Tag Archives: writing

“Miserable Writers Are You All!” An Essay on Writing

Please forgive the reference to Job’s castigating his friends as “miserable counselors are you all!” (Job 16:2)

Writing books really is overrated. At the ripe old age of 71 I’ve been thinking, what meaningful ministry have I had and do I really have now? I love writing. I blog every day. I’ve written a bunch of books on a lotta different topics. My first book (The Other Side of the Good News) was a defense of the biblical doctrine of hell. Then I got a lot more joy by writing Heaven: Thinking Now about Forever. I wrote a three-month devotional book on Christian beliefs (DocDEVOS).

A publisher in Scotland had me write two doctrine books: DocTALK and DocWALK. I tackled the topic of sin in my book When Temptation Strikes. My latest book is a challenge to Christians to be a friend of sinners like Jesus was (Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World).

I’ve self-published several books such as Saved: Rescued From God, By God, and For God. When noted pastor Rob Bell appeared to turn away from the Christian faith, I used John Piper’s famous tweet and wrote Farewell, Rob Bell (an evaluation of Bell’s theology). Whatever Happened to Heresy began as a multi-submission to a Christian journal and then wound up as a short book.

I self-published two books from my students’ work in two of my seminary classes: Thinking about Theology and After This Life . . . What? I presented copies of these two books to my seminary dean and the university’s provost on ironically the day they ended my 20-year teaching career due to the university’s economic downturn!

I’ve also written books for students, such as The Top Ten Mistakes Students Make on Research Papersand How to Avoid Them! I even got so bold as to write a short pamphlet for preachers entitled Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!

I have tried my hand at writing fiction like John Baldacci or David Grisham (I mixed those names up on purpose for those of you who read fiction). I envy them the money they’ve made and the audience they have. I ventured into fiction with my short book Abandon All Hope. It’s about a man who dies and goes to hell . . .

But I’ve never really had an agent and none of my books has ever taken off.

There’s several reasons for that: one reason may well be that I’m not a good writer. But I think I am a good writer but I don’t have an audience. I don’t have an agent. I don’t have a name. I don’t have a platform that allows me to reach a lot of people.

Could it be that I’ve written stuff that’s not that important? But most of my books have been on the Christian life and on making the doctrines of the Bible understandable. I’ve even had people like J.I. Packer endorse my books! So I’m not sure that’s it.

Maybe another reason is that Christians are lousy readers. I talked with a Christian tennis friend who has read just about everything by John Grisham, David Baldacci, Tom Clancy, and several other fiction writers. “I just don’t read non-fiction,” he said. I asked him if he’s read anything by John Piper and he said, “Who?” I think our churches are failing to encourage our people to read.

Perhaps the question is, do we overvalue writing? I look at my other ministries: teaching online courses to 3rd world church leaders, mentoring a younger believer, editing some really good books on biblical eldership and other topics, praying for Christians that I know are broken and really hurting, seriously becoming a friend of sinners, seeking to do the best in modeling a godly marriage in our 50 years, working hard to influence our seven grandchildren to walk with a whole heart in the Lord.

I think the Evil One makes us believe that we’re not significant as Christian leaders unless we’ve got some best selling books.

But in the final analysis what impact have those fiction-writers had on eternity? Now I read their books because I enjoy reading their fiction, but have they impacted anybody for the kingdom of God?

I’ve had the privilege in my teaching career in Bible college and seminary of reaching hundreds of students, encouraging them to be strong in the basics of the Christian faith, to love the Lord, to love their families, to be willing to do all kinds of ministry.

But I’ve not been a best selling author and . . . that’s OK. I’m thinking of starting a group for authors called Hopeless Writers. What do you think?

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Posted by on September 17, 2021 in writing


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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (“You talk with Him?!”)

Friends: I’ve been working on this book for a while. And you get to follow me in action! My plan is to work my way slowly — in these posts — through the chapters in this manuscript. I welcome your input and hope to have this published in the next few months.

