I began writing a new book on Friday. Actually, it’s not exactly a “new” book, but a complete rewrite of my book Bricks & Barbwire. I’ve been thinking about how I should rewrite this book for the past few years, and I even began working on it last February, but didn’t get very far. After the conference I attended on Friday, I saw the direction this book should take; however, after today, I realized how much effort I will have to make so that this book is not misunderstood.
Today, I shared a story about G. K. Chesterton with someone. I find this story very meaningful and quite profound; however, from the perspective of the person I was telling the story to, it was horrible, depressing, and disappearing. Why would I find this story inspiring, and the other person have the completely opposite response?
My worldview is vastly different than that of the vast majority of the world. What I may find deeply loving could be seen as utterly hateful from another perspective. And, what many may see as loving, I may see as the total opposite. I do try to see the opposite perspective so that I can explain my point of view, but this would take a profound amount of time and effort when explaining the basis of a worldview. Since this is what I wish to do with this new book, I now see what a daunting task I have begun to undertake.
The task of this book is to explain the cause of what modern western psychiatry calls mental illness from a theological Christian understanding. I must clarify here that I am not using the word theological in the common western usage, but the more ancient eastern usage best described by Evagrius of Pontus: “If you are a theologian, you will truly pray and if you truly pray you will be a theologian.”
I pray that this new book will not just be an opportunity for dialogue regarding the concept of mental illness, but an opportunity for dialogue regarding worldviews. More importantly, I pray that this book may be interpreted as nothing other than totally loving.