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.

0 Responses to “Read This First, Please!”

  1. Aiden

    I think it’s good to test out the blog, with my most important reason last: it (hopefully) let’s you drop your guard and blurt out what you really meant to say to this or that reporter (even if your blurts may look like crafted paragraphs with sub points); it grants some of us who care, access to you; and it’s at least one attempt to sit in a sharing circle and listen to the blunt feedback of others, even if they come across in paragraphs with parenthetical comments (clever aren’t we all!). Thanks John, I hope to check in from time to time. – Aiden Enns, Winnipeg.

  2. Preston

    Aiden makes a great point and I agree entirely. Glad to see you posting Prof. Stackhouse and I too look forward to reading more. Once things get rolling, this could be quite a hotbed of conversation. – Preston, Calgary

  3. Patricia Paddey

    Dr. Stackhouse – I’m delighted to learn of your new blog. I look forward to reading and learning from you in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you for being willing to spend the time to share your insights with others.

  4. C. Bennett

    Thanks for letting me know about this! I’m looking forward to reading your ‘live’ thoughts. I’m not a blogger, but will try my hand at a response from time to time. But, please, whatever the result of this site, don’t stop writing books.
    CB, Belfast

  5. John Stackhouse

    Thanks for these encouraging words! Let me assure Ms. Bennett that I do not intend to drop books for blogs! My latest manuscript, in fact, goes out this week for critical review by some colleagues and I intend to have the revised version in the hands of my editor at Oxford University Press no later than June.

  6. Mike (INDS 530 Fall 06)

    Welcome aboard, Prof. Stackhouse!

    I figure between the teaching, the writing, the interviewing and the speaking, you must have eliminated sleeping from your life in order to squeeze this new adventure in.

    Looking forward to hearing what you have to say (and not getting tested on it!)

  7. Jeremy

    Hi John,
    I hate to pick at nits, but the text/theme on your blog is calm, classy, and very nearly unreadable. I’m thinking the tiny grey font on the off-white background may be the culprit. My wife say’s it’s because of my red/green colourblindness, but we won’t know for sure until glory.

    I look forward to adding your blog to my already bloated blogroll (maybe I’ll bump Hal Lindsey).



  8. First Post: A Philosophy of Blogging | The Veil Away

    […] Prof. John Stackhouse is another instance of such a beginning. He wrote: “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?” And then he said what this one would do.—But not before he had established himself as Professor John Stackhouse, above and beyond being a blogger. […]


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