Well, it’s been just over two weeks since I launched DGO. It’s time to regroup and look ahead. Thank you very much for your interest and encouragement!
Thanks especially to those of you who voted to show what content you’d like to see in the future. I was unable to tell who voted for what, but your cumulative feedback is very helpful. Over 30 people voted. Voters identified themselves as male 24 times, female 8 times, and “Good” once. 🙂
(If you have not yet voted in the “Readers’ Choice Poll,” please do so. One easy place to find the poll is at the bottom of this post.)
Results From Your Voting
- 20 votes were cast asking for more essays from me on theological/Bible interpretation topics. Add to this the 11 votes asking for “that paper on the ‘ordinances'” and we have a clear winner. Many of you are looking for more long-form biblical reflection, the kind of thing that can’t happen in a blog post.
- 25 votes were cast for either “book reviews” or “a series of summaries/reviews of books about the Church.”
- 15 votes were cast for a Q & A forum where readers can submit Bible interpretation questions.
- Other fairly popular categories include: interviews with Bible teachers and church leaders, upcoming events for Bible interpreters and church leaders, and Sunday School tips.
A few surprises:
- Only 4 votes were cast for book giveaways. I guess we’re already overwhelmed with books! Or else afraid to admit we like handouts?
- Only one person wants to hear “more about Dwight’s life.” (Thanks, Gerard. I happened to see you voted right before that new category appeared. I feel the love.)
How Your Votes Are Shaping DGO
Plans so far:
- I’ve added a new page of Events for Bible Students. Judging by Facebook likes, this is already one of my post popular pages. Please suggest more events you think people should know about.
- Since there is interest, I’ll try to finish that essay on ordinances. I’ll also stay alert for more essay fodder. Good essays take time, so don’t expect more than several a year at most.
- I’m gathering ideas for a series of “interviews” with church leaders about biblical interpretation. I already have one pastor who has agreed to share how attending Shepherd’s Institute and listening to online seminary lectures is changing how he preaches. Whom else should I include in this series? Do you have a story or insights to share with the Church?
- Based on your votes, I hope to start reading through some books on ecclesiology (theology of the Church) and sharing my reflections here. This might not begin until 2015. Here are some I’d like to read as I have time: The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (Everett Ferguson), The New Testament Church: The Challenge of Developing Ecclesiologies (ed. John Harrison and James D. Dvorak), The Church (Edmund P. Clowney), The Church in the Bible and the World: An International Study (ed. D.A. Carson), An Introduction to Ecclesiology: Ecumenical, Historical & Global Perspectives (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen), The Emergence of the Church: Context, Growth, Leadership & Worship (Arthur G. Patzia), and Images of the Church in the New Testament (Paul S. Minear). I also have Kindle books, including these: The Church: The Gospel made Visible (Mark Dever), Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views (ed. Brand and Norman), Who Runs the Church? 4 Views on Church Government (ed. Engle and Cowan), When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community (Joseph H. Hellerman), and Your Church is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission is Vital to the Future of the Church (John H. Armstrong). Then I could also review some books influential among conservative Anabaptists, such as ones by Val Yoder and Finny Kuruvilla, or ones promoted by Christian Light Publications. Then there are others on my Amazon wish list and more on related topics such as Church history and mission. Are there any you would especially like me to read and reflect on here?
- I’ll probably add a Q & A Bible interpretation forum sometime soon.
- As for Sunday School tips and thoughts about Anabaptists and fundamentalism, they will probably be placed on the back burner. The former isn’t of interest to over half of you, and the later isn’t my expertise. That said, I’m sure I’ll say things about both from time to time in my spontaneous blog posts.
Up in the air: I’m not sure what to do with the following ideas. What do you think? Reply in the comments or add one you like to the poll and start voting.
- Bible interpretation help for beginners. I don’t want to overlook this need. In fact, this need is dear to my heart! How to respond? One idea: DGO could host a series reading through George Guthrie’s book Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word. It’s my current favorite such book for beginners, and refreshing, too, for others. We could set a time to begin, then read and discuss one chapter a week. Such things are better done face-to-face, but online discussion could also be helpful. Thoughts?
- Seminary lectures: It was suggested that some would enjoy listening to some free seminary lectures from BiblicalTraining and discussing them together here on DGO. These lectures have been a huge help to me. This idea would be a significant time investