Monday, February 2, 2009

The January Report

As always, I begin the new month with a report of how I did last month relative to the goals I set. Here 't'is.

1. Blog 10 to 12 times. I far exceeded this, coming in at 16. Of course, having not met some other goals, maybe I spent too much time here.

2. Complete my review essay of T.B. Macaulay's essay on the History of the Popes. For whatever reason, I did nothing on this at all. I'm not sure why, but after working on this diligently in December, and having only a few paragraphs remaining to finish it, I forgot about it completely.

3. Return to typing the Harmony of the Gospels I wrote in manuscript over a several year period. If I finish the typing this month--and that is easily possible, I can start the editing process next month, including adding a bunch of notes. This I did in a big way. I did indeed finish typing it this month, and proof-read it once and made those corrections. I also began laying out the introductory remarks and the passage notes and appendixes, writing some of them. I also began going through and making sure I had all the NIV footnotes typed and properly referenced. I estimate I'm 60 to 70 percent done with this.

4. Come close to finishing my current reading project, The Powers That Be, by David Halberstam. Only 453 pages to go as of last night. I worked on this, but only on the weekends and not as much as I should have. As of last night I am at page 549, leaving about 180 pages to go.

5. Work on Life On A Yo Yo, which I begin teaching this coming Sunday, as a publishable Bible study. I did a little bit of this. I'm in the midst of teaching it to our adult Life Group, so obviously I'm working on it. I haven't done a whole lot to turn it into a publishable idea, but did some.

6. Monitor five websites regularly.... I did this, even posting a couple of comments and receiving some feedback. I think having narrowed my reading down to these few sites regularly, and a couple of others occasionally, I have reached a doable reading list.

7. Critique 5-10 poems at various places, both public and private. I met this goal, critiquing seven poems publicly and one privately. This feels good, and at a rate sustainable from month to month.

In addition to these, and maybe in place of some, I actually completed some other things related to writing that were not on my to-do list.

8. Attend one critique group meeting, presenting "Mom's Letter" (a short story) and receiving good feedback.

9. Captured some new ideas for Bible studies/small group studies I think I could write.

10. Began research and writing on an essay on the resurrection. This was sparked by a discussion thread at the Absolute Write Christian writing forum, and became a real activity after a little research. I'm not sure where I will go with this, but I like the start. This is engaging my mind right now more than anything.


Anonymous said...

Goodness, you are on a lot of trails. I understand. I did this a lot before the Lord showed me how to narrow my enthusiasm. I wanted to do some of it all. Write, paint, knit, crochet, make jewelry, do some woodworking and on and on my list went. Not just a list, but bits and piles of unfinished crafts lay all over the room. Then one day I was sewing a dress and I had it all done but hemming it. That is when the Lord showed me what I was doing. It didn’t matter how much work I put into that dress. It was not wearable. So all the work was wasted as it hung in the closet. It is in the sticking to one thing and finishing it that my redeeming habits came. I look at all that you are writing and the one that I can’t get my head around is the Harmony of the Gospels… this has taken time away from all the others and I am wondering what it is all for? Are you trying to prove or disprove the accuracy of the Word?
And why? What got you off down this trail to begin with? Just wondering,

Write ON…

David A. Todd said...


I began thinking of writing a harmony of the gospels at least a decade ago, but it really gelled while I was writing Doctor Luke's Assistant. My goal was to primarily cover events in Luke's gospel that weren't in the others, or to take some common events and focus on the differences and see how the gospels fit together.

Most of the time when you see a harmony of the gospels, it is a side-by-side listing of parallel packages, not a blending of multiple versions into one version. Various scholars of issues related to harmonizing the gospels say there is no reason to harmonize them; they are spiritual, theological documents that need no blending.

I treat the gospels as history as well as theology--a Readers' Digest version of history, to be sure, but history none the less. I had the unproved opinion that, if you tried to blend the four gospels, you could a close to seamless document. A few things would be uncertain and perhaps contradictory, but not too many.

I see the Harmony as essentially a Bible study tool, a way for the serious Bible student to see what all the gospels are saying in one, easy to read, seamless gospel. Yes, it has taken time away from other things, and the end is not yet, but it is a quite satisfying endeavor.