I like blogging. Blogging forces you to both think through issues and communicate them quickly. Then, you usually get comments which force you to submit to conversation, conversations you would not normally be in (we tend to hang out with people we already agree with). It’s a populist version of presenting papers at an academic conference. Except, on many levels, much richer. My theory is, if you can do this, you go along way towards being able to write, lead, preach and do a lot of other things necessary to life and mission. I recommend blogging for a lot of people. But admittedly it takes time (less and less as you get better and better at it). And not everyone has the same gifts. For some people, they might write something and spend hours ruminating over it. They might then get caught up in responding to their blog. Blogging could suck up their entire existence. Nonetheless, despite these hazards, I love blogging.
I’ve been on a blog holiday for six months mainly to write Prodigal Christianity, the cover of which is attached to this post. It’s been a good six months. But it’s time to return. It’s time to cultivate the rhythms of regular blogging again. I hope all my friends/readers of the past come back. You make this blog what it is.
So here it goes. As a quick reminder, here’s what you can expect (again) at this blog as I get it going again.
1.) Once a week reflections on life, ministry, mission. church and theology. I’m a church coach, a pastor, a functioning shepherd at Life on the Vine, a professor of theology and culture. I’m reading because I have to (as professor at Northern Seminary). I learn a lot in everyday life of teaching, coaching, pastoring, teaching. This blog helps me keep a log of what I’m learning practically as well as academically. Sometimes (but not the majority of times) the posts in this blog will require some familiarity with academic sources of Theology, Culture and political theory. Many times I am bringing to bear patterns of thought I have learned from Hauerwas, Yoder, and the related streams of Neo-Anabaptist thought. I do this with evangelical sensibilities because it is the church/history I self consciously remain a member of. To me this is the future of the church, of evangelicalism, of mission in post-Christendom N. America.
2.) Some flash back posts where I recover a post from the archives and re-post them, but I always try to reflect on what I’ve learned since in a little “post-post paragraph.” I call em flash back posts.
3.) Occasional Book reviews. I admit, I get a lot of publishers sending me books asking me to review em. I don’t review a lot of em, but when I do I mean the endorsement. I have many friends publishing. If I know the person, I will tell you that. I confess it may affect the way I write about his or her book. For instance I love Alan Hirsch. He’s a great friend. But I disagree with him many times. I admit I have a hard time being too hard on Alan.. I feel the same way about Brian McLaren even thought I disagree with him. Yet I still try to be direct about where I disagree. So just understand the dynamics when I’m reviewing a book, eh?
4.) Announcements Concerning Missional Events that I speak at and/or I think are important. The proliferation of conferences still boggles my mind. I’ll let you know where I’m speaking (because it’s always good to have a brew with friends). I also promote events I believe in. Sometimes I get invited to speak at things I don’t feel comfortable promoting. I go to these things to be a subversive presence. I will let you know about these as well on the blog, but I may not be so effusive in praising it. Hopefully you can read between the lines.
OK, let the blog begin! Because this blog has been dormant for about 6 months, let me encourage you to resubscribe to the RSS feed. Let me know if there are problems. My FB presence and twitter feed are also really active (they are again ways I log on thoughts, books and happenings).
Blessings on the end of summer, and the start of a new season fro many of us.