My Blog is 3!

Today is my blog’s third birthday.

Throughout the week, I’ve been looking forward to writing this post, thinking about things to write.  (Yes, I’m that narcissistic!  Or, at least, I’m that obsessed with my blog!)  Now that it’s my blog’s birthday and I’m actually in front of my computer writing this post, I’m like “duh”.

This past year, I blogged a lot about my academics, as I read books for my comps, picked out something in them that interested me, and wrote about it.  Many of my posts were composite, in that they covered more than one topic, sometimes seven at a time!

I also blogged about books I was reading for fun, such as Phyllis Schlafly’s Power of the Positive Woman, Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True, and others.  Blogging really does help me in my reading.  Believe it or not, I’m not a good reader.  My mind wanders.  I get bored with what I’m reading.  I’m not overly good at discussing books with friends over a cup of coffee—unless it’s my mom.  But blogging is a way for me to be an active reader, to look for something that interests me, and to put my two-cents worth out there.  Whether people like what I say or not, or read what I say or not, my blog is me—my tastes, my reactions, my thoughts.    

Speaking of which, Joel Watts linked to an excellent post by Ben Myers, On theology and friendship.  Here are some gems:

Thomas Mann once said that a writer is simply someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.

I wonder if this insight could also be extended into theology. Theologians are people for whom the Christian faith is especially difficult, incomprehensible, infuriating. As a rule they are not especially talented or spiritually adept individuals. They are people whose minds have been hurt by God, and they are restlessly searching for – what? Healing perhaps, or catharsis? To expect so much from the study of theology would be futile or even dangerous. At any rate there is no lack of opportunities for theological catharsis: often our worship services seem calculated to remove the difficulty of believing, to make God easy and accessible, more a cure than a wasting sickness.

Perhaps then we should define theologians like this: They are people for whom even the Christian worship service does not provide adequate catharsis of the hurtfulness of God. 

I think that sums up why I blog: it’s from a sense of brokenness.  There are times when I can be so agitated about Christians and Christianity, but I feel much better after writing an “Oh Brother” post.  But I also like the idea of blogging because I don’t have everything together.  I call my blogs “James’ Thoughts and Musings” and “James Ramblings: A Meandering Journey” because that’s what I do: I muse.  I ramble.  I meander.  I explore this thought or that thought from different angles, often in a disorganized fashion.  Then my mind wanders to another thought.  I explore what I want at my own pace.  It’s nice to impress people, but I don’t have to do so.  Hopefully these scattered thoughts will some day come together into something coherent.  And if they do, I’ll blog from a perspective of wholeness, and not brokenness.  That’s something else my blog is: a picture of where I am right now.  It’s like Anne Rice’s novels.  Some reflect her state when she was searching for meaning.  Others reflect her state after she found meaning.  Now, she’s someplace else.

I appreciate the new friends that I made this year: Randy Olds, John Valade, Josiah Henderson, and others.  And I also appreciate those who continue to read me year in and year out, to see value in what I say, and to comment, whether they agree with me or not: Izgad, Russell Miller, Yvette, BryanL, Doug Ward, Looney Fundamentalist, Terri of Wheat and Tares, Retriever, Joel Watts, Byker Bob, Felix, Stan, Mom, Anon 15:5, and others.  I’d also like to note something: last blog birthday, only seven people followed me on blogger.  Today, 23 people do.  And yet, the number of views on my WordPress blog has declined over the last year.  Oh well!  You win some, and you lose some! 😀

I’m not going to set goals for this coming year, as I did last year.  I’ll just blog about what I blog about, when I blog about it!  My blog will be different in certain ways from what it was this past year, for I will be different, my schedule will be different, and, sometime in December, my surroundings will be different!  But I’ll still be the same, in many ways.

On to Year 4!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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