By Joshua Penduck
I’ve decided to blog… again. The last time I did this was when I was in Uganda. Unfortunately, the ecology of Ugandan technology was not favourable to blogging. Why? In one word: blackouts. Thankfully, I’m now in England, and several people feel like I’ve got enough things to say to make an interesting blog. Nevertheless, I suppose you, the readers, are the judge of that. The aim is to have two-three posts a week.
But what, you may ask, is the content?
Usually, this will be theological. I may make a foray into other fields but by and large it will be theology. If you hate theology or it bores you to sleep, this is probably not the place for you. If you love it, or are mildly interested, maybe you’ll like it. Otherwise, there are always the other forays I’ll dip into – which will probably be politics, sociology/psychology, art/music, or philosophy.
Usually the blog will explore four forms of theology: Historical, systematic, liturgical, and biblical. Historical theology will usually be talking about a key historical figure, a historical period, a theological tradition, or a theological movement. Systematic theology will be my ‘conversations’ and musings with those theologians who concentrate their thinking on the internal logic of God’s revelation to us as witnessed to in the Holy Scriptures (and occasionally beyond). Liturgical theology will be my commentaries on various liturgies, and thoughts about worship in general. Biblical theology will be looking at the Bible: I’m aiming to have a mini commentary on a phrase, verse, or paragraph of the Scriptures every week. I’ll begin with Genesis next week, and sometime over the next fifty years I’ll reach Revelation (unless God has other plans, whether through my death, my impairment, or the collapse of civilisation as we know it). Also, there’ll be book reviews. Publishers who would like to give me free books to read, I am as ever your humble servant. I like free books.
This blog will be from an ‘Open Evangelical’ perspective. Although I’ve given a brief definition of this in the ‘About’ section of the blog, I’ll also be further exploring this label a little later on. Don’t be surprised if this blog is too ‘conservative’, too ‘liberal’, or even too ‘Christian’ for your liking. I’m a paradox of a person, and can change my views on non-essentials according to the season. Nevertheless, I’m deeply committed to my saviour Jesus Christ, to the supremacy of Scripture, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, and the splendour of Christ’s body, the Church, all to the glory of God the Father.
If I have as many friends as I hope I do, there will hopefully be plenty of guest writers as well. The aim is to have a guest writer once a week (possibly to do a series). If you no longer see any guest writers, this is because I am subsequently friendless. All pity will be gratefully received at this point. Also, occasionally I’ll not have time to write anything. To compensate, I will follow the example of many a blogging cleric and upload a sermon I’ve written. Three cheers for originality.
Why should I start a blog (…again…)? Mainly because multiple people have said that I have something to say. I discovered that there may be some truth in this when just the other week, a lecturer who I very much respect said that he had changed his mind on a matter because of an off-the-cuff comment I made. Other people have said that they would like to read through more carefully things I have said. After perusing this blog they will probably discover that they were mistaken, and a single exposure to my thinking was actually sufficient. Let’s see…
Finally, keep me in your prayers. Blogging can be a wonderful thing. It can open up new ways of thinking for people, form new connections, new friendships, and offer a place for people to realise that they are not alone in thinking the way they do. It can also be spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually draining. There are a lot of angry, frustrated, or simply downright nasty
teenagers people out there. It also requires a lot of energy and commitment to keep things going. Prayer is not just helpful, but a necessary bedrock in all this.