Friday, 18 December 2015

Alan Jacobs on 2 kinds of Chirstian books

Alan Jacobs is one of my favourite writers.  Along with a number of his essays and articles online, thus far I've read this and this and this and over Christmas holidays I hope to read this.  Jacobs is a really good thinker and is very good at putting his thoughts into words. 

Over yonder is an astute observation that quite accurately and succinctly sums up most current and recent Christian publishing*.  Jacobs divides up most current Christian books into "Platitudes and Planners".  One group tells us truths that we mostly already know but doesn't explain how those truths are supposed to affect our daily lives.  The other group write what amount to how-to manuals for the Christian life but don't show their actual basis in theology or any depth of biblical exposition.  What we are missing today, Jacobs says, are good authors that are able to connect what we believe with how we live.   

I think Jacobs' observation is as least partly that is why the vast majority of my favourite authors are dead.  I eagerly await the list of exceptions to this rule that Jacobs plans to produce. 

*Actual Christian publishing, not including much of the crap that is not truly Christian in any honest or orthodox sense but that is nonetheless published by Christian publishing houses.