Tooting Your Own Horn is Awkward

My copy of World Magazine arrived in the mail this week and I noticed that Dr.Marvin Olasky had written an interesting feature. Here is the description from the article:

Since July 1, 2000, I’ve been telling WORLD readers every few months about my treadmill reading—books that exercise my mind while exercising my body. Normally I note only books worth reading, and have cited about 400 during those seven years. Here are 100 all-time treadmill favorites.

I scanned the impressive list of titles and authors. I actually overlooked on the first pass an author that is very close to me. 


Dr.Olasky included When Bad Christians Happen to Good People in his all-time treadmill faves. I was surprised and honored. I am sure that thinkers on his list like Alexander Solzhenitsyn, William F. Buckley, William Dembski, Alister McGrath, and many others would be just as surprised to be lumped in with me. I wrestled with the whole shameless self-promotion thing for several days. I did a search for the phrase “tooting your own horn” and I found that a book has actually been written on the subject. Peggy Klaus has written Brag – The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It. So I decided to go to the expert on personal horn tooting. I found that Klaus had a helpful list posted at her website:


  • Be your best, authentic self.
  • Think about to whom you are tooting.
  • Say it with meaningful and entertaining stories.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Talk with me, not at me.
  • Be able to back up what you say.
  • Know when to toot.
  • Turn small talk into big talk.
  • Keep your Bragologues and Brag Bites current and fresh.
  • Be ready at a moment’s notice.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Use it all: your eyes, your ears, your head, and your heart.

I have to confess that “know when to toot” made me giggle. One more reason that some of the authors listed above might be shocked to find me on the list. But I did find some helpful points.

  • Be your best, authentic self. Okay. I have enormous respect for Dr.Olasky. I was genuinely honored that he included my book on his list.
  • Keep it short and simple. A bigger challenge for me. This is a great list of books even if you find my personal horn tooting off putting.
  • Have a sense of humor. How can I not have a sense of humor when my primary honor to stack up against the credentials of this prestigious list is “Dave is a member of Sam’s Club.”

Marvin Olasky added this note about my book.

When some churches fixate on unimportant matters, the antidote question is WJSHTOT—”Would Jesus Spend His Time on This?”

Mr.Olasky’s kind endorsement of my book was a nice surprise to start my week. Sorry for tooting my own horn. But what do you expect from an expert on “Bad Christians?”