Monday, September 16, 2013

9 Years of Blogging

After hearing that Keith Drury was doing it, 9 years ago today I quietly posted my first blog post.  I didn't publicize it to be sure, because it had to do with politics. Keith had warned me that politics would get you in more trouble with our circles than just about anything.

I can't tell you whether the net effect of this blog has been positive or negative for me.  I would say that here are some of the consequences:
  • I have had significantly more impact on my circles than I otherwise would have. For good or ill, when people in my circles are looking for resources and perspectives, my thoughts are quick at hand. There may be many thinkers in my church with better thoughts, but only their students have heard them.  I have had an impact disproportionate to my significance because I'm here.
  • I have gone from having pretty much everyone think of me as Ken the nice guy to sometimes being Ken the lightning rod. Most people who meet me think of me as easy-going and quite accommodating. There are advantages to keeping your thoughts to yourself or at the dinner table. 
  • Although at some point I have probably given everyone delight, I have also probably at some point raised everyone's eyebrows. My scholarly friends are no doubt occasionally surprised at some of the pragmatic things I say. My broader Christian friends are no doubt surprised at some of the Wesleyan things I say.  My Wesleyan friends are no doubt surprised at some of the scholarly things I say.  
  • I have written a lot more popular books than scholarly ones.  While I have found it very easy to crank out books through the blog, they have almost all been popular rather than scholarly in nature.  Young scholars might ask themselves that question, will blogging get me off task or help increase my name recognition as I begin to write scholarly articles and books? 
So I really can't decide whether the net benefit has been positive or negative.  At times it has kept me sane.  At times it has caused me fits of insanity. At times it has allowed me to have an impact I wouldn't have had on important issues and situations.

What do you all think? :-)


Rick said...

I don't agree with much of what you write (sometimes you seem to try too hard to be a contrarian to the evangelical faith), but overall your blog is a positive, so please keep it up!

If anything, more Wesleyan/Arminian voices are needed to provide balance to the Reformed views that are so numerous.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

I very much enjoy your thoughts, both scholarly and Wesleyan. As I am not American the politics don't hit quite so hard. Please don't stop!

James McGrath said...

Happy blogiversary!

Susan Moore said...

I keep thinking about what Pastor DeNeff talked about in the College Wesleyan Church three sermons ago. In his sermon he used an analogy of putting together a 1500 piece puzzle. He used that analogy to represent something else, but in my mind it represented each denomination working on its own separate section of the puzzle. Each getting its own 8-10 pieces together. But without people working to connect the various sections together, there can be no unified Church. None of us are 100% right, or we'd be glorified in heaven already. It seems parachurch ministries are one non-confrontational opportunity for people from even conflicting denominations to get to know and love each other, and to work side-by-side for the good of others. I’m beginning to appreciate blogging as being an avenue that people can take to visit and discuss the views of others. There has to be a way for people of varying views to hear each other out, mull it over, and pray about it. If nothing else, it provides great practice at loving and forgiving! :-)

John Mark said...

I have benefited from your blog. With my ADHD afflicted mind and limited theological education, at times you are over my head, which hasn't stopped my from trying to be in on the conversation, alas. But I have learned things from you I never heard anywhere else. Your NT survey book was very helpful to me, for example. And frankly we need more Wesleyan oriented blogs in a world which is very oriented towards Calvinism and cultural fundamentalism, in addition to the increasing pluralism.
I agree, you come off sometimes as contrarian, and aren't (in my mind) as accessible to the non academic as, say, Roger Olson. But sincere thanks for your work. I have wondered at times why you haven't published more academic stuff (not that I will necessarily read it :)).
As for politics, you and Drury make me think....I think you both try to needle social conservatives a bit, perhaps for the fun of it, or for more serious reasons.
So keep on, I say, until it no longer makes sense for you to do so.

Ken Schenck said...

Thanks for taking the ride with me all...

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for writing. Keep it up. And, again, happy birthday (not on the date of your post, but a few days later.)