Ten (and Five) Years of Blogging

I don’t much like that I’m old enough that I can discern decade-long segments in my career… but it is worth noting that it was ten years ago yesterday that I published my first post at The Pietist Schoolman! Since then, I’ve written another 2,200 posts here — plus 250-some at The Anxious Bench, where I began blogging five years ago last Monday.

Before I started keeping this blog, I wouldn’t have thought of writing as being an especially significant part of my career. I launched Pietist Schoolman in part to coincide with the release of The Pietist Impulse in Christianity, which I had done little more than help edit. But blogging helped me to find my voice as a writer, and I’m sure it’s helped open doors with publishers. This 10th anniversary comes just two months before the publication of my fifth book.

Alas, having other writing opportunities has also left me with less time to put into Pietist Schoolman. I knew I’d never keep up my early blogging pace (almost fifty posts just in my first full month alone!), but it does make me a bit sad that I can no longer blog here with any regularity.

Pietist Schoolman homepage on July 1, 2011
What this blog looked like back on July 1, 2011, thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine

But The Pietist Schoolman isn’t going away anytime soon. While I haven’t posted a lot here so far in 2021, this March reflection on citation was one of the better things I’ve written in ten years. And chances are good that I’ll find new uses for an old blog as my attention starts to turn away from Charles Lindbergh to other teaching, research, and writing projects. For example, I’m sure I’ll use this space to help me “think in public” about a new course that I’m debuting this fall — just as my first long series back in 2011 helped me develop the World War I travel course that I’m offering this summer as a “virtual tour.”

That’s as far as I’ll go to predict the future, though. After all, given what I told my handful of early readers would be the focal points for my blogging, I’m not sure how to explain the topics of my most widely read posts. Say, a rumination about the value of liberal arts education that starts with a standup comedy routine…

My Most Popular Pietist Schoolman Posts, 2011-2021

  1. I paid $120,000… to accept a four-year degree in a language I already spoke(Feb. 2019)
  2. An Open Letter to American Churches: The Crisis of Christian Higher Education (Oct. 2013)
  3. What Are the Most Neglected Books in the Bible? (Aug. 2015)
  4. The Nashville Statement: Theology for the Age of Trump (Aug. 2017)
  5. On Friendship (For Stacey) (Dec. 2015)

My Most Popular Anxious Bench Posts, 2016-2021

  1. What the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Meant for American Churches (Mar. 2020)
  2. Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest(Apr. 2017)
  3. About Martin Luther’s Letter on the Plague… (Mar. 2020)
  4. The Sexuality Debate Dividing an Evangelical Denomination (June 2019)
  5. Queen Elizabeth, Billy Graham, and the Faith of The Crown (Dec. 2017)

Whether you’ve been with me since 2011 or 2016, or just discovered my blogging today: thanks for reading and sharing what I have to say!