I thought I’d drop a personal update as a means of soliciting your prayers. For the next few weeks I’ll be taking some time off from work to devote focused attention on my John Newton book, and to enjoy a staycation with the family. My wife is calling it Newt-cation. The family schedule has been cleared, and I hope to write in the mornings and early afternoons, and then laugh and veg and swim and tan with the fam the rest of the day.
These precious weeks will give time to really narrow my writing focus. I started the Newton book on September 16 of last year, and by researching and writing on Saturdays alone (as time allowed), I’ve managed to rough out 10 of the 14 chapters and to pen about 75% of the total 85,000 words. These next two weeks will give me the time necessary to finish up these four last chapters and to invest substantial time in refined research on a few areas of particular interests in Newton’s letters.
And unless the editors read my book, cringe, and change their minds, it’s scheduled to be published in the summer of 2015 in Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series. There’s nobody I would rather write on (Newton), nobody I would rather write for (Crossway), and nobody I would rather write under (editors Justin Taylor and Steve Nichols).
Here’s how the growing TCL series is shaping up (so far):
- B.B. Warfield on the Christian Life by Fred Zaspel (March 2012)
- Francis Schaeffer on the Christian Life by William Edgar (February 2013)
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life by Stephen Nichols (June 2013)
- John Wesley on the Christian Life by Fred Sanders (August 2013)
- John Calvin on the Christian Life by Michael Horton (June 2014)
- John Owen on the Christian Life by Michael Haykin and Matthew Barrett (June 2014)
- Martin Luther on the Christian Life by Carl Trueman (August 2014)
- Jonathan Edwards on the Christian Life by Dane Ortlund (February 2015)
- John Bunyan on the Christian Life by Derek Thomas (April 2015)
- John Newton on the Christian Life by Tony Reinke (June 2015)
- Herman Bavinck on the Christian Life by John Bolt (August 2015)
- J. I. Packer on the Christian Life by Sam Storms (October 2015)
- Charles Spurgeon on the Christian Life by Michael Reeves (unknown)
The great delight in working on a project like this one is the opportunity to get intimately acquainted with a great Christian thinker from the past, especially when it comes to studying how they processed the intricate dynamics of the Christian life. Having been discipled by Newton for years now, and more rigorously for the past year, I find myself more and more thinking like him and applying the gospel to my everyday life in ways he models from his own life. I find it easy to get excited about Newton and I am eager to share the results of my research with you as soon as possible.
But for now I need patience, and discipline to write clearly, and so I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I try and wrap up the majority of the Newton manuscript in July. And so (as Newton would say it), I earnestly entreat all who know how to draw near to the Throne of Grace by Jesus Christ, to strive mightily in prayer for me, that I may stand fast in the faith, and increase in the knowledge of Jesus the Savior; and that for his sake I may labor, without fear, in the service to which he has been pleased to call me.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!
I am your affectionate friend, and servant in the Gospel of Christ,