Cruciform Press, the people behind several excellent books (the one title Cruciform is a good choice), has begun to publish fiction.
One of the first things we did when weighing this fiction venture was to network a little to try to find some potential candidate manuscripts. What we found was certainly encouraging, but we also know that these must be just the tip of a much larger iceberg!
As fans of good fiction on Christian themes, we have to admire this optimism. They are releasing three titles for this effort, all speculative fiction, two new works, and one republication by Charles Dickens that they are calling a forgotten classic. Prices look good. They offer several pages as a free sample, and there’s a 30% discount running.
Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction
Alastair Horne observes some things happening the science fiction world that may point to good ideas for publishers. In brief:
- Crowd-funding cross media: Publisher Gollancz contributed to a Kickstarter campaign for the video game “Elite:Dangerous” on the contingency that they have the rights to publish tie-in novels.
- Bundling ebooks with print and perhaps book-selling location.
- Digital conversion of mid-list books: Again Gollancz has taken an impressive lead for its readers.
- Dropping DRM on ebooks: Baen and Tor have already done it.
- Accepting fan fiction.
- Publisher subscriptions for a year of books, something Cruciform Press has been doing since the beginning.
Jesus calls us to take up our cross daily, and in doing so, our lives will take the shape of His cross. Jimmy Davis describes such a life in his book, Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life, possibly the best under-the-radar, Christian Living book this year. He writes, “We are shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross,” and thus are transformed to fulfill roles of seeker, shepherd, sower and steward.
I will summarize these points.
- As children of God, we seek his kingdom and his righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). We desire to act like him, to love and think like him. We look to Jesus as our example for living well.
- “In relationship to other disciples,” Davis writes, “the servant is a shepherd, one who encourages brothers and sisters in Christ, who loves and labors with them” for the kingdom (Colossians 3:12-16). There are caveats with this point, but generally speaking we love and work with each other keeping the abundant life of Christ in mind.
- To those who aren’t disciples, we sow the gospel through actions and conversation. We have compassion for the crowds, like Jesus does (Matthew 9:37), praying for them and serving them for the sake of His kingdom.
- For everything in God’s creation, we are stewards on His behalf of all the resources God has given us: “body, time, talents/gifts, money, head/heart/hands, words, work, creation” (Matthew 24:45-51).
We do this due to a focus on Christ’s life, which is essentially cross-shaped, and out of the source of our spiritual strength, which is a cross-shaped spirit. Each of these roles intermingles with the community in which they serve, a give-and-take that makes Jesus’ disciples interdependent. Davis carries these concepts through the end of the book as he describes that cross-shaped source of our spiritual lives.
Each chapter opens with a well-written, personal example of that chapter’s theme, showing how he has learned and continues to learn the principles he has written here. Perhaps the most difficult of these principles is the overcoming of sin by faith, not by effort (Galatians 3:1-5), which is the reason Davis builds his book on it. His constant refrain throughout the book sings of the grace by which we were saved being the same grace through which we obey and are made holy. Even in the worst situations (the last chapter begins with one), our Heavenly Father’s grace gives us the strength to persevere.
I look forward to living perpetually in that grace. Sometimes I think I’ve learned that lesson, and then I discover I haven’t. I want to make space in my daily routine to hear the gospel, to dwell on the Father’s love, as Davis describes it, because that cross-shaped song is where the abundant life is.
Aaron Armstrong has a detailed review of a book I’m currently reading, Cruciform: Living the Cross-shaped Life by Jimmy Davis. I like the way Jimmy writes, and though his subject is essential Christianity, his approach is engaging. It’s a good book for study and would make a good study guide for anyone wanting to deepen his faith. Jimmy blogs here.
“What would a book-publishing company for gospel-centered Christians look like if it began with the realities of 21st century technology?” Look no further. This is a new publisher formed by Kevin Meath, Bob Bevington, and Tim Challies over the passed year. My cousin, Jimmy Davis, has a book roughly on the same subject as his blog coming out the first of April.