New Cover Story
‘Rome was not built in a day.’ We use that cliché when we want to remind someone (or ourselves), that some things just take time.
When we first were asked by church leaders in Africa to write a short commentary on the questions from our ‘little book’, Simple Truths for the New Believer, we agreed. We agreed that such a book would be helpful and, when we first thought about it, we didn’t think that it would take too long to write.
Turns out, we were mistaken. What we had not taken into consideration was the multitude of decisions we would need to make as we wrote. Biblical decisions, theological decisions, grammatical decisions – each had to be carefully considered as we shaped each chapter.
I once heard a prominent theologian say that it ‘is very hard to simplify something without distorting it.’ In the Preface to the first book in a new series titled, Short Studies in Systematic Theology, Graham Cole writes:
Thankfully, the contributors to this series have the ability to be brief, yet accurate. The key aim is that the simpler not morph into the simplistic. The test is whether the topic of a short study, when further studied in depth, requires some unlearning to take place. The simple can be amplified. The simplistic needs to be corrected.
Our goal in writing our book is to be simple, without being simplistic. At this moment, the manuscript is in the hands of sixteen different readers: seminary professors, housewives, retired church leaders, English teachers, and content editors – in the hopes of finding the blemishes and missteps, so that, when the book goes to press, it will be an accurate, clear and simple tool that will help people know God better. Pray that it will be so.