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Should you make people pay for a book about the Gospel?

I have some great news for you about the free gift of God’s amazing grace. And, I’ll tell you about it for only $19.95.

Is it just me, or does something seem very wrong about the idea of making people pay to learn about the Gospel?

I’m wrestling with that as I try to decide what to do with my Gospel book. I would guess that it’s now about 60% complete and I need to start making some decisions about what to do with it. I started this project primarily for my own benefit and for my church. So, I don’t have a lot invested in actually publishing it. But, I would like to make it available to people when it’s done.

A very large part of me just wants to put it up on the internet for free and let anyone download and use it as they will. It’s the Gospel! Use it well; spread it widely. I’ve also considered self-publishing so I could charge a low price for a hard copy and still make it available for free on the internet. But I’ve heard some stories about how much work self-publishing actually entails. And, I also understand the benefits of having a publisher who will work with me to ensure that the book is done well and who can make sure that people actually hear about the book. Free (or cheap) isn’t very helpful if people don’t know it’s there.

Thus, my quandary. What do you think? I don’t do a lot of polls on this site (actually, none). But, I thought I’d give it a shot on this one. So, please cast your vote below. And, feel free to offer some comments below if you’d like to engage this question a bit more.

Also, please  spread the word about this poll. I’d like to get as much feedback on this as I can.

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/28)

Some good links for your Saturday reading pleasure:

  • Sharon Baker explains why she thinks we need to seriously rethink our understanding of hell.
  • Carl Trueman wraps up his reflections on Luther’s writings against the Jews by reflecting on what we can learn from all of this today.
  • Peter Leithart discusses the shame/guilt dichotomy and summarizes Douglas Cairns’ argument that the classical external/internal framework usually used to understand shame and guilt simply does not hold up to scrutiny – unless you understand it as a political move to make the private spirituality of the Enlightenment look superior.
  • Jonathan links to some free book giveaways. You can pick up books on biblical theology, leadership, and apologetics.
  • Boyd Morrison has some good thoughts on the decision of whether to self-publish.
  • Steve Holmes discusses the New Perspective, arguing that the criticism that the Protestant tradition has prioritized justification over union with Christ is wrong. Instead, he suggests that union with Christ has been central (at least to Reformed theology) from the very beginning.
  • Fred Sanders has an outstanding reflection on the passing of Donald Bloesch. This is a must read if you want to understand who Bloesch was and why he’s important.
  • And,  if you’re a Star Trek TNG fan, you should check out this casting memo discussing actors originally considered for key roles. Wesley Snipes as Geordi? What, is there a terrorist on the Enterprise somewhere?