Dear Internet Monk Readers,
Over the next few weeks, while I am on sabbatical, I will be deciding the future of this web site.
As of today, it is quite likely (though not certain) that this site will come to the end of its almost 8 year run this summer. I am not resolved to this at this point, but I am considerably persuaded that the time may have come to bring Internet Monk.com to a close.
Should that actually be the decision, this site would go inactive in early July, and a new blog would begin, with an eventual redirect of all IM traffic to the new blog.
That blog would be a much more focused exploration of Jesus-Shaped Spirituality, i.e. the intersection of Jesus studies and spiritual growth and formation. This subject is animating and working in me right now, and I can see much good fruit and practical help available if I pursue that direction.
Several things are in the soup of this decision. Spooned up separately, they are…
1. I won’t write a book unless I can focus my blogging much more specifically to a potential topic than I have here at IM.
2. I believe I’ve said about all there is to say about the situation of evangelicals. It’s time to leave a more positive trail for others to follow into the post-evangelical future. Jesus Shaped Spirituality is that trail, I believe.
3. The success of this site is extremely satisfying to me, but that success is a two-edged sword. For some readers, unfortunately, IM has been too much about me and has become a source of hearing all the wrong things. When I find myself having to defend and explain statements like “I am rethinking my ideas about God in the light of Jesus” or “My children will never be Baptists” (an observation, not a command!) as if something were wrong with these ideas or as if I were renouncing the faith, then I know the focus has been obscured. When metaphors, ordinary preaching rhetoric and simple provocative observations become occasions for major misunderstandings of my whole stance toward God and the Kingdom, then I have to ask myself what this blog is going to be about in the future. Explaining and defending myself over and over? Sorry. No blog is so important that a person should have to sell his soul for the imprimatur of the comfortable.
When I actually have to start worrying what people are thinking when I say “Jesus has left the building…” then it’s time for a reconsideration of why I do this. I’m a writer, not a pacifier.
Correcting this problem would, again, put the focus on me and solve nothing. Blogs are wonderful tools, but they are a terrible place to be a celebrity
4. I have something worth saying about Jesus and what it means to know God through Jesus. I want this aspect of my faith and writing to come to the forefront, and a change of blog venues would be the best way to promote that change.
5. New blog = new banner from Michael Buckley, I hope
As I said, this isn’t in concrete. I want to consider the pros and cons of achieving my goals right here under a known “brand name” as compared to starting over with a new project. I will make up my mind over my sabbatical break and will let you all know whatever I decide.
My sabbatical will be a great time to think through these things, and I hope all of you will pray with and for me, and of course keep reading me no matter what the URL happens to be.
Papa’s shalom on us all,