not so theological

Despise Your Writing? There is Help.

If you despise your writing as much as I do, there is some help. I have two books to recommend — nay, insist you buy:

1. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological And Biblical Writers by Lucretia B. Yaghjian. I was first alerted to this book by Roger Haight and I am very glad he mentioned it. The book goes far beyond simply writing style — there is much in terms of pedagogy and rhetoric that one can learn from this book.

2. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers by Michael J. Gorman. While this book is perhaps more accessible than Yaghjian’s and certainly is less dense, Gorman is still helpful for the well informed — although some of it will have been heard before — and a good introduction for the more or less uninformed.

Now, please don’t assume that these books will keep you from despising your writing. However, they will help you be proud of your work from time to time, despite your derision. As for your derision, I’m not sure books on writing can help that. Welcome to the club. We serve scotch here. Get used to it.


4 thoughts on “Despise Your Writing? There is Help.

  1. I’m from the “read a lot of good literature starting when you’re young and halfway decent writing will exude from your pen” camp. Even better if you have some natural talent. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t peruse these books. They look very helpful. God knows most entering seminarians need this.

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