What have I missed out in ‘How to cope with the Church’?

There are a lot of things I have not included in this book.  You could probably think of several.  The reason for that is that I wanted to keep it short, simple and cheap.  I tried to concentrate on things I think people need to know.  Things that will help them overcome the most ‘popular’ difficulties in Church life.  If you have a few different ones, I am sorry.  If you let me know I will try to say something on my blog to help.  If I find there are enough, I will include them in my next book.

  • I have not said anything about other religions.  That is because I am trying to help people who are Christians or at least thinking of going to a Christian Church.
  • I have not dealt with any of the big intellectual difficulties some people have with the faith.  That is because most people I know are not worried about them.  I have tried to concentrate on the issues I think matter to most people.  If I am wrong, well, wait for the sequel.  Or get a book that does deal with your problem.
  • One thing I forgot to put on my last blog was the web address where you can order the book.  https://tsw.createspace.com/title/6534903

https://tsw.createspace.com/title/6534903

Have you seen the elephant?

No, I have not lost one.

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No! That’s not an elephant!

I recently heard someone saying that children these days do not seem to show as much awe and wonder at the marvelous creatures that they see in the zoo as ‘we’ did.  I am not sure who ‘we’ included, but never mind.

I can think of two reasons why this remark may contain some truth.

  1. Children these days do not want to show too much ‘awe and wonder’ at anything as it is not cool, so they say.
  2. Children have seen lots of wildlife documentaries and are better prepared than some previous generations for the sight of amazing animals.

At one time, most adults, let alone children, would not have seen foreign animals in the flesh.  At best they might have seen a picture in a book or a painting in a gallery.

035

No, that’s not one either!

During the American Civil War there was an expression ‘To See the Elephant’, meaning to experience a battle.  The point of the metaphor was that anyone who had not been in a battle could not know what it was like.  No description did it justice.  [Sorry if you are a War Poet or even a War Correspondent: I did not invent the expression!]  In the same way, if you had never seen an elephant, no description quite conveyed what one was like, but once you had seen one you knew.

Thinking of this, I can understand the difficulty people have when trying to talk about a religious experience.  Their descriptions either make it sound banal, or seem so bizarre as to be incredible.  That is because God is not like us.  He is different.  All you can do is to try to liken him to something else.  Nothing quite works.  That is why the Bible is full of imagery.  Much of it contradictory.  The writers were struggling to convey something they had experienced that was like nothing else.

I may be wrong, but the people I am most willing to believe concerning their religious experiences are those who have greatest difficulty in describing them.  Those who sound too glib make me suspicious.

There is a similar problem for us authors.  We want our writing to be credible.  We want readers to be able to relate to our characters.  Yet we want to make the reader feel something extraordinary is happening, or else the story seems too mundane.  Great writers manage to bridge the gap.  They use words to convey the unusual, perhaps the near-incredible, in a way that readers can understand and relate to.

Am I a great writer?  Wait and see.  I know I have a challenge.

 

How to cope with the Church?

While working on my first detective novel, I have continued to write and speak on a number of other subjects.  I am about to publish another non-fiction book called How to Cope with the Church.

It is not intended for regular, lifelong committed churchgoers.  It is not for convinced atheists or others who regard religion as totally irrelevant.  It is not for people who are followers of a religion other than Christianity.

It is intended for the many people who are somewhere in between.

  • If you go to Church sometimes.
  • If you used to go and are not sure about going back.
  • If you find prayer or Bible reading difficult.
  • If there are things you are not sure whether to believe or not.

If you are one of those people, you might find this little book helpful.  I hope so.

It is published on Amazon and Create Space.  It is not expensive, only 3.00 pounds.  It is available on Kindle too, where it is even less expensive, only 99 pence.  I will always have a few copies handy too.

List Price: 3.00
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
64 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537365039 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1537365037
BISAC: Religion / Christian Life / General
 Also on Kindle where it costs even less.

If you are a determined atheist this book is not for you. If you are strong in the faith it is not for you either. If you are somewhere in between, if you have problems with Church, Bible reading, prayer, if you have not been for a while and are nervous about going back, if you have doubts and questions and do not like to ask, then this book could be just what you need. John Harvey Murray shares insights gained from experience in many different churches on the journey of faith and life. If he can cope, so can you.

Go to CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/6534903
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ53GBS