This is my 50th blog post since starting Divinity School last August. I have managed to publish an article almost every week over the past year, somewhat to my surprise. So, today I am celebrating this milestone.
Thank you to those of you who read my posts. I am humbled that you do, and I appreciate it every time you read one.
I take the articles seriously and have learned a lot while researching, analyzing, and writing them. I hope that they have stimulated your thinking and helped you in your relationship with God.
I particularly appreciate the many comments, emails, texts, and in-person discussions about my articles. Most writers will tell you that those interactions are what they value most, and I am no different.
What’s Hot and What’s Not
I was expecting to have only a few readers, but the blog has had thousands of views over the past year.
My articles with the highest readership:
1. Does the Bible Instruct Christians to Break Ties with Gay Friends and Family? — Considering “Giving Your Child to the Devil” (about 200 people have read this one so far)
2. Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality in the Bible: Both Sides (Part 1, Sodom)
3. “Abortion in the Bible: A Brief Look at Both Sides of the Debate (Part 1 of 3)”
4. Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality in the Bible: Both Sides (Part 4, Polygamy & the Biblical Definition of Marriage)
5. Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 – Often Cited by Young Earth Creationists – Do Not Necessarily Refer to Six, Consecutive 24-Hour-Days
And with the lowest:
46. 7 Interesting Things About Numbers
47. Change in Law Seeks to Protect Atheists While Contradicting Calls for a Muslim Ban
48. Scientists and Christianity: Increased Belief, Recent Surveys, & Some Observations
49. Should the Government Mandate That Religious Leaders “Condemn the Souls of” Terrorists? Secretary of State Tillerson Did Last Week (16 people have read this one)
I cannot leave it unsaid that I am most disappointed about #48. It was one of my favorites, but very few read it. That’s the life of a writer, I suppose!
If you have any suggestions on topics, please let me know.
Writing these articles has forced me to think deeper about theology than I otherwise would.
Over the past year, I have thought more about the problems in theology than about the happy side of it, though. Problems like the misuse of scripture and the expression and practice of hate in God’s name by many Christians have taken up a disproportionate share of my thinking.
Some of these problems are complex puzzles. Others have frustratingly clear solutions, like looking to Christ’s words and example, that are often ignored nevertheless. In many cases, the problem’s impact on our fellow humans is depressing.
As Tracey, my wife, says, “It’s a lot to walk around with.”
It would be much easier on me not to think about such problems. But, as I study theology in Divinity School, one of my objectives is to communicate about theological matters authentically and clearly. How can one hope to meet such an objective without having worked through the details of at least some of these problems in an honest way?
Again, Thank You
Even with such challenges, it is a privilege to be able to think through these issues and to write this blog.
Thank you very much for reading these posts and for communicating with me about them on occasion. My favorite thing about writing them is hearing from you, and I hope to hear from you more.
I am going to take a break from publishing for a few weeks while I get this semester of Divinity School going. In the meantime, please let me have your suggestions on topics to address, how to improve the posts, and anything else. You can send them to me by using the contact form on this blog or by e-mailing me at steve dot gardner at gmail dot com (written out here in an attempt to avoid the bots).