The Book of Three: Faith reaching out and answered.
Book Notes — Since I was reviewing a lot of books and reading new ones to cite in The End of Jobs , I had a lot of notes that I could clean up and publish. Launch early opt-in landing page and Facebook group — I set up a landing page to start collecting emails using Leadpages. I offered everyone that signed up a free book when it launched and invited them to a Facebook group. I emailed my primary email list around people at this point inviting them into the Facebook group for insider info on the book launch process.
I posted there at least weekly with what was going on with the book. This group ended up being the major source for my very early Amazon reviews, as well as supporters for the Thunderclap. Publish three articles — These are the articles that came out that month. I identified twenty people that I thought could expound on concepts from the first draft or add new ones.
This, along with a hefty bibliography, was also a move to position myself not as a guru, but as a synthesizer and explainer. I picked people that I had a personal connection to, had something relevant to contribute and had an audience so I could reach back out to them to see if they would be willing to promote the book. Conduct interviews — Based on the plan for draft 2 and reviewing feedback from the reader survey, I determined what questions to ask in these interviews to integrate them into the book.
My podcast process and templates are included in the book marketing plan toolkit which you can download here. My favorite podcasts are always ones where the interviewer takes the time to put together really in- depth questions so I tried to do the same. The second half of this interview with Alex Blumberg from the Startup Podcast and Tim Ferriss is gold for asking better interview questions.
You can evoke those using questions like: Pick a title — I started by brainstorming a list of 50 possible titles and 50 possible subtitles. For the initial brainstorm, I browsed through books and authors I liked reading, as well as bestseller lists in my category Business on Amazon as well as on Goodreads. Get book cover designed — I used 99 Designs to get the cover designed and followed a similar process to picking the title of posting the new designs and asking for feedback each time. This was particularly valuable for me as I ended up with a strong cover and I have terrible design sensibilities.
It was also one of the most engaged conversations in the group pre-launch. Coordinate early readers — At the end of this month, I had gone through another revision of the book and had had a draft to actually send out to early readers. I had around five hundred email subscribers at this point and emailed them to see who would be willing to read the early chapters and got around 70 brave souls to accept. I devoted the month to lining up the marketing. I went ahead and scheduled myself on podcasts set to come out during launch week.
This effectively burned the bridges. Perhaps a more stress inducing than necessary tactic for enforcing deadlines, but effective. The key to a big initial launch is a pretty simple formula I learned from author and marketer Tom Morkes: You want a ton of people looking at the book with a big incentive to buy or download now. The basic premise behind the Thunderclap Effect is that you have a limited number of resources to put into marketing the book and you can maximize them by synchronizing them.
When you see twenty people post at once, you have to click. Urgency can either be done by first offering the book for free and increasing the price, or by offering time-sensitive bonuses. I chose free because giving it away let me reach out to people and ask for their support. It also generated a lot of momentum and let me get the book to the top of Amazon. Publish 2 blog posts — Blog posts continued for the same purpose of building tension, anticipation and narrative around the book. I started by reaching out to people in my personal network, as a huge part of the early traction for The End of Jobs came from my personal friends and network thanks again!
A very large portion of that was from the Dynamite Circle , a forum for location independent entrepreneurs that I have been a part of since Many of the people I interviewed for the book are members of that community. In order to line up the interviews, I made a list of target podcasts and topic proposals The SOPs for this are included in the book marketing plan toolkit. Once I had a list of outreach targets, I sent a personal email to each.
I definitely used templates, but still did a lot of crafting for each email so they could tell it was personalized. You can see the landing page I use and opt-in to see the bonuses here. Over of those emails came from inserting an opt-in at the front of the book and at the end. The opt-in at the front of the book lets people who preview the book on Amazon join your email list without buying the book you can almost use Amazon as a guest posting platform in that way.
I also put the opt-in at the end of the book to give people the next step to take and continue a relationship with them. Get interviews edited — I had an audio producer edit the podcast interviews to include in the book bonuses. Set-up sales page on TaylorPearson. I went from the quick and dirty opt-in page to writing out the full sales page I have now. It was modeled after: This meant going through my reading list and thinking about which books influenced me the most and would be the most helpful to people after reading The End of Jobs. King Sumo Giveaways is set up to incentivize people to share you get extra entries for everyone you refer , so I thought I could add a lot of people to my email list.
I ended up getting over entries, about of which were new. Because the links in the post were all affiliate links to Amazon and I thought the additional buzz would sell more copies of the book, I was basically trying to grow my email list and break even. That is, the additional book revenue and affiliate revenue from Amazon would pay for the books I gave away leaving me at break even, but having added a substantial number of people to my email list.
