New Year Updates and Resolutions

Another new year is upon us.  This year promises to bring some fairly significant changes for my life.  I’ll be graduating from Yale Divinity School in May and am already earnestly engaged in the “job-search” process to figure out what happens next.  I’m hoping to find a position that allows me to continue to work with students, teach, and regularly write both on this blog and in other venues.

With that said, here are some updates I have going into the new year:

  • First, I’m excited to announce that this year I’m starting work on a couple of bigger writing projects that will hopefully turn into books someday.  At the moment both of these are just in the planning stages, so don’t get too excited yet.  One is based on many of the discussions that have happened on this blog and seeks to chart out a bit of my own theological journey up till now with the aim being to paint a picture of an orthodox faith that isn’t tied to “fundamentalism” on either the right or the left.  The other is being done in partnership with a colleague of mine at the Episcopal Church at Yale, Giuseppe Gagliano, and similarly seeks to make an argument for the renewal of a robust sense of orthodox theology in mainline denominations by showing that such a theology actually bolsters (rather than weakens) the way the church engages with the world.  We are also hoping to provide a guide for youth leaders and confirmation/catechesis class teachers for how to lead discussions about such an orthodoxy with their students in a way that challenges students to articulate their faith for themselves.  As both these projects take a bit more shape I’ll post more information, so stay tuned!
  • Second, as my base of readers on this blog grows and as writing becomes an increasingly important aspect of what I do, it has become apparent that I need more of a means of reaching out to readers in the social networking world than twitter and my private Facebook account can accomplish.  So I have decided (very sheepishly) to create a Facebook page for myself as a “writer.”  You can see and “like” the page here.  I am anticipating this being a pretty humbling process: I’m about to find out how many people are actually willing to affiliate their social networking profiles with what I have to say and I’m guessing that will be a pretty low number… But I’m hopeful that this will be a useful tool as I continue to do more writing.
  • Third, along similar lines to the Facebook page, I have decided to start using Tumblr as a way to increase my online presence a bit.  Its set to link up to the Facebook page, so if you don’t have Tumblr, a great way to see the updates is to simply “like” that page hereThis Tumblr blog will include links to some (though not all) of the posts I put up on this blog as well as quotes from things I’m reading, music that catches my attention, links to articles I find interesting, and other odds and ends.  Its also going to be used for another project of mine for this year, which brings us to some resolutions…

Here are some resolutions I have for the coming year that pertain to blogging and writing:

  • First, my goal this year is to start engaging in more “creative” writing of various forms.  My goal is that at least once a month I will post such a creative project on the new Tumblr blog.  I’m looking forward to the challenge and joy of this as well as to the feedback I hope that these creative writings get.  If you don’t use Tumblr but want to see some of these creative writing projects, the feed is set to automatically post to the Facebook page, so an easy way to see the updates is to “like” the Facebook page.
  • Second, I’m hoping this year to reconnect a bit with my enjoyment of “Biblical Theology” and “Old Testament” and to revive a bit of my rudimentary Hebrew knowledge.  A couple of years ago I wrote a paper (which will be added to the Articles and Papers page soon) about a new way of envisioning Biblical Theology from the Old Testament which got around a lot of the historical-critical debates in the field by using the prophetic corpus as a starting point and doing the equivalent of “Historical Theology” with those writings, putting them in conversation with one-another and studying the development of ancient Israel’s religious thought through the lens of major voices in that development as it was happening.  Working from that same idea, this year on the blog my goal is to post “translations” (however rudimentary they may be) and “reflections” on a chapter of a prophetic book each week, beginning with the book of Amos, our earliest prophetic witness.  Watch for those on Thursdays and Fridays starting next week (after I’ve gotten a chance to settle in to being back home in CT).
  • Third, this year I’m hoping to become a more regular contributor to online magazines and other major internet forums for conversation about the Christian faith.  There are a lot of these out there and they discuss a lot of issues.  Once a month I am planning to write and send out a piece for at least one such online magazine, media site, forum, or other blog.  I’ll put up an announcement of such pieces on the Facebook page, so keep an eye out by “liking” it here.

Of course, as is the case with most New Year’s Resolutions, I can’t promise that these goals will get completed consistently, but these are some plans I have for the year ahead and I’m hoping that tying them to my blog will give me a little bit more motivation to follow through on them.

What about you?  What plans and goals do you have for this year?

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