Some Year-End/New Year Thoughts/Resolutions about This Blog
What is the purpose of this blog? Most simply expressed it is to provide the public, those who care, with a theologically-informed “voice” speaking about issues relevant to Christianity and culture from a moderately progressive, evangelical Arminian perspective. I could also say it is to have a forum for expressing my opinions on a variety of subjects.
Who is the intended audience of this blog? Well, there is no specific audience other than “people interested in knowing what Roger Olson thinks.” When I write my blog posts and respond to comments and questions, however, I have in mind readers and interlocutors who are relatively thoughtful, reflective people with at least a modicum of post-secondary education. That is—people who read and think.
Like everything else, this blog is written from a certain perspective—Christian theism of the orthodox Protestant type with an evangelical and Arminian flavor. All kinds of people are welcome to read and participate in discussions here, but they ought to know and understand that this is my worldview, my “blik,” my perspective. I speak out of it unapologetically while disavowing much that goes under those labels.
Why did I start this blog? To have a venue for expressing my opinions and to correct misconceptions of “Christian theism of the orthodox Protestant type with an evangelical and Arminian flavor.” For example, I seek to explain that “Christian theism” does not automatically mean belief in God as the all-determining reality, the cause, directly or indirectly, of all suffering. For example, I seek to explain that “orthodox Protestantism” does not necessarily mean “five point Calvinism” or even agreement with Luther about everything. For example, I seek to explain that “evangelical” does not equate with “Religious Right” or belief in biblical inerrancy. For example, I seek to explain that “Arminian” is not synonymous with “semi-Pelagian” or belief in absolute free will and is not “humanistic.”
The only thing that frustrates me about blogging here is the frequent tendency of some readers and interlocutors to misunderstand me, to read into what I write ideas not there, to put words into my mouth, and to attempt to misuse my blog as their own personal forum for spouting off, preaching, flaming and arguing. The response portion of this blog is intended solely for education and dialogue. Those who so strongly disagree that all they want to do is attack and argue are invited to go elsewhere.
And here is my New Year’s resolution which, like most such resolutions, may or may not be kept. I realize that here, anyway, I do not suffer fools gladly or easily. Let me define what I mean by “fool.” In this context “fool” refers to someone who thinks he knows much about a subject when, in fact, he is woefully ignorant about it, and nevertheless pontificates on the subject out of ignorance. Such a person is unteachable and unwilling to be corrected. I occasionally overreact to such people who post foolish comments (sometimes under the guise of questions) here. During 2015 I resolve to be “kinder and gentler” even to fools while at the same time not encouraging them by posting their most ridiculous comments here. (If you post a comment or question to my blog during 2015 and you do not see it here after 24 or 48 hours, consider whether it perhaps 1) contained a hyperlink (something I have expressly forbidden many time!), 2) misrepresented something I or someone else said, 3) promoted argument rather than dialogue, 4) contained insulting language or ad hominem argumentation, or 5) contained merely assertions without reasons or sought to hijack this blog to promote your own agenda.