Tuesday, July 17, 2018

So long, and thanks for all the friendships and edification

This is my last post. I have been blogging since 2002. If like me you think it can be embarrassing to read what you wrote last month, try reading what you wrote 16 years ago.

Things have changed.

In the early 2000's all the Christian bloggers knew one another. It was a kind of family. We all linked to one another. It was a lot more civil (most of the time) and less professional than it is now, and almost all the blogs were personal--there where no big networks like patheos. And there were no "big name" bloggers with paid advertisements.  (That said, I was the "theology editor" for one of the first Christian networks, Blogs4God. I think it lasted about 6 months or so. I'm not a big fan of blogging networks.)

In the mid 2000's we (the Christian blogosphere) landed smack-dab in the middle of the Intelligent Design debate. More specifically, the ID-as-part-of-the-science-curriculum debate. I went from an ID proponent to a harsh critic. That cost me some friends, who viewed me as a sell-out,  and a friend to atheists (which I often am.) It also gained me some new Christian friends who agreed with my criticism of the ID movement. But the big deal was: the ID debate changed the whole atmosphere of Christian blogging. It was suddenly politicized and very mean-spirited, even within the family. I would like to say I stayed above the fray--but I jumped right in. And I never fully recovered from the effects, or enjoyed blogging as much.

Along the way I was banned from exactly two blogs. Once as a heretic from a very fundamentalist YEC Christian site. And also from the ID Giant Bill Dembski's Uncommon Descent blog. Later I was asked by DaveScot (who remembers?) to reconcile with Dembski and write for UD, which would have brought some notoriety, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Now that would have been a sell-out.

Along the way I've taken down a total of three posts that, in hindsight, were nasty, hurtful pieces of work. Other than that--well there are plenty of embarrassing posts that still remain. So be it.

An anecdote from blogging since dinosaurs roamed the earth: When Google bought Blogger (2004? around then), they used their newly acquired pool of bloggers to test out a new product: gmail. I have one of the first gmail accounts. As evidence, I am one of the few that have my last name with no appended numbers  or characters as my username. I always regret not requesting "david@gmail.com". That would have been awesome. Google gave us each a sweatshirt (my son still wears it) and two invitations to gmail. I posted on my blog that I had invitations--and received the largest number of comments I had ever received: people from around the world were pleading for the gmail invites.

Did I make any lasting contributions? I'll claim one: I helped someone bigger and better get into the game. Here is Tim Challies writing in 2004, about the history of his blogging:

I also came across He Lives, the blog of David Heddle. I found it an excellent resource for Christian topics. It was really the first blog I had read and I was quite taken with the idea. From his site I connected with many other blogs and decided right away that I had to make my site into a blog. I went ahead and found some blogging software, got it installed and began to write.

A year or so ago I tried writing Tim an email. I only made as far as his assistant who screens his email. If it ever reached Tim he never replied. Blogging is now big business.

Blogging also gave me the writing practice and confidence to write a worst-selling novel. I didn't get much money from sales, but I sent a copy to my personal hero, R. C. Sproul (The novel takes place in Pittsburgh, and Dr. Sproul and I shared a Pittsburgh heritage.) I received a hand-written letter--perhaps my last hand-written letter, from Dr. Sproul thanking me and promising to read my book. Whether he ever did--well I'll ask him on the other side. If I think of it.

My favorite posts were not necessarily very popular. They were the posts that paralleled my classes when I was a frequent Sunday School teacher, from 2002 to about 2013. Getting that material ready for class and yet tight enough for publication caused me to approach those subjects with great care. It was during those times when I benefited most from having a blog.

I have tried, at times, to restart this blog but it never lasted more than a few months. Also, I really do not like my blogs from the last few years. They tend to be combative, critical, and downright mean.

Enough is enough.


  1. Wow, you inspired Challies? That makes you kinda famous in the reformed corner of the blogsphere.

    Sorry you are throwing in the blogging towel but blogging isn't everything. 3D life is more important.

  2. Farewell. I have enjoyed your posts and also enjoyed your novel.

    Thank you and God bless.

  3. Hi David, sorry to see you go, but thanks for the many great articles I have enjoyed over the years. Blessings in the Lord!

  4. I, too, enjoyed your Sunday School posts. Thanks for the insights and challenges through the years. And we Reformed Nuclear Physicists should stay in touch. I admit I've done a poor job at that recently.

  5. James Hereford11:11 AM

    Sorry to read this. I enjoyed your (rational) perspective on science and theology. Though I did not exactly drive up your web "hits" I occasionally would wander by to see what was new. Take care.

    P.S. I also read your novel. Write another one.

  6. Thanks, and God's best to you, for your work. You will be missed.

  7. Sorry to see you go. I enjoyed talking commenting back and forth in the early days of blogging. I went through the same thing many years ago and threw in the towel long ago.

  8. David, I remember well those Sunday School classes taught at Faith in Hollis. God used you in a great way. So thankful for you brother!