This is my 100th blog post since starting Divinity School about two years ago.
These posts at AuthenticTheology.com (originally DivinitySchool.wordpress.com) amount to around 1000 double-spaced pages, the length of two or three typical novels.
When You’ve Got So Much to Say, It’s Called Gratitude.
Writing these articles has become one of my favorite things to do. They have cost me a lot of sleep and some shunning here and there, but they have been well worth it.
Thank you for reading them! I appreciate the opportunity to write for you and am honored that you would take time out of your day to read the posts.
I am particularly appreciative of the comments and questions I receive about the articles via Facebook comments, messenger, text, email, and in person. Many folks do not like to discuss religion in public — who knew? 😊 — and that is fine. Your questions and feedback help and challenge me, and I place great value on them.
World Peace, That’s All
My hope is that my writing somehow helps make the world a better place, particularly for those who have been marginalized or discriminated against, and that it somehow lessens the misuse of scripture to damage people and damage the kingdom of God. Lofty and naive goals, maybe.
I have a lot on my mind and tend to process things through writing. So a lot of what you are seeing is me processing things for myself. Knowing that I am writing for you, too, though, pushes me to work harder.
Putting the Authentic in AuthenticTheology.com
I decided near the beginning of this effort to write whatever was on my mind, rather than holding back to keep everyone comfortable—thus the “authentic” in “AuthenticTheology.com.” The result of doing so has been mixed. Some people appreciate it and send kind notes. Others send me hate mail, shun me, or kick me out of Facebook groups.
It is a shame that people in general are not comfortable discussing theology with one another. It ought to come as naturally as talking about sports, current events, or anything else. We are all trying to figure it out, in one way or another, and talking with one another benefits everyone.
One of my goals in serving in my public-theology internship is to communicate that I am comfortable talking about theology with others and to encourage others to feel the same way. I see signs that I have encouraged at least some people to feel more comfortable talking theology with me. I hope to continue to encourage them and you to be comfortable talking theology not just with me but with others, too.
The answers I don’t have way outnumber the ones I do, but maybe we can figure it out together.
I was expecting to have only a few readers, but the blog has had over 21,000 visitors and 36,000 views since I started it about two years ago—way more than I imagined.
My article with the highest readership from the second 50 brought surprising news to some folks:
The surprise wears off when one studies scripture on the subject and sees that most Churches of Christ are now following a tradition of excluding women from all roles in the worship assembly (no leading singing, no reading scripture, no ….) and that such a tradition contradicts scripture.
Most of the colleges have figured this out.
My article with the lowest readership from the second 50:
(it beat out 7 Interesting Things About the Book of First Kings by a single reader)
I mean, come on, how could you resist these two articles with such compelling titles? 🙂
I have learned something new while writing each one of the articles in my “7 Interesting Things About [book of the Bible]” series. I admit, though, that some of them are more interesting than others. I think the one on the book of Joshua is the most interesting.
I would love to hear from you.
What questions arise for you when you read a particular article or this blog in general? What topic would you like to see addressed? What are your thoughts on these things? Speak up!
Again, thanks for reading!
Forrest Gump’s description here is roughly what it has been like to write these 100 beginning the day I started Divinity School:
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road.
And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town.
And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County.
And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama.
For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean.
And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going.
When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.
When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went. …
I’d think a lot.”
The “When You’ve Got So Much to Say, It’s Called Gratitude.” line is a lyric from a Beastie Boys song.