Ministry / Publishing / Writing / October 28, 2011

Nothing New Under the Sun?

Recently I was having a conversation with a pastor of large church in the Chicago area about the possibility of his writing a book. His response was basically, “What is there to say? Everything that needs to be written has been written.” He apparently buys into the “nothing new under the sun” worldview drawn from the book of Ecclesiastes.
And this is understandable. It’s impossible to think of an issue that hasn’t been addressed, a verse that hasn’t been exposited, a prominent person who hasn’t been biographized (that’s just the verbification of biography), or a story that hasn’t been told.  There isn’t a new subject under the sun, but this isn’t anywhere close to saying that every necessary thing has been said.

There may not be new subjects, but there are new voices and new audiences. New readers are born and developed every day. New writers and content creators are as well. To apply the notion that there is nothing new under the sun is to assume that all previous truth is relevant at all times to all people. Whether or not this should be true, in reality it is not.

Old truths must be expressed by new voices in new ways so that new audiences can learn them. It doesn’t matter how often people decry chronological snobbery; it still exists. The way to combat it is to connect readers and listeners with timeless truths in a new way then point them back the way you came to the source.   

There is no new truth under the sun, but there will always be a need for new ways of saying the old truths.

1 Comment

Nov 08, 2011

Thank you for this post! I have been feeling the same sentiment as the Pastor you wrote about. This gives me some hope my input could be welcomed into a world where 7 billion converse as well.

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