Breaking Beautiful: Is it sad that I have to say this is not a ruse?

I’m not an April Fool’s guy. I’ve never been much of a prankster on any day. I cannot enjoy another person’s discomfort, it trips my internal justice meter. If I’m around someone who is playing a practical joke I will purposefully ruin the joke before it ever happens because I can’t stand to see someone hung out to dry like that. It just bother’s me.

So it never even entered my mind that people would think it was a prank when I posted Breaking Beautiful yesterday on Facebook. I knew it was April 01 and had read about Google and Hulu and their 2013 pranks, but I always consider the big tech-culture fascination with April Fool’s day to be silly and childish (which is, you know, my problem not theirs… I’m always so earnest… must learn to lighten up).

Here’s what happened. I was at Amazon.com looking up the title of the John Piper book that he wrote in an unsuccessful attempt, to controvert N.T. Wright’s version of the New Perspective on Paul. One of the “similar work” suggestions on Amazon was this project I’m working on for The House Studio. I wasn’t aware that the project was out there yet. I got excited, and posted a link to Facebook saying that I could now die a happy man.

Late last  night I got some messages from folks asking if it was a ruse. I thought – of course! That’s what I would think, too. I mean, let’s tell the truth here people: the difference between me and N.T. Wright is …let’s just say that we are not playing at the same level. Nevertheless, it’s not a joke, although I supposed it is kind of funny – if not really sad for me – that my friends would think it so utterly absurd that I’d have to explicitly say it is not a ruse (Thanks for the confidence people).

Before you start to think more highly of me than you ought to, me and N.T. Wright are not lab partners. Wright recorded these videos for The Work of the People. The House Studio is repackaging them in a DVD form and I’m writing the book that goes along with those videos. Basically my job is to riff off of what N.T. Wright talked about in the video, give some background to his work, try to help the normal everyday Christian to fill in some of the theological gaps so that they can interact with Wright’s important themes.

By most accounts N.T. Wright is one of the 2-3 greatest living theologians, and may well end up being the singular giant of his generation. It seems likely to me that fifty years from now people will talk about Wright in the same way we talk about Karl Barth today. Nobody in future generations will be able to do serious Pauline Theology, nor will they be able to work with the biblical theme of resurrection, without dealing directly with N.T. Wright. He’s a theological titan. I’m grateful to get to help people interact with his thinking.

Also – just as a quick heads up so nobody thinks I’m trying to pull a fast one: I also signed a contract with Zondervan earlier this year to write  a book called Shrink, a project about which I am extremely excited. It’s loosely based on this article, and this one, and this one that I wrote for The Huffington Post. Book is due out in 2014; not April first, as far as I know.

About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at TimSuttle.com

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of RedemptionChurchkc.com. He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • http://www.Yeshua21.com Wayne

    I must admit that it crossed my mind that it might be a joke, but I was almost certain it was real when the link to us to Amazon and not your blog (where you might have explained the joke if it had been one). And when I did a google search for the title, I found it had also been announced on thousands of other sites.

    Clearly, it’s a feather in your cap, whether or not you get to rub elbows with the man–congratualtions!

    Wayne

    p.s. does this mean you won’t be passing my essay on Romans 7 and Galations 5 along to N.T.? ;)
    http://jeshua21.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/essay-on-romans-7-and-galatians-5.pdf

    • Edith M. Humphrey

      I agree. The marketing is deceptive, and I think that it should be made clear, immediately, before the book is released, that this is not a co-authored book.

  • Nathan

    This should have been made clear in the marketing of the book. To me, there has been a lack of integrity in the way this has been pitched as a partnership and co-authouring between you and NT Wright…especially since he had no idea it was being done.

  • brianleport

    I agree w. Nathan. Michael Bird asked Tom Wright about this book and Wright said he knows nothing about it. This has begun to cause some confusion already. You may want to address Bird’s questions on his recent blog post (and reconsider the marketing approach): http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2013/05/the-mystery-of-tom-wrights-new-book-that-he-didnt-write/


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