Well, my sabbatical is now officially done! It’s kinda crazy.
So what did I accomplish? Well, I might do a post a bit later reflecting on the sabbatical as a whole but, since back in April I posted about my reading goals, at the very least I can give an update on that. Really, that’s pretty much the only objective, measurable aspect of the sabbatical.
Here’s what the list looks like now:
Tim’s Sabbatical Reading List:
(s) – started; (x) completed; (_-rr) re-read
Main Study Goals:
– (s) Hebrew for the Rest of Us (Lee M. Fields)
– (s) Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament (Christopher J. H. Wright)
– Knowing the Holy Spirit through the Old Testament (Christopher J. H. Wright)
– Knowing God the Father through the Old Testament (Christopher J. H. Wright)
– (x) Against Calvinism (Roger E. Olsen)
– (x) The King Jesus Gospel (Scot McKnight)
– (x) Hearing Her Voice (John Dickson)
Christian Living/Spiritual Life/Prayer/etc:
– (x) Letters from a Skeptic (Greg Boyd)
– (x) Beginning to Pray (Anthony Bloom)
– (x) A Longing for Holiness: Selected Writings of John Wesley
– (x) In Constant Prayer (Robert Benson)
– (s) The Orthodox Way (Timothy Ware)
– (s) Life with God (Richard Foster)
– (x) Lilith (George MacDonald)
– (x-rr) Dune (Frank Herbert)
– (x-rr) Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
– (x-rr) Ender’s Shadow (Orson Scott Card)
– (x) True Grit (Charles Portis)
– (x) A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
So there you have it: 13 books in 3 months ain’t bad (with 4 more currently ‘on the go’)!
I suppose the most obvious thing one notices on this list is that I didn’t actually finish any of the books that I had initially listed as my official “study goals.” I got off to quite a good start with my “baby Hebrew” and Old Testament theology and was really, really enjoying them. However, as the sabbatical moved on I felt as though God wanted me to set aside those study goals and to focus more on developing a greater depth of relationship with Him. Thus my “main study goals” remained dormant on my desk while I took up other books like Bloom’s “Beginning to Pray,” Benson’s “In Constant Prayer,” Foster’s “Life with God,” etc. So, while I always hate to see unfinished items on a list!, I’m glad that God led me to these other books. They were edifying and challenging; reminding me to constantly seek depth over ‘intelligence,’ reliance on the Spirit over ‘information,’ and dynamic relationship with God above all things.