A Year in Writing image

A Year in Writing

One silver lining in 2020, at least for me, was that I got to spend more time writing than I usually do. I was actually working on four different projects, two of which are due out in 2021 and two of which will (hopefully) come later.

I’m very excited about the release of God of All Things, which is out in March. I have always loved writing about God, and trying to explain who he is in short chapters which engage the mind and fire the heart. But unlike Incomparable, which was organised around abstract attributes of God (goodness, glory, etc), God of All Things starts with things in the real world: pigs, honey, mountains, fruit, salt, dust, bread, and so on. It then shows how Scripture uses that object to reveal something of God and his gospel. My hope is that it will fuel people’s joy in God, at a time when we could all do with rejoicing a bit more! You can pre-order it now.

In the Autumn, that will be followed by 1 Corinthians For You, which is a popular-level exposition of 1 Corinthians. Not only is this the letter I did my PhD research on; it’s also the first biblical text I preached through (and this book is definitely more like the latter than the former). I can’t think of another piece of Scripture that addresses so many pressing cultural issues in such a condensed fashion - division, leadership, sexuality, marriage, singleness, idolatry, spiritual gifts, communion, men and women - and all bookended by the cross and the resurrection. This is not a commentary for academics or pastors, but a guide for ordinary people (and/or people who preach to them!) You can read more here.

For most of the second half of the year, I have been working on a completely different sort of book, which is at the proposal stage at the moment (translation: we’re hawking it around publishers as we speak to see if anyone is interested). The working title is 1776: The Origin Story of the Post-Christian West. The big idea is that 1776 was the year that made us who we are, through a series of transformations (global, intellectual, industrial, economic, political, religious and Romantic) that are still reverberating today, and that if we want to understand the way the world is - and reach it more effectively - it will help us to know that story, why things turned out the way they did, and how the church can respond. If there is any interest in it, I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more in due course. In the meantime, if you’re wondering why I keep posting things about the eighteenth century - or running THINK conferences about theological history - this should explain it.

And finally, I wrote a short kids book called The Boy From the House of Bread. This, too, is at the proposal stage at the moment, but it’s basically the story of Jesus through the eyes of a child, based on all the things Jesus said and did regarding bread. Again, I’ll keep you posted.

Andi Bray and the team at St Andrew’s Bookshop have very kindly made me an author page on their website, for those who want to see my books that were, that are and that are yet to come. (I’m guessing they chose a photo with that shirt just to troll Jennie ...)

Happy New Year!

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