Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A couple of thousand words

I am trying to think about subjects that could helpfully be addressed in a couple of thousand words.

They need to be about what Christians believe. They need to be worth reading for anybody who would not call themselves a Christian. They need to be interesting, even if they are not popular.

I'm trying to write some short tracts; at least one.

Ideas I've had so far.

Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan becomes a Christian.
Bob Dylan drifts away from Christianity.

So that is three brilliant ones already. But your interests may lie elsewhere, and that is what I am hoping to find out.


Simone R. said...

It's probably not your scene, but how about some literary analysis... I have vague ideas about a series of tracts called 'one story' or 'one song' showing how all of our little narratives are in some way salutes to the great narrative of redemption. Obscure? Probably.

Could be called *imagine chasing cars* or something like that.

Unknown said...

1. God's judgment.
a. what is it?
b. why people don't talk about it
c. why God will judge me.
d. how can I stand before God? (Christ)
e. What must I do now?

2. The five reformation slogans

3. Trace one theme through the scriptures. I saw a brilliant one on the theme of God as shepherd and us as sheep. You could do a tract on being part of God's family OR being adopted by a Father OR a tract based on the prodigal son.

My only bit of advice is don't try and be too clever. I think it should be interesting, but not clever, if you know what I mean. The power is in the profound simplicity of the gospel.

Mark said...

My interest is piqued on the Dylan articles Gordo. I'd read anything on the man, the music and his (former?!) spirituality. Is he serving the devil or serving the Lord?

So is this project for fun, for work, or for both?

Gordon Cheng said...

Thanks Simone, Andrew and Mark for the ideas. I agree Andrew about not trying to be too clever. Unless it turns out to be clever and interesting to lots of people as well! And thank you for the topics too.

Mark it's work. But for it to be good work, I mean from the point of view of the people reading, it most likely needs to be fun as well.

Dylan—who knows? I would love to think that his early commitment continued, but it is hard to see that the interest on his part remains active.

It would be a 'niche' tract if it existed, but what's the point of having cheap printing these days if you can't do 'niche'.

Mark said...

Isn't ethics the new apologetics?!

There must be a 1000 different ethical issues you could cover in a 1000 words.

Issue > Biblical Theology > Systematics > Gospel

Izaac said...

Have you thought about being deliberately offensive?

Izaac said...

Paul Grimmond spoke at our campus meeting a few weeks ago and his introduction was titled "Boxes, boxes, boxes" about all people being either minimalists (throw everything away) or hoarders (keep everything in boxes).

This induced immediately the "Yeah, that's me" nods from the group. Paul himself was a hoarder. The idea of keeping our stuff in boxes on a shelf to get down and peruse or put away at our discretion is much the way we treat God. To which Paul proceeded to describe 'The God who won't stay in his box.'

In summary, you're probably higher up the Matthias Media food chain than Grimmo so (graciously) insist he does it.

Gordon Cheng said...

Hey Izaac,

I think Grimmo is working on the same project as I am.

Hmm, it would really mess with his head if I took his idea, courtesy of you, and submitted it as a draft for his comments.

Mwahahahahahahaaaaa [evil laugh]

Anonymous said...

My suggested topic is the reliability of the testimony of the Apostles to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In a sense everything stands or falls on whether or not we can believe them. Why would they have gone to their deaths for promoting a story they knew to be false? The historicity of Christianity is a stumbling block for many people, I think.

oh, and another good topic would be; The Bible; what it is like (several literary forms, but a unified message), what it says/is all about (biblical theology), what it claims for itself (authority)

and another one - a 2000 word summary of Peter Jensen's The Revelation of God

and another one; "John Calvin; One Righteous Dude"

Mark said...

Maybe I've missed the point, but one of your criteria Gordo is that non-Christians will want to read the tracts along with Christians - yes?

I think the topics need to touch on universal issues (eg. freedom) which you then can seek to subvert (like a ninja!) to a biblical position, rather than starting with topics that only Christians are interested in.