Proof Positive That God Wants You to Read My Book

Proof Positive That God Wants You to Read My Book September 4, 2008

If you were a Christian retailer—that is, if you sold or had any commercial interest in Christian books, CD’s, DVD’s, and so on—you would faithfully (so to speak) read Christian Retailing magazine. And so recently you would have read there this review of Being Christian, the book authored by Famous Christian Personality Stephen Arterburn and me, which is just now out in stores:

Being Christian: Exploring Where You, God, and Life Connect, Arterburn’s latest offering, written with co-author John Shore (I’m OK – You’re Not ), pushes the author into new territory. The work is written as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) book on faith, a veritable primer of theology for the layperson.

Being Christian is divided into two main sections, with ‘God Inside’ focusing on issues such as one’s relationship with self and others, and ‘God Outside,’ delving into the Bible and the church. It tackles the questions not only of Christians, but also of agnostics, atheists and adherents of other faiths.

“The authors also provide sage advice on choosing a church, selecting a Bible translation, praying for one’s enemies and many other topics, even explaining the difference between a ‘fundamentalist’ and an ‘evangelical.’ Especially helpful is their survey of the entire Bible and profiles of important figures from the Old Testament. [For examples, see below.]

“Arterburn and Shore write in a conversational, humorous voice, but deliver solid content. Being Christian will benefit new believers as well as veterans of the faith.” ––Christian Retailing

So. Lovely.

As to those “especially helpful profiles of important figures from the Old Testament,” here’s an excerpt from the book:

Q. Who are some of the main/most important people in the Old Testament?

A. Here you go:

God  Created the universe. Quite famous. Is watching you right now. Back in the day, chose to reveal and very much involve himself in the life of the Israelites. Being people–which is to say, being extremely independent and stubborn–they tended to have real mixed feelings about that.

Adam  Hebrew word meaning “man.” It wasn’t his fault that he ate the apple. (See Question #?, “What is original sin?” on page ?) Eve made him eat it. Famous quote: “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Eve  Hebrew word meaning “life-giver.” It wasn’t her fault that she and Adam apple-gnoshed. Satan made her do it. Famous quote: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Satan  Guilty! Forever! Needs to be executed, ASAP. The first of his two big appearances in the Old Testament is in the Garden of Eden. (Famous quote, from Genesis 3:4, where he’s explaining to Eve why it’s perfectly all right for her to eat the fruit God has forbidden her and Adam: “You surely will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” What a slime bag.) His second big OT appearance happens in the book of Job, when Skank Boy makes a bet with God that he can break Job. (His famous quote there is from Job 1:7, where he answers God’s question of where he’s come from with, “From roaming through the earth, and going back and forth in it.” Can’t you just feel the ooze dripping of that cretin?)

Cain  Adam and Eve’s first born son. He killed his younger brother, Abel. Famous quote (from when, in Genesis 4:9, God asks him where Abel is): “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Abel  Seemed like a nice guy. Certainly deserved a better fate.

Noah  First, while busily constructing his ark, he was the subject of much derision and merriment. Later, not so much. Famous, pretty-much-wraps-it-up quote from Bible about him: “And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.”

Abraham  Descendant of Noah. Patriarch of the Hebrew race. God established his covenant (that is, made his sacred promise) with Israel by saying to Abraham (in Genesis 17:6-8), “I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” And that’s the beginning of the long process by which the man formerly known as Abram became “Father Abraham.” Famous, heartbreaking quote, said to his beloved son Isaac just as he was about to behead him in obedience to God’s command to do that very thing, and in response to Isaac’s asking him about the whereabouts of the lamb he thought they were preparing to sacrifice: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

Sarah  Abraham’s wife. One extremely durable trooper. Famous quote (upon overhearing God say that she, an old woman, would become pregnant): “After I am worn out and my husband is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

[And from here we go on through many other Famous Old Testament Characters. This was one of my favorite parts of the book to work on; I loved it.]


Okay! Thanks for reading! I’m off to hang curtain rods in our dining room! Pray I don’t drill my thumb into the wall!


Related/follow-up post: How My/Our Book, “Being Christian,” Was Edited


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Must….resist…engaging in long and not-fun arguments….must….resist….

    Awww, okay, just one:

    "Satan Guilty! Forever! Needs to be executed, ASAP."

    So…why doesn't god just do it? Or not create him in the first place?

    But anyway, congrats on your success John! If I ever become a Christian again, I promise to buy it.

