Original Preface From the Author
The "Foundations of the Like Precious Faith Series" began as a reading and study devotional in 2009. In that year I had developed a bible focused content management system for internet called pBiblx2. I was also stepping out into various internet and street ministries, using this specific resource as a point to plug myself and unfruitful believers back into a clearer productive view of scripture. What now remains as the SeriesAppendix section in this book version was part of that Foundations effort from early on.
In the original version I offered very little personal commentary, thinking that the many links to scripture would speak for themselves. I was quick to find that a good many Christians are uncomfortable studying from raw scripture without pastoral guidance. To overcome this tendency, in subsequent rewrites, I added more and more of my thoughts and began teaching it as a group study.
It later evolved into an audio series with study notes. During this audio series phase, I envisioned the structure to be more in tune with actual reader needs. We produced separate installments tailored to needs such as drug addiction or suicidal thoughts or marital problems etc... Each teaching attempted to apply the foundations item by item to address that need. I am confident, having taught them this way, that these foundations have considerable value in a broad range of applications. This targeted format became a taxing effort however for me. I was spending too much of my time repeatedly covering the same basic material without the time to go deeper into the larger sum. It was the sum of all these things that I felt would help people the most.
I have never been much of one for self-help messages. Even at churches where they have the programs and resources for this problem and that, I fear that the destructive trait (example Alcoholism) becomes the main focus in these groups, that the word of God becomes only the quick fix. The intention to help people is good, the means of helping often times not as good. My thought is that instead of plugging the Bible into the person, plug the person into the Bible. I changed the website domain name to likepreciousfaith.us around this time due to the popularity of this series. More and more, the series had become what the site and I were best known for.
In 2019 I decided that the best place for it to be was in book form. Audio is convenient for listeners no doubt, but in this age of audio podcasts and sermons listeners rarely study. It was the study notes that I most wanted to push forward. So from late 2019 on through Covid19 spring 2020 I wrote, rewrote and edited the website HTML version that became this book.
The "Foundations Of The Like Precious Faith Series" has been without doubt my most intensive personal study to date. There is something to be said about the "study to teach" method. It adds the extra responsibility of other souls and digging deep to "rightly divide the word". I have been transformed heart, soul and mind by it. Even now, I direct these words into my own ears before I direct them toward anybody else.
I have searched far and wide for a Christian resource of this type without much luck. I am not sure why a book like this has not been written; I think the topic of living productive faith forward is a most important one. Let me say that I am quite surprised that there are not several. Had there been one suitable I would not need to reinvent the wheel.
This book edition also is the first time I have written for book form. It has been a monumental challenge for me not having been formally trained. It has been like composing for symphonic orchestra instead of jazz quartet. I have had to rely upon the literary and scriptural expertise of many others. I am perhaps the least qualified person to have written this, if it is by God's hand I am sure that God will make a way of using it. I hope that you will find great personal use for a book like this as well.
May God make you abundant and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
(PLACEHOLD FOR SECOND PREFACE)