What is my book about?
While I was at the conference I was often asked what I was writing. When I said a book the next question, of course, was what is it about? My response often began, “Well, it is a non-fiction Christian living book. It’s about God …” (!) Even after many different attempts to answer this question I am still struggling to find a concise way of explaining what it is about.
As part of my book proposal I need to think about “the competition” that is, other books on the market that discuss the same topic. So after reading numerous book summaries I decided that Philip Yancey’s book, “Disappointment with God” was the most similar and I am currently reading it. Already though I’ve decided that my book is quite different. Yancey looks directly at three questions, Is God unfair? Is He silent? Is He hidden? I only look at these topics indirectly. My book looks more directly at our struggle with God’s Sovereignty. At the moment the best way I can describe it is to say it is about the frustration Jonah feels in Jonah chapter 4. I wrote a post about this.
Interestingly Yancey also mentions Jonah and quotes Robert Frost summary of the book of Jonah who says, “After Jonah, you could never trust God not to be merciful again.” I was always find sentences with double negatives somewhat confusing but this one works quite well. It is more powerful and more accurate than saying, you can always trust God to be merciful (Ananias, Sapphira, Uzzah, Nadab and Abihu may not have considered God to be merciful.). Still it all gets back to God’s Sovereignty. God has the right to be merciful to whoever He chooses regardless of whether I think the person is worthy of mercy or not.