Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reaping the Benefits...

After blogging fairly consistently for the last five or so years I have finally begun to enjoy the fruit of my back-breaking, hard fought labor: I got a free book.

The story is quite whimsical and grand straight-forward and simple, the only surprising part is that I qualified for the giveaway (don't mind that, it's just my auto self-loathing pilot kicking on). On Twitter I follow Tullian Tchividjian, who is a pastor down in Florida. A few weeks ago he tweeted that his publisher, Crossway, was giving out free copies of his new book, Surprised by Grace, to the first hundred bloggers that emailed Crossway with a link to their blog. In the spirit of grace they wanted to give away the books with no strings attached, each blogger free to do or not do whatever they wanted with the book.

I was honestly surprised that, at least in theory they viewed my blog, and yet STILL they sent me the book. Please don't think this is bad judgement on their part (though it might be), but for me it's just more of a comment on the blogger, or not-blogger, that I am. After 5 years of blogging I guess I'm still not sure what my blog is for, who it is for, and why I continue to occasionally do it. What with my recent existential freakout I had on the question of whether or not to attempt to be funny, I guess my blogger persona must suggest a little muddled schizophrenia to the person and peoples who live outside of my brain.

All that to say that I am excited and honored to be bestowed with this gift that is a direct result of my frustrating/ambivalent effort to be regarded as a blogger. As we learned from Spiderman I (and maybe the Bible too?...can't remember) with great power comes great responsibility. Though it wasn't specifically asked of me I do plan on reading the book with a critics eye and giving an unblinking review. I'm actually afraid to do that because I don't want to piss off the publisher (please note they specifically encouraged us to be honest), but above all else I hate when Christians gladhand around with giant smiles on their faces and vapid praise on their lips. Though the causes are many, I think a lot of that played-out mentality comes from the spirit of "Hey we're all in this together, so to criticize is to say you're against me." It's true that Christians are "all in this together" but that doesn't cancel the existence of talent, wisdom, taste etc. I bought his first book a few years back and I wasn't too impressed with it, but I really do have high hopes for this one...we'll see.