WRITER’S CRAMP

It is with great pleasure that I announce the inauguration of the Eutychus V religious book award program. The program is designed to upgrade the quality of contemporary religious books.

The staggering dimensions of the problem came to me on a recent visit to the offices of CHRISTIANITY TODAY when I took a look at the shelves that house book rejects.

What can I do, I asked myself, to improve the quality of religious books offered on the market? My first idea was to cut off all the fingers of the religious book writers of the world. Undoubtedly, this intrepid, hard-to-discourage lot would simply learn to operate their typewriters cum naso.

Perhaps by selective breeding, I thought, we could eliminate the “writing compulsion” gene. However, by the time we had an effective program there would be fifty thousand worthless new religious books on the market.

The possibility of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on religious book publishing houses together with the bombing of a few strategic presses was attractive but too risky.

And then came my moment of revelation. Don’t be negative—be positive. Offer the authors an incentive for quality.

So my program of awards was born. There are three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and tripe.

The fiction category includes collected sermons, devotional books, Christian biographies, Bible commentaries, and most books by dispensationalists.

Non-fiction includes only some new translations of the Bible and Calvin’s Institutes.

Tripe includes all books that have any form of the words unique, contemporary, relevant, or exciting on the dust jacket. Also included are all books by authors citing D.D., Litt.D., and L.H.D. degrees and all books promising the rediscovery of God’s truth that ...

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