Author Interview: John Rataczak
A1. I don’t think I can put an exact date or event that best answers this question. I believe my training in college and graduate school prepared me for this ministry, and writing a dissertation certainly gave me the experience necessary write my books.
Q2. What inspired you to write your first book?
A2. After having taught in three Christian colleges, God allowed me to pastor a church in Pennsylvania. My first service there was on an Easter Sunday; so there was no doubt about what to preach. That next Monday I came to the office and had to make decisions on how to conduct my ministry there. After praying about this, I was led to begin two things: 1. a strong visitation ministry in the community, and 2. a series of doctrinal messages on salvation which I entitled “The Ramifications of Our Salvation.” Since that ministry I have filled the pulpit in many churches and have found that there are a great number of people who know they’re saved but have very little knowledge of the Biblical teachings about what happened when they were born again. God led me to combine the preaching series in that first church and the perceived needs in Christianity to write my first book.
Q3. What were your challenges in getting your first book published?
A3. This question alone could be the subject of another book! In short, obtaining a website, researching, editing, proofreading, selecting a reputable publish on demand printer, finding a competent book cover designer—all these things were major obstacles.
Q4. What was the most surprising things you have learned in creating your books?
A4. Probably the way God brought together a number of people and circumstances to keep the projects going. My prayer life has been elevated considerably because of this ministry. Also, I have come into contact with so many readers through this that has been such a blessing! I never would have had interaction with them any other way.
Q5. How many books have you written? What is your favorite and why?
A5. At this point I have written two books: “The Ramifications of Our Salvation” and “Bible Translations: A Closer Look.” I have started a third book, “Spiritual Gifts Verse by Verse: A Commentary on I Corinthians 12-14” and have ideas for at least three others. Each of the books is totally different and is designed to meet different needs that are so urgent; so I cannot name a favorite. To me, they’re all special; no doubt the readers would have varying opinions.
A6. The ideas for the books come from recognizing needs and asking God how to meet them. At the outset I dedicated Eleutheros Books to two great causes: 1. a revival of evangelism throughout the world, and 2. a revival of Biblical thinking among God’s people. These two causes are the inspiration for my books.
Q7. How do you incorporate God into your writing?
A7. All my books are non-fiction and Biblically based; so every point has strong Biblical support. Also, I do a lot of praying about many of the details as I work my way through each book.
Q8. What book/authors have influenced your writing?
A8. Each book requires a different set of research tools. I have an fairly extensive library from which to dig out helpful information. In general, I appreciate and commonly use Greek and Hebrew lexicons and grammars, theology books, exegetical commentaries, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and serious books on history and Biblical backgrounds. Some of my favorite authors would include A.T. Robertson, Robert Dick Wilson, and B.B. Warfield, to name a few.
Q9. Do you have an upcoming book? If so please describe it.
A9. The third book in the Eleutheros Books series will be “Spiritual Gifts Verse by Verse: A Commentary on I Corinthians 12-14.” It is obvious that the “feelings” about this subject are quite strong, but the actual Biblical knowledge is not nearly as strong. This book will be an actual word-by-word (and verse-by-verse) study of the most significant passage in the New Testament on this significant subject.
Q10. Do you have any advice for other writers?
A10. I have had a number of writers and aspiring writers approach me, seeking advice about all kinds of issues pertaining to writing, editing, proofreading, and marketing. I have had very few of them actually follow up with calls or emails to continue a conversation.
This being so, I have two bits of advice to offer others: 1. be sure you have a calling from God and will be serious about answering that call, and 2. have a plan in place before writing. This means the author should have an outline to follow in writing each chapter.
Q11. Any further thoughts about sharing your writing with my blog readers?
A11. Anyone who is interested in learning more about their salvation or why there are so many differences in Bible translations should feel free to check out the website or contact me:
John Rataczak, raised by Christian parents in the St. Louis area, felt called by God to ministry during his freshman year at Bob Jones University. Since that calling he has earned a B.A. in Bible, an M.A. in Pastoral Studies, and a Ph.D. in New Testament Text (Greek). He has taught Greek, Hebrew, Theology, Apologetics, Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical backgrounds, and Church History in three Christian colleges (Bob Jones University, Northland Baptist Bible College, and Pensacola Christian College). He has pastored churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Presently he is writing Christian books and is the sole proprietor of Eleutheros Books.
To purchase your own copy of “Bible Translations”, go here: Bible Translations: A Closer Look
To read my previous book review of “Bible Translations”, click on the title.
To purchase your own copy of “The Ramifications of our Salvation”, go here: The Ramifications of Our Salvation
To read my previous book review of “The Ramifications of our Salvation”, click on the title.
(c) 2013 Cheryl Cope
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