It has been quite a while since my last blog post and a whole lot has happened since then. I have a couple update posts coming soon, but wanted to quickly let you know that we have recently switched our webhost so if you see anything screwing on the websites or blogs, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For what its worth, after nearly 8 years with a cheap ($2/mo) fly-by-night company called www.stayhosted.com we finally had to upgrade to a "real" hosting provider. After much research, we went with www.hostgator.com. It costs us almost double, but we went from a 500MB limit (which we had exceeded) to an unlimited provider. So far I have been very impressed. They have been quick to respond to my support tickets and even took care of doing the transfers between servers for me.
I admit, part of the reason for this post is to ferret out any complications with the transfer and subsequent DNS transfers, but I also wanted to give a shout out to HostGator because they seem to be doing a great job.
Hopefully you will hear from me again soon.
Generally it drives me crazy when people write posts about not writing posts. Usually they are either apologizing for not writing, or promising more to come. I just don’t get that.
But… that being said… I want to comment on my decrease in blogging.
Sure, I could complain that I have been too busy. I could admit I have been too lazy. It could be the fact that in preparing for our move I have had less time to think about blog-worthy subjects.
But, the truth of the matter is that I have found another outlet. A couple years ago I noticed the rise of my blogging coincided with graduating seminary and ending my tenure as pastor. Basically I took up blogging because I had lost my other outlets for writing and processing big ideas: sermon writing and papers for seminary.
Now that I have returned as the pastor of Stevenson’s Chapel in Russellville, I am once again writing 8-10 pages a week for a typical sermon. This has not only taken up my time, it has also been my release for thinking through big picture ideas.
If you are missing your fix of Ben’s writing (HA! Who am I kidding?), you can read my sermons online.
Trust me… I have no problem arguing. Just ask my wife, my parents, or any of my friends. I am pensive by nature and tend to think through things, so I am usually ready to defend my views.
That being said, I have learned repeatedly the futility of arguing on the internet. I have been active in a number of forums and debated issues on facebook and blogs. I find very rarely does it turn out well. It seems virtual arguments tend to escalate quicker and people tend to assume the worst. Electronic posts lack the non-verbals necessary to gauge things like sarcasm vs. sincerity or attacks vs. suggestions. When you don’t have a larger context it is easy to stereotype and pigeon-hole.
I write this because I find myself sticking to my commitment to blog regularly (I have already posted more in the last week than I have on my various blogs over 5 years). I am sure I will post some controversial things and I am up for discussion and encourage feedback and suggestions. However, I refuse to get into arguments over what I post. I see blogging as a way for me to express my thoughts (and work through them) and not as an avenue for convincing others to join whatever philosophical camp I happen to be representing.
I hope to have great conversations in the coming months, but please don’t be disappointed if I refuse to respond to some comments. It is not that I find the points invalid, or don’t appreciate a person’s thoughts. It is just that I don’t think it is helpful for anyone to argue over the internet. Too many words have been spilled and no many emotions raised over topics that in the end never amounted to anything.
I have friends that are bloggers. I don’t consider myself part of their ranks. I have some friends who use their blogs to connect with friends and family. I have some friends who use their blogs to encourage debate and critical thinking. I have some friends who use their blogs to project an image. I have a whole lot of friends who have blogs, but never update them. None of those categories have ever suited me.
That being said, occasionally I come across a blog post that really gets me thinking or gives me a glimpse into a person’s true self. Those are the posts I am drawn to – the ones that are written for no audience other than the author, where an electronic medium is used as a pathway for self reflection. If I am going to blog, that is why – to reflect on my thoughts and work through my own understandings.
I have entitled this blog “Dynamic yet Consistent.” That title comes from a paper I wrote a few years ago about approaches to theology. It is my contention that in our quest to understand theology and even life itself, we must always allow a fluidity in our thinking, but that fluidity should be taking us someplace – refining our thoughts and our understandings. I think blogs can reflect that. We can look back on our pondering years later and see how we have changed. At the same time, blogs allow for the helpful influence of community in this thought process.
That then undergirds this blog: it is merely my thoughts, but they are presented to you so you can help shape me in my thinking. I have included a quotes page as well as writings page. The later is for my own vanity while the former is illustrate the thoughts of those who are shaping me.
You will find several posts precceed this introductory post. Those were written by me on the now defunct Emergent-BG blog. I found in reading over them that many express deep thoughts and insights that I have not projected anywhere else. Some are fitting, others are not. Feel free to ignore them all.