This One Thing Hasn’t Changed Since I Published Coffeehouse Theology in 2008

Coffeehouse-angled

In preparation for the release of my first book in 2008, I decided that it was time to check out this new fangled internet site called “Facebook.” I didn’t really want to join, but the publishing magazines I’d been reading said, “Authors have to join Facebook and then everyone will buy all of the books and you’ll be an amazeballs bestseller overnight!!!”

So now I’m on Facebook for better or worse. I didn’t become an overnight amazeballs bestseller. In fact, very few authors became bestsellers thanks to Facebook. However, I at least managed to follow through on publishing that book, which remains my best-selling and most popular book with readers and reviewers.

I started the book with this simple question: How do Christians determine what they believe?

It wasn’t all that easy to answer.

After reading a good deal of scripture, philosophy, and theology, I wrote a readable little book called Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life that remains popular with college students and Sunday School classes.

Beginning with the relationship of cultural context and theology, Coffeehouse Theology roots the study of scripture in the church’s mission to advance God’s Kingdom. Far from dividing the church, theology unites the church in a dynamic dialogue about the presence of God, his revelation in scripture, and the wisdom of the historic and global churches.

We all want to read the Bible faithfully and responsibly, taking into account the ways its original context collides our contemporary context today and the traditions we’ve inherited. Coffeehouse Theology can help you do that—at least Scot McKnight said so in the Forward, so take it up with him if you disagree (and yes, I just named-dropped but it was terrifying to ask him to write the Forward as a new author, so there).

I was terrified that Coffeehouse Theology would immediately become a relic of its time and that readers who picked it up in, say, six or seven years would struggle to relate. I worried that I was writing a book that fit purely into the moment, a fad that I would never mention in the years to come.

I’ll admit, there’s a chapter or two that feel a little dated when I peek at them lately, but overall, I’m still really proud of this book. The central ideas still resonate with me:

  • If we aren’t aware of our context or the original context of the Bible, we will be at their mercy.
  • Theology should bring us together in order to learn and grow rather than to engage in battles over who is “right.” (This was the “coffeehouse” part of the book.)
  • Good theology should lead us to action and deeper spiritual formation.
  • We overlook the wisdom of the global and historic churches to our detriment.

 

Of course this book may not be your cup of tea. I admit, for as many readers who have enjoyed its accessibility, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a theology book that deals with lots of ideas. If you’re new to theology, it will be a stretch. If you’re a veteran of theology, it will leave you wanting more.

However, for many of us who want to be aware of how we shape our beliefs without reading a mountain of books with tiny fonts and enormous words, Coffeehouse Theology is a good first step that I’m still proud to have written. For all that has changed (and failed!) since I entered Christian publishing, it’s nice to know that my first book wasn’t a complete waste of time!

 

Best yet, Coffeehouse Theology is $2.99 on Kindle for the first time ever this week.

Download it on Amazon now!

 

Can you help spread the word?

Here’s a sample tweet for the Twitters:

Download Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life by @edcyzewski for $2.99 http://ow.ly/GTlZb

 

And while we’re at it…

My second-most-popular book A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth, is on sale this week as well for $.99 on Kindle.

Download A Christian Survival Guide here.

 

Do you have another theology book that has been meaningful or accessible for you? If I had to list a favorite contemporary theology book, I think it would be Renewing the Center by Stanley Grenz.

Free Books to Read This Summer

A Christian Survival Guide a Lifeline to Faith and Growth

Paying for books is so last century. This week you have a chance to pick up several of my books for completely free or to enter a giveaway to win a print copy.

For starters, my publisher is giving away 15 copies of A Christian Survival Guide in a Goodreads giveaway.

Just hop over to Goodreads to enter.

A Christian Survival Guide takes on some the most challenging questions in the Christian faith:

  • How do we interpret the Bible 2,000 years after it was written?
  • Is Hell really a place of eternal conscious torment?
  • Is God actually able to deliver us from evil?
  • Do we need someone to deliver us from God’s violence?
  • Are we unworthy of Jesus if we’re “ashamed” to share the Gospel?

These questions and many more are addressed in A Christian Survival Guide. It’s not a book that will give you all of the answers. Rather, you’ll be given a place to think through the options presented from scripture so you can take your next step.

Of course if you don’t want to take any chances, you can pre-order A Christian Survival Guide today so that it will arrive on its July 27th release.

Pre-order on Amazon or from the publisher

 

Over at NoiseTrade Books I’m currently giving away two eBooks:

The Coffeehouse Theology Bible Study Guide

If you’re tired of only reading theology from white North American males, this is the book that will introduce you to the conversational approach I take in Coffeehouse Theology and walk you through a series of Bible studies with insights from historic and global Christian perspectives.

Download the Bible Study Guide Today.

 

A Path to Publishing: What I Learned by Publishing a Nonfiction Book

A Path to Publishing is my big picture introduction to book publishing that walks new authors through the basics of book publishing from developing an idea, to writing a book, to marketing a finished book. It’s ideal for commercial and self-publishing, and I’ll answer every question that new writers ask because I wrote it right after I asked all of those same questions.

Download A Path to Publishing Today.

 

If you need some personal interactions, encouragement, and feedback in order to take the leap into publishing, but you can’t afford a writing conference that costs hundreds of dollars, you can also sign up for my Journey into Publishing online community. We start on August 14th and will meet for six online sessions. The cost is only $60

Learn more about my Journey into Publishing community.

Coffeehouse Theology Event at CLC Bookcenter in Moorestown, NJ

coffeehousetheology230 The press release for my next book event follows:

South Jersey native Ed Cyzewski will be discussing his book Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life at the CLC Bookcenter in Moorestown, NJ on Saturday, September 25th at 11 AM.

Cyzewski will address where our beliefs about God come from, including the impact that cultural values have in shaping Bible reading. The talk will cover how to study the Bible, how the Bible shapes our beliefs, and how our beliefs impact our actions. Coffeehouse Theology is an ideal introduction to theology for Christians who want to dig deeper into what they believe.

Reviewer David Swanson writes in Leadership Journal, “I would recommend the book to almost any member of my church.” Publisher’s Weekly writes that Cyzewski “urges readers to explore theology while reassuring them that they don’t have to become postmodern philosophers: theology can be considered, as it were, in the coffeehouse,” and adds, “Personal anecdotes of his own growth in faith are disarming in their honesty”

Ed Cyzewski has contributed to several books including the NLT Holy Bible Mosaic and written for numerous magazines such as Adirondack Life and Leadership Journal. He blogs at www.edcyz.com. For reviews and sample chapters of Coffeehouse Theology, visit http://www.navpress.com

The CLC Bookcenter is located on 401 RT 38 across from the Moorestown mall. For more information, call 856-866-2688