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  • Writer's pictureJohn Stackhouse

Read This First, Please!

It has taken considerable convincing for me to start a weblog. We’re all busy, so a blog needs to do something worthwhile. What would this one do?

First, it would provide a safe place for people to raise questions about my main area of professional and personal interest: the intersection of faith and culture. By “safe” I mean a place where religious and spiritual and philosophical questions are welcome and taken seriously, and where people respond with civility, concern, and intelligence. No orthodoxy is required to participate in this conversation, just goodwill, kindness, and the perseverance necessary to state something carefully, listen to responses just as carefully, and respond in kind.

There are other places to discuss such matters seriously, of course, but they tend to press one to a particular conclusion: notably such places as churches, synagogues, temples, and the like, or families of believers. Not everyone feels welcome to raise awkward or challenging questions therein.

Society at large tends not to take religious and spiritual and philosophical matters seriously, unless it has to do with terrorism, the “holiday wars,” or some other site of conflict. So on this blog, I hope we can discuss things that really matter without feeling obliged to convince everyone else of our version of things.

That’s the main reason for this blog: to ask questions and discuss answers.

Another reason, the reason behind any personal blog, is to communicate with those who might like to hear what the blogger has to say about something, and then engage him or her further in conversation. Some of you might have read something I have written, or heard me speak someplace, and would like to raise a new point or carry on a discussion that just got started in those other settings. I welcome such engagement.

I intend to post something at least weekly for your consideration, and I also will respond promptly to issues raised by others. I’ll give this a go for a few months and see if it’s worth my while and yours. Thanks for reading so far, and I hope you’ll feel most welcome to participate. I look forward to hearing from you.

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