T2Pneuma.net Celebrates a Third Anniversary
By Stephen W. Hiemstra
T2Pneuma.net celebrated entry into its fourth year of existence here in October. In September 2013, I finished a draft of A Christian Guide to Spirituality, my first published book and I decided to become more active in an author’s club, Capital Christian Writers. The presenter in the September meeting made a compelling case for why authors needed to blog on a regular basis and I took her advice to heart.
Blogging made sense to me because during seminary I wrote a newsletter for three separate lists of friends and family and it seemed logical to migrate these lists to one common forum. It was a great idea, but it mostly did not work because email readers are not necessarily blog readers (or vice versa). This insight motivated a recent upgrade in my newsletter format. (BTW. Sign up for the newsletter and get a free pray book; )
Blogging also made sense to me because I loved to write. Writing is how I explain life to myself. Dr Jim Shaffer at Michigan State University used to describe this process as “writing myself out.” Life can be confusing—reflection and analysis are required. Self-delusion is so much harder when you “write yourself out.” Blogging is a accordingly form of journaling or even a kind of self-administrated therapy. When you are more honest with yourself, life is a bit less confusing and it makes it easier to be honest with other people.
Blogging with a theme of online pastor comes naturally for me, in part, because I strive to serve my readers, even if I get to pick the topics. I serve my readers through sharing prayers, reviews, and reflections. The topics hang together as my reflections have morphed into first drafts of published books over the past several years, in part, because I have an outline in mind as I write. For example, my current writing project, entitled Called Along the Way, is a memoir which loosely follows my aging process through the years. My reviews and prayers often dovetail with my own faith journey and often contribute directly to themes in my writing projects. Pastors normally live life out in full view of their congregations so my writing fits the usual pattern.
My most popular posts over the past several years are given in the table at the bottom of this post. Obvious from the list is the popularity of my book reviews and especially some of the more technical reviews. The most popular post reviewed, for example, is a leadership-in-missions text:
James E. Plueddemann. 2009. Leading Across Cultures: Effective Ministry and Mission in the Global Church. Downers Grove: IVP Academic.
When I wrote this review, I did not expect anyone would be interested, as this was a book that I read in seminary. Because many of the other popular reviews are likewise of highly technical seminary-style texts, I can only conclude that pastors, seminarians, and missionaries are prominent among my readers—and that’s okay!
This focus on reviews fits well into my theology. Back in 2013 I wrote a post— Books, Films, and Ministry —where I talked about the role of gift books and reviews in evangelism. Reviews make books more accessible; books make deep dives into our faith more accessible. As pastors and Christians more generally we strive to make the Gospel more readily accessible to those we know and love. Hopefully, T2Pneuma.net has helped you in this process.
If any of my thoughts here make any sense to you, please post a comment and let me know. In particular, let me know what aspects of my writing have been most helpful and meaningful to you. Thanks for hanging out on T2Pneuma.net!
|Plueddemann Demystified Leadership Across Culture|
|Vanhoozer: How Do We Understand the Bible? Part 2|
|Vanhoozer: How Do We Understand the Bible? Part 3|
|Turansky and Miller: Hope and Guidance for Parents|
|Heifetz and Linsky Lead through Adversity|
|Vote on a Book Cover for A Christian Guide to Spirituality|
|Martinez Family Ministry: OASIS Mission in Manassas Virginia|
|Metaxas: Bonhoeffer’s Times and Ours|
|Sabbath Rest as Cultural Firewall by Brueggemann|