To be honest, I'm not sure. As a matter of fact, those questions have kept me from doing this for a long time.
So why start now?
I believe a conversation is taking place that is shaping the future of the church, at least in America. Important questions are being asked about important topics like the Bible, doctrine, discipleship, and the church. I certainly don't claim to have all of the answers, but I do think that we need to engage with these questions honestly. If we want to be a part of God's mission on earth we simply cannot afford to hunker down in our camps and remain divided over non-essential issues. Yes, I realize that is more difficult than it sounds. Yes, I realize that means that we actually have to decide what is essential and what isn't. Yes, I realize that means that people from different camps need to sit down and talk with each other. Respectfully. And listen. Actually listen.
I'm starting a blog because the public square has moved online along with everything else. People don't interact with each other face-to-face the way that they used to. I think this is sad, but I don't think protesting it is going to change it so I might as well get used to it if I want to participate in the conversation. There is an upside, however, in that the conversation is now more global than it ever has been. People from all over the world can share stories, experiences, and insights with one another instantaneously. That's important because it helps me remember that my middle-class American Christianity is not the only perspective. There is value in conversation and shared ideas. I've done the Facebook discussions, and the have their place, but that format doesn't really lend itself to the thoughtful reflection necessary to wrestle with the tough questions.
I'm also starting a blog because I believe following Jesus is a team sport. Yes, I know that there are elements of faith that are, and should be, intensely personal. I also know that I have no faith to share without a personal relationship with God. Having said that, the church is supposed to be a community. God called us to a body. We're supposed to love each other, learn from each other, and challenge each other. We're supposed to laugh together, cry together and experience life together. While an online community definitely does not take the place of a local church, online discussions can be a great way to stay engaged with and connected to a larger body of believers.
Finally, I'm starting a blog because following Jesus isn't always easy and doing it right is a full-life commitment. There are tough questions that need to be wrestled with, tough decisions that need to be made, and tough actions that need to be taken. Putting my thoughts in writing will help me wrestle with some of these tough questions. Sharing my thoughts with you will, hopefully, strengthen, sharpen, and challenge you as well as allow you to respond and do the same for me.