I notice that a number of bloggers who I read are currently writing apologetics about not having written much lately. Some are contemplating stopping blogging all together. Some are vowing to blog more next year. And one of my favourite bloggers seems to periodically vow off blogging for a specified period of time but then seems to find that he has so much to say that he can't help himself and a flurry of posts appear.
So here is my blog on my blogging.
I haven't been blogging a lot. But I'm not contemplating giving up. And I'm not going to vow to blog more in the near future either.
A good part of the reason is my new "job". Or rather the Clinical Pastoral Education Chaplaincy training that I'm doing at a very large hospital near where I live. The job, you see, has a way of putting things in perspective. By "things", I mean mainly life, faith and theology.
Theology is actually very important in Chaplaincy, because if you don't know what you believe, it's hard to help other people sort out what they believe. And it's hard to set people in the right direction if you don't know what you believe about God. "Does God forgive me?" "Am I not getting better because I don't have enough faith?" "Why did God let my newborn baby die when she didn't do anything wrong?" These are big questions. And they are difficult questions without easy answers.
Maybe that's why historically the church has liked to keep its eyes on the kind of theology that tries to count how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Will 5-point Calvinists get into heaven? Does God really love Arminians? Can God save those who hold a Christus Victor theology of atonement instead of a penal substitution model?
Don't get me wrong. I still love theology. But some of the more esoteric stuff strikes me as not having anything to do with real life and real faith and the kind of relationship with God that sustains a person through a long illness. Oh, and by the way, the "Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour" model also doesn't really cut it either.
The wonderful thing about being a chaplain is that I get to see real, genuine miracles every day. I also see real, genuine people of deep, deep faith being told by God "Your loved one will not receive a healing or a cure; it's her time to come to me." And it's inexplicable why some people get the miracle and others don't. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Oh, there is one other dirty secret of Chaplaincy. Non-Christians get miracles too. People of other faiths and people of no faith. God actually does appear to be as merciful as the best mercy that human beings can conceive.
So that's the background to why I'm not blogging much. I'm still taking this all in. My faith in God is rock solid. My faith in the church and in platitudinous theology not so much. I feel like I'm going through a "dark night of the words". I can't describe the kind of faith that I think really gets us through the crises. But I think I know it when I see it.