By the time I wrote The Stone and the Glory
, I had gone through the process of writing two glory books and was much more comfortable with overall format and procedures for writing a book. “The Lesson—Part 1” was the first chapter I wrote and emerged from a message I gave from our study on First Peter that we were doing in the church I pastored in Maryland. Since “the Stone prophecies” play such an important part in the last week of Jesus’ life, I wondered where the first reference occurred. Much to my surprise I found it in Genesis 49:24. I also found that they repeatedly and strategically occur in Scripture and ultimate relate to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as would be expected—point to His glory.
You can read more about this in “The Writing of The Stone and the Glory
” in the study guide, but below here is a brief sketch for how the book came about:
In September 2000 I began the sketchpad for The Stone and the Glory
. (It would not be until March 2006 that The Cup and the Glory
was published and then December 2008 for the publication of The Darkness and the Glory
). The “sketchpad” is the research of the material, the thinking through the logic of the book, and the breakdown of the content and the order of the chapters. It takes a long time (but is such a delight to do). By the time I am done with the sketchpad, I know what I am going to write; then it is just a matter of how to say it. I presume this is how an artist does a portrait of someone. Of course, there would be a lot of editing and tweaking over the years, and again, I had no idea if it would ever be published.
For most years when I was teaching, I would attend the Evangelical Theological Society’s (also called ETS) national convention. It is held in different cities always the week before Thanksgiving. The one in November 14-17, 2000, was at The Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. I had a room to myself and was able to spread out the many sheets of the book on the adjacent bed and chairs in my room. I would take breaks and visit with friends I had not seen for a year or longer (such as Dr. Imad Shehadeh from Jordan or Dr. Robert Thomas from The Master’s Seminary) and attend a few sessions, but for the most part, I did nothing but start in chapter one and write as much as I could during this cluster of days. I would begin around 3:00 AM and write the entire day (with a few breaks) until I knew I had hit my limit where I just could not think straight anymore. I would dine with a friend, see a few people, go to bed early and then begin the process all over again.
I wrote about eight chapters those days, but I did not have time to read them. Email had just recently become popular, so I would send the chapters as an attachment for a God-given friend, Chris Bush, to read since he had gone with me when I taught in Jordan. Although Chris hails from New Jersey, and proudly and quite frequently talks in glowing terms about his northern heritage, he had moved to Florida for a segment of his life. Technically speaking, Chris Bush was the first to read The Stone and the Glory
, even before I did, because writing the book is a much different process than reading it, and I knew I would go back and read it in due time. Since he had read the previous two books, and we had many, many discussions about the contents of virtually every chapter of the other books, and since Chris is a God-given friend, I was very intrigued about how the new chapters were received by him.
I honestly had no idea how the book was, or if he would remotely like it as I sent each new chapter to him.
I honestly had so many “Stone prophecies” left that I did not use in the book that I often tell people I could have written two more volumes and entitle each one The Stone and the Glory
and not use all the Stone prophecies—there was that much material in there.
Often in writing these books, I have no idea what the repeated theme is until I go back and read the book. I look to see after about seven or eight chapters if there is any one thing that occurs in each chapter. Much to my surprise and not by my intention, I did not realize that each chapter contained many references to the Temple of God in Jerusalem—which will play an ever-increasing role worldwide before the Lord returns. Every chapter in The Stone and the Glory
contains this very important “last days” item.
I’ll tell you more in the future more about who I wrote the book for and why I wrote it.