As I announced previously, I successfully defended my dissertation for a PhD in New Testament on May 2. I have some corrections to make, but I’m basically done. I’m a doctor—though not the kind that anyone really cares about! Finishing five days before the 2011 commencement, however, means 1) it was too late for me to participate in the ceremony and 2) I confused a lot of people!
So I’m announcing a save-the-date now: I plan to walk in the May 5, 2012, commencement. Both of you are, of course, welcome to come down to Greenville for that occasion. There will probably be some sort of reception at that time.
Here are the acknowledgments from the opening pages of my dissertation:
I would like to express profound gratitude to Dr. Mark Minnick for modeling God-centered affections and correct hermeneutics and to Dr. Randy Leedy for supplementing the latter with Greek and linguistic tools. The institutions those two men represent, Mount Calvary Baptist Church and Bob Jones University, have been the greatest formative influences on my life beyond my parents, and for that I thank the Lord. I also thank my father for teaching me to read and write even before I began the Christian education he subsequently paid for; Brian Collins for being a multi-year theological conversation partner, mentor, and friend; and Bryan Smith for the many hours he spent as my unofficial committee chair. I also thank Greg Baker for his judicious comments on the first half of the dissertation, Joseph Bartosch for his counsel, and my godly in-laws, Jeffery and Janine Vrotsos, for making their basement available to me for uninterrupted work at two key times in the dissertation process.
I asked my church and others to pray that my dissertation would benefit Christ’s body in some way, even if no one ever reads it! Many people prayed for my work and let me know it, but if I started naming people beyond my family—Donna Ward, Todd and Laura Glass—I would forget some, so I merely say thank you.
Lastly, I thank my beautiful wife, Laura, for her support and insight, and for being even more excited about finishing dissertation chapters than I was (and not merely because she got ice cream out of it). I love her with the true love of delight.