Hi! So, a number of people have been getting in touch to see if (a) I'm still alive, and (b) whether I've abandoned writing. The answers are (a) yes, I'm still here, and (b) oh yes, I'm writing more than ever, it just hasn't been on the blog that I've been writing lately. So I thought it was probably time to reveal the two projects that make it seem as if I've fallen off the face of the earth.
The first is that over the first few months of this year I was lost in footnotes, bibliographies, section headings and page numbers, as I was putting the finishing touches to my PhD dissertation. The title of my thesis is 'The Church in the Eternal Purpose of the Triune God: Toward a Pentecostal Trinitarian Ecclesiology of Theosis drawing on the early theology of the Apostolic Church in the United Kingdom.' It's been submitted, but the journey isn't over yet, as I still have to wait to defend it at the Viva.
Project number two is a wee bit different: Apostolic Theology, the book. Coming 30th July, 2016 (i.e. at the Apostolic Church's centenary celebrations at AblazeUK in Cheltenham).
‘This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent’ (John 17:3). Jesus tells us that eternal life means knowing the Triune God. And in order to know someone, we need to know about them. Apostolic Theology: A Trinitarian, Evangelical, Pentecostal Introduction to Christian Doctrine is a book to help us know about the God of our salvation. So, if you’d like to know what we believe and why we believe it, this is the book for you. Using the Tenets of the Apostolic Church as a framework, Apostolic Theology sets out the vast sweep of Christian doctrine, helping us to see what the Bible teaches about God, ourselves, salvation, the Church, and the Christian Life.
This book will be useful for everyone: whether you’re a pastor or elder who’s involved in teaching the faith to others, a candidate training for the ministry, a church member who wants to strengthen your understanding of the faith, or someone who just wants to explore what Christians believe.
Some people have been asking about the size and scope - so think, Wayne Grudem's Bible Doctrine, Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology or French Arrington's Christian Doctrine. (In other words, it's not a full one-volume systematic theology, but about one level down.)
Other people have been asking what the difference will be from W.A.C. Rowe's One Lord, One Faith. The answer to that one is a few things. Rowe tended to focus on Apostolic and Pentecostal distinctives and not give as much attention to the doctrines we hold in common with the rest of evangelical Christianity (the original idea was that his book was to be used alongside Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology, so he left it to Berkhof to deal in detail with those). The idea for this new book is that it will be a stand-alone volume, so it covers the whole range of Christian doctrine. Also, One Lord, One Faith was written half a century ago, and so some people find it hard to read now - whether in terms of style or layout. This new book is written at the end of our first century, looking forward to our second.
Anyway, the work isn't finished yet (far from it!), so if anyone would like to pray, I would appreciate it greatly. And that also means that this isn't a return to very regular blog posts (for I still don't really have time to do anything other than work at the book - alas, Ablaze is not a moveable feast!). Hopefully closer to the launch I'll be able to give you a few samples on here.