  • Cibola

    I love the excerpts. It does have a conversational, humorous voice. Sounds like a great read. Congratulations on the release!

  • Well, that explains it! I was in Barnes & Noble last weekend looking for your new book….and wondered why it was not on the shelf. Ha! Guess I need to go and look for it again this weekend! 🙂

  • Judy

    What a coincidence you blogged about your new book being out. I just ordered it today (online) from Crossings book club. I'm looking forward to reading it. Steve Arterburn is a favorite of mine from his New Life radio broadcast. Congrats, John .

  • Morse: You already know MY answer to that quarellsome query, so I'll assume you meant it for others. Like Skerrib, for instance.

    Mike: Thanks! Sort of!

    Christine: Thanks very much! Order it from NZ Amazon! No, but I'd like you to read it, and see what you think. I'm inordinately proud of this one; if I never do another book as good as this one, I'll die pleased with my work. We think it should become a classic.

    Cibola: Thank you very much.

    Kelly: Not all stores, of course, carry all of the 200,000 books published every year. But I hope you do find it!

    Judy: Bless your heart. Lemme know what you think of the book, please. I'd like to know. Thanks.

  • God DOES exist!! No he doesn’t!! Yes he does!! No he doesn’t!!

    Oh wait, we’re not there yet. 🙂

    Very nice on the book. Since God has provided this divine proof, I’d better read it.

  • Nice review John. Hopefully it will sell enough so you can keep that gnarly washer/dryer combo! As with Morse; should I ever suspend rational thought again, I will put you on my books-to-buy list. (actually I would check with the library first) 🙂

  • Christine

    Dude I want this book. No I NEED this book. The exerpt made me laugh out loud but was so cleverly written!!! Well done John, When does it come over here??

  • Congratulations! Thank you for sharing those very funny excerpts with us! 🙂

  • minnowspeaks

    My blog was visited yesterday somehow and it lead me to your post on going to hell with your gay friends. Anyway, since that was posted back in April I thought I'd say hello here (in September) and I truly appreciated your post back in April.

  • arlywn

    yep, havta side with morse here too. Loved satan… why isnt he in the bible more? It might actually be interesting to read then.

    Congratulations on the book. Might have to buy it for my brother, cause you know that non christians gotta maintain their reputation on being anti god, and reading a book about god…. that comes too close to the line, lol.

    oh and leon was so packing… you dodged a bullet there.

  • FreetoBe

    Yay, John! Yay, John! I want this book. Excerpts are great, but I want the real deal! OK, I don't do on-line ordering, so can I go to my local Christian bookstore and DEMAND they order it for me? OK, not demand, but is that how it works? Is your book OUT out, like available to everyone, or just through certain suppliers?

    OK, I'll just have to do this myself………((((grumble, grumble)))))

  • Paul


    Yes, it is out – if your Christian Bookstore doesn't have it yet, have them call New Day – we've been shipping it since the 26th and have a FEW left! We'll get more, I promise.

  • Ross


    How does co-authoring a book actually work?

    Do you say, "I'll take paragraphs 1-5…you get 6-10…" or do you each write different chapters or what?

    Just wondering.

  • Candace

    My Christian bookstore got it for me last week. I had asked them about it on Monday, and they had it for me by Thursday. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but I really like it so far.

    I tend to be a tad skeptical about claims that a book will appeal strongly to the whole spectrum — "newbies" all the way up through those who have some time in. But, in my opinion, thee claim is in this case justified.

    Worth the $$$. And I hardly ever buy the hardcover of anything.

  • Laura

    Watch out for the curtain rods. The day before our wedding, my husband almost sliced his ring finger off hanging curtain rods. I wouldn't have freaked out, either, except that it was his left hand and it made for some very humorous (and painful) moments when I was trying to put his ring on his finger over the stiches/bandages.

  • Congratulations!

    and as always engagingly funny post and comments!

  • Judy

    Doggone it! I got an email today saying your book was out of stock and they hoped to have it in in 30 days. I'm bummed. But, that means it's SELLING! Great.

  • rickroll

    interestingly, i heard that a nieboring religon had a serpant as the god of thier creation story. The serpent in the garden could be thought of as a reference to this in a way of putting down the other beliefs in the area, and that it is more appropriate to think of the serpent as this other demon rather than Satan himself.

    BY the by, any discussion about lilith? Oh that's right, Jews don't know anything about the bible, silly me!

  • FreetoBe

    Paul & Candace, thanks for the info. I'll go order today!

  • Judy

    John, I got your book in the mail today.