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An Interview With Author David Rodriguez

The Author’s Cove is pleased to introduce David Rodriguez, author of Questions from Job.

Pastor David Rodriguez

Author’s Cove: Tell us something about your background and experience.

I became a Christian in 1970 as part of the “Jesus Movement.” Then a friend and I soon began to establish some house ministries and do evangelism. In 1972 I was put in charge of a youth ministry in Algiers known as the House of Living Water. I was the youth pastor and a Sunday School teacher at our local church and began teaching in our church’s Bible college in 1977. In 1986 I founded my current church, Christian Fellowship, and in 1991 founded Koinonia Bible College, both of which I currently lead.

Author’s Cove: When did you decide to become a writer?

Becoming a writer was a gradual process for me. I didn’t write out my sermons, preferring to simply preach from outlines, but that changed when we began the Bible college. I had to create syllabi for each ten-week class. They were simple at first, but as time went on and I developed new classes, the syllabus for each class became longer and more detailed until they became small commentaries. My decision to become a published author was based on what I learned from preparing my syllabus for the book of Job. There were some things contained in that book that showed me the subtilty and power of legalism, a topic that had always interested me. Since I had never seen these ideas formulated in any commentary, I decided to share my insight in a published book.

Author’s Cove: Who are some of your favorite writers, and how have they influenced your writing?

I would have to say C.S. Lewis for his exceptional insight into spiritual matters. The writers I enjoy most are the ones who tell me things I had never considered before, which is what I try to accomplish in my writing. I want to explain things so thoroughly and make connections so obvious that people will say, “Of Course! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Another example of making things obvious that were hitherto unknown is the author of book of Hebrews. He calls Jesus our High Priest. No other New Testament writer saw Jesus as a priest, let alone the High Priest, but when the author makes his case, it is decisive.

I also like the writing style of Frank Morrison, the author of Who Moved the Stone? Then there’s Matthew Henry who, though writing in 1701, has a real way with words. I could add many others to this list, but these are among my favorites.

Author’s Cove: Which do you prefer reading/writing, non-fiction or fiction? Why?

I don’t read or write fiction. I want to educate, and, for this reason, I avoid fiction, unless it is something that relates to a real-world state of affairs such as George Orwell’s 1984 or Dostoevky’s The Brothers Karamzov. Everything I read is read with the intention of teaching. The better educated I am, the better I am able to educate others. 

Author’s Cove: What do you consider the most challenging aspect of writing professionally, and how did you overcome this challenge?

For me, the most difficult aspect of writing was not the actual composing but the technical aspects of proper footnoting and obtaining copyright permission. That was a long, slow, laborious process that I found to be so discouraging that I considered giving up at one point. Then I looked on my bookcase and saw a book written by a lady I know and I said to myself, “If she can do it, I can do it!” So I pressed on and was able to complete the project

Author’s Cove: What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I enjoy taking complicated ideas and making them simple enough to understand. My writing is didactic. I love to teach. I approach teaching with this idea: What do I want people to know that they don’t know, and how can I best make them understand?

Author’s Cove: How did you come up with the idea for your book, Questions from Job?

As I was studying the book to prepare the syllabus I began to realize that many of the questions posed had import far beyond the events portrayed in the book itself. For example, the first question in the book of Job comes from God who asks Satan, “From whence comest thou?” I use this question as a springboard to examine not only the origin of the devil but also the concept of the existence of evil in a world created by a good God. Then in chapter fourteen there’s the question “If a man die, will he live again?” There are many such profound questions throughout the book. My book examines twenty-two of them

Author’s Cove: Please give us your top three biblical research/Bible study tips?

Commentaries are indispensable. That’s not to say that everything written in commentaries is necessarily true, but when judged in the light of Scripture to be accurate, they can save us so much time. The people who write commentaries have done all the heavy lifting. We just check their work for accuracy. Commentaries can also correct some wrong interpretations we may have held.

I also use the Online Bible program, which helps me look up any biblical passage and provides me with the Hebrew and Greek underlying the English translations.

The Internet is also an invaluable tool for not only biblical research but historical information as well.  

Author’s Cove: What is your book’s main takeaway message?

The main point I wish to convey is that God knows what He is doing even when we don’t understand His reasons. Job was suffering greatly even though he had done nothing to bring such misery on himself. He had many questions about why God was treating him in such a way and no answers were forthcoming. He had questions about the unfairness of life and the prevalence of evil in the world. We all have such questions at times. When God finally shows up at the end of the book, He never answers any of Job’s questions. He simply shows Job His magnificent power and unsurpassed wisdom and, in so doing, sends a clear message to Job: “Look how powerful I am and look how smart I am to have created this incredible world and everything is it. You have to trust that I know what I’m doing.

Author’s Cove: How may readers purchase a copy?

