Bushnell University Professor Dr. A.J. Swoboda Releases Eleventh Book

person holding a book

EUGENE, Ore.Renowned theologian and Bushnell University professor, Dr. A.J. Swoboda recently released his latest book, “The Gift of Thorns,” back in late February. In this compelling work, Dr. Swoboda addresses the theme of navigating the desires of faith. He draws inspiration from both personal experiences and theological insights, and he writes with a passion for guiding individuals through the complexities of desire. 

At age 42, Swoboda reflects on the aging process and the significance of coming to terms with one’s own story. “Nothing shapes our lives more than the things we want,” he notes. The book is a deep exploration into the transformation of desires and the role of God in that process. 

Dr. Swoboda shares that “The Gift of Thorns” posed unique challenges in its creation: he described its writing as a form of literary spiritual warfare. Despite difficulties, he dedicated two days a week for over a year to completing the book, and he drew on a decade of research. 

His role as a professor at Bushnell University has deeply influenced his perspective on suffering and redemption, which shaped the narrative of “The Gift of Thorns.” Swoboda emphasizes his commitment to serving the church through theology, describing himself as a “low-level theologian” dedicated to using his work in the academy to benefit God’s people. 

“The Gift of Thorns” aims to inspire readers with a new understanding of desires; it emphasizes that God is not interested in the death of our desires but in their resurrection. Dr. Swoboda addresses relevant cultural and societal concerns, providing clarity on navigating desires in alignment with the teachings of Jesus. 

“I want my reader to walk away from this book with the reality that God is not interested in the death of our desires—rather, he is interested in the resurrection of our desires,” says Dr. Swoboda. By renewing and expanding our capacity to desire more greatly, we can strive more fervently to grow closer to God. “The Gift of Thorns” is poised to make a significant impact on individuals and communities, as it offers valuable insights into desire, faith, and the transformative power of God.  

The book is available now for purchase online, and for more insights on theology and spirituality, listeners can tune into Dr. Swoboda’s podcast, Slow Theology. Additionally, they can receive a devotional in their inbox every Thursday by subscribing to his weekly newsletter, The Low-Level Theologian.

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