Saturday, July 21, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog?

This blog hit the one-year mark in late June; around June 24, I believe. I had intended to write a post entitled, "It's My Blogiversary and I'll Cry If I Want To," but didn't get around to it. And therein lies a tale.

I was never actually interested in blogging. Frankly, the thought that complete strangers may be interested in the random musings of my rather odd cerebrum seems altogether strange to me. (The stats on this blog will largely bear out the truth of this assertion.) But when I was in seminary, and for a few years afterward, I had compiled a number of papers on theological and exegetical subjects that interested me. And back in the late 90s, I put up a website called "The Schooley Files" in hopes that some others may be interested. (The name, "The Schooley Files," was inspired by a website I'd run across called "The David Ponter Papers." It had nothing to do with "The X Files," which I'd never seen. And at this point, it seems to me rather self-aggrandizing. Maybe I should change it.) Surprisingly, a few people were interested, and I got some nice emails from people, and a couple of links. But it's tedious to update HTML code by hand (I was a purist then), so of course the site became static. When I changed ISPs, it disappeared.

So about a year and a half ago, my friend Bob (that's Bob2 to you) got me interested in blogs. The immediate cause of me getting started on this blog was memorialized in my first post. Basically, I considered it an opportunity to republish the same papers in an easily-updatable format, add other stuff as it came to mind, and get more feedback from readers.

So I started blogging. At first, the process of blogging itself is interesting; one tweaks the format (especially if one starts in Blogger), learns tips and tricks, reads and attempt to apply Joe Carter's series' of posts on how to be a successful blogger. One reads other blogs, tries to get and give links, drive some traffic and interest. Not that I ever expected, hoped, or wanted to be an uber-blogger; but there's no point in doing this if nobody's reading.

Over the last year, a number of things have changed. I used to work an evening shift, and I can't sleep immediately after getting home from work, so I used to have hours of solitude during the night after work and during the day before work, when the kids were at school. It was lonely and hardly the ideal for a family, but ya do what ya gotta do, and it did provide lots of time for working on the blog. Now, my schedule has changed to days, which gives me more time with the family, but time I devote to blogging is generally a) stolen from my family and b) not quiet. Also, I've already republished most, if not all, of the papers I had originally written; while I was doing so, I could cover over dry spells by publishing stuff I'd already written, but now I don't have that option.

And dry spells are an issue. Without the solitude, I don't have the space to cultivate creative ideas. (Not that I was ever that creative to begin with, but you get the idea.) So I don't merely not have the time to write; I don't actually feel like I have anything to write about. Plus, the things I used to think I wanted to write about I've been losing interest in (BTW, that's "losing," not "loosing," which is what faith healers do to people in "bondage." Seems to be a common mistake these days). I don't think that anyone is interested in divine election apart from the already-convinced, so there's really not much point in flogging that one. With the advent of the emerging movement, it appears that everything I was interested in is passe.

Which leads to the title of this post.

One option: leave it behind entirely. What I have written, I have written. I get hits on a regular basis from people searching for issues regarding divine election, and I hope I've provided an alternative perspective.

Another: do what I've been doing--post when I can, when the mood strikes, and hope that there's someone around to read when I do. But there's the feeling, with a blog, that you should be publishing something on some sort of a regular basis; hence the ubiquitous apologies by blog writers on why they haven't written recently.

Another: blog like a blogger. Find something to write about on a daily or every-couple-of-days basis, even if it's just a link. On the whole, not interesting to me. There's already too much contentless junk on the web, as anyone who has conducted a Google search knows. You can get lots of hits that way, but it's not my thing. Or get more personal--make it more like an online journal. But I'm not really sure that that's my thing either.

So anyway, you may not hear from me much. I'm open to ideas. I appreciate those of you whom I have met in the process of doing this; particularly Peter and SelahV. God bless.


  1. Keith,

    I do understand the dilemnas you are in. I must say, though, I am one who will definitely miss your presence.

    You remain an inspiration to me and a breathe of fresh air in your engagement style. Your mind is sharp; your knowledge is deep and are perception clear enough to know that when the "dialog" is superficial, it is not necessary to "win."

    I think you are right about matters on Election--few are interested in weighing their view in the balance with a willingness to change if shown their's is insufficient.

    But I cannot see myself walking away from that issue just yet. Southern Baptists are vunerable presently to a thorough take-over by a much too aggressive Calvinism.

    Grace always Keith. And, I hope we keep in touch.

    With that, I am...


  2. Keith: I cannot for a moment say you shouldn't do this. But I will say I will be sorry if you go. Write when you feel like it. Only when you feel like it, and only when you feel led of God to share something with the rest of the world. You can pretend you are writing just to Peter and engage him.

    It's odd. Just this a.m. I was thinking the same thing, though. And I'm getting a fair amount of hits, lately. I decided when I began I would write to write. It's good for mind. I don't want it to get stale with me-isms. So writing helps me focus beyond myself. Peter got me started and to be honest, God has kept me going.

    I cannot believe you do not have more you can write. Why? because you are brilliant. beyond my pea-brain understanding. Your comments bring so much clarity to Peter's blog. I will miss you if you do not at least frequent him. God bless you in whatever you decide. I am honored to call you brother. selahV

  3. Hi Peter and SelahV,

    Thanks for the kind comments. I didn't really mean this post to be a definitive sign-off; just a more-elaborate-than-usual explanation for my lack of posting much of anything in the recent past and foreseeable future.

    Peter, I understand and respect your willingness to continue engaging on the divine election issue. Thankfully, my own fellowship is not in the same position (of course, we have other problems....). I think, having gone to a largely Reformed seminary, that I mainly had to deal with that stuff and get it out of my system. It's amazing to me (as you've rightly pointed out on your own blog) that most Calvinists will proof text, appeal to authority, cloak ignorance in the garb of self-evidence, anything but actually engage in an exegetical discussion of the passages that undergird their position. This from a group that trumpets their fidelity to scripture and exegetical acumen.

    SelahV, my dear lady, it does me no honor for you to put yourself down by comparison. You have your own gifts, and gift-comparing is not wise for any of us. I'm not really going away; I may just have more extended vacations.

  4. Geesh, Keith. didn't realize what that sounded like till I re-read it. I'm just saying that your ability to grasp the depth of theology and the systems of belief and analyse them with scripture is really on a level above my educational grasp. I don't know all the terms, the definitions of the terms and spend half my time looking up meanings to words so I can try to understand. But I do try--at least until I weary myself with over-thinking something. Like sovereignty. I just enjoy basking in the knowledge that I can trust God, ya know? Do you think that some Calvinists are so entrenched in their own idea of what it all means and how it works that they cannot see someone else's equal sincerity and understanding of grace? selahV

  5. keith, can you email me the translation of the page you have with all the little flags. pardon my ineptness. :) been curious for a year. selahV