“You talk with Him?!”

If the Holy Spirit is personal, we can — and should — speak with Him. He speaks to us through the Word of God. We speak to Him through prayer — targeted prayer that connects us with His various ministries.

But some may say, “I thought my primary attention is to be given to the Lord Jesus?” You are certainly correct. In fact, it is the Spirit’s role to bring glory to the Son (as we will see later). However, to say that Jesus deserves our primary attention does not mean that the Spirit should get no attention at all.

There is a fascinating verse in 2 Corinthians 13 that is wonderfully trinitarian in its expression. Paul prays, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” There aren’t many clear Trinitarian references that we may inflict, I mean, share with those who aren’t convinced of that doctrine, but this one is so direct!  We have the SON (“the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”), the FATHER (“the love of God”), and the SPIRIT (“the fellowship of the Holy Spirit”). Have you ever asked, “How am I supposed to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit?” That question we will pursue more vigorously in our next post!

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Posted by on July 23, 2021 in The Holy Spirit


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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (Introduction)

Friends: I’ve been working on this book for a while. And you get to follow me in action! My plan is to work my way slowly — in these posts — through the chapters in this manuscript. I welcome your input and hope to have this published in the next few months.


I’ve been interested in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit for a long time. My background isn’t charismatic or Pentecostal, but Brethren. And I don’t remember a lot of messages on God the Holy Spirit as I grew in my faith. I wrote my Ph.D dissertation of the Holy Spirit and also contributed a chapter on Him to a friend’s book on the Trinity.

I believe Christians often fall into one or two categories when it comes to the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. There are those who overlook Him and there are those who overemphasize Him. I want to strive for a biblical balance in my own life.

Would you say your background overlooked or overemphasized God the Holy Spirit? In our next post we’ll talk about why it is right to give appropriate attention to the Third Person of the Godhead.

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Posted by on July 21, 2021 in The Holy Spirit


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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Writing)

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Posted by on May 13, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes


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A Ministry Update — Thanks, in Advance, for Praying!

Some of you might want to know what I’m up to over the next few months. I am so grateful for the Lord’s kindness in using me in various ministries.

March 30-April 8 — I will be traveling to New Jersey to speak at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel, consult with their elders, and lead a 1/2 day seminar on my book DocWALK: Putting into Practice What We Say We Believe. I was so encouraged with my last trip to Cedarcroft and the seminar we did on my book DocTALK. We had almost 40 people come to that 1/2 day study.  Please pray for strength as I preach and teach. I’ll also be privileged to share the Word with the believers at Fifth Avenue Chapel, Belmar, NJ. And I’ll stay with my 92-year-old mother-in-law Mary while I’m there (and catch up on missed episodes of “Little House on the Prairie”).

April 10 – My manuscript on Unlike Jesus: One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel is due today. This is a study of friendship evangelism. My concern is that some of us have confused not being a friend of the world (James 4) with being a friend of sinners (Matthew 11). I am convicted by Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s statement that “We have, in a real sense, lost sense of the lostness of the lost.”

April 21 – Preach at a local Chinese church on Easter Sunday (in English with translation). I would appreciate your praying for my preparation of that message and that it would be an encouragement to those believers.

April 28 – Tag-team preaching with Ministry Consultant /Teaching Team Leader David Olshine at Sandhills Community Church on the ascension of the Lord Jesus!

May 25-27 – Family Retreat at Camp Elim, Woodland Park, Colorado. We will be studying Paul’s epistle to Titus and the theme will be “The Spiritually Healthy Family.”

Again, thank you for praying for me! And for reading my blog!




Posted by on March 14, 2019 in ministry


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Getting Some Work Done!

As some of you know, I’ve been retired from teaching full-time for two years. The Lord has been so gracious to me to keep me busy and, hopefully, useful to Him! I’ve enjoyed teaching overseas (Korea, Myanmar) and right now am working hard on two manuscript projects. I appreciate the believers in New Jersey who invite me to speak every few months. And I’m thankful for you, my friend, for reading my posts. If you feel so inclined, a comment below would be an encouragement to me. Have a great day!


