And here’s the cover art of my next book, from Zondervan. It releases officially in May 2010.
1. Yes, he has bandages on his nipples.
2. No, I don’t know why. But I assume Christian bookstores might not want some skinny shirtless kid on full display next to Joel Osteen’s grinning face. So they fixed it with nipple bandages. Or as they call them in the industry, “dimmers.”
Update from Zondervan design team: The kid was running a kids marathon in Grand Rapids. Seriously. The bandages are to prevent chafing. You can see the original photo by photographer Steven Wohlwender at this website. It’s #20 (the marathon bib got Photoshopped out). In related news, I so need to meet this scrawny marathon kid.
3. No, that’s not me. (I have blond hair.)
4. Yes, I would be glad to excerpt the opening lines of the book. Here they are…
I am a Christian. I have been a Christian for most of my life. But there are times–a growing number of times, to be honest–when I’m not entirely sure I believe in God.
There. I said it.
So now you know, and we can both relax and talk about it. Confessing the presence of spiritual uncertainty in my life is a relief. I can breathe easier now because I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to hide my conflicted feelings when we talk about Jesus and the Bible. I don’t have to feel like a jerk if you, or anyone else, look to me as some kind of spiritual expert or teacher. I don’t have to tiptoe around the word most of us hesitate to use in church or around Christian friends because it freaks us out so much.
Now that it’s out in the open, I can strip off my happy Christian mask, climb down from whatever pedestal I’ve hoisted myself upon, and be who I really am: a committed follower of Jesus who occasionally finds himself wondering if maybe, just maybe, we’ve made this whole thing up…