I think it only courteous to make known to you, gentle reader, what I am trying to accomplish with this blog. I also believe projects without definite aims tend to meander into sins of omission, if not of commission. Let me summarize, then, a few hopes and objectives:

More than anything, I want this blog to be pastorally edifying. I want it to serve the thought, worship, and life of God’s people as widely as He may see fit; but I should note that my target audience is the parishioners to whom I am called to minister. Everyone else is, one could say, simply “listening in” on my ruminations for their benefit.

This pastoral intent means that any polemical fallout from my reflections here is accidental.  I know the blogosphere can be a fractious place where theology is concerned. I also firmly believe theological debate is properly done in the courts of Christ’s church and in forums under the jurisdiction of those courts. Should anyone wish to take anything I say here as grounds for a “blog skirmish” (or any other kind of non-ecclesiastical skirmish), I am most sincerely not interested.

As to substantive things I like to think and write about, my interests include exegetical and biblical theology, dogmatics (particularly of the apostolic, Augustinian, Reformed, Calvinistic, Presbyterian stripe), all things related to church and world history, Christian philosophy, poetry and language, great books, dark beer, and pipe tobacco. I am somewhat obsessed with “story” and its implications for human thought and life, which may explain my Chestertonian tagline. I wish to write about these (and other) things in a way that is ancillary to my main work of preaching and pastoring.

I am deeply aware that Christian communication is best done face to face, and that blogging does not even rise to the level of a friendly letter. Put another way, I appreciate the limits (perhaps even the dangers) of the forum I have entered. Does the world need one more virtual “voice”? Perhaps not. On the other hand, a pastor should shun no market place.

If I may direct a closing exhortation to myself, “when words are many, transgression is not lacking.” This is something I want to bear in mind in all that follows.