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Teleography - an Overview of Things to Come
What to expect in 2022
This isn’t just an update article—though that will play a part—it’s more akin to me being part-way through building a house and inviting you in to see what’s been done so far and what we’re planning to do next. So much is uncertain and unfinished, but I’m really excited about it and now that things are a tad more settled, I feel comfortable sharing them with you all.
In addition, a fair few of you reading this are new subscribers and I’m thrilled that you’re here, but there are a variety of reasons you may have subscribed and I’d love to clue you into how each of those fits into the greater overall Telos (plan/aim) of the Raven’s Writing Desk.
Without further adieu.
An Unexpected Journey
What happens then when the unexpected becomes a reality and suddenly nothing quite fits?
Well, that’s where this story begins. At the beginning of 2022, I knew what the whole year would look like roughly, I’d decided on article ideas, we knew what the podcast would look like, and we’d set long-term goals for everything we were doing. We reached most of those goals by the end of January, by accident.
Our goals—myself and my wife Anna—were purposely not centred around reach or audience size, because we didn’t want that to be the driving force behind our plans—we knew that if all we wanted was to reach more people, we’d end up compromising in key areas in order to do so. We set out putting together a mission statement for our podcast which would then influence everything else we were doing/I was doing.
That statement is:
“Here at Consider the Ravens (our podcast), we believe that discipleship happens and should happen within the context of the local church, we also believe that the main way that discipleship has been bolstered throughout Church History has been through literature. Whether fiction or non-fiction, short epistles to huge four-volume tomes of systematic theology, we'll be looking at it all.”
We were committed to:
The local church, equipping disciples and those who provide discipleship in that context
Promoting literature by
Recommending specific books we’ve found helpful
Helping Christians to read more
Helping Christians to read better
These commitments didn’t appear out of nowhere, rather they are just an extension of how we seek to live our lives anyway. We believe that discipleship should happen in the local church and so that’s what we do, we believe that Church History is of great importance, and we are avid readers who often help others to do so too. We didn’t want our voices to be the only ones people would be exposed to though, instead, we eventually wanted to introduce our audience to much wiser voices than our own by inviting people to join us on the podcast and through other mediums to talk about these subjects. For reference, we’d set that as a long-term goal for 2023. We managed to start booking guests before the end of 2021 and at the time of writing this article, we’re at the point where we’ve stopped looking for guests in the near future, we’re set until about June/July.
On top of that, I wanted to eventually get to the point where I was reviewing books—and helping readers know how to approach them—before they came out, something I feel is especially important in today’s day and age, a time in which we are inundated with content and we don’t really know how to process it all. I’m also naturally inclined to trust older literature which has stood the test of time, so it was an opportunity for me to broaden my horizons and look to the current literature being written in the present. Again, we had originally assumed this would begin to happen in 2023. I’m pleased to say that as of writing this article, I’m at the point where I’ve begun to review books from a couple of publishers ahead of their release dates. This has meant a complete overhaul of my 2022 reading plan though and though I’m very pleased that this has been necessitated, I’m also left to wonder when the next curveball will come my way.
To be clear, I don’t think this has an awful lot to do with us, but rather they are all blessings we need to turn and praise the Lord for. I’m so grateful to him for everything he’s doing in and through us and I can’t wait to take you all with us on that journey. That said, here’s a rundown of everything we’re doing in full, including some things you likely already know about and some things which may be new to you:
If you haven’t seen it already, last week I sent out the first issue of a magazine I edited called SEND. The idea was to collect articles from Christian writers who love people and love the Lord—which was born out of our wish to recommend great literature and resources to our audience. You can find that magazine for free here:
I am so pleased with how this came out and the feedback so far, if you liked it or you have any feedback I’d love to know! We’re planning to release one issue a month.\
Here’s a sneak peek of this month’s issue:
Consider the Ravens
Secondly, we have the Consider the Ravens podcast which airs once a week and that will consist of the following:
Week 1: A review of a book
Week 2: A Guest
Week 3: Reformed Dogmatics (see next section for details)
Week 4: A monthly round-up of a few of the books we’ve been reading
I’ve mentioned this at greater length previously so I won’t go into huge amounts of detail, but this podcast is the flagship of everything we’re doing. If you like this newsletter, I think you’ll love this podcast.
We’re planning to go through the first volume of Reformed Dogmatics by Bavinck on the podcast for as long as it takes, we see the benefit of taking things slowly, but we also know that not everyone has access to the tools or resources to do so easily. For that reason, I am putting together a reader’s guide which will come out in conjunction with each Bavinck episode so that listeners can read along with us over the following month. This will include intros, glossaries, exercises, and short biographies of key players.
It’s called “It’s all Dutch to me”
The first issue releases alongside the podcast on the 23rd of February 2022.
My plan from here on out is to release one review midweek alongside the podcast, and one review on a Sunday alongside my Sunday article. As you know, I absolutely love reading and so these reviews will be right across the spectrum of literature, from fiction to non-fiction, from short books to huge ones. Not every book will be to your particular taste, but I hope that over time you’ll pick up some of these books for yourselves and grow from them.
My current plan for the next few weeks is:
Wed: The Joy of Hearing - Tom Schreiner
Sun: Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture - Eric J. Tulley
Wed: Calvinism in the Secular Age - Various
Sun: 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (New Ed) - Mark Dever
Wed: The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis - Jason M. Baxter
Sun: Covenant & Dispensational Theology - Various
Two Series of Articles for 2022
I’ve been wanting to do a series on a specific book of the Bible for a while and I feel like now is the right time to get started on that. Starting next Sunday I’ll be looking at Jude every week for about half of the year (or until we’re finished.)
There are a few reasons I chose this book, not least because I think it gets overlooked quite a bit in the Church today and is relatively unknown to most Christians. It could well be that if Christians are doing bible in year plans or such the like that they’re spending at most one day a year (or two) looking at Jude, so it’s a good opportunity to lift up the hood and see what’s going on underneath.
Next week will be an introduction and then I’ll be going at the pace of roughly a verse a week.
Robust Theology of Suffering
There’s a chance that the very reason you’re reading this article at all is because of a piece I wrote for GCD called Three Men in the Cellar of Affliction, in which I explored how God has used suffering in my own life, the lives of Christians, and through persons throughout biblical history.
I wrote that primarily because of the need I see, as someone who deals with suffering on a daily basis, for the Church to understand how robust the theology of suffering is that we have inherited from saints gone by and more importantly the word of God.
I plan to spend the second part of the year, likely running right up until Christmas talking about suffering, looking at how the Bible talks about suffering, what Church History has to teach us, what theologians have the teach us, and last and least what I have learned personally through my own experiences.
An Honourable Mention
You’ll probably remember if you’ve been here for a while that I was working on a short book called “Tracking Well Worn Paths” which was a tool for studying the bible well.
That’s not off the table, but it’s sitting put for the time being. The truth is that I wasn’t content for it to be published as it was, it simply wasn’t good enough, so I’m not happy to publish it until I’m happy and that’s just going to take a while. I’m not in any rush, it was always meant to be a freely available resource and so that means I’m not beholden to any time constraints. It’s still coming, just not any time soon.
If you’re still here
It would be so helpful if you would do two things for me,
Could you comment below on what you’re looking forward to?
Like this article (you can do so by scrolling to the top and clicking the heart)
That’s all from me for now,
Grace and Peace,
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