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Ladies & Gentlemen... We Have Lift-Off!
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that my Substack has been given a new name and a bit of a facelift. I’ll have more to say on that (and especially the meaning behind the name - hint, it’s being used ironically) in my next post. In the meantime, I wanted to mention that you can now browse all my posts by category via the header on the homepage.
Well, today’s the day. May 9th, 2023 is the day that my book, The Meaning of Singleness, is officially released.
I’ve got to say that it is somewhat of a surreal day for me.
In the preface, I explain that the very first seed for this book was planted way back in 2007. It was then that I first heard someone use the words eschatology and singleness together in the same sentence. That person was Rev Dr Andrew Cameron. Andrew taught theological ethics while I was a student a Moore Theological College. About ten years later, he would become my PhD supervisor. I now consider it a privilege to call him my friend.
The whole reason I undertook full-time doctoral research on a theology of singleness for (and in) the contemporary church was because Andrew had been encouraging me to do some writing on this topic for years. When, after almost seven years, I finished up serving in vocational women’s ministry at a church here in Sydney, I thought, “Now is my chance!”. I had intended to take 6 months out of church-based ministry to rest (I had been approaching burnout). I wanted to spend a chunk of that time to finally get around to writng that book. Instead, I found myself filling out paperwork to enroll in a PhD a little more than a month into that period.
How did “spend a couple of months writing a book” turn into “spend four years doing a PhD?” instead? The thing is that I quickly came to realise I could certainly write a book on singleness. I could perhaps even convince someone to publish it. But what would, could or should I say that was any different to what had already been said in numerous other books on singleness? Matter of fact, was there anything more to say that hadn’t already been said in those other books?
My instinct was that, yes, there was indeed more to say. For years, those two words—singleness & eschatology—had been circling around and bumping up against each other in my brain. But I didn’t quite understand the physics at play. I didn’t properly comprehend how they related to and impacted upon each other. I realised I had two options. I could write a book that would essentially be little more than a head nod to the idea that our eschatology might faithfully inform our theology of singleness. Or I could put in the effort to actually work out in what sense, and to what extent our eschatology rightly informs our theology of singleness. I choose the second.
That is to say, I decided to do a PhD in order to write a book.
And now, more than seven years later, here it is. The Meaning of Singleness has been released into the wild.
I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’m humbled. I’m thankful. I’m anxious. I’m all of these things, and more, at the same time.
This mixture of emotions is not so much the result of knowing that people will be reading and judging the fruit of my work (though, of course, there is that). Instead, it’s because my prayer for this book has always been that it would play its own part in provoking, resourcing and fostering a much-needed, long-overdue and biblically-compelled conversation amongst evangelicals on singleness. The Meaning of Singleness was always intended to be one contribution to that conversation, rather than its sum total. Indeed, the final chapter is titled ‘Continuing the Conversation’ for precisely that reason.
Now that the book exists in actuality (rather than just in my own brain), it is my ongoing and earnest prayer that this work might help encourage the body of Christ to more and more align our perspective on Christian singleness with God’s purposes for it. It’s my prayer that this book really will play a part in inspiring and equipping all members of the church—married and single alike— to consider what the meaning of singleness truly is.
I’d love you to be part of how I hope God might answer that prayer. You can do that by:
Buying the book - It’s available in paperback or ebook from various Christian booksellers.
Reading the book - I mean, this seems obvious, but it is probably still worth saying, right? 😉
Reviewing the book - Writing a review for the book (especially on Amazon and Goodreads) really does help increase its visibility.
Discussing the book - Chat with others (in person/online) about what you liked and didn’t like about the book, what you agreed with and what you disagreed with.
Sharing the book - I’m particularly hopeful that church pastors & leaders might read the book. So perhaps you might consider gifting a copy to your pastor or, if you are a pastor, to a colleague?
Oh, and if you are in Sydney, come along to my book launch on at 7pm on May 18th!
‘ A time has certainly come.
However, it is not my time. It is OUR time.
The time has come—indeed, the time is ripe—for the contemporary evangelical church to retrieve a biblically faithful and pastorally nourishing theology of singleness. And this not just for the sake of the single Christian themselves, but also for the church’s understanding of her own identity as the eschatologically oriented body of Christ.
Our time has come to ask, “What is the meaning of singleness?” ’
- from The Meaning of Singleness, Danielle Treweek
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