Take Root, Bear Fruit

Take Root, Bear Fruit paperback book

A short book of theology, deriving the theology organically from key passages of Scripture, utilizing time-tested Bible study methods. Postage included


Reading the Bible for an Organic Understanding of Theology

The newest book from author Mark Knox

This book is born out of two complementary passions: a love for studying the Bible and a concern over a lack of biblical and theological literacy in the Christian Church.

-from the introduction

“Somewhere between Study Bible notes and a full-on commentary.”

“And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.” – Isaiah 37:31

This is a book of theology. But rather than a systematic theology like Wayne Grudem’s or Michael Horton’s, this book focuses on theologically-rich passages of Scripture and seeks to understand their doctrines organically. Using time-tested Bible study skills and techniques, Mark Knox dives into nine critical passages of the Word and exposits their doctrinal teaching. This book targets content somewhere between Study Bible notes and technical commentaries, and will help you to “take root downward and bear fruit upward.”

How this book came to be…

Many years ago, thinking about the question of biblical literacy, I asked myself, What would I think the 100 most important Scripture passages are? This resulted in the beginning of a list (which I still have somewhere). There was also some dialog with a friend on this question.

Fast-forward several years, and I began to think about writing a book. Eventually I thought I could pick up my old idea and modify it. 25 Bible Passages You Should Know was born. I even worked up a mock-up cover and selected passages for consideration.

I began to write and wrote the chapter on John 1:1-18. For the most part, the structure of that first effort became the format for all the chapters to follow, with some editing later on.

It was at this point I discovered two things: one, my first chapter was much longer than I’d envisioned when I was thinking of writing about 25. Two, I realized that some of my selected passages would form a theological framework of understanding the Bible, while others would form a historical framework. The two different frameworks would necessitate different writing styles.

So I decided to turn my focus to theological passages only, and my Table of Contents was now reduced to 13 passages. Since I’d been thinking of the term “framework,” I began to play with that as the title. Again, a cover mock-up followed, this time following a blueprint motif.

Let me add that the idea of doing mock-ups of cover art might seem premature at the early stages of writing, but creating them allowed me to engage in some right-brain activity, which was a break from the very analytical left-brain act of composing the chapters. Plus, I would print and display these art pieces as a way to visualize the end product which was highly motivating for me.

After writing about 5 chapters, I really began to question the product I was creating. Should I continue to write as I had been, or should I turn this book into something else? A friend gave me some great feedback that could possibly change the focus of the end product. Should I make a Bible study guide? A picture book? This could have paralyzed me but instead, I decided to soldier on in the form in which I had begun. Once I finished I could then choose how I would ultimately package my content.

As the result of some discussion with another friend, I made the decision to cut my content to 9 main chapters, organized loosely into 3 sections. I also went back and added some focus on the methodology of studying passages of the Bible. But it remains a book more about doctrines than about methods.

Finally, as I wrote the Introduction last, the concept of “organic” understanding of Bible passages came to me. I wrote of the difference between systematic theology and the expository theology I was writing about. Once the term “organic” surfaced, it changed the whole motif of the artwork from a blueprint to a growing plant. Even the color scheme on the artwork morphed into earth tones.

Isaiah 37:31 – And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward – has long been a mantra for me as I learn and teach the Bible. This verse dove-tailed right into what I was doing with writing this book, and so the title – Take Root, Bear Fruit – came to be.

It is my passion to see God’s people transformed by God’s Word. This book is written out of that passion, and I pray that you will be helped by it.