2023: Year In Review

2023: Year In Review December 30, 2023

Here at the end of 2023, I went back through my planner to look at my year in the rearview mirror. What did I see? A LOT! Mostly good, some very bad, and much to be thankful for. Here is my professional year in review.

Tell Her Story (released March 2023)

My 2023 started with preparing for the release of Tell Her Story. I have published about 20 books and you never know beforehand whether the book is going to soar, flop, or just be “meh.” But I could tell my publisher IVP was throwing everything into giving the book the best chance possible to soar. And I must say, the reader interest and enthusiasm far exceeded my expectations. The promotion of the book consumed my life for about six months (recording audiobook, various launch events, podcast interviews, magazine articles). It was wild, it felt like a press tour, except I didn’t really travel anywhere. But here are some highlights.

-Audiobook recording: rarely do academic authors get to narrate their own books, I loved it.

-Holy Post interview – Bucket list!

-Flying to Nashville to record with Annie Downs – I did a 24-hour roundtrip to spend a couple hours with Annie in her studi0, totally worth it, we became fast friends.

-Launch Team with SWAG (Thanks, Alexandra)!!! We got t-shirts for the launch team (200+ if I recall), and IVP sent me a very exclusive black hoodie version of the t-shirt (which I wear often)—the only other person that has that black hoodie is Beth Barr, I believe. Talk about exclusive! 🙂

-Obviously, I am especially thankful for the support of Dr. Beth Barr – she was our #1 choice for a foreword writer, and she said yes despite her busy schedule. I am honored, she was the right person, and I hope we can continue to support and encourage women in ministry through our writings.

New Living Translation

I had my first official meeting for the New Living Translation committee in 2023, talk about a wish come true. Ever since I was in seminary, I dreamt of serving on a major translation team. There are several translations I like, but NLT is at the top. I heartily support the vision and approach, and I was all the more excited when Lynn Cohick joined the team as well.

To sit in that Chicago-hotel conference room with absolute legends (like John Oswalt, Tremper Longman, and Dan Block), I can’t even begin to describe the joy and honor I felt. What a privilege.

Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 2nd ed. (Released April 2023)

Again, it was a very special year for me. Tell Her Story, New Living Translation, and also DPL2. We (Scot McKnight, Lynn Cohick, and myself, plus IVP staff Jon Boyd and Rebecca Carhart, and former editor Anna Gissing) had been prepping for years (the official work began in 2018). Holding the final product in my hands, just incredible. I revered the original IVP dictionaries when I was in seminary. I could never have imagined, ever, that I would be writing for a second edition, let alone co-editing it. A massive undertaking, but a labor of love. It is a whole library in one book, if you don’t have it, it is a must-have for sure.

Special thanks to Scot McKnight for bringing me into the project!

Galatians Story of God Bible Commentary (Released Nov 2023)

I love commentaries, I always have. I was asked to write Galatians in 2015, I gladly accepted, but I was working on several other projects. I didn’t get back to it until about 2020, and then the pandemic slowed me down as well. So, very excited to see the finished product in 2023. It’s a wonderful series (a kind of successor to NIVAC), I have most of the released volumes and I turn to them often, especially for preaching.

Northern Seminary

Northern Seminary had…a rough year. I don’t want to rehash all the details, but long story short, the first six months of 2023 sucked big time. But I am so thankful for my colleagues and especially for new leadership that has stepped up in the last six months: Dr. Freeburg, Dr. Quanstrom, Dr. Moore, and our incredible staff. We lost great students and staff in all the ugliness, but I truly believe Northern Seminary has a bright future led by gifted leaders and a humble and committed board. And big shout-out to my TA, Nika Spaulding, I try not to take it personally that my students like her more than me. It’s a win for the seminary (I keep telling myself).

Slow Theology Podcast

Last, but not least, Slow Theology had a great year. AJ Swoboda and I worked on consistency of episode release, we took most of the summer off, but otherwise we managed a pretty steady recording schedule. We decided from the beginning to only invest our time in the podcast if we felt like we had an audience and filled a need—we saw massive growth over 2023, that’s a good sign we are talking about things that matter. This year, we signed a contract with Brazos Press to write a book version of the podcast, look for it in early 2025 (I reckon). Also, we got to interview NT Wright, what else can you ask for???

Thank you to those who have read and supported my work! I will be talking soon about what’s coming in 2024, lots of fun stuff planned, but for now I am just thankful for 2023.


"Thanks for joining us, memorable experience for me too"

2023: Year In Review
"Loved being part of the Tell Her Story launch team, and my daughter lover her ..."

2023: Year In Review
"It is interesting that conservative Christians are open to demon possession around the world, but ..."

Demon Problems, the Bible, and Enchanted ..."
"The power of belief is phenomenal. Scientists call it the placebo effect.When my mom was ..."

Demon Problems, the Bible, and Enchanted ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!