Is God Coming? An Advent Theoblogger Challenge

Patheos just posted the most recent “theoblogger challenge,” in which they ask bloggers to respond to a question in 100 words or less.  This season’s question: “Is God Coming?”  Here is Christian Piatt‘s contribution:

Everything could be in this
harmony of moments,
nothing being until it already is,
then was,
then gone,
improvised impulse
convulsing in conversation that never ends.

We call, respond, swell and surge,
with urges too deep to claim as
only ours.

We jump into nothing,
led only by a sense of the next,
the context of reflexive faith
is one that chases toward
but never reaches.

Faith teaches those who listen—
begs for refrain.

The pain of birth into new life is loss,
the cost of which is death to this life,
resurrected only by Love.


Read the rest of the contributions here: Is God Coming? An Advent Theoblogger Challenge.

King Jesus Gospel: Part Four

Part of a week-long discussion of The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

Tomorrow, I’ll polish off my series on this book with a substantive post on Scot’s thesis, and whether I buy it.  But for today, I’ve got some nits to pick.  Forgive me, but I’m a booky person, and I’m also a quibbler, so there are some things about this (and every) book that bug me.  And Scot has privately assured me that my quibbles will not affect our friendship.

That being said…

[Read more...]

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Technorati has released their annual State of the Blogosphere Report.  Among the findings are that there are four (or five) classifications of bloggers:

1) Hobbyist: The backbone of the blogosphere, and representing 60% of the respondents to this survey, Hobbyists say that they “blog for fun” and do not report any income. Half of hobbyists prefer to express their “personal musings” when blogging. 60% indicate they spend less than three hours a week blogging, yet half of hobbyists respond individually to comments from readers. Because 72% blog to speak their minds, their main success metric is personal satisfaction (61%).

2-3) Professional Part- and Full-Timers: These bloggers represent 18% of our total group. They are independent bloggers who either use blogging as a way to supplement their income, or consider it their full-time job. Most of these professional bloggers don’t consider blogging their primary source of income. This group primarily blogs about personal musings and technology

4) Corporate: Corporate bloggers make up 8% of the blogosphere. They blog as part of their full-time job or blog full-time for a company or organization they work for. These bloggers primarily talk about technology and business in their blogs. 70% blog to share expertise, 61% to gain professional recognition, and 52% to attract new clients. They have found that blogging has given them greater visibility in their industry (64%) and company (63%). 63% of corporate bloggers use their number of unique visitors to measure success.

5) Entrepreneurs: 13% of the blogosphere is characterized as entrepreneurs, or individuals blogging for a company or organization they own. 84% of these bloggers blog primarily about the industry they work in, with 46% blogging about business and 40% about technology. 76% blog to share expertise; 70% blog to gain professional recognition; and 68% to attract new clients for their business.

via State of the Blogosphere 2011: Introduction and Methodology – Technorati Blogging.

Save Google Reader

I use Google Reader every day.  Many times every day.  It’s where I read almost all blogs, much news, and more.  And, I use the Share function (see the right sidebar below (“Tony’s Picks”) for items I’ve recently shared.

In an underhanded attempt to get users to adopt Google+, it seems that Google is on the brink of dropping the sharing functions from Google Reader, and possibly eliminating the service altogether.

You can sign the petition to keep Google Reader.  You can also blog and tweet about it.

Have You Abandoned Your Blog?

According to the New York Times, 95% of blogs haven’t been updated in over 120 days.  At a new site called Postary, they’ve chalked up the blog lifecycle for most people:


1) Euphoric moment of inspiration

2) Pseudo-maniacal and self-indulgent perusing of domains

3) Careful consideration of theme and design

4) The inaugural post – “Hello world!”

5) The 2-4 post honeymoon phase

6) Waning and changing interests

7) Feelings of desperation and apathy from low engagement

Inevitable abandonment

via Have You Abandoned Your Blog?

Congrats to Patheos

One Million Unique Monthly Visitors!

Why He’s Not a Catholic

Andrew Brown has written for the Guardian, Why I’m Not a Catholic:

At the moment, Catholic sexual teaching is like a broken computer program. It needs to be rewritten from scratch in a better language. But Catholic social teaching, and the attempts to produce an economics centred around the needs of humans, rather than of money, look like the only thought-through alternatives to unbridled market capitalism – and certainly the only ones which have a chance of widespread popular support.

I think it’s some pretty shallow reasoning on his part, but it got me thinking. I think I’ll start a new occasional series: Why I’m Not a…

What would you like to see me put in the slot of what I’m not?

Are We Out of Big Ideas?

In Sunday’s NYTime, Neal Gabler surmised that we’re out of big ideas.  Surprise, surprise, he blames social media and mobile technology for the sad state of how dumb we are:

The collection itself is exhausting: what each of our friends is doing at that particular moment and then the next moment and the next one; who Jennifer Aniston is dating right now; which video is going viral on YouTube this hour; what Princess Letizia or Kate Middleton is wearing that day. In effect, we are living within the nimbus of an informational Gresham’s law in which trivial information pushes out significant information, but it is also an ideational Gresham’s law in which information, trivial or not, pushes out ideas.

We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends and our cohort. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information, usually personal information. Where are you going? What are you doing? Whom are you seeing? These are today’s big questions.

Gabler is wrong.

As someone who is attempting to make an impact — and a living — as a public intellectual, (mostly) outside the walls of academia, I welcome our society’s changes.  This blog, for instance, is the platform for a pretty damn robust conversation around theological ideas.  And it’s open to anyone, not just those who are paying big bucks to a seminary.

And I’m all for that.

By the way, thanks for reading.

Irony in Advertising

I’ve gotten some comments here about the ads that seem out of place in my right sidebar — for instance, today there’s an ad in rotation for Liberty University, whose founder used one of his final sermons to preach against me.  I’m more fond of the ad for the mail-order ordination.

Well, even though Patheos serves up the ads on this blog these days, your organization can still place an ad that runs exclusively on my blog.  Hang around here a while, and you’ll get a sense of my readership, to whom you would surely like to sell your widgets.  If you want to learn more about advertising here, email me.

Patheos’s Commenting Policy

Just an FYI to my long-time readers, Patheos has a technology in place that puts your first-ever comment in the moderation queue.  Once I approve that, your future comments appear automatically.

So if you don’t see your comment right away, fret not.  And please be patient when I’m on the road — as I will be at Wild Goose this weekend — for it may take me a bit to get on and approve comments.