NPH has a few very interesting posts up lately. Readers here should check out his blog. You might recall that I linked favorably to him (via Religion on a Stick) back when he wrote an open letter to Kathleen Parker and her inane column about the PC(USA)’s trinity paper God’s Love Overflowing (pdf). He pointed out, among other things, how apparent it was that Parker hadn’t even read the thing. Would that more critics actually read what they’re critiquing…
On the one hand, NPH laments his perceived inability to keep up with quality active blogging:
Blogging as a useful regular practice, that is. NPH has wrestled all along with the question of what, exactly, a blog is good for and why he alternately should and should not be spending time with one. This blog was conceived as a sort of escape, a way for a small church pastor to write about things that don’t pertain to “work.” Over the months, these things have most prominently included werewolf movies and Douglas Rushkoff.
Entire weeks have passed now where the demands of funerals, nominating committees, and stewardship campaigns have rendered blog fodder completely meaningless, so that spending time posting would be to take away time for other valuable activities, like preparing sermons, reading, or even just resting.
That’s been good. But NPH is challenged by the example of some good blogs, maintained by people in the same vocation, as a vehicle for critical reflection and even faith formation. Foremost of these are Kairos and Church For Starving Artists, not to mention Andrew Sullivan, who, though he is primarily a news commentator, is a committed person of faith who whips out gems like this.
So let’s give this another go. Let’s see if NPH can’t be a regular participant in a community of thinking and learning not restricted to content constituting an “escape” from work. It’s all work, really. And that’s good, as long as it’s good work.
I’m going to leave aside for now that my friend misses the importance of jovial blog content, at least to me. (Some of my best faith reflection have been while reading the comic section of the newspaper, for instance. And, as his open letter illustrates, NPH is himself no stranger to thoughtful critical reflection and faith commentary.) But I know what ministry is like, and I’m just thankful for his voice in the conversation: whatever he chooses to write upon.
Recently, he has a good few posts up about technological obsession (ironic, I think, given what blogging can become…), authentic Christian conversation at his small church, and very interesting to me, a critique of some of the rhetoric offered by an ostensible “classical” or “traditional” resistance movement within our denomination.
I’m thankful for NPH’s blogging, and learn much from it, whether its “critical” blogging or more lighthearted.