denominations to a new generation. The first book was Jesus was an Episcopal. I’m doing the Baptist version and there are Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and other denominations that are or will be written.

The book’s style will be similar to Seth Godin’s writing style. Shorter chapters. One sentence paragraphs. The kind of stuff I learned when I was in high school and college in the 1980’s & 1990’s, when I did my master’s degree, and the kind of writing found in EVERY dissertation.

Ummmm….Yeah, right.

This has been a huge challenge for me.

We were shooting for completion by the end of June, but with my back surgery and recovery, and trying to write in a whole new way, it’s taken a bit longer than I anticipated. But as of today, I have only 4 chapters to go in addition to editing. I hope to be finished with my piece next week.

Yep, that’s a chapter per day!

Hey, I wrote 4 chapters last week. Why not this week?

Plus, do you know how hard it is to consolidate all 5,000 versions of Baptist thought? Ok, not really, but you get my drift. We Baptists are diverse people!

I have to say this after all the writing about Baptist thought and distinctions. For the first time in a while I am proud be a Baptist.

Ok, I know that sounds all Michelle Obama-ish. But it’s true. There is a deep richness, entrepreneurialism, and semiotical aspect to Baptist thought, despite the fact that we are muts when it comes to theology, drawing from so many different traditions.

You know the problem Baptists have? We’re known for the wrong things.

Baptists are known for what they are against. We also tend to open our mouths and insert our feet quite a bit.

The thing Baptists should be emphasizing is our disaster relief efforts. If people knew about those, our reputation in this country might be more positive. And people might think better of us. And we might not be considered self-righteous, judgmental, and several other words I can repeat but won’t in this forum.

I can’t tell you how often I was told by people in our membership class that if they had known we were Southern Baptist they would have never come to our church.

Anyway, I hope it will be available in the next couple of months. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s about to hit the shelves.

As a side note, I want to thank my high school friend Rocky Porch Moore. Rocky and I graduated Scottsboro High School in Scottsboro, AL, together. Heck, we’ve practically known each other our whole lives, at least since 3rd grade when we were in a gifted & talented class together. She is my editor on the book in addition to the series editor. She’s been a huge help! And she’s really good!

Rocky is doing editing and writing for a living now, in addition to raising her kids and cows in Foley, Alabama. If you are a writer and need an editor, or if have an idea for a book and need a ghostwriter, check her out. She will do you a wonderful job.

I’ll try to get back to a regular blogging routine after next week, but until then, I’m chest-deep in Baptist thought!

 

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.