Sunday, June 16, 2019

"Blog? Me?" Redux

The last few weeks, I've been thinking about returning to blogging. I'm not sure for how long. I'm not sure to what end, but I miss the processing that writing does for me, so here we are. Since I'm hanging out with my youngest son (who isn't feeling well) this Sunday morning, this seems as good a time as any to start.

So, as part of the process of restarting, I thought I'd have a look at my first post on this now thirteen year old blog and see what might have changed. The full post is here, but I'll be excerpting it to see what has changed. The 2006 version is in bold. My updates follow.

I admit it. I resisted blogging. Oh, I've been interested, but I couldn't figure out what I'd be doing it for. I'm not sure that I know what I'm trying to do now, but this is an evolving project. For now, I'll speak into a vacuum and declare myself..

This is still an evolving project and I have no idea where I'm likely to go. See below for any ideas that I have.

Who am I?

I'm happily married.
I'm a high school teacher of Latin and Classical Studies.
I'm interested in patristics, theology and church history. And ancient Greece and Rome, of course.
I'm an Anglican of a moderately conservative variety. Perhaps I'm best described as a catholic evangelical Anglican.
I enjoy the give and take of debate on such bulletin boards as Episcopal Voices, the Orthodox Episcopal Board, and Ship of Fools Purgatory (my board name is Canadian Phil...long story)
I like to cook.
I am, in the last analysis, a geek. A proud geek, but a geek nonetheless

Well, I'm still happily married and a high school teacher of Latin and Classical Studies (and sometimes World History). I have two kids now (both boys 8 and 12).

I'm still interested in ancient Greece and Rome, but also patristics, church history and theology. My interests have shifted more towards monasticism, especially Benedictine monasticism. That isn't so much an academic interest, so much as a fascination with the application of the Rule of Benedict to the everyday life of a lay person whose call is very much in the world. I'm not an oblate of a particular monastery, but I read part of the Rule everyday and try to practice, at least, Morning and Evening prayer. I keep trying lectio divina too, as well as mediation.All this has really enriched my spiritual life and formed how I approach most aspects of my life. I suspect I'll have much more to say about all this Benedictine stuff in the next few weeks.

I'm still an Anglican, but not so conservative. I'm still a moderate, but I'd say a moderate progressive. I'm much more Anglo-Catholic than I was in 2006 and rather less evangelical. There are implications in all this, but not ones I'm going to trace out just now. Stay tuned.

I still debate from time to time on Facebook, but really this has fallen away with the falling away of the bulletin board format in the early 2010s. Besides, political and theological discussions online very often turn into steadfast un-listening more than listening. And it is that kind of debate that turns me off.

I still like to cook though. And with a busy family, I get lots of chance to do it. So, that is good.

And, yes, I'm still a proud geek.

Why hyperekperisou?

This is a sneaky reference to Ephesians 3, 21 and used commonly as a doxology at the end of Communion: "Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or image..." (Book of Alternative Services=BAS). The bits in italics are the part which express hyperekperisou (hard working word, isn't it?). I wanted it as a title partly because it is an expression of God's abounding grace offered to the world through Jesus Christ, but also because this verse has always had special meaning to my wife and I because we have both seen it in our own lives. In fact, we saw it as so important that we inscribed it on our wedding bands

This part has obviously not changed. I will note that my original wedding band is at the bottom of a lake in Quebec, waiting for Gollum to find it. My precious. (And, yes, we did buy a new band when we got back to Toronto).

What do I intend to do here?

My intention here is to reflect on my life as a Christian and as an Anglican. I have no intention to transform this blog into another angry conservative screed, but I hope it serves as a bridge between Anglicans and Christians of differing opinions. Perhaps understanding won't solve the problems that we as Anglicans and Christians face in living with each other, but perhaps we can start seeing each other as people, not as positions to refute.

I don't think my aim has shifted much. I'm not really a conservative, but I still don't intend to write any screeds, so not real change there.

 I also firmly agree with the last sentence. If anything the last thirteen years have taught me is how important it is to look for the people with whom I converse, not the abstraction (theological or otherwise) that I have made of them to make it easier to dismiss. That is no easier than it was in 2006. If anything, in our current polarized age, it is harder. I still stand by intention to see my conversation partners as people to listen to, not as ideologies to eliminate.

So, what is the plan? I'm just going to try to write once a week and see where this goes. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but let's see where this evolves. I'll also be refreshing the look of his blog over the next few weeks. I'm leaving the approval of comments as a setting, so I don't get spammed to death, so don't worry if you don't see your comment right away. I'll have a look and approve it as soon as I can.

I'm also leaving the archive from the last thirteen years accessible, although I caution that there are liable to posts that I no longer agree with myself. If you have questions about that, let me know.


Randall Jonasz said...

It would be interesting if you could delve into the relationship between faith and the modern world. Additionally if you could discuss the relevancy between patristic studies, antiquity and today would be most interesting

Phil Snider said...

Hi Randy;

Believe me, I'll do both. Just try stopping me.

Seriously, both of those discussions have been major foci since the beginning of the blog. I'm sure I'll feel led to update my thoughts from what is in the archives.