Thursday, 01 March 2007
OK, all set up and ready to go. As from today, March 1st 2007, all new posts can be found at the new home of Sean the Baptist
I am sorry that for some of you this will mean a further alteration to links etc. Let me know if you have any problems and what you think of the new site. I will keep this site open for a number of months, but won't post new stuff here from now on.
Thanks to all who have been supportive thus far
I have just shifted to Google Reader from Bloglines. The Google service is much more user friendly and has a number of really useful features. You can import fropm Bloglines directly, and run the two concurrently for a little while if you want to get used to Google.
HOWEVER, in trying to use one of the excellent Google features (live updates from your blogroll in the sidebar) I have finally grown frustrated with Blogspirit and will very likely be moving to Typepad very soon. I have set up the trial and an emperimenting with the Typepad service before moving over - but be warned: Sean the Baptist may be moving (again).
Friday, 07 July 2006
Mark Goodacre has gathered together some of the responses to a questionnaire about blogging and theological reflection that Frankie Ward has been sending around. I responded to Frankie's email a while back now and, seeing that others have gone public, post my reponses to her questions below.
1. How long have you been blogging?
Just over a year - I started in July 2005
2. What got you started?
At the time I was the Doctrine Co-ordinator for the Faith and Unity Executive of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. I had long felt that we needed an online forum to discuss and share news of theological stuff that related to Baptist life in the UK. The blog was a personal attempt to offer something that met this need, but inevitably was also shaped by my own personal interests (not least NT studies). I had also long admired Mark Goodacre's New Testament Gateway Weblog. Mark is a friend so I nicked his idea.
3. Do you have a history of diary/journal/log writing beforehand?
4. How in your own mind do you negotiate the boundary between private and public? E.g. are there things that you would not put on your blog that you would put in a journal?
Not having ever written a journal this is hard to say, but theoretically the answer must be yes. The public nature of blogging means that (a) there is a certain degree of self-regulation in terms of content and (b) that there are certain expectations of what people come to your blog to read and discover. There is loads of stuff that I would never blog about.
5. How do you decide? What criteria do you use for inclusion/exclusion?
My criteria for inclusion is pretty simple: do I find it interesting? does it relate broadly to the focus of the blog? will those who read it possibly find is interesting?
6. How much time, on average, do you spend blogging each day or week?
My blogging is fitful - but I would say about an hour a week on average
7. How many other people do you actively engage with – e.g. are part of your blog community?
Not sure how to answer this, but I have 48 feeds into my Bloglines aggregator if that helps and I get about 300-500 visitors a month to the blog.
8. Who is your readership – literally; as far as you know?
Many of them friends, former students and other Baptist ministers and NT colleagues. I rarely get a comment left by someone I don't know personally.
9. and metaphorically? Do you imagine someone to whom you write/with whom you engage?
10. What counts as successful blogging?
Regularity, Quality (I hate blogs where the person dones't know what they ar talking about) and a certain love of the quirky that keeps you interested.
11. What does blogging offer as a method of theological reflection?
a. Its opportunities
b. Its draw backs
12. What potential do you see for blogging as a method of theological reflection?
I guess the community focus and capacity for easy, accessible reflection is the main opportunity and potential. However, my own view would be that blogging is a 1st order level of reflection and that the best media for sustained work is still probably peer-reviewed journals etc. (print or online). Blogs aren't places where you can easily put up a thesis chapter - but they are a place where your thoughts and reflection on what might go into a thesis chapter can be shared for others to engage with.
13. Do you know of examples of theological education programmes where students are required to keep a learning journal and blog as a form of journal?
14. Blogging and gender: do you think gender makes any difference to any of the above questions?"
maybe not to the above questions, but there was a long debate earlier this year about why so few women blog, so there are clearly some questions around whether women find blogging a useful or helpful medium.
I met with Frankie last week and she is planning to use the data gathered from the responses in a paper she is giving to the British and Irish Association of Practical Theology (BIAPT) Conference next week which is being held here at Luther King House. As part of the paper she will be setting up a blog live as a resource for Conference participants.
Tuesday, 21 March 2006
I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks at least. Things have been pretty mad and ironically I am posting this in the middle of the Baptist Union Council, where I am serving as Moderator. I go back to Manchester on Weds to teach, fly to South Africa on Thursday for a week of teaching, speaking, officiating at graduation and meetings with the Baptist Convention College over there, arrive back in the UK on the 31st, teach that evening and all day on the 1st April and then go into College interviews on April 2-4th. In other words I don't think that i will be coming up for air for a couple of weeks yet!
Tuesday, 07 February 2006
Just a few clippings from the blogging world that others maybe interested in checking and that overlap to some degree or another with my own interests.
Ten Propositions on the Trinity: by Kim Fabricius and posted by Ben Myers. Very helpful statements on the shape and significance of trinitarian faith. If you thought that the Trinity was like a trifle (you know ... 3 layers yet 1 pudding) then read these for your edification.
Mark Taylor on Derrida: why is Derrida important? Find out here in a thoughtful and moving reflection by Mark Taylor on the great philosopher's life and work
New Songs for Worship: Chris Tilling's wonderful and fantastic series publishing the fruits of Chris Tilling's Really Very Holy Ministries. If these new worship songs were used inmany of our Baptist churches it would substantially increase the theological depth of the worship at a stroke. You will find them here, here, here and here. Update: Chris clearly now reads German so easily that compared to other NT PhD students he has time to spare, so here are two further contributions here and here.
Tuesday, 01 November 2005
I have been reminded today by one of the students that I am in danger of assuming too much, either about the world of blogging, or about various theological issues and that as a result, things I say are not always as clear as they might be. Tackling the theological assumptions is harder work, so I thought I would begin by providing some suggestions for readers of this blog that may help them make the most of the blooging world. So here are two practical suggestions:
1. Get Firefox and use it as your browser. Most people who visit this site are still using Internet Explorer. My advice is to ditch it and switch. If you are a Mac user and need further proof, see here.
2. Use the RSS feed at the bottom of Firefox to put your favourite blogs into your toolbar. You will see a little symbol on the bottom right hand corner inviting you to add a live bookmark. Click on it and it the rest should be self-explanatory. However, if yoou now find yourself reading a number of blogs (too many for a toolbar) then why not use a blog aggregator. I use Bloglines. You need to register, but once you have done that it is easy to set up and you can read all your blogs in one place.
Thursday, 06 October 2005
Very pleased to see that my good friend Paul Lavender has entered the blogsphere. Here is a fragment from his initial post:
Seriously though, I have a number of interests. As a Christian, my faith seeks to shape all I have and am. As a musician, I covet meetings with JS Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bruce Springsteen and Oscar Peterson, sometimes, though not always in that order. My politics are decidedly left of centre, so I covet not meeting Tony Blair, except to introduce him to the award of the Wellington Boot.
As a Baptist Pastor, I have a number of interests theologically, including worship and liturgy, and a practical theology that for example seeks to work out a healthy separation of church and state whilst engaging in partnerships between local christians and government agencies to promote social cohesion and community regeneration.
Welcome Paul! I have added you to my blogroll.