Mike Hyatt, the President of Thomas Nelson Publishing, has a blog that I read regularly. In a recent post, he recounts a conversation with one of his editors about an upcoming book by one of their most popular writers. In that conversation, the editor laments that the new book really doesn't offer anything fresh. I don't know which author they were talking about but one name jumped to mind for me. Some writers just to seem to be a "one-tune" player; they have one message that they attempt to repackage in as many ways as possible. Is this an aspect of the the "green" movement and another form of recycling of which I was not aware? I appreciate Mike's transparency in sharing this this story and his efforts to dissect the problem.
King Solomon, a man the Bible calls the wisest man to ever live, commented on this dilemma when he said, "There is nothing new under the sun." While that may be true, the living God continues to reveal Himself in new and fresh ways to those who seek Him. I think that's the real job of the Christian writer: to seek God and to listen for His voice. It's in those fresh encounters with the living God that the next great books are born. They will not be born out of copying the successful writings of the secular genre of writing and giving them a Christian twist. Perhaps the most disappointing observation of my time in Christian retail has been the proliferation of a "me, too" approach in producing products (books, music and gifts) that simply mimic what we perceive to be successful in the secular market. We will give God our best work when we first sit at His feet. It's only then that we will be able to pass along in our writing what He has taught us.
There are great writers out there offering great content to readers born out of the author's fresh encounters with God. Who are some of your favorite?