Is This Thing On?

Is This Thing On? March 7, 2024

Free stock image, credit Alan Levine

It’s been a number of months since I updated this blog. The reason for that is simple: I was doing better writing and making more money elsewhere, in contexts where I can offer a better reader experience. But Patheos, quite reasonably, expects me to pull my weight if I’m going to take up their Internet real estate around here. Accordingly, I recently got the dreaded “your column is in jeopardy” email, with instructions to write a couple of new posts by March 10. We are now inching dangerously close to March 10, and so herewith, my first “please don’t put my column to sleep” post, which is going to be kind of meta because it’s a post about posting, but I’ve procrastinated and I had to cheat a little bit.

For the few remaining folks who might have liked my work here but just haven’t kept up with anything else I’m doing, I still encourage you to check out my Substack and/or follow me on Twitter (I refuse to call it X), where I regularly post new columns I contribute to places like World magazine. That’s still going to be where I put my hottest, freshest, most polished takes on things. However, something I’ve realized as I watch myself and how I use social media is that I leave a lot of material on Twitter that could have become an article if I’d felt like it. This is particularly true for my takes on “churchy” stuff—denominational drama, theology wars, Christian personalities, Christian media, all the in-house things that preoccupy Christians and Christian Twitter. Because I’m a bit denominationally homeless right now (I grew up Anglican and currently attend an OPC church) I have to confess that I’m not always as invested in all the churchy things as the rest of Christian Twitter. However, I still often have opinions on churchy things, which makes up part of my Twitter brand. More than once I’ve made a thread and then thought “I wonder if this could have been a Patheos column?”

Well, in light of the polite threat I’ve received from my Patheos overlords, I should probably start wondering a bit less and writing a bit more. So that’s the plan for this space, now that I’m in a season where writing is all I’m doing, all the time. This will be the place where I put the takes that would probably bore my religiously eclectic Substack readers, but (hopefully) wouldn’t bore my Christian readers. The takes I didn’t have time to polish to a shine, the takes that might be a little grumpy or half-baked or in need of two or three followup takes to flesh out and clarify. Or it might be a place where I take something I wrote about for World Opinions but wanted to discuss at more length than the 800 words they hold me to there. (Because sometimes I just need to ramble.) This might also be a place where I dump some lukewarm-to-cold takes on Christian books, maybe going a section or a chapter at a time to squeeze more Content out of things. I always seem to be too slow or too verbose to get book reviews under the wire, so I might as well just accept this about myself and do some belated blog posts instead. Maybe it’s wishful thinking to think that anyone would be particularly interested in this, but maybe I could make it fun.

How long can I keep this up? I’m not really sure! But I could definitely put a little more effort into it than I’ve been doing thus far. So here you go, Patheos overlords. I’m baaack!

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