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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Big Biblical Ideas From First Baptist’s Deron Spoo

By K. J. WEBB
Contributing Writer

AFRICAN VISIT: Pastor and author Deron Spoo in Johannesburg, South Africa during a promotional tour for his recently published book, “The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible’s Biggest Ideas”



Deron Spoo, lead pastor of the First Baptist Church Tulsa, has stewarded his 2,,000-plus congregants and overseen an impressive amount of church growth and expansion for the past 17 years. He has spent these years formulating thoughts for his recently published book, “The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible’s Biggest Ideas.”

“Two decades of my teaching, preaching and study have gone into this book,” says Spoo. “I spent five years writing it. After completing the book I worked closely with my agent, and we located a wonderful publisher based in Colorado Springs.” In addition to the book, Spoo’s publisher has produced a video curriculum, a children’s book and small-group curriculum.

Spoo’s decision to write “The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible’s Biggest Ideas” was inspired by a question from a young woman who had never stepped foot in a church until the morning she spoke with Spoo. “Following a worship gathering a young woman approached me and asked, ‘Is there a book I can read that can tell me what you believe about God?’” Spoo gave her the right answer, the Bible.

“I knew that the Bible was the right answer, but I wondered at the time if it was the best answer for her,” Spoo says. “For someone like this young woman, who has never stepped foot in a church or opened the Bible, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in its complexity.”

Spoo says he looked for a book that would introduce and guide readers through the big ideas of the Bible and lay a solid framework for a better understanding of it. He couldn’t find such a book. So, he decided to write one himself. Based on his experience as a pastor, a Christ-follower and from conversations over the years that have informed his own understanding, Spoo selected 40 Bible chapters essential to understanding the major themes of the Bible.

When asked who the book is for, Spoo says, “I had two audiences in mind when I was writing: the person who has never before picked up a Bible and one who may even be a bit intimidated by it. This book is a safe place for first-time readers to engage with Scripture, ask any question they want and gain a good understanding of the Bible’s most important ideas. And, it offers experienced readers a fresh glimpse of the Bible and an opportunity to experience Biblical truths in a new way.”

Regarding secular readers, Spoo says writing to a secular audience is not that difficult. “Every Sunday I am communicating to people who are skeptics, who are faith-challenged, or who might not believe at all. The greatest tool to overcoming skepticism is authenticity, not a lot of fluff.”

The goal of the book, Spoo says, is not just for people to gain a good understanding of the Bible’s biggest ideas but that readers would also fall in love with God, know him and who he has revealed himself to be in Jesus.

When asked if he had always wanted to write a book, Spoo says, “A lot of my professors in seminary were respected authors. By publishing books, they had a much larger platform and made a larger impact as spiritual leaders. It’s something I had always hoped to make part of my vocation as a pastor.”

Spoo mentioned one professor in particular, his mentor, theologian and noted author Calvin Miller. “Calvin Miller was one of my primary professors in graduate school. As a graduate assistant I worked on two projects for him. Through this, I had exposure to the world of book writing and publishing. I always admired how he used his talent and craft to help people discover the immensity of faith.”

Every writer has his own writing process, and Spoo is no different. “I write every morning from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. It’s quiet, there are no distractions and I can sit at my desk and get everything on the page. The latter part of the week is for editing, re-writing and more editing.” When asked how he deals with writer’s block, Spoo says, “Habit is the greatest preventive of writer’s block. For the past 20 years I have sat down at 8:30 in the morning and written sermons. It’s the same thing with writing a book; the power of habit keeps the ideas flowing.”

When asked if he has any advice for aspiring authors, Spoo says, “Try to write every day, even if it is a page or two. Write something you are passionate about because you will be living with it for a long time.”

Growing interest from the international community has resulted in Spoo’s book being translated into Afrikaans, and it is being promoted in South Africa. At the behest of his agent, Spoo is currently at work on another project.

Excerpt:
“The 40 chapters contained in this book are intended to serve you in much the same way as you walk into the larger universe of the Bible. I mean no irreverence by comparing movies to the Scriptures. I only mean to capture the effect that I hope you’ve experienced from becoming familiar with these forty chapters of the Bible. Perhaps as you read Proverbs 1, something about its punchy and practical wisdom hit home for you. Now, taking what you know of this single chapter, you may stride into the entire book of Proverbs with a bit more confidence and curiosity. Or possibly, as you read the foundational teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5, 6, and 7, your interest has grown stronger than your sense of intimidation, and now you’re better prepared to explore the greater expanse of Jesus’s instruction. So will you make it through the entire Bible? I hope so. But more than completion, the goal of Bible reading is clarity. The Bible makes more sense each time we read it. Ultimately, our clarity goes beyond the Scriptures to God himself. As you read the Bible, may you see God in crisper detail. Indeed, there is no substitute for Scripture in its ability to help us perceive God’s face, his hand, and— best of all— his heart.”

“The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible’s Biggest Ideas” is available at Mardels, on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and more.
Deron Spoo joined the First Baptist Church staff in 2000. He served as a pastor at a church in Texas and associate pastor in Alabama. Originally from San Angelo, Texas, Spoo received his B.A. from Angelo State University and M.Div from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Updated 08-16-2017

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