Monday (August 1, 2011) is the official release date for my book From the Garden to the City, so I’m taking a few minutes to thank those people who took the time to read early versions and offer their words of endorsement. I covered the doctors in an earlier post, and now I’d like to introduce you to the artists.
My first experience of Matt was of his apparent powers of clairvoyance. After reading his excellent chapter in New Media Frontier, I sat down at my computer to find out who this three-named person was, and before I had even Googled him, he @replied me on Twitter. From that moment on, I’ve been just a little bit happier. We spent most of the last year or two encouraging each other as we wrote our first books (stop right now, click this link: Earthen Vessels and press “Buy it now”) and finally got to meet this spring in Los Angeles at CWC. I can’t wait to see what he does next. Hopefully, it’ll be something we do together.
As I write this, I’m still full from eating a pizza-sized quesadilla with John (and Rick) at lunch. It’s pretty rare to get the chance to share a meal with someone whom I respect both for their coding and their theology, and that’s part of what makes knowing John so special to me. He’s not just a wildly successful and influential web entrepreneur (or creative engineer or something), since I’ve known him he’s also become a husband, a father, a leader at several great companies and ministries, and (almost) a seminary graduate. The day he graduates will be a sad day for me, because it means he won’t have to come to Dallas and share a meal with me.
Tim Challies started blogging daily way before it was popular to do and way before anyone knew it could become an occupation. Since then he’s become the grandaddy of Christian blogging, not just for his longevity, but because he’s a consistently articulate thinker who takes strong, but careful stances on important issues. When I had just started working on my book, I saw Tim’s announcement that he too was working on a book about technology and faith. I hate to admit this, but at first I was actually a little deflated to hear about his book, not just because Tim is so popular or because he was picked up by a giant publisher, but because he’s just so well-read that I knew he’d blow my work out of the water. Of course that was just silly pride. In fact, Tim took the time to reach out to me, and we ended up working together on a small sentence that appears in both of our books. I hope the two works (The Next Story) are a kind of one-two punch, each serving a different need in the body of Christ.
Bob Lepine (@FTLBob)
You might be wondering how I happen to know Bob Lepine, co-host of Family Life Today. A few decades ago when my family moved to San Antonio, it just so happened that Bob was our next door neighbor. He invited us to the church where he was the lead singer and, as a kid, I loved that he always included a song like “Father Abraham” in the Sunday morning worship. In my eyes, he was also cool for letting me come over and play Wheel of Fortune on his sweet Commodore 64. On a more serious note, as I grew up in a home without a dad at home, Bob took time out to come over at important moments and teach me things like how to shave and how to tie a tie. Those tiny acts of generosity made an undeletable impact on my life, and I was so grateful that Bob continued his generosity toward me by reading and endorsing my work.
A few years ago, one of my professors at DTS started raving about a book called Culture Making. He even led a Friday reading group on the book which deeply impacted many of the students, broadening their theology and sense of what it means to be himan. Little did I know that a few years later, I’d be down in the hill country of West Texas at a small gathering of people interesting in technology and spirituality and get the chance to meet him. As with Albert Borgmann, I was nervous about meeting someone I look up to so much, and I was nervous about asking if he’s consider reading my manuscript. But Andy came through on both fronts. Not only is he warm and kind in person to a silly web developer like me, he was gracious and kind enough to read my book and offer some incredibly encouraging words about it. Thanks Andy!
If you want to see what these folks wrote, head over to http://fromthegardentothecity.com/. You can read the endorsements and download sample chapters.