In my previous blog post, I introduced you to “My Missionary Friend,” who is a great man of God but is someone who would prefer that his identity not be disclosed in this lifetime (and, I will gladly honor his request). I wrote previously of his input about The Stone and the Glory where he specifically asked if I would consider removing all of the Christian elements in the first two chapters and rewrite it for a Jewish audience, so that the book would become a long and extended biblical tract. I had never done this with any of my other books, so I was not at all sure how it would turn out. I obviously hoped that it would turn out blessed by God, and — as I wrote last time — one of my biggest concerns was that these two chapters would jut out and look totally non-connected to the remaining part of the book.
After praying through this, I knew what was I was to write, especially in the strategically-important first chapter. I got up early in the morning and would work on this off to the side. Only God and My Missionary Friend (who was praying for me) knew what I was doing.
Much more detail will follow in the upcoming weeks, and we may even post the rewritten chapters, but I sensed that God had led me to a particular chapter in Genesis that gives very specific — and very wonderful — and very unarguable promises to the Jewish people concerning their promised Messiah. The holy logic of God cannot be argued with, such as the Acts 6:8–10 account shows:
“And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen.
And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.”
Not that I was Stephen, and hopefully there will be a reception of God’s Word, but for any of us, the closer we are to the holy logic of God the more unarguable it will become. People may stone — or crucify — the messenger, but they will not be able to refute “the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.” That’s what I was after when I wrote the revised chapters; the question was, for me, whether I had accomplished this or not.
I sent the revised two chapters to My Missionary Friend. Obviously, I was extremely interested in what he had to say about these, but I had not told him the full extent of what I was attempting, fearing that I may plant something in his mind ahead of time that would skew his reaction. I simply sent him the chapters and waited to see what he would say about this.
After a few months, at our next breakfast, My Missionary Friend sat down and told me, “Greg, the two revised chapters are perfect. They could not be any better reasoned from Scriptures and are presented so well as part of God’s unarguable logic” (I was hoping for this and smiling on the inside).
So, now we had two books that were very similar in much of the content but also two totally different books: the original The Stone and the Glory, and now we had The Stone and the Glory—The Jewish Evangelistic Version (although we didn’t want to call it that).
I asked My Missionary Friend what he thought we should entitle the new book.
He said, “Why don’t you name it The Stone and the Glory of Israel?”
So I did and added this subtitle: The Stone and the Glory of Israel—An Invitation for the Jewish People to Meet Their Messiah.
By God’s grace, the English version will be published (perhaps this year) and now becomes the fourth Glory Book; hopefully, it will be one you can give to your Jewish friends or acquaintances.
Details to follow in the upcoming weeks.
To God be the Glory!