We started this blog in 2006 to be a place where Christians could engage in biblical conversation in an effort to pursue truth wherever it leads. Since then authors have posted over a thousand articles and visitors have left more than 20,000 comments. When we first started we would have been happy with 100 visits in a week. Now we regularly get well over 100 visits to the blog each day. More than 2,000 different people check out the blog each month. People spend an average of four and a half minutes per visit on the blog. 53% of these people are new visitors who come through search engines and referrals from other websites. In other words, there are a lot of people stopping by and most of them do not comment. To all of you, whether you comment regularly, once in a while, or never, welcome!
The Purposes of this Blog
We did not have a clearly defined purpose for the blog in the beginning. Over time a community of posters and commenters has grown far beyond what we had anticipated. As a result, I have invited people to join in by writing weekly and have needed to refine the purpose(s) of the blog so that new posters would know what was expected. So, here is a list of what I now see as the general purposes of this blog (I have tried to provide examples for each):
- The Newspaper Concept: The blog should be a place where people can go each morning and find a fresh chunk of Christian literature (to be enjoyed with one’s morning coffee). This concept has more to do with frequency of posts than it does with content.
- A Place to Propose New Ideas: As we continue to study the Bible in its historical context new concepts and facts come into view. The blog is a great place to propose a new idea and put it to the test. This is especially helpful because if there is a hole in one’s idea someone is likely to point it out so that we can all move closer to the truth on a given matter. Posts in this category include Eschatologically Motivated Ethics and the series of posts called The Politics of the Message.
- A Repository of Good Answers to Perennial Questions: I get a lot of email from people who bring up specific verses and ask for explanations. I used to write a custom answer each time (which was very time consuming) but then I realized that I could instead refer people with a link to a blog article explaining the particular issue. Furthermore, there are some times when I do not really have a good answer for a particular question and instead pose the question to the community to gain the insight of others. Examples include 1 John 5.7-8: A Spurious Text, Who Raised Jesus?, and A “Difficult Text” (i.e. Luke 17.21).
- Teach the Basics of the Faith: New people are constantly visiting the site and so it is fitting to constantly present the established basics of Christianity: the one God, the kingdom, the sleep of the dead, holy living, conditional salvation, annihilationism, etc. Also, it is beneficial to be reminded of these truths and it is always interesting to hear someone else’s way of presenting the material. A great example of this has been Brian Keating’s recent Kingdom Study Series.
- Inspire/Encourage/Convict Each Other: This genre includes posts which challenge us to draw closer to God in prayer, get out there and speak the gospel, spurr us on to strive for holiness, or else just confront us with the Scriptures. This is the category where there are often Youtube videos. For example see Don’t Let the Beanbag Get You, The Stool, or Fishermen Who Don’t Fish.
- Defending the Faith: These posts generally refer the reader to great resources giving reasons to believe in God, or how to answer objections to Christianity. See Dinesh D’Souza Defending Theism, Tim Keller at UC Berkeley on Exclusivism, or Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?.
- Events and Updates Generally these posts do not focus on politics, economy, wars, or news stories; instead they tell of an upcoming event or a conference that was recently held. For example see Who Is Servetus the Evangelical, Introducing Truth Matters, or Isolated Members Ministry.
- Recommended Audios or Books Here posters highlight sermons, debates, lectures, or books that they found beneficial. Check out BW3 on the Ossuary of James, Romans from a New Perspective, or Stunning Byzantium Podcast.
This blog is a place where, by the grace of God, we can grow together in doctrine and practice.