My last “personal update” was in June 2008. Once again, I’ve lost track of whom I’ve told what at this transitional time, so this post should fill in some gaps.
Jenni is an outstanding homemaker and mom, and she’s loving it! Shepherding Kara Marie, who turns two in June, has taught Jenni and me a lot about God and ourselves. She lives up to her first name by bringing us joy, and we love watching her develop. God has gifted her with a mind that loves to learn: by the time she was twenty months old, she could recognize 1-10, knew the entire alphabet including the sounds of each letter, and was speaking in four- or five-word sentences. We’re probably typical first-time parents, but we think she’s pretty bright.
And I’m almost officially old. I turn thirty in May.
I defended my first PhD dissertation on July 17, 2006, and two weeks later Jenni and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School so I could work on a PhD in New Testament. Nearly four years later, we’re still here. The program is rigorous, but by God’s grace I . . .
- completed the language requirements upfront
- finished my coursework in two years
- passed my comprehensive exams in December 2008
- achieved candidacy in April 2009
- am scheduled to defend my dissertation on July 2, 2010 before D. A. Carson (my mentor), Bob Yarbrough (second reader), and Willem VanGemeren (program director)
I can finally see the light at the end of this long tunnel! And since I’ve been in PhD work for all six years of our married life, Jenni can’t imagine life out of that tunnel.
(Update: I defended my dissertation on May 13, 2010.)
In July we plan to move to Moore, South Carolina. The decision has several factors, but a significant one is that we’ll be closer to both sides of our family, especially Jenni’s Mom, who is recovering from recent treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
4.1. Carson. I began working as D. A. Carson‘s part-time Research Assistant in 2006, and I’ve served as his first full-time Research Assistant for the past two years. I recently agreed to serve as his (full-time) Research Manager for the next two or three years, working remotely from our home in South Carolina. I’ll continue helping him with projects the same way I currently do but with some additional responsibilities. It’s an honor to serve Christ and his church by serving Carson, leveraging his astonishing productivity just a bit more.
4.2. Church. The most significant loss of relocating is leaving our church. We will miss CrossWay dearly. Our eyes fill with tears just thinking about it! We are eager, however, to serve Grace Bible Church in Moore, South Carolina. My good friend Andrew Franseen has been their Pastor for Teaching since April 2008, and I’m looking forward to edifying fellowship with this brother. I love his passion, boldness, clarity, and theology. (And he regularly listens to and recommends sermons by my pastor, Mike Bullmore.)
4.4. Editing and writing. I plan to continue writing books, articles, and reviews. I’m working on some articles now, and I hope to announce a forthcoming book this summer.
4.5. Adjunct teaching. I’m in the process of lining up courses to teach as an adjunct professor at several colleges and seminaries.
So we’re experiencing a mixture of sadness and excitement. We’re sad to leave our church and many friends here, but we’re excited to be closer to family and other friends, be part of Grace Bible Church, enjoy South Carolina’s weather, and live in a little town house (with more than one bedroom!). Above all, we’re grateful to our good God! “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7).