For more information or to purchase a copy of The Trinity in the Book of Revelation, click here.
Q&A with Brandon Smith
Evan: Tell us about yourself?
Brandon: I teach primarily theology and church history at Cedarville University, am a co-founder at the Center for Baptist Renewal, and co-host the Church Grammar podcast. In my “free time,” I enjoy hanging out with my family, reading, watching Dallas sports teams play mediocrely, and exercising.
Evan: What led you to focus on this topic for your dissertation?
Brandon: I’d originally planned to write a dissertation at Aberdeen on Karl Barth’s doctrine of revelation in conversation with Carl F. H. Henry. That topic was an interest for me, but not really a passion. We had already been working on the Center for Baptist Renewal and I loved the intersection of Trinity, theological interpretation, and the church fathers, but I felt like the dissertation wouldn’t be all that acceptable in the Baptist world in which I worked and pastored. But after reading Wesley Hill’s Paul and the Trinity, I was encouraged to go ahead and write what I really wanted to write.
The next step was pursuing a supervisor who was capable and willing to do something in this area. In God’s providence, I was emailing Michael Bird about something else and before too long, I was applying to study with him at Ridley College in Melbourne. It was ultimately his idea to focus my work on Revelation.
Evan: What did the writing process look like for The Trinity in the Book of Revelation?
Brandon: I began working with the Christian Standard Bible at almost the same time I started the PhD program. I moved halfway across the country with a wife and 2-year-old daughter and started working sometimes 80-100 hours each week, spending much of my time in hotels around the country. This meant that my writing was sporadic and frantic. Sometimes I read and wrote on planes, in meetings, and late at night. For a while, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get a few hours of quiet before the day started. During my first three years of writing, we had another child and moved again, this time to Cedarville.
Interestingly enough, COVID hit about 3 months before my final draft was due. When our students were sent home and many of us were isolating either at home or in our offices, it opened up the most time to write that I’d had during my entire program. I wrote and edited like a madman from March-May 2020. I sent my final draft to Bird on May 8, 2020 from the hospital room where my third child had just been born.
Let’s just say that I’m not the guy to ask about well-planned and organized dissertation-writing!
Evan: What do you hope readers will take away from your work?
The book is academic, so I assume it will probably be read mostly by academics and pastors. My hope for academia is that it’s a contribution to the ongoing conversations about (1) Trinitarian and theological interpretation, (2) patristic retrieval, and (3) Revelation’s theology. My hope for pastors is that it offers an option for their study of the Trinity and of Revelation, and that it’s perhaps a model for how to read and expound Scripture theologically.
Thank you Dr. Smith for the interview! To purchase a copy of his work, click here.