Reborn on the Fourth of July

“I have not seen a book like this in our 30 years of book-selling!”

Hearts & Minds Books

Reborn on the Fourth of July promo cardAfter a few months in seminary, it became clear to me that God was calling me to write about Christian faith, military service, and national identity. In the spring of 2011, I submitted a proposal to a number of publishers that would profile a bunch of soldier saints and patriot pacifists. I was excited about it, put some good energy into it, and then I got rejected. A LOT.

In conversations with friends old and new (like the acquisitions editors I was now in touch with), I found that instead of profiling a bunch of other soldiers, I should consider beginning with my own story. So I wrote up a brand new proposal, sent it out and had an “embarrassment of riches” in enthusiastic publishers who gave this new project the green light. I signed with Likewise Books, a former imprint of InterVarsity Press, in the early summer.

 

Reborn on the Fourth of July

Photo courtesy Stacey Sprenz

Reborn on the Fourth of July; The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism, & Conscience is the story of what God did in my life in the midst of combat deployments and the peacemaking call of Jesus. In keeping with the proposed title, I wondered aloud if a release date of July 4th, of the following year (2012) would be feasible. Before I knew it, the publishing timeframe had been worked out and we discovered that I would have to have my first draft complete and submitted to them by the end of September, giving me about three months to write my first book. Not the greatest idea, but it seems to have worked out ok (especially since I had the incredible support from a number of very good friends, all of whom I cite in the book’s Acknowledgements section). I must not have written to sloppily, as the book received a coveted Starred Review from Publishers Weekly (which I’m told goes to less than 10% of all books they review)

I won’t rehash what has already been written about the book. You can figure out the general direction of the book by heading to Amazon, or read reviews by friends on Goodreads. A number of incredible people have endorsed it by adding their two cents, which you can read on the InterVarsity Press page for the book. If you want the most up-to-date info on the book, where it is being sold or featured, and other tidbits, watch my personal Twitter account for updates (watch for hashtag #Reborn4thJuly).

Please consider reviewing the book on Amazon or Goodreads, it really is interesting to hear how folks interpret what I’ve written (which, of course, is not the whole story, just what I could fit into the time I had to write). Speaking of which, if you want to hear more about the book by hosting me at your church, college, or other local community, let me know; I LOVE sparking and maintaining meanginful conversations at the intersection of faith and service.

4 thoughts on “Reborn on the Fourth of July

    • Dr. Driver, I think I have fixed the problem. If it continues to be classified as “private” let me know, I think I simply had an earlier (draft) version of the video there. Thanks for drawing this to my attention. Feel free to email me at logan @ centurionsguild.org to be in touch. Thanks for your interest!

  1. I just finished reading a copy of your book I found at my local library. The message is a good one and one I think that needs to be told time and again.

    Just a little about myself, I was born to parents who both met and married while enlisted in the Air Force. I was born while my dad was a student at Asbury College in Kentucky and in the Army Reserves. Shortly after graduating, he served as an officer in the Navy for a couple of years, before finally leaving military life behind. Patriotism has always been ingrained in me from the start along with a love and respect for the men and women who serve in the military. July 4th services at my church used to bring a tear to my eye as I watched men and women in uniform line the front of the sanctuary, with guns drawn, as marines repelled from the ceiling.

    During Christmas a couple years ago, the radio was playing Christmas music as I worked. One particular day, the Snoopy Vs. Red Baron Christmas song by The Royal Guardsmen played. As I listened it suddenly hit me… what changed between Snoopy and the Red Baron that on Christmas they set aside their war to share in Christmas? The more I thought about it, I realized that nothing had changed. These two, who may have been friends outside of war, were mortal enemies because the big governments behind them said they must be. It didn’t make any sense to me and in that moment, I knew it was wrong. Over time, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for a Christian to love an enemy and share Jesus with them while holding a gun to them. Continued study has brought me into some very radical beliefs that conflict with the Christianity with which I was raised.

    I applaud you as you live the calling Christ has given to you. You will be in my prayers as you continue to walk by faith, God bless!

    • Thanks Jessica! I appreciate your kind words and hope your faith has been enriched by reading about what God did in my life and makes possible in the lives of others.

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