Saturday, December 31, 2011
John is busy with the real world right now, though. He's begun sending out applications to universities. He woke Mayumi up in the middle of the night when I was still deep in jet-lag, to announce top scores on "subject tests" for SAT physics and advanced math -- he's interested in a scientific or engineering course of study, something to do with airplanes. I've also begun to take him out to practice for driving: so far nothing interesting to report, like the young man who took the gas for the brake, and put a hole in the post office across the street from our house, a few months ago.
James is also studying well, his first year in high school. He's good at reading and writing, but his favorite class is PE. Unlike John, who often waits until the deadline nears to bare down, James usually takes care of his homework as soon as he comes in the door.
We're also playing a lot of ping-pong on the table the boys got for Christmas: it's true winter in Seattle, with the dark and the rain outside, and now people are regretfully taking Christmas lights down. Why does Christmas only last one month?
Mayumi is still working at Bellevue Children's Academy. The school is a few blocks from the Microsoft campus --just over the civic frontier in Redmond. Mayumi and the boys enjoyed their trip back to Tokyo and Nagasaki again this summer, visiting hot springs with relatives, museums in Tokyo. Like Christmas, the annual visit to Japan involves a bit of a ritual: they would be sorry to miss anything on the list of things to do, people to visit.
For me, it's been a long, sometimes difficult, year of writing -- sowing, in the biblical metaphor, with the sometimes frustrating hope of doing some reaping before too long.
Mainly I've been writing my dissertation, which is now almost complete. I believe this work may change how people see the world. Studying the history of Christianity in Asia, the lives and thoughts of great missionaries, and how the Gospel touches the deepest parts of "alien" cultures, it has been a great adventure to knit these threads together into an explanation of how Christianity relates to other religions.
We've also almost completed my next book, Faith Seeking Understanding, expected to come out next September, published by William Carey library, and written in honor of Dr. Paul Brand and Dr. Ralph Winter. Since I'm the book's editor, but author of just one chapter, I can boast more shamelessly than usual about how wonderful I think it's going to be. Contributors include Philip Yancey, Oxford historian of science Allan Chapman, Miriam Adeney, Earl Palmer, Yuan Zhiming, and interviews with Rodney Stark and Don Richardson -- along with other wonderful writers.
The Truth Behind the New Atheism came out in Spanish this year, and I've been working on other exciting book projects.
Do have a wonderful New Year.