Posted by on January 25, 2019 in work


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What Does the Lord Have for Me in 2019?

Some of you are faithful readers of this blog.A few of you have stumbled on it by accident.  I appreciate each of you and want to take today’s post to ask for your prayer for me and this new year!  I’m so thankful that the Lord is using me in various ministries and you might want to know about a few upcoming events for which you can pray.  Please let me know how I can pray for you.

Specific kinds of activities:

1. Writing projects:There seems to be good indication that I will have one (and possibly two) writing contracts for this year.  Unlike Jesus: One Area in Which Jesus-Followers Excel is something I’ve worked on for a while. We need to become friends of sinners, like Jesus, don’t we? Another book, tentatively entitled With Friends Like These, will challenge us to develop deeper relationships with other believers as well as with those who don’t know the Lord.  (I’ll announce on this blog when either of these contracts is nailed down).  Please pray for clarity of thought and a clear guidance of God the Holy Spirit as I work on these two projects.

2. Speaking Opportunities: I am so grateful for the times I get to preach God’s Word or conduct serious study sessions on various theological topics.  I’m hoping to present one or two workshops at the annual “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference at Emmaus Bible College in May. I’ve suggested several possible topics (the titles with brief descriptions are: “Learning to Be a Friend of Sinners Without Becoming a Friend of the World” Jesus’ being a friend of sinners (Mt. 11:19) and the command for us not to be a friend of the world (James 4:4) are often confused. How is it many of us need a refresher in Friendship 101? What is a biblical definition of the “world” and our place in it? “Theological Opposition: Where Should We Do Battle — and Why?” This is not the day for spiritual pacifists. As Chuck Colson used to say, “The battle is raging today all around, but many are perishing because we Christians have failed to engage the enemy at the point of attack. We not only flinch; for the most part we are not even looking in the right direction.” (Who Speaks for God?). Biblical guidelines for fighting false teaching will be discussed. “Battlin’ Brethren: Silly Squabbles Between the Saints” Learning to distinguish between the essentials of the faith and our own distinctives is crucial. The adage “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things charity” was sadly violated by J.N. Darby and his compatriots in the early days of the Brethren Movement. Their legacy, unfortunately, continues. Some recommendations for reversing the trend will be given. “A Discussion of Greg Koukl’s Book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions” In an increasingly hostile world, this book provides practical steps in sharing the gospel without becoming obnoxious or defensive. Tactics such as the Columbo Method, Steamrolling, and the Rhodes Scholar are explained by this prominent apologist from Stand to Reason).

3. Ministry/Missions Opportunities:  Apart from several trips to work with the believers at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in New Jersey, I’ll be speaking in a Chinese church on Easter Sunday (in English, of course!). There is a strong possibility that Linda and I will travel to Ethiopia to teach in a small Bible school there for a couple of weeks!

There will also be some opportunities to edit book manuscripts for others, plenty of tennis with my friends (some who are not yet “in Christ”), some Bible conferences, etc.

I appreciate you, my friend.  And I deeply covet your prayers for me for this New Year!



Posted by on December 31, 2018 in ministry


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“Seven Mistakes Writers Make” (a webinar)

Some of you might have missed the webinar that I posted a while back at the end of some of my posts.  My son, Dr. Brian Dixon, interviewed me on this important topic.  Those who signed up to watch the webinar paid whatever they wanted to and all proceeds will be going to South East Asia Bible College and Seminary in Myanmar.  If you should wish to add your contribution to this worthy cause, the information you need is at the end of the video.  Blessings.  Larry  (you may need to unmute the speaker on the video).

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Posted by on November 19, 2018 in writing


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Ministry Update — Sure Appreciate Your Prayers!

