Back in 2006, my three-year seminary education had not yet siphoned off my mental enthusiasm, and I wrote a very thorough article on C.S. Lewis‘ perspective on the Atonement—that is, on the reality and significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Eager to share my findings with the world, I posted an excerpt on my blog.
Then, several months later, a British intellectual (allow me to flatter myself) contacted me and told me I should get the article published somewhere. I thought, Heck yeah, we could use some money to make rent. So I sent it in to Touchstone, an ecumenical theological magazine with a soft spot for Lewis scholarship. The subtitle reads, A Journal of Mere Christianity. I thought this was a good sign. The mag also happens to be endorsed by J.I. Packer, a man I greatly respect.
Then-editor David Mills replied to my query, Dear Mr. Vanderhorst, I believe we have a spot for your article. I was like, Dear Mr. Mills, Right on! At which point I eagerly and tongue-in-cheekly announced to the world that I would soon be a published theological author. But apparently these things take time.
Cut to Spring 2009. Mills had stepped down as general editor. I wasn’t told. My article languished in Supposedly Being Published Limbo. I got angry every time I thought about it, which was about once every four months, since I was busy doing other things like graduating, planting a church, and trying to make rent. Then, in January, I had my quartlerly thought about the Lewis article for the first part of 2009. I decided to throw over Touchstone and David Mills, who would not answer my emails (because he was gone) and go find another publisher.
Then, the very next day, Touchstone’s new editor contacted me, said nice things about my article, apologized profusely, and told me he wanted to get it published. Well, OK, I said. But only if you pay me more than a dollar. So we had a deal.
My Lewis article, Mere Atonement, will appear in the April edition of Touchstone, but you can read it for free online. I am planning to go read it myself in order to discover what Lewis’ perspective on the Atonement is. After all, I wrote this piece about 5 years ago. Still…better late than never!
Cross-posted on arieljvan.com.