Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why does this blog exist?

 Hi there.  Thanks for visiting.  I've done relatively little blogging in my day, so I thought I'd take a few moments to introduce this blog and the scope of its inquiry.

The name for the blog comes from a quote from the Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth, during his only visit to the United States.  I find it a wonderful and challenging quote and hope to probe it more deeply in posts to come.

So why does this blog exist?  The short answer is that I have a little article coming out in a book soon (I hope).  Several of the contributors are highly accomplished theo-bloggers. (When I get some time, I'm going to post links to their blogs.  And I'll post a link to your blog, too, if you're a friend of mine and/or if your blog is interesting and there are no expletives in the title, for I am a family man with a 3-year-old son.)

I was, thus, concerned that I might be the only contributor without a blog of his own.  My editor, in soliciting bios from us, also requested that we highlight whatever web presence each of us has.  I took this (I'm sure he didn't intend it this way) as a challenge to validate my existence as a theologian (more on this later) by pointing to definite markers of this existence in cyber reality.  I blog, therefore I am.  In other words, I was afraid of being embarrassed if I didn't have my own blog.  Crisis averted.  You might call this effort, then, an act of shame-induced self promotion.

But more seriously -- and I do mean this -- I love studying theology.  I've beeing studying theology, at times fairly seriously, for almost 20 years.  I especially enjoyed graduate school, and I was blessed to be able to sneak into a couple of pretty good ones.  One of the most important things about study, for me, has been the sense of community I share with others who have similar passions and interests -- and student loan debt.
It is very easy to feel isolated, though, once one gets out of graduate school, no matter what comes next.  So, then, a theology blog becomes an act of trying to plug into community (Christians claim to know something about the need for this).  In this case, a community of intellectual inquiry.  This is especially important for me as, in my current life circumstances, I can't really afford to go to a lot of the conferences where I could discuss these ideas and passions over a nice pint of .... soda (there may be some Baptists reading this blog).

Next up (hopefully soon):  What is theology?
P.S.: I wrote this on my lunch break.  I swear it.

1 comment:

  1. I like your choice of title for your blog. I'm preparing for a sermon on "The Waiting Father" (with appreciation to Helmut Thielicke). For me, one of the underlying and often missed theme of the story is the freedom the father gives to his son. The son did not realize the cost of the freedom to his father (far more than the inheritance), or the cost to himself (loss of freedom and being captured by slavery). After the son's "far-country" experience, the father restores relationship and freedom which is what our Father-God desires for us.