I didn’t think my first published endorsement for a major author’s book would be so anti-climactic.
A friend recently texted me a picture of the first page of Tim Keller’s book Jesus the King (formerly titled King’s Cross). He was surprised to find, sandwiched between the esteemed Kirkus Reviews and The Gospel Coalition’s Collin Hansen, an endorsement from me.
Here’s the published blurb:
Keller engages the reader with astute pastoral application, littered with excellent sermon illustrations….[Jesus the King] finds Keller in familiar territory: producing another great book, leaving readers from atheist to Christian grappling with the nature and implications of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You can read the Amazon sample here, just go to the second page.
How did this happen?
I originally wrote this piece during my time at Desiring God over two and a half years ago. King’s Cross was republished this Spring and retitled Jesus the King. So the book’s publisher just used the review from 2011 for the book’s 2013 relaunch.
Four pressing questions:
- Why didn’t anyone verify if I’m still employed with Desiring God (which, from a publishing perspective, was likely a key draw) before they include my endorsement of a New York Times bestselling author (for his book The Reason for God)? Do they have any idea what I’m up to nowadays? Heck, I could be Rob Bell’s ghostwriter. Mind you, I’m not, and never will (nor want to) be. But if I were, now that would make things interesting.
- Wouldn’t the publisher (a division of Penguin) notify me, or even ask my permission (as if I’d decline) to include me as Keller’s endorser?
- If I contacted the publisher and asked for a case of Jesus the King gratis would they oblige? Or even a box of cheap chocolates? (Imported, please. And dark, not milk.)
- Can I then take said copies of Jesus the King, autograph my endorsement, and sell them at inflated prices on eBay? Or maybe give them away as Christmas presents for distant relatives? Better yet: the publisher could arrange a belated ambitious PR gig for Keller and me: “Announcing Jesus the King 2013 National Book Tour Featuring Tim Keller and Unknown Endorser!”
Don’t get me wrong. I deeply appreciate Tim Keller’s ministry, and I love Jesus the King. And discovering that I was one of three endorsements for it is a huge honor for me. It’s just that, well, I would have appreciated a heads up.
Maybe next time.