In marketing parlance, I was trying to create a self-liquidating offer: Finish setting-up landing page at https: It is generally better for sales to be 1 in a small category than 10 in a big one. I picked one competitive category Small Business knowing if I ranked well, I would get a lot of visibility and one uncompetitive category International Economics so I would definitely hit 1 and could call the book an Amazon Best Seller.
Send final guest posts and recorded podcasts — Most of the guest posts I did were adapted parts of the book so I cleaned them up at this point and adapted them to the site they were going to be posted on. Instead of asking people to remember to share on your launch day, you can coordinate it so they all sign up to your Thunderclap campaign and automatically send out a message at the same time, in this case during a book launch.
I got people to support by downloading my Gmail contacts from the last three years and sorting people into two lists close friends and acquaintances , emailing them a copy of the book and asking them to support the Thunderclap. Personalize all the messages. I started from a stock template which is included in the book marketing plan toolkit , but I edited each one to have at least a paragraph of personal text: The point is people react differently when they know you spent time personalizing it.
I probably spent hours sending these emails. In retrospect, I should have spent more. From people I spoke with, blurbs seem to have very quick decreasing marginal returns. If you can get blurbs with at least 1 being from a major player in your space, that seems to be more than enough.
Barack Obama had this to say about my book. I think your audience would be interested for XYZ specific reasons. Finalize set-up and test King Sumo giveaway — Go through and thoroughly test giveaway funnel. I ran the giveaway two weeks before the book launch and timed most of my promotion to go live at the same time as the giveaway.
My thinking was that the giveaway would be a more compelling offer on podcasts pitch to hosts: Because they had written books on a similar topic, there was a lot of potential overlap with people who would like my book. Give away early copy of the book to FB group — This let the people most interested get an early copy and have some time to read it so they could leave an honest review on Amazon when the book went live.
Pre-write launch announcement — I wrote the announcement which I posted on my site and emailed out to my email list. The first day the book was out, I released it to people that signed up to be notified and the Facebook ambassador group. The goal here was to create a little momentum and get 25 reviews ASAP. At this point all the narrative, tension, and urgency hit a peak.
The next step is to try and keep the momentum going, both to see how high it will go and also to extend the tail. This momentum aspect of narrative is done outstandingly well by the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Mentions education and parenting. Full of Life I think this book can help to live with Life in the world where sadness is common! It is full of life! Aug 16, Micah Hester rated it it was amazing. My favorite book of !
Reading this book was a transformative experience for me. Jun 28, Aaron Brand rated it really liked it. This book appeals to every single human on this planet, even if they do not realize it. Nouwen's 3 Movements of spirituality might turn some people off, especially the final movement from illusions to prayer. But they would be missing out on dramatic insights into the struggles that haunt each of us daily. The first movement, from loneliness to solitude, teaches us to be at peace in silence and stillness.
That seems especially difficult in today's hyper-connected, over-scheduled world he wrote u This book appeals to every single human on this planet, even if they do not realize it. That seems especially difficult in today's hyper-connected, over-scheduled world he wrote unironically from his smartphone. We're anxious with FOMO, we think finding a partner will cure our loneliness, and we retreat to our safe spaces but wonder why no one asks us deep, meaningful questions. When's the last time you answered "How are you?
The second movement, from hostility to hospitality, pulls no punches. The headlines of today would seem to make it obvious who the inhospitable people in our society are, but Nouwen doesn't settle for the obvious answers only. While Jesus certainly taught us to love our neighbors, and the Apostle Paul exhorts Christians to care for the orphans and widows, Nouwen's deliberate examination into hospitality will require most readers to examine the inhospitable conditions of their own hearts. Finally, the third movement is the shortest in terms of text but easily the most powerful.
Only by embracing a peaceful solitude and creating a hospitable place for oneself and others can a person fully understand and appreciate what a relationship with the Creator feels like. We must shed the illusions of the flesh and embrace the realities of our Spiritual calling. Prayer--constant and communal--is the gateway to a relationship with the Father of all things. Nouwen's book isn't perfect, and at times it's easy to be impressed by the flow of the words and not really pick up on what he's communicating.
But his message is on point, especially for people who continue to look for answers and come up short. We are meant for so much more, and this book establishes a wonderful groundwork for finding one's purpose in this life. Jul 21, Mary rated it really liked it Shelves: From loneliness to solitude: They ask for gentle fearless space in which we can move to and from each other.
When we live with a solitude of heart, we can listen with attention to the words and the worlds of others, but when we are driven by loneliness, we tend to select just those remarks and events that bring immediate satisfaction to our own craving needs. Hospitality, therefore, means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. This paradox of prayer forces us to look beyond the limits of our mortal existence. The movement from illusion to prayer is hard to make since it leads us from false certainties to true uncertainties, from an easy support system to a risky surrender, and from the many 'safe' gods to the God whose love has no limits.
