Thursday, June 21, 2007

Apologia pro situ meo, or Why This Blog?

Setting up a personal website is a troubling business. I am not speaking about the trouble of rummaging through thirty years of hard and soft files of miscellanea, much of it occasional in purpose and often only half-finished. No, the trouble is deeper: what is a Christian minister, make that a Christian of any stripe, doing exalting himself on the worldwide web? Well, here are my excuses.


Firstly, as I grow older and begin to ponder the end of life more than the beginning, I imagine the burden caused on my widow or a devoted child of sorting through my stuff. So why not do it now? Secondly, this is not the nineteeth century and collections of sermons, not to mention polemical writings, do not sell well. A few of my publications are mentioned on Amazon.com, and my biblical theology of angels is actually available for a mere $20. However, several others are out of print or available only in electronic form.


I have titled this blog "Stephen's Witness" not from any pretention to be a 21st century martyr but because it is the role and power of the Holy Spirit through human persuasion to witness to the truth of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. If I have been able to make this witness, whether through my judgement oracles or my more constructive proposals for God's Church and the world around us, then I give Him thanks and glory. For the rest, please hit the mental delete button and move on.


One final disclaimer. From 2000-2010 I served as missionary Vice Chancellor (President) of Uganda Christian University in Mukono, Uganda. Several of the writings in this collection bear on my everyday work there. However, my views are personal and are not to be attributed to the University or to the Anglican Church of Uganda. During those years, I attended a number of Global South Anglican events, including the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in June 2008. In October 2008, I moved, along with my Diocese of Pittsburgh, from The Episcopal Church to the Province of the Southern Cone (of South America) and from there to the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Since that time, I have ceased to write about TEC except as its affairs impinge on the wider Anglican Communion.


This is not a fully interactive blog. I do not have the time or energy to keep up with a long ever-evolving string of comments. Stephen’s Witness is more a chance for me to make my thoughts and works available. Having said that, I appreciate constructive comments and criticism, and you may address them to me at snoll822@gmail.com. In some cases, unless you expressly forbid it, I shall post these comments with or without my response. In other cases, I shall simply read them with thanks. I cannot promise to answer each and every one.


Special thanks to David Mills, who preserved some of my Faculty Writings and Chad Whitacre who helped set up the website.

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