Past Due, but Worth the Wait
My wife, Lisa, has been expecting our fifth child. Her due date was January 27, but the baby didn't come that day. He didn't come the next day, or the one after that, or the one after that. With each passing day, we'd get more calls and e-mails asking if the baby had come. Not yet, we would reply, we're still waiting. The well-organized ladies at our church even began bringing us meals before we had a baby to justify them!
As January gave way to February, we started to get a little nervous. You see, our first child went two weeks past due, ended up weighing 10 pounds 12 ounces, and had to be delivered by C-section! Our midwife assured us that this one would not be so large; he just wasn't ready to make his appearance yet. So we did our best to be patient.
Josiah James Lang finally came into the world in the wee hours of February 2. Apparently he was waiting for Groundhog Day so that he could continue our family's remarkable run of holiday babies (the first four have birthdays on Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Palm Sunday, and Father's Day). When he was ready to come, he came quickly, and he has proven to be well worth the wait. Don't tell my employers, but all I want to do is hold this baby and stare at him. It's hard to stay motivated to keep working! :-)
Why am I telling you all this? Partly because it's all I want to talk about these days, but also because our wait for Josiah is analogous to the way many of you have been waiting for the long overdue Theological Journal Library. This project was my "baby," and it was due to be released in late November, then December, then January. With each delay we'd get more calls and e-mails asking us when it would be delivered, and I would sheepishly answer that it would be just a little bit longer. I'm proud to say that the TJL is finally ready, and while I apologize for how long it has been overdue, I think you'll find it has been well worth the wait.
What is the Theological Journal Library? It's a collection of "over 550 years of the best conservative, scholarly, evangelical journals" produced by Galaxie Software. It includes such well-known journals as Bibliotheca Sacra, JETS (the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society), Westminster Theological Journal, Trinity Journal, Bible & Spade, the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and many others. A wide range of evangelical perspectives is represented: including Reformed, Arminian, Dispensational, Fundamentalist, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. You'll find articles from renowned pastors, theologians, and scholars, dealing with some of the most relevant and controversial subjects being discussed by evangelicals today.
Therein lies the primary advantage of theological journals. Other reference materials such as commentaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias generally take a long time to produce, and so may not offer information about the latest archaeological discoveries or scholarly perspectives. Theological journals give you access to the very latest scholarship, and you'll often find more detailed discussions of a passage or topic in the journals than you can find anywhere else.
I hope to write more about how to use this tremendous resource in a future post, but for now, I wanted to tell you that this "baby" has finally been "delivered," and I think you'll find it well worth the wait.