5 Things I’m Thankful for as 2015 Ends

Here are five things I’m thankful for as I look back on 2015.

1.      Another strong financial year for CBMW. We are seeking to close out the year strong, but to date, we will surpass last year’s financial intake. This is a tremendous blessing and a sign of God’s unmerited kindness. We are seeking further donations in the next several days, so if our ministry has helped you in some way, we encourage you to give. See Grant Castleberry’s post for further guidance on this.

2.      The opportunity to publish several books. Through a bewildering constellation of factors, I published–either authored or edited–five books in 2015. Below is a quick update on how each book has done thus far (each of them being published since July):

The Colson Way sold well, drew strong reviews, and was a Desiring God Book Award honorable mention.

The Pastor as Public Theologian (with Kevin Vanhoozer) had strong sales and was a Gospel Coalition editors’ pick in 2015. The book was part of the top ten theological trends of the year, according to Collin Hansen.

Awakening the Evangelical Mind landed nicely and will hopefully be reviewed by several journals and sites in days to come.

Essential Evangelicalism, coedited with Matt Hall, drew fresh attention to Carl Henry and sold out at ETS.

Designed for Joy, coedited with Jonathan Parnell, is positioned to be a really solid resource for churches and groups wanting an accessible take on biblical gender roles.

I do not desire to reproduce this publishing calendar in coming days, but I am so thankful to get to write. Beyond this, it is deeply gratifying to see one’s work launch. Here’s hoping these books will serve God’s people in 2016–and I’ll soon get to share the major project I work on next!

3.      Enhanced public witness for CBMW. My ministry highlight in 2015 was speaking in the Dominican Republic with Gavin Peacock, Grant Castleberry, and Tim Challies. We went to the DR through connection with the ministry of Miguel Nunez and International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo. The DR was beautiful and warm, the 2,00-plus men who attended our conference were aflame for the Word of God, and we at CBMW witnessed a fresh call to service beyond our immediate setting. Pastor Miguel has since joined the CBMW board of directors and we anticipate building out a much stronger ministry to the Latin American world, and beyond.

At CBMW, we also launched a beautiful new website (with many added features), a podcast that has averaged over 1000 downloads a day, and a bolstered social media presence through the work of Greg Gibson. The culture is moving increasingly away from God’s design, but at CBMW, we plan on redoubling our efforts to serve God’s people with a winsome, convictional spirit in the name of Christ. In days of upheaval, I for one don’t want to be on the sidelines. Put me where the fighting is fiercest, and give me the very power of God, and we’ can guarantee one thing: we will not be surrendering.

Life isn’t about repose. It’s about action, kingdom advancement, guarding the good deposit, seeing men and women alive to the glory of God’s infinite wisdom. Wherever that kind of work is getting done, put me there, and send the bill for damages to the throne of grace.

4.      The chance to serve at MBTS. Serving at this surging seminary is a thrill, and I can’t wait to teach my upcoming courses, including an elective on the theology and ministry of Jonathan Edwards. Leaving Louisville was sad, and we continue to have many friends and loved ones in Kentucky, but I am grateful for a great transition to Kansas City and a terrific institution in which to minister. It’s been enjoyable and beneficial to watch as the Lord gives ever-increasing strength to this seminary, led by President Jason Allen, with academic leadership from Provost Jason Duesing. It doesn’t hurt that KC is a championship city, either!

5.      Momentum heading toward CBMW’s April 2016 T4G pre-conference. We’re rapidly approaching April, and so I encourage folks to sign up for this two-day event featuring nearly thirty outstanding complementarian voices, including John Piper, Alistair Begg, Darrin Patrick, Kevin DeYoung, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Danny Akin, Miguel Nunez, and many more. We are also hosting a women’s event embedded within the larger conference. I look forward to seeing many of you in Louisville on April 11-12, 2016!

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