You Did Not Choose Me, But I Chose You: How to Get My New Book

Yesterday I told you about my new book, You Did Not Choose Me, But I Chose You. There are three ways you can get the book:

1. The e-book is available for purchase. See the links to various e-book sellers.

2. The printed book is available for purchase. Buy it here.

3. The printed book is available for free. Just ask, and I will send you a copy. My request in return: If the book is meaningful to you, if you benefit from reading it, then send a donation in the amount of your choosing after the fact. I am making the book available this way because, as I said, the book offers ideas with which some will disagree. If you are not edified, then nothing asked of you. Request a free copy.

My New Book: You Did Not Choose Me, But I Chose You

Do we choose God or does God choose us? It is a simple question. It’s an important question. What it is not is an unanswered question.

In recent years, I have found clarity about my Christian faith, I have found answers to ambiguity that kept me from freedom and joy in the experience of that faith, by revisiting the basic question of how that faith began. That is, how do you or I, how does anyone, come to believe the strange message of the gospel? And why? I have written my new book, You Did Not Choose Me, But I Chose You, to give words to the answers I have found to these questions. More significantly, I’ve written my book to explore the words that have already been given.

The book’s title comes from the words of Jesus in John 15:16. As the book details, various New Testament passages either assume or directly state the point that the believers in Jesus Christ were chosen to believe. We have faith because God has given us faith.

This is an odd idea to many. It is a troubling idea to some. We live in a culture that emphasizes the agency of the individual. Christian groups frequently assume belief in Christ must begin with the individual’s choice to believe. This book specifically argues against that idea. We are broken creatures, unable to bootstrap our belief in this way. We cannot see the divine truly, we cannot choose the divine for what it is, we cannot believe in the lordship of Jesus or the truth of his resurrection, unless the divine first grants us the capacity to do so and enters into us to awaken that capacity.

And all throughout the world, God is doing this.

He is choosing people who are then able to choose him.

He is transforming people by renewing their minds.

And doing so for a reason. I argue that this, too, has been made plain. Our eyes are opened for the sake of a cause—the “how” of our salvation connects to the “why.” Thus, my book presents the case that our faith is chosen by God, but then I move beyond that argument in order to take up an even larger idea. There is more at stake than just defending a doctrine; more at stake than giving credit where it is due. What is at stake in recognizing God as the author of our faith is nothing less than the power, promise, and purpose of that faith.

I have written and published two prior books that deal with scripture or theology. But in many ways, this book feels like it is my first. The other two books advance ideas almost any Christian reader would welcome: namely, the Ten Commandments are a rich text and the existence of God is logically apparent. This book is different from those two. It elevates themes from scripture that others minimize. It offers ideas with which some Christians will disagree. It is also the most personally meaningful of the books I have written, sharing some of the ideas out of scripture that I have come to most deeply treasure.

To more fully appreciate the topics and questions the book explores, see the table of contents. In tomorrow’s post, I will explain how to obtain the book.

Here is the Table of Contents

In the cases of past books, sharing the introduction seemed the best way to provide a meaningful preview. For my new book, I thought this post plus the table of contents offered the best way to summarize the range of ideas the book explores. Here are the book’s chapter headings:

YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU
By Peter Zelinski

Table of Contents

Introduction: Your Mind Was Changed

PART I: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU

Chapter 1: In Defense of Unbelief
One cannot choose to be born.

Chapter 2: It Matters
To misunderstand why we believe is potentially to misunderstand your mission.

Chapter 3: The Synthesis of John
It took nearly the entire first century to understand who had lived among us.

Chapter 4: The Sheep Have Waited for the Shepherd
Nicodemus had high regard for Jesus, but was not a believer in Christ.

Chapter 5: Does God Desire All Men to Be Saved?
He has saved according to his grace, given before time began.

Chapter 6: Mixed Feelings About Miracles
Who were the believers to whom Jesus drew near?

Chapter 7: He Chooses
He has done so from the beginning.

Chapter 8: Where Body and Soul are Destroyed
Infinite torment is not real.

Chapter 9: Can I Know That I Am Saved?
You can know this about yourself. You cannot know it about another.

Chapter 10: The Apostles’ Awakening
When the apostles were with Jesus, they had not yet been born again.

Chapter 11: You Were Chosen
The world had you in its spell, so you were taken against your will.

PART II: WHY IT HAPPENED

Chapter 12: Does God Want People in Heaven?
God’s aim, and his aim for his chosen, is presented all throughout scripture.

Chapter 13: The Meaning of “Believe in Him”
The belief of the sheep finds its full explanation in Jesus.

Chapter 14: Futility Falls Away
Look upon death and live.

Chapter 15: Timeless Life
Jesus spoke of life, and not just life after death.

PART III: WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Chapter 16: The Slender Trail of Joy
The world will be remade through our decision to choose freedom and life.

Chapter 17: Afflicted by God
“If you love me, keep my commands” is not a dare, but the solution to a problem.

Chapter 18: Love Without Distinction
The commands of Christ advance indiscriminate love.

Chapter 19: Make Disciples, Not Converts
Evangelism is not proselytizing. Evangelism is feeding sheep.

Chapter 20: What is Joy?
Make your life not a sacrifice, but a living sacrifice. Jesus gives permission.

Chapter 21: No Longer Asleep
Our focus is on the gift.