A hard copy may be purchased from our church’s web site, www.cfchurch.com or from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=questions+from+job&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

Author’s Cove: How may interested students contact Koinonia Bible College?

They may call us at (504) 340-6739 or visit us on the web at www.kbc.org.

The Author’s Cove is pleased to present David Rodriguez, author of Questions from Job.

Book 1 in my Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters Series: Vengeance & Betrayal — Now Available in Paperback

Available for purchase on my Books page.

SYNOPSIS

A sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns, Book 1 in the Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters series follows four Southern families living on the Gulf Coast—the Westcotts, the Jessups, the Soileaus, the indomitable and devout slave Danny who escapes bondage and finds service aboard a Union warship and his wife Nancy, cruelly whisked out of his life decades before the war.

While the Confederacy struggles to build a navy to defeat the Yankee fleet threatening New Orleans these families suffer their own personal conflicts: secret courtships, emotional turmoil, and banishment. For those in naval service–-Danny and Confederate Lieutenant Benjamin Westcott, whose family owns Nancy–-vengeance and betrayal approaches as the battle of New Orleans draws near. If the Westcott’s butler Titus succeeds in his plan, and Ben’s mortal enemy Master Xavier Locke of the USS Madison gains the upper hand, both Danny and Ben will suffer heartache and loss in vastly different ways. Unlike most Civil War novels which focus on armies and land campaigns, this two part series is set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Mobile, and David Glasgow Farragut’s naval exploits.

The Flag Officer

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

When Captain David Glasgow Farragut assumed command of the newly designated West Gulf Blockading Squadron, he was also assigned the title of flag officer. He’d risen to the highest rank a United States officer could hope to achieve at the time. In the army, he’d have held the rank of colonel. The American navy did this because it didn’t want to be like the British navy, which did have admirals.

A flag officer, or in earlier years a commodore, was the highest ranking captain in a fleet or naval squadron. Thus, he was the overall commander.

The Civil War brought changes to the Navy’s command system. New ranks were created by Congress — ensign, lieutenant commander (formerly called a lieutenant commanding if he commanded a ship) and yes, admirals. Because of his victory at New Orleans in April 1862, Congress made Farragut a vice admiral. Eventually, he worked his way up through the ranks to become a full admiral.

Controversial Capitalization

Photo by Castorly Stock on Pexels.com

Sometimes rules regarding capitalization are controversial and can be debated. For instance, take military terms. Should writers capitalize Navy, or should navy be lowercased? Should Army be capitalized, or should army be lowercased?  

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, if we’re spelling out the full name of a particular army or navy, it’s capitalized. If the word army, navy, air force and so on stands alone, then those words are lowercased.

 Example: Army of the Potomac, United States Army, United States Navy, the army, Union navy, etc.

Not every stylebook agrees with this, though they all agree these words should be capitalized when spelling out the full name of a specific branch of the armed services.

The Associated Press Stylebook takes a different view from The Chicago Manual of Style. It says to capitalize the abbreviated form of military branches: Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines. So does the Government Printing Office (GPO).

Another case is how to spell marine. Is it capitalized, or is it not? I’ve seen it spelled both ways by well-respected historians, just as I’ve seen Confederate Navy and Confederate navy in excellent history books.

The New York Times used to spell marine in the lowercase so it’d be the same as soldier and sailor, as the newspaper explained. According to a recent report the paper has changed its style requirements to start spelling it in the uppercase, even when referring to an individual Marine. The Navy’s style manual agrees with this.

This debate will likely never end because style manuals differ. The one rule that doesn’t change is this: when referring to the full name of a national army, navy, air force, coast guard, marines—always capitalize. Whatever style manual we use in other cases, keep our style consistent throughout our work.

COMING IN MAY

Coming in May, in paperback, Book 1 of my series Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters. Ashland Park Books.

A sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns, with a large cast of characters, Book 1 in the Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters series follows four Southern families living on the Gulf Coast—the Westcotts, the Jessups, the Soileaus, the indomitable and devout slave Danny who escapes bondage and finds service aboard a Union warship and his wife Nancy, cruelly whisked out of his life decades before the war.

While the Confederacy struggles to build a navy to defeat the Yankee fleet threatening New Orleans these families suffer their own personal conflicts: secret courtships, emotional turmoil, and banishment. For those in naval service–-Danny and Confederate Lieutenant Benjamin Westcott, whose family owns Nancy–-vengeance and betrayal approaches as the battle of New Orleans draws near. If the Westcott’s butler Titus succeeds in his plan, and Ben’s mortal enemy Master Xavier Locke of the USS Madison gains the upper hand, both Danny and Ben will suffer heartache and loss in vastly different ways.

Unlike most Civil War novels which focus on armies and land campaigns, this two part series is set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Mobile, and David Glasgow Farragut’s naval exploits.