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    Entries in blog (5)

    Thursday
    Jul142011

    What Type of Community Is This? What Will It Be?

    Community.  There are all types of communities, centered on all kinds of topics, hobbies, and interests.  There is the hand-craft community, the DIY community, and the everything Apple community.  There is the Reformed community and Emergent Village and the Evangelical Arminians

    I’m part of numerous communities.  I play softball and pick up hoops.  I volunteer in our youth ministry.  My most important community is my family.  I am part of a church.

    But what type of community is this?  What type of community will it become?

    I want to be clear. 

    • I want there to be people here who are both young and old.  May those of us who are younger learn from those who are older, and vice-versa.  
    • I want this community to consist of people who are willing to intellectually engage theology and culture.  This community will make space for those that question and doubt.  While there will be room for strong proclamation, there will also be room for inquiry and investigation.  
    • This community will engage both popular and more technical concerns.  I am an academic who loves people enough to try to communicate in plain language.  This can be a challenge for me, but I will strive to write in an accessible way, while also challenging the collective to elevate our discourse to higher levels of critical thinking.  
    • This community will be a space where people can laugh, joke, and clown around.  While we will be serious, we will not take ourselves too seriously.  
    • This space will foster connection.  I want commenters to interact and dialogue with one another in a respectful tone.  We can challenge one another, question one another, and even say we strongly disagree, but when we do so, we will speak the truth in love.  
    • This space will be ecumenical.  I am a Baptist who is a member of a United Methodist Church.  I still represent the Baptist tradition, while being an admirer of John Wesley and the greater Wesleyan tradition.  People from all traditions or no-tradition are welcome to come and contribute in the discourse, whether they be liberal or conservative, Reformed, Catholic, Emergent (whatever that might mean), Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc.  
    • This community will consult and wrestle with the Bible.  I love the Scriptures.  The text should not be dismissed too quickly in light of modern concerns or set aside in an attempt to establish a lowest common denominator faith.  We should pursue the logic of our interpretations to their conclusions, and, when we have reasoned well together and still disagree, maintain fellowship in love.  
    • This community will not serve as a substitute for involvement in our neighborhoods.  Hopefully, it will inspire us to be more engaged in our cities and towns.  In addition, it is hoped that the relationships that begin here might eventually result in a handshake, a cup of coffee, a meal, or some other occasion where we might be “face to face.” 

    For this to be a community, I will need your help.  I will need you to step out of the shadows, leave a comment, ask a question, send an email.  I will need you to share discussions found here with your friends and networks, and invite others to take part.  I will need you to bring my attention to interesting articles around the web, books that are of note, and scholarly works that should not be ignored.  I will need you to help me track culture and think harder and work more diligently to communicate clearly.  I will need you to carve out a presence.

     All are welcome.  All are accepted.  Those are words I learned at the Lord’s Table.  They are true here as well.

    I’m glad you are part of this community.  Now, let us live the dream.

    Thursday
    Jul072011

    Connect!

    One of my goals for this forum is that it function not only as a vehicle for delivering news and ideas, but also for it to serve as a meeting ground for dialogue, conversation, and connection.  Thanks to the myriad of web-based social tools and the ease of direct communication by way of the commenting system, establishing links and interacting has become quite simple.

    Here are a few easy ways to strengthen ties to this space: 

    • Leave a comment with a link to your blog. Maybe others who swing by this site will bounce and spend some time in your arena.
    • Ask people to connect with you on Twitter via the comments.
    • Ask a question that another commenter can address.
    • Connect with me on Twitter. I sometimes update my feed when a new post goes live.
    • "Like" my page on Facebook. I post links from my personal blog and other writings around the web.

    I want to connect with readers.  I also want readers to connect with one another, extending mutual respect and engaging in constructive dialogue.

    Step out of the shadows and into the light.  Join the community.  Share it with others.

    Monday
    Jun062011

    8 Ways To Help My Blog

    1. Leave a Comment

    Great blogs are great communities.  Great communities form when there is communication and common passion.  I write about books, theology, technology, media, ministry, church, and culture.  Some of the things I write about are humorous.  Some are serious.  I write about  abstract, philosophical ideas and concrete, practical approaches to the Christian life.  I know there are other people reading my blog who have something important to say, even if it is a word of encouragement like, "nice thoughts" or a brief disagreement, like, "you suck".  I'd prefer the former to the latter.  Let me know you're there.  Be part of creating a community by leaving a comment. 