Sep 19, Josh rated it it was amazing. Another gem of Nouwen's, "Reaching Out" distills the whole of the spiritual journey into three movements: Through these movements, God's grace at work in us cultivates peace within ourselves, peace with our neighbors, and peace with God. When I began this book I thought I would be able to fly through it in a week, but like anything else as rich as this, time and space had to be allowed between bites. And so it really b Another gem of Nouwen's, "Reaching Out" distills the whole of the spiritual journey into three movements: And so it really became a sort of devotional--three to four pages a day was enough to sustain my mind and heart.
At the center of all of these movements is prayer, and while this book is not necessarily a "prayer book," that's only because it is less concerned with the how-tos of prayer and more focused on the transformation that a life of prayer will lead us to. I recommend it for anyone who yearns to find a deeper awareness of the kingdom of God that lies within and without and around us every day. Feb 09, Randall Darden rated it it was amazing. Nouwen comes from a different theological and praxeological background than I do.
Writing from such a different background I found this book incredibly helpful and stirring in my spiritual journey. Nouwen breaks up his book in three sections: He was able to put into words so many of the things I have experienced both culturally and personally. He addresses my fears of loneliness and al Nouwen comes from a different theological and praxeological background than I do. He addresses my fears of loneliness and aloneness, "stranger danger", and mistaking my imagination for spirituality.
I am currently experiencing extended spiritual growth as God is using the information from this book to slowly transform my heart. Oct 07, Joy rated it really liked it. This book was discussed weekly with serious Christian women, so the book was especially meaningful. The three movements are from loneliness to solitude, which means knowing ourselves; from hostility to hospitality; from illusion to prayer.
One of the most helpful discussions to me was on hospitality. It can mean recommendation of good books, referral to people with special talents, and bringing the right people together. Mainly, we can offer space with safe boundaries. It was a great review for This book was discussed weekly with serious Christian women, so the book was especially meaningful.
It was a great review for me to make a list of the people who have been special encouragements to me in my Christian life, personally and through books. Jul 13, Cynthia rated it really liked it. My church was reading this book together, and I found much that made sense to me in it. It shows how holding onto our loneliness, hostility and illusions separates us from each other and therefore from God. Nouwen provides some practical advice and insights for growing closer to our essence and growing in our reliance upon God.
There are some concepts in this book that require deep thought; it is not a book to be read quickly even though it is short. But its insights into human nature and growin My church was reading this book together, and I found much that made sense to me in it. But its insights into human nature and growing spiritually make the time and concentration worthwhile.
May 10, Liz rated it liked it. Not my favorite Nouwen book, but profound nonetheless. Reaching Out covers three aspects of spiritual life: The section on loneliness to solitude was especially meaningful as it is key for any person to be able to move outward or upward. Aug 21, Janis rated it it was amazing. I have recently discovered the wonderful writings of Henri J.
In Reaching Out , Nouwen presents his thoughts on what it means to live a Christian life: I am looking forward to studying this book in greater detail.
Dec 11, Charles Baron rated it it was amazing Shelves: All around great book! It covers how I feel about a lot of topics. Wiil probably read again very soon. Jul 24, Rachel Dawson rated it really liked it Shelves: I don't think I've ever read something from Nouwen that I haven't loved.
This was an extremely timely read for me, and very rich while still being easy to read and soak up. I love the focus on progression and growth in this one-- it feels very much like a helpful roadmap to healthier and more abundant living in Christ. We are even learning to readjust our schoolbook picture of the Middle Ages as a period of intellectual stagnation, generally repressive of science. History is far more interesting. The scientific enlightenment that gave birth to the Copernican Revolution, the Royal Society of London, the universal theory of gravitation, and the telescope and microscope did not, of course, arise from nowhere.
They were mostly lost to the West since late antiquity but were preserved and developed by brilliant Islamic scholars in Baghdad, the Levant, and Spain. Their work led, for example, to the first complete theory of the rainbow at the level of geometric optics, from the laboratory of Theodoric of Freiberg in the s and to the first mathematical articulation of accelerated motion by Jean Buridan of Paris a decade later. Maintaining the alternative fact that science and religion are in conflict does no one any favors and is hurting science. The damage comes not only through a warped transmission of history but also because it suggests to religious communities that science is a threat to them rather than an enterprise they can celebrate and support.
Holding on to Your Faith in the Midst of Suffering
After all, a community with a commitment to core values of truth and a banishment of fear might well offer the clarity and calm needed in a public debate currently marked by far too much falsity and fear. Equally tragic is that in families with a faith tradition, even very young children may receive the idea that science is not for them or that it somehow threatens their community. The truth is that throughout most of history, scientific investigation has gone hand in hand with a commitment to theism, at least in the three Abrahamic faiths. It is, sadly, possible to invent conflict where none needs to be.
