Monday, 31 March 2014

No, it's not a 'normal' blog!

Had a most challenging and enjoyable conversation with someone who felt they need to make the point that my blog wasn't a 'normal' Christian blog! My response went along the lines of 'No surprise there then Sherlock!' because it isn't supposed to be, and here's why:

Many of the 'normal' Christian sites I encounter trawl out the same old theological explanations (often it seem lifting them from other places) relating to the same old theological issues. They work hard at looking clever (something I'd never be able to carry off) and and amongst their highly polished (something I'd never claim to have) web presence they produce extremely clever theological thinking - often proving it with proper theological words and quotes from the great and influential theological minds what clever people refer to (I can't event spell SchloerMarker!).

Sadly, what I try to do here is look at issues that collide with me and having survived the impact define some baseline for me, and perhaps others, to begin to dialogue with and establish some sort of understanding of the issue before me (and perhaps us).

I will engage with things theological but, thanks to some excellent training which taught that theologians are accessible or academic, I have decided that I favour the former and so try to appeal to things with less syllables and fewer names of the Germanic variety*!

I will also continue to leave myriad typos as I rush in, scribble and rush out again - it's the curse of the scratchpad nature of the blog (but will try to remedy said typos at some stage to protect the brains of those around me).

I accept that this place will never be one with a myriad of whatever it is that those wonderfully polished site with loads of neat little adverts and clever little gadgets have to make it stand out as 'something to win prizes'**

What you will find here is stuff that I come across, dialogue with, find myself (and others) challenged by as something we can engage in and develop our own apologetic as we do theology in a real and everyday manner.

So that's me and this place and who, what, how and why it is here - please feel free to become a part of it and make it your own in whichever way you can - All are welcome to view my own brand of weirdness and my journey for integrity in my own faith and ministry life.


*mind you hypocritically, and just a little inconsistently, I will continue to turn to Barth, Moltmann, Bonhoeffer, Hauerwas and many other of my inappropriately germanic styled heroes as I seek to grow my faith and learn.

** A cool comment from someone who stumbled across the site and, applauding some drivel I'd scribbled, made a number of 'design and features' suggestions which, they assured me, would make me 'an award winning'  offering. Not the aim (but of course if you'd like to applaud - feel free (and if you'd like to offer suggestions, correctives and dialogue - feel freer still).


RevTrev said...

As someone who visits intermittently I have to say that this blog is exquisitely unique and refreshingly honest. I find so many clergy sites to be preachy and grasping towards cleverness, things not found here.

I love your sometimes zany take on things and the refreshing honesty and ability to laugh as others as you laugh at yourself and thank you for this oasis of often concealed theological depth.

One question though: What has happened to the caption contest?

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

A mea culpa with regards to the Caption Contest - it will return shortly.

Thanks for the encouragement


Anonymous said...

I love the blog - although a little scared by the Weeping Angel in the picture here! (must watch less Doctor Who... )

JonG said...

Honesty (including the accompanying photo) is one of the main things which attracts me here.
I share your suspicions of academic theology. Screwtape says a lot about academia and the Historical Point of View, which: ".. put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the ancient writer, and how far the statement is consistent with what he said in other books, and what phase in the writer's development, or in the general history of thought, it illustrates,and how it affected later writers, and how often it has been misunderstood (specially by the learned man's own colleagues) and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the "present state of the question"."

Even in my field of medicine, a lot of "research" is generated because to climb the academic greasy pole, you need to get publications, and quantity may make up for deficiencies in quality.

Christianity, to me, is far more to do with Gardeners than with Botanists!

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Sorry about the Weeping Angel - seemed to fit the bill so well but I too felt a desire to return to the safety of the sofa when they were on :-)

Thanks for loving the blog too :-)

Vic Van Den Bergh said...


One of the pivotal moment for me with regard to things theological was the first assignment on my next theological course where my offering was returned for a re-write on the grounds that our task was to, 'Make theology accessible to those we were serving rather than display our knowledge of fine sounding theological words!'

This has stayed with me and colours much of what I seek to do when it comes to doing theology (which means doing everything) with people.

Thank you for your coments.