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.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Brian LePort on Speaking in Tongues

Brian LePort has some interesting posts relating to scriptures that deal with the issue of speaking in tongues. He first discusses Luke's perspective in the book of Acts, and then discusses Paul's perspective in 1 Corinthians. I think Brian has an excellent evenhanded discussion of the topics, even though I disagree with him in some minor points. While many interpreters are either trying to explain away the existence of tongues, or to demonstrate conclusively the present use of tongues, it seems to me that Brian is seriously trying to exegete the original writers' concerns with regard to the topic.

Check it out.

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