Thank You Readers: “Christian in America”‘s First Anniversary
Blogging will be light while I’m traveling during the next couple weeks. Later this week I’ll be giving a paper on “John Calvin as a Two Kingdoms Theologian” at a Reformation anthropology conference in Berlin. The following week I’ll be visiting with my wife’s family in Poland. I may or may not put up a few posts; we’ll see how things go. At the very least I’ll re-post a few classics, posts many of my more recent readers haven’t yet had a chance to see.
Last month Christian in America reached its one year anniversary. It passed with little fanfare. Although maintaining this site for a year has at times been a greater commitment than I would have liked, I am tremendously grateful for how things have worked out. Posts routinely get 300-400 hits, and the most popular ones get well over 1,000. Although I started out posting six days a week, I’ve been able to reduce my writing commitment to a more sustainable two or three times per week while gradually increasing blog traffic in absolute terms.
Far more important than the stats, of course, are you, my loyal readers. None of this would be worth it if you did not faithfully keep coming back, ignoring the weak posts where it’s clear I’m not thinking entirely straight, offering helpful criticism, or giving your encouragement and support when you’ve found my writing helpful. I’ve received generous messages from professors, students, elementary school teachers, state representatives, pastors, reporters, lawyers, dads, moms and Christians serving in all sorts of other vocations and circumstances of life. They tell me that what you read here has in some way or another helped you to think through what it means to be a faithful Christian in America (or some other country). I’m very grateful for this encouragement, and even more so for the fact that my work has occasionally attained some practical value for you.
Because that has always been the main motivation here. This blog is not designed to be a focal point for controversy, nor is it designed merely to stimulate a particular professional or theological audience. I write for ordinary Christians, seeking to help you think through some of the controversies, problems, and opportunities of our time, with a special eye toward politics. I try not to react to events or arguments with talking points or cliches, the sorts of things people have come to expect from many Christians. But I do try to challenge common assumptions about theology or politics, rethinking the implications of the Christian faith for public life from the perspective of Scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I write from a Reformed perspective, but I also wrestle with the Reformed political theological tradition. Every healthy tradition or community, I believe, must challenge and reinvigorate itself through reflection, conversation, and self-criticism, bringing the wisdom of both past and present into conversation with reference to the practical issues of our life together. It’s our duty as Reformed Christians to wrestle with what we have done well and what we have done poorly, with what we bring that is helpful to Christians of other traditions and what we need to learn from them. I seek to do this with humility and in a spirit of Christian unity. I also do so out of a sense of love and obligation to our neighbors in this country who do not share our faith. The ultimate goal is to remain faithful to our calling to reflect the image of Christ by serving one another in love.
So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you, and to ask for your continued support and constructive criticism. I hope and pray that my work will be helpful to you during year 2.