    2. Connect With Me On Twitter/Facebook

    I like to connect with readers/leaders.  Twitter and Facebook have been great for that reason.

    Find me on Twitter.

    There are two ways to connect with me on Facebook.  Add me as a friend, or become a fan of my page that is dedicated to my writing.

    3. Subscribe Via RSS

    Click here to subscribe to my blog.  RSS (really simple syndication) enables you to receive blog updates via email or through a blog reader, like Google Reader.

    4. Share The Blog With Others

    If you read something here that you find interesting or of value, share it with others.  Link to the GOOD stuff (I'm serious about this).  Link to the posting from your blog, share the link on Facebook, or put it on Twitter.  Boost the signal.

    5. Submit Questions and Comments Via Email

    In the left hand column there is a submission form, or click here to send me an email.  I may write something you disagree with, or something you find compelling, or something you'd like to hear more about.  Questions or comments from you can serve as a great springboard for discussion, and if you give me an idea to blog about, with your permission, I'll give you credit for spurring my thinking.

    6. Form a Partnership

    Are you a publisher, content producer, or provider of a important service relating to theology, church, and media?  I like to read.  I like to write reviews.  Contact me if you'd like to discuss a partnership.

    7. Invite Me to Guest Blog

    Do you have a blog?  If you're looking for someone to help create content, invite me to come and post.  Give me a topic or a book to review, a word count, and a little about your readership, and I'd be glad to discuss being part of your blog community.

    8. Hire Me

    I like to write.  Getting paid helps me to put more time in to reading and writing.  Contact me if you're looking for someone to create content, read/edit/respond to a manuscript, or compose supplementary material for something you are working on, such as discussion/study questions.

    Monday
    Feb072011

    Done. Or, In Search of a New Hobby.

    January 26, 2011, I defended my thesis project before my advisory committee.  This past Friday, February 4, I submitted my signed acceptance and title pages to the Department of Graduate Affairs at The University of Kansas, and uploaded my thesis project through ProQuest.  By 6:00 p.m. Friday evening, I had fulfilled all of my requirements for graduation with an MA in Religious Studies.

    I'm so happy to be done.  Now, however, there is a void.  What am I to think about?  What should I read about?  On what subject will I allow my thoughts to dwell, and to what end?  I think I'm going to need a hobby.

    During my time at Kansas I've been sporadic in updating my blog.  Oftentimes, I would focus on book reviews or provide occasional commentary on a current event or an item of note.  I'd write about my life, whether it be my family or my travels.

    I wonder what you'd like to read about.  Yes, you.  The person who might read my blog.  Who subscribes via RSS.  Who clicks on my links via Facebook or Twitter.  What do you want to learn about, reflect on, or engage with?

    Whatever you write, don't think for a moment that I won't be discriminating.  One subject I plan to pursue is work.  Yet, I'd love your input.

    With graduate work now completed, I'm in need of a hobby.  Blogging will be but one of those.  And with your help, I'll have more in the hopper to consider.

    Monday
    Aug162010

    Comment Policy

    At this time, I don't get an overwhelming amount of comments.  But I have had to moderate and remove a few, so I felt that a comment policy is in order.  This is my blog, and therefore it is my space to manage.  It is my hope that this blog will develop over time to become a vibrant community for discussion, whether for those that share life in nearby proximity, or through the web as a space for conversation concerning important ideas and events.

    My policy can be reduced to one sentence: I reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason whatsoever.  If a comment is excessively inflammatory, malicious, or destructive, it will be removed.  If your comment is obviously spam, it will be removed.  If you insult, attack, or demean others who comment, your comments will be removed, or comments will be closed.  Final judgment on what constitutes inflammatory, degrading, or insulting speech is mine to make.

    In order to build up the community, I would ask that when the truth is spoken, that it be done so in love.  I ask that comments be cordial and respectful.  When a disagreement is present either with what I say, or with what another commenter has said, I ask that dissent be expressed irenically, rather than polemically.  If it is possible, I would like to establish the conversation space at this blog as one of peace.  I cannot do that without the assistance of others.

    Finally, if you subscribe to my blog through an RSS feed, through email, or through a blog reader, I'd ask that you leave a comment to say hello.  I'd like to have an idea who is reading.  If you have a blog, link to your space.  If you utilize Twitter, leave your handle, so I can connect with you in that way.  And if you've been reading my blog for a while, and have a topic you'd like to see me address, please indicate that in the feed.

    Thanks for reading, thanks for being respectful, and thanks for building up the community.