This book I wrote

The Nature of Government - Front CoverI didn’t set out to write a book this summer. I had planned to write, but not a book, and to write fiction. But Michael, my dear friend, suggested in June that I teach what I’ve been learning about Lockean liberalism and equality.

I’ve been writing about liberalism here for years, but I’ve wanted to teach the church about it for over a quarter century. Up until about three years ago, I knew I didn’t know enough about it to write anything as comprehensive as a book would require. And my reading and writing this summer didn’t raise me from amateur status. I guess we all better be practicing amateurs at self-government, though with humility to hear out those who know more than we, not to mention those who think differently than we. Leaving government to the professionals, thankfully, isn’t in the American tradition, though either is humility.

Even after Michael’s suggestion, I didn’t set out to write a book. Instead, I wrote the script for six half-hour videos, and I filmed myself. But summarizing stuff to the point of comprehension makes me despair of comprehensiveness. I am more advocate than teacher, more adept at writing well-supported briefs than textbooks. So as soon as I finished the videos, I started the footnotes. By the time I forced myself to stop (school was starting in two days), I had written over ten thousand words of footnotes. The book took most of the summer to research and write.

Taken together, the book’s footnotes constitute a second and higher-level course on the video’s material.

My intended audience is Christian. It sounds exclusive to speak of an intended audience. But I have to pick an audience to have a chance at writing, even a chance at writing in my journal. I do think the book is accessible to people outside of the Christian faith, who, after all, may be interested in how I’d frame for evangelical Christians the material on liberalism I’ve been writing on this blog for over five years. And I was surprised how little different writing to Christians now feels from writing on my blog to everyone. That may be purely a function of how I’m beginning to see things.

I’m putting the videos on after their premieres at Michael’s place. The first three are available there now. I reckon the last three will be out in a month or two.

I self-published the book today on slow press. You can read a description of it here and the table of contents, a sample chapter, the works cited, and the index here.