This blog is ten years old. On 12/7/06, from a solitary seat in a Panera Bread, somewhere in America, I began expressing myself on various subjects to the world. Whether the world wants to know what my opinion is on any subject is another matter. (One angry American atheist in Austria wanted me to tell him where I lived, probably so he could find me and punch me in the nose. But our exchange occurred on another blog.) I was reluctant to begin blogging. I was afraid it would compete for valuable time with legitimate spiritual activities. I have actually received a few comments over the years questioning whether one can be both a blogger and an active disciple of Jesus Christ. After ten years, 428 published articles (449 if you count those in draft), my fears did not materialize. In fact, much good has come from it. I learned anew how to express my thoughts in written form. I had let that skill deteriorate after college. I did not regain it while in seminary, which was very inconvenient when writing papers and taking exams. Only after I began blogging did I regain this ability. Many of the books I have on my shelf would not have been read had I not disciplined myself to read them so I could review them online. Many of these books were bought from the Wesley Biblical Seminary library. These books influenced my spiritual and theological development. One in particular influenced how I taught a class at the church I currently attend. The book was The Goodness of God by the late John Wenham. It sat on my shelf for at least ten years. As I turned each page, the page became separated from the binding. I wrote some good articles based on it that will appear one day on this blog. Some of the scriptural references appeared on my other blog, Notes From My Study. I thought that this this book would influence me no further. But soon after reading it, I heard a member of my class ask my pastor about some of the difficult issues surrounding the Old Testament. In God's sovereign timing, I had just been been prepared to deal with her questions. I already had background in the subject, but this particular book prepared me to teach the subject I was already going to teach in far more effective manner. And I would not have read the book if I had not been a blogger. In some cases, expressing myself in print has allowed me to sort out what I really believe on a subject. This was the case with the article, A Post Without Answers. It was a response to the controversy surrounding Pat Robertson's remarks on the earthquake in Haiti. It was the hardest single article for me to write because my position kept changing as I wrote. I have also learned that I have the greatest difficulty expressing myself theologically. It took me a year to produce an article in response to the theological writings of N.T. Wright. Being a blogger has caused me to express myself on other sites. Some of those exchanges were heated, but I also have had worthwhile contact with others I would not otherwise have had. These benefits have been a great blessing over the years, and I expect more positive benefits in the future. Social Media certainly deserves the criticism it has received for its adverse affect on our culture. But it has had one benefit for me. In certain instances, it has offered me an opportunity to define myself instead of having myself defined by others. Even in Christian circles, there are those who would try to marginalize you by painting a false picture to others of your intelligence and capabilities. Blogging has allowed me to transcend such attempts at marginalization. As to those heated exchanges, they have proven to be beneficial to me as well. Learning how to engage a hostile internet antagonist in a civil, Christian manner has been good training. Recently, I had needed that training as I dealt with someone who became somewhat aggressive toward me on another site. That kind of training carries over into other areas of human interaction as well.
So I look forward to another ten years of blogging. I hope soon to increase my productivity. In recent years, my productivity has declined. Productivity declined by half beginning in 2010 when I moved to my present location. Some of the ability to express myself in print seemed to disappear when I made the move. Also, since 9/15, I have been at work on a project which has taken up all the time I have to produce material for posting. I hope to finish this month. I might not produce the 70, 80, or 90 posts a year that appeared in my blog's first few years. But I do hope to produce at least 50 posts a year under my present circumstances.
If you have taken time to peruse my posts on this blog in the past, thank-you. I hope they were beneficial to you in some way. I hope Redemptive Thoughts continues to be a place where you can find articles of interest on a wide range of subjects.
I would also like to thank one of my fellow Wesley Biblical Seminary alumni Jason Kranzusch for encouraging me to be a blogger.