This blog one year on

In November 2015 I established this website, and on 19th November I posted the first entry in this blog (http://www.penelopewallace.com/introduction/ ).

In it I listed the purposes of the blog as follows:

 

  1. Publicising my work. If you have already viewed the rest of the site (if not, please do!) you will know that I have written a novel called “We Do Not Kill Children”, and am writing another, and I am trying to find ways to publish and ultimately sell them in today’s very very competitive market…
  2. Expressing my opinions. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the sound of my own voice.  Blogging means I can pontificate without interruption about anything I like, as often as I like.  I practically have a newspaper column!  How could I resist?
  3. Glorifying God. As I am a Christian, everything I do should be to the glory of God.  The thoughtful reader will already have noticed that reasons 1 and 2 above are all, or almost all, about blatant self-promotion and egotism.  These are not noticeably Christian virtues, or virtues at all.  How then can I serve God in this blog?  I am working on a few ideas.

 

How has it all been going, a year on? I don’t know that the blog itself has publicised the book much – Facebook has been a lot more useful. However, now I have a Facebook Author page (!!) I can use the blog, including excerpts from past posts, as source material. This is not the day to say yet more about WDNKC.

I’ve certainly found it entertaining to explore topics, in some cases pour out rants that have been accumulating for years (and now they’re out in the world, not trapped here in the brain, I almost miss them). And it’s been a useful and sometimes challenging discipline to have to produce a new item every week. Originally it was supposed to be twice-weekly, but that was too much.

Analysing the style, I definitely use brackets too much. (This also applies to the book: see what I mean?)

But as far as Purpose 3 is concerned, I come back to what I said after attending the Global Leaders’ Summit a year ago:

My vision is…to help people, including myself, to stay Christians by honestly facing and exploring, from within the faith and before God, the real difficulties that many of us see when we sing modern worship songs and read the Bible on one hand, and look at modern scientific atheism, the church’s history and that of the world, on the other. 

I haven’t done a great deal about this, but I have reviewed a few books. I haven’t had time to study as much history as I wanted. In the next year, I’d like to do more.

In recent years, there has been a debate about whether the term “evangelical” has been tarnished by right-wing politics, especially in the US, and whether Christians might want not to use it any more. (In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, the debate has intensified. See here: http://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/evangelicals-trump-and-theology/ for Ian Paul’s analysis of some of the comments.)  Tony Campolo’s preferred title is “Red Letter Christians”. But there are a few people about who don’t even like the word Christian, because of what we’ve done with it, and how the Church has made it look.

I’m reminded a bit of Adrian Plass’ Diary, where (I’m paraphrasing) Adrian’s atheistic colleague points out that his Christian friend Leonard is an alcoholic. Adrian wants to say “But the rest of us aren’t like that”, but instead decides to say “We all have our problems and make mistakes; I certainly do; but God forgives us.”

I am happy to be known as a Christian; not so sure I would officially describe myself as an evangelical (although the church I attend is)… but that’s not because evangelicalism has moved, but because I probably have. (I think. Unsureness is my middle name, and I have an unreasonable dislike of confidence in any form.)

I also said a year ago:

And, secondly, my vision is to encourage an appreciation of all things good and excellent (Philippians 4:8) – not to be twee or glib, but to challenge the lie that books, TV, even life, are only interesting and real when they are “dark” and unpleasant.  The lie that integrity and responsibility, “goodness”, are boring, boring to experience and boring to watch.

But that may bring us back to the book…

In the meantime, THANK YOU to Clint, Alan, Ian and Mike for their guest blogs in the past year, and also to everyone who has posted a comment, and to all my readers.

Would anyone else like to guest in the coming year? For example you could review a book or website that is helpful.

Or are there any suggestions as to what you’d like to see from me in future?

Love from the PPI Blogger

PS. Today is 25th November. I’d just like to point out that, contrary to what the shops may think, there is therefore a whole twelfth part of a year still to go before Christmas. (Signed) Scrooge.

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