With the publication of Teaching for Spiritual Formation in January (along with a related article for the International Journal of Christian Education on the role of asceticism in Christian education), I marked the end of a seven-year period of always working on a major writing project. Granted, this is still four years less than George R.R. Martin has (supposedly) been working on The Winds of Winter, but I suppose I haven’t been as distracted with producing a tv show or being a celebrated conference figure (just wait!). In any event, since working on my dissertation from 2014 to 2017, I then moved right into adapting it for publication with Brill. Upon the release of The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit (2018), Cascade invited me to write a more popular-level version of my research (How the Spirit Became God, 2020), which then flowed right into my contract for Teaching for Spiritual Formation (2022), also with Cascade.
I was, of course, exceedingly grateful for these opportunities to publish my work, but the constant sense of impending deadlines hanging over every break or vacation was wearing on me (and, understandably, my family as well). And so the majority of 2022 was, at long last, a writing break (if not a life break: the summer of 2022 involved transitioning to a new job, a new house, and a new puppy, among other things). By fall, though, I was itching to get back into the groove of research and writing, and it’s been a productive season: two chapters (forty pages, 11,000 words) towards my next book.
2023, then, will be focused on completing the new book project, currently titled Scripting the Son: Seeking the Voice of Christ in the Old Testament. This project builds on the half of my dissertation not developed in How the Spirit Became God and reflects upon the role of prosopological exegesis in the development of Christology in the pre-Nicene period while also drawing in some of my other interests, such as the emergence of the rule of faith (regula fidei) in the early church. I’ve just written a major section on Hebrews, and I’ve enjoyed getting a chance to spend time in an epistle I haven’t worked with much in my career before now. I’m now looking forward to rekindling my relationship with Justin Martyr, whose exegetical genius, in my mind, continues to be under-appreciated.
Scripting the Son is due for publication with Cascade in 2024 as part of their new series Studies in Early Christology. It’s shaping up to be a great series, and I’m honored to be a part of it. In the meantime, I’ll keep pushing out content related to Teaching for Spiritual Formation; I’ve already excerpted the book in a couple places but will have additional spin-offs and interviews appearing in early 2023. I’ve been so heartened by the response to this book, and am so grateful for those who have taken the time to reach out to me with words of encouragement regarding how the book has helped them or their school take the next steps in forming students into Christ’s likeness. I expect this won’t be my last entry into the area of the philosophy and practice of Christian education, but alas that won’t be on the docket this year.
Thank you again to all of you who have read or shared about my work. May you have a blessed 2023!