On February 1, 2022, following hints and rumors and hearsay, I finally got to talk to Pastor Vermon Pierre about the book he’s writing. I really didn’t know much about it, but I knew that he had taken time off to work on it and he was still carving out the hours to write in a disciplined way (plus there’s a newborn in the house!).
I wanted the update!
Tentatively titled Dearly Beloved (I hear that James Nwobu was really involved with this tentative title), it also has a subtitle that is thematically significant. Here’s the whole thing. Tentatively, of course:
Dearly Beloved: Relationships and Community as the Bride of Christ
Nice. Catchy, but meaty.
And Vermon has a book deal, signed last spring! I say this because I never have a book deal—not ever. I just write and think, Someone will like this, right? So, yes, I was curious about the logistics. Moody Publishers, out of Chicago, contracted him to turn in a manuscript by April 1. Pretty legit. And he works with the Acquisitions Editor. It might, possibly, maybe (these are mysterious things), hopefully appear by the end of the year? He’s already done drafting for every chapter.
Relationships in life are difficult, in general;
they are difficult within the Church, in particular.
What is this book? Well, the bigger subject focuses on what it means to be the Bride of Christ. Initially, he was thinking of looking especially at the Song of Solomon, but then he decided to go broader—What are relationships like in the life of the Church? Relationships in life are difficult, in general; they are difficult within the Church, in particular.
How do we love and develop our relationships within the Church? How do we best describe this love, these relationships? We might look at the love of Christ.
How do we see each other as Jesus sees us? His love is a marital love; He loves us as the Beloved Bride. We want to love each other with that kind of beloved love.
With this framework in mind, Vermon will be looking at several categories including the following: intimacy, presence, conflict, passion, commitment, grace, and perseverance. Each will be a chapter.
What kind of book will this be? Who will read it? Is this for the systematic theology junkies? The daily-devotional crowd? Those interested in hot topics in Church life? Vermon said he’s not pitching it as overly-academic. It’s relationship-centric. It will presuppose some knowledge of the Bible, but it won’t be reading a dissertation.
When I asked Vermon about his own writerly preferences, he offered up a nice array of Who’s Who. He likes the clear style of N.T. Wright, the cultural awareness of C.S. Lewis, and the thoughtfulness of Tim Keller. Recently, he read Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund, and he liked Ortlund’s set-up and form—there were short, multiple chapters which created a kind of momentum in the reading.
What is the greatest challenge in writing the book? “It’s kinda just writing the book.” (Touché!)
And will this first book be the last? That remains to be seen.
We can’t wait for the book launch!