Local pastor Jason English can now add published author to his resume as his book “The Whole Thing: Capturing the Story of the Bible in 6 Images,” will be released on Aug. 1.
“This is my limited attempt to teach the story of the entire Bible in a way that is clear, short, simple, fresh, and memorable,” English’s website states. “I’m not trying to explain everything. I’m trying to explain the whole thing.”
The idea for the book came as a result of an extended teaching opportunity a few years ago where he attempted to create an easy-to-remember resource for people to feel like they have a good grasp of the Bible.
“At the end of a six-week series, I had dozens of people tell me that they thought this idea was my first book,” English stated. “And it rang true in my heart. It is my first book.”
The book was written by English and illustrated and formatted by Belle Hissam and became a reality after a March 2018 Kickstarter campaign reached its $7,500 goal in four days, eventually raising $15,673 from 216 backers in the 30 days.
“Whoa, I am in awe,” English said in a video blog on March 21, 2018. “I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”
English thanked his family and friends for donating and offered updates throughout the rest of the year on the book’s progress. In January 2019, English posted that he finished a rough draft and was sending it to the publisher.
The final draft was completed in March and English had a copy of the completed book in his hand in May. A pre-release party was held in June at Hatchet Coffee in Boone.
"It felt great to finish," English said. "I've been in vocational ministry for 20 years ... something about finishing something that was written down, there was finality."
The book itself centers around six images that carry the narrative of the entire Bible, saying he talks with a lot of people who say they want to study and understand the Bible, but are intimidated.
“They open it up, and don’t really know what they’re looking at; they don’t know the context of any particular book,” English states on his website. “They easily get bogged down by archaic details.”
“The Bible is often overwhelmingly and falsely oversimplified, with an emphasis on the brokenness of the world,” English states on his website. “This is my simplified explanation of the Bible, with a wholehearted attempt to not oversimplify or falsify. I want to explain what I think the whole thing is about. Where it’s coming from. Where it’s headed. And how the story isn’t about brokenness, but wholeness.”
Currently, English is the pastor at theHeart church, based in Boone. Pastor of the church since 2009, theHeart meets at Watauga High School at 9 and 11 a.m., with a focus of simple teaching of the love of Jesus Christ. English is also an adjunct professor of public speaking at Appalachian State University and a visiting professor of Biblical studies at Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary.
English also had a podcast called Things About Things, which is free, but also has an expanded version funded through crowdfunding website Patreon. For information about Things about Things, visit patreon.com/thingsaboutthings.