Nearly 2000 posts.
Over 10 000 comments.
Close to a million words.
Almost a million hits.
And if you're googling "Trinity sermons", "Adjectives for God" or "Santa is Anti-Christ", I'm your blog!
5 years ago life was pretty tough. Emma wasn't quite at her worst but she was far from her best. Blogging was a way of ministering (and being ministered to) when life was hugely constrained.
It's continued to be a blessing in my life, and now in Emma's. And, praise God, I don't think either of us would or could be doing what we're doing without the platform it's provided. I'm usually very blasé about blogging, but looking back it's been very significant.
Thank you to you guys for making it so enjoyable. I always say the commenters are the best thing about blogging and I mean it. Bless you!
For old times' sake, here's my first ever post: The Cruciform God.
And if you're interested, here's an interview I did at the start of the year about my hows and whys of blogging...
1. How did you get into blogging?
I got into blogging the way Aaron got into idolatry. I just clicked some buttons at WordPress and “out came this blog.” I wasn’t thinking about a long-term ministry at all. At the time I’d been pestering Bobby Grow with lengthy comments and he suggested that I rant on my own site rather than everyone else’s. Of course he didn’t say it like that, but I got the message.
This was four years ago when my wife was quite ill. I think the Lord was kind in giving me an outlet and a ministry beyond the home when I wasn’t always able to get out. The examples of Charles Wesley and BB Warfield have inspired me in this. Both their wives struggled with illness and yet actually, as they cared for their wives, the Lord opened up incredible ministries for them where they were. On a vastly smaller scale I’ve seen the Lord do something similar through blogging.
2. Why do you blog? What is, if you like your ‘Mission Statement’ as a blogger?
Some people have an irenic tone and serpentine wisdom. I have a nasal tone and bark like a dog. Blogging suits me like that. I’ve had the same strap-line since the beginning and it really has been the conviction that’s driven me: “Jesus is the Word of God.” My mission is to keep that thought uppermost in all our minds – my own included. It’s so easy to drift into a deistic view of God, a mechanical view of salvation, a moralistic view of the Christian life – even within evangelical circles. I’m always trying to think about what it would mean if Jesus Himself defined God and salvation and daily living. It should be unthinkable to even imagine Christ-less conceptions of these truths… and yet I encounter them all the time. In myself and in others. My blogging is a faltering and feeble attempt to shout “JESUS” on a website.
3. What do you see as the strategic benefits of Christian blogging?
Maybe it’s just me, but some of my deepest theological convictions have been shaped by a single conversation – even a single phrase. Perhaps that exposes me as shallow! But I think it’s easy to poo-poo blogs as a poor substitute for books and journals. And in many ways they are. But we’re not always shaped by digesting lengthy treatises. We can be changed profoundly by deep truths, simply put. I hope that my blogging is a drip-drip of gospel thinking that – cumulatively, or even as a one-off – can open eyes to the glory of Christ.
4. What are some of the problems and weaknesses you see as you survey the Christian blogging scene?
I wish there was more theological wrestling on Christian blogs. Too many sites strike me as theology-lite pastoral epistles – full of ministry philosophy and best practice. But where’s the meaty discussions of doctrine of God and christology, etc? I guess it’s a reflection of a broader evangelical anaemia. But I often find more substantial Jesus-shaped theology on non-evangelical blogs. Maybe I’m missing all the great evangelical sites though, I don’t really keep up with ‘the scene’.
5. Is there a gap in the scene; an area of Christian life or ministry that is not being adequately addressed?
I’m going to sound petty or ranty or both but… I think the way that question is framed is part of the problem! If you ask me, “Christian life and ministry” is not where the “gap in the scene” lies. There’s all too much about Christian life and ministry. All the while, radical Christ-centred reflections on God and the gospel are thin on the ground. More of those please.
6. What advice would you give to someone considering starting blogging?
There’s loads of good advice out there but one thing I’d highlight is to love and serve your commenters. It’s fantastic to interact with people from all over the world and to get to know them in a bloggy kind of way. So answer questions, take their points seriously and try to write in a way that opens up discussion rather than shuts it down. I’m not very good at any of that. And with time pressures I’m becoming even worse. But interact with your commenters – that’s my big tip. It’s the most fun aspect of blogging and if you’re not going to do it – don’t open comments!
7. What are your favourite 5 Christian blogs?
My wife’s blog is gob-smackingly good. Not just saying that: A New Name
Theology Network is the very best antidote to the evangelical anaemia mentioned above.
The 48 Files by Dave Kirkman is a proper blog – doctrinal, pastoral, deeply gospel-ly
Peter Leithart will always provoke thought and take you deeper into Scripture and trinitarian reflection.
Dan Hames is blogging rich, trinitarian, Christ-centred fare at High Over All.