Conversely, misrepresenting faith as mindless adherence to beliefs in the face of evidence to the contrary needs to give way to a more thoughtful understanding. The term can describe painstaking engagement with the world through the true stories we are part of. Driving an unhistorical and unrealistic wedge between science and religion has got to stop.
It leads, in part, to the optionalism that we see in some public and political attitudes toward science, from climate change to vaccination. Human beings live not only in a physical world but within historical narratives that give us values, purpose, and identity. Science sits on the branches and draws from the sap of many of those stories whose roots are anchored in the great themes of creation, redemption, and renewal that course through our religious traditions and endow us with humanity.
We are still looking for answers to some of the questions God asks of the luckless Job:. Tom McLeish , Durham University. Science is about evidence-based fact, religion is about faith-based belief. The actual entanglements of religious tradition and the development of science are far more interesting than the superficial conflict common today — and far more important.
- Book of Job | Faith and Wisdom in Science.
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And rethinking how we view the relationship between science and religion could help give scientific thinking the wider public support it needs. The history of scientific thought is closely linked to that of religious thought, and with much more continuity than discontinuity. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle effectively set the Western template for studying the natural world in the 4th century BC. Early Islamic figures were responsible for very rapid progress in a number of scientific fields , notably maths, medicine and the study of light optics.
When Aristotle was reintroduced to Europe in the 12th century, his scientific work had a great influence on medieval scholars, who were invariably thinkers within a church, synagogue or mosque.
A key example is the 13th-century Oxford theologian and later Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, who was also a pioneering early scientist. Our latest scientific research partner was a medieval bishop. By this he means a sort of intense and perceptive ability to look beyond the surface of the material world into its inner structure. This is remarkably similar to our approach to science today. For Grosseteste, our sollertia comes in turn from being created in the image of God. It is a theologically motivated task that contributes to the fulfilment of being human.
When 16th-century philosopher Francis Bacon argued for a new experimental approach to science, he drew explicitly on such theological motivations. Taking this history lesson seriously helps us see just how ancient the root system of science is. Insisting that science is a purely modern advance does not help the important process of embedding scientific thinking into our wider culture.
In fact, science also has roots in ancient Jewish history that are as influential as the ancient Greek precedents. Philosopher Susan Neiman recently argued that the Biblical Book of Job should be understood as a foundation pillar of modern philosophy alongside Plato.
- Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen.
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This is because Job deals head-on with the problem of an apparently chaotic and fitful world, alien to the human predicament and unmoved in the face of suffering. And this, Neiman claims, is the starting point for philosophy. It might also be the starting point for science, for Job also contains at its pivotal point the most profound nature poem of all ancient writings. Its verse form of questions is also striking to scientists from all ages, who know that asking the right creative questions — rather than always having the correct answer — is what unlocks progress.
By His Grace, for His Name, Through the Obedience of Faith | Desiring God
Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea? And can you apply them to the earth? In all, the book contains as many as questions from the fields we now know as meteorology, astronomy, geology and zoology. The content of this timeless text has clearly steered the story of science for centuries. Faith communities urgently need to stop seeing science as alien, or a threat, but rather recognise their own part in its story. The influence people of faith have on society through their relationships can then be hugely supportive of science.
To give one current example, the Church of England has recently cosponsored a major national project, Scientists in Congregations. By embracing and supporting science, in turn, religious communities can contribute important perspectives on how we use it in our global future. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Emily Thomas, recently posted a short essay with this title on the wonderful academic multi-disciplinary blogsite TheConversation. I like most of what Emily writes, but this time, as she knows, I had a rather strong negative reaction!
So, just a little more on that. The confusion of scale and significance is an easy one to make — we are overawed by size, vastness, immensity. Of course we are. But that is a visceral reaction not a cognitive one. I hesitate to illustrate the point, but we do not ascribe a greater significance to a mountain than to a human baby simply because the first is 7 orders of magnitude larger than the second. One of the special abilities that humans have is to identify meaning and significance, and to associate that with narrative place and relationship.
We might be alone or the galaxy might be teeming with life. So the length scale of the cosmos and the human scale are physically and causally related, it turns out. Thirdly, those who take the line that the largeness of the universe rules out a theology of specificity have forgotten that even our notion of scale ordering is conventional.
Its the space in which the diffraction patterns of molecular structure dwell, the realm of the Fourier transforms, of the photon fields in theoretical physics.
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X-ray diffraction pattern of Beryl in reciprocal space Bruno Juricic. The figure shows an example. In many ways, physics looks more natural in this space.