1 year blogging

Happy New Year to all FaithinIrelanders !

Many blogs have end of year lists of the best books, films etc. Rather than do that, I hope it does not seem too self-obsessed to reflect aloud on 1 year of blogging (I began on 1st January 2010).

Some observations:

– As far as I’m aware there are very few theoblogs of any theological persuasion in the Republic. Why not I wonder? (Or am I missing something – happy to hear of them.) The fact that four of a limited number –  including pioneer soon to be veteran Creideamh.ie, NellyandI (a blend of theology and medicine) and too rarely posting Transfarmer and Sayer – all belong to the same wee church as me just highlights the question. Or at least raises another about what has prompted this outbreak of blogging in Maynooth!

– Blogging in general seems still to be only on the outer margins of the Irish church’s consciousness in a way that I suspect is not true in the US (or Britain?). Few Christians (including church leaders, Bible teachers, theological students, I’ve talked to seem to read or even be aware of blogs in general; are there any pastors who are actively blogging in the Republic of Ireland?). Is this just a numbers thing or something else?

– I’ve found the discipline of regularly putting ‘pen to paper’ really helpful. I guess I process thoughts as I write rather than as I talk. So writing is enjoyable and blogging gives an outlet for the scribbler’s itch. I don’t have any great agenda beyond this – I hope people who visit find it a useful resource and a safe, civil place for conversation.

– On safe, civil places to explore theological ideas and their implications for life – this is one thing I love about teaching at IBI – it has a broad evangelical ethos that give space to students (and teachers) to do this. Again and again students have said how much they enjoy this and how, in the busyness of church life, there is a rarely a structured forum for it to happen. So I’m a bit surprised how limited an activity blogging remains here.

On FaithinIreland itself: I haven’t been carefully planning themes to post on – they just sort of emerge connected to the broad theme of living out a faith in Jesus in an Irish context. A quick review shows these are the ones that have shaped this weblog and I’m glad of suggestions or ideas for 2011 (I’d like to get into some more Christology).

Faith and politics: especially Christians in a plural culture; post-Christendom; engaging with culture

The continuing story of the crisis facing Irish Catholicism

Mission – with a highlight an interview with Chris Wright

Contemporary Ireland: Political and financial crisis, issues of markets and (im)morality; politics.

Men and Women in ministry: arguing for an egalitarian position

Evangelicalism: Irish perspectives;theological issues within; changing shape of

Life in the West: comparisons with global Christianity; fragility of a Western way of life – volcanoes; Credit Crunch; snow & ice

Books: the backbone of this blog – stuff on Paul, mission, God, faith & culture, justice etc

Gospel: a big theme. A  highlight of the year being our Summer Institute with Scot McKnight and my blog interview with him

Irish history: a minority and amateur interest here and there

Consumerism and other faith and contemporary culture issues

Bible Studies on Mark:-  I’ve enjoyed these simple reflections more than anything else. Nothing beats Jesus!

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8 thoughts on “1 year blogging

  1. Well, I’m so glad you took the plunge and started blogging! I just found you yesterday while looking for images of the Book of Kells, oddly enough.
    I’m no theologian myself (and I’m not Irish), but I enjoy reading theoblogs and biblioblogs.
    More than that–your blog is a fantastic resource for me. The church is facing significant challenges here in the US and we have plenty of our own spiritual issues, but my husband and I have also been given a burden and love for Ireland. We don’t yet know if that means we are simply to pray for and support Christian workers in Ireland or someday participate in the work there ourselves.
    In any case, your blog provides valuable insight into the spiritual climate in Ireland and the issues the church is facing, as well as the heart and vision of Irish Christian teachers and leaders.
    You’re right, there’s not much coming out of Ireland via blogosphere–I’ve looked! 🙂
    Thanks for taking the time to write. I’ve subscribed!

  2. Hi Patrick-

    I’ve enjoyed following your blog for the past year. I appreciate the work that goes into it!
    I just wanted to make you aware of another theological blog from the Republic http://anglandicus.blogspot.com/ It’s the work of Shane Angland, one of the elders at Calvary Cork. He’s a saint and a scholar to make this island proud! He hasn’t updated it in the past month, but there is surely more to come.
    Happy new year!

    -mike-

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