Some of you faithful readers might be interested in my ministry schedule for the next few months. The old word “covet” comes to mind. I’d sure covet your prayers for these upcoming opportunities:

Dec. 28 through Jan. 8
— Linda and I will be in NJ visiting her 91-year-old Mom. I’ll be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on those two Sundays. I’m looking forward to working with their leadership over the next few months. I’ll meet with their leadership team on Tuesday Jan. 2 to discuss a position paper on Marriage and Divorce, lead a midweek Bible study on Acts on Wednesday, Jan. 3, speak at a men’s breakfast there on Jan. 6, teach a Sunday School class on I-III John on Sunday, Jan. 7, then preach that Sunday’s message! Please pray that we work well together during that week and for my next scheduled visit to them (April 15-22).

The New Year: I will be working on developing two online courses for Emmaus Bible College. They are both on areas of theology and I am looking forward to contributing to their program. Please pray for clarity and wisdom as I work on these.  I’m also quite excited to work with Biblical Eldership Resources in March and will be presenting two sermons on the preacher and the Holy Spirit!

Missions:  I’m looking forward to teaching at South East Asia Bible College and Seminary in Myanmar (Burma) in August.  We’ve not yet finalized the date.  Please pray for that wonderful opportunity for me to contribute to their ministry and the education of their students.  Their website is found at:

Writing:  My retirement is giving me time to work on several projects.  I’ve just finished my little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!  Send me a check for five bucks and I’ll get one right out to you.  Send me a note via snail mail telling me what you like about my blog and I’ll send you one for free!  Address: Dr. Larry Dixon, 117 Norse Way, Columbia, SC 29229

I’m working on other projects which I’ll probably inflict on (I mean share with) you in a later post.

Theology Matters Conferences:  I’ve developed a brochure on these weekend conferences.  Topics include “Unlike Jesus:  One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel”; “Insight from a Blind Man: A Study of John 9”; “Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die!  A Study of John 11”; etc.  Drop me an email (with a post office address) if you want some brochures to pass on to your church’s leadership team.

Again, thank you for reading my blog.  May the Lord encourage you in your projects!


Posted by on December 21, 2017 in ministry


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An Update on My Life and Ministry

Some of you would like to know how the Lord has been leading Linda and me in the last little while.  After enjoying over a year as the part-time interim pastor at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Augusta, Georgia, we are waiting on Him for our next assignment.

At age 67 I will be drawing my Social Security after my birthday (Feb. 2nd — Groundhog’s Day!).  But in terms of ministry, we’re excited to see how He will use us.  At this point, the following activities are on the calendar.

1. Every morning I spend an hour or two with our Amazon business. We ship about 10-15 books every day, books that we’ve gotten from thrift stores, yard sales, people who want to downsize their libraries.  If you’re interested in selling some of your library, let us know!

2.  I’m getting preaching opportunities.  I just preached for two consecutive Sundays at a small Baptist church in Georgia (an hour further than Crossroads).  Delightful folk.  But quite the drive.  I have two “Theology Matters” conferences coming up:  Nov. 4-6 will be at Cedar Valley Bible Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (on the topics of heaven and hell).  On Nov. 17-19 I will be speaking at Hutchinson Bible Chapel in Hutchinson, Kansas on the topic “Living for Jesus in an UnChristian World.”  I love doing these weekend conferences.  Consider having your church invite me!

3.  I’m teaching an online course in “Biblical Principles of Leadership” for Columbia International University.

4.  I’m involved in editing some manuscripts for Christian Focus Publications in Scotland (they’re the folk that published my books The Other Side of the Good News, DocTALK, and DocWALK).

5.  I’m finally getting back to writing.  I just had an article published on the website on the tragedy in Las Vegas.  You may find that article here:

If you have room on your prayer list, you could pray for the following —

(1) That the Lord would give me opportunities to share the gospel with my unsaved friends.

(2)  That a church which is between pastors might put me to work!

(3)  That the Lord would guide me in writing stuff that would be useful for the Kingdom!

Thank you, Friends.

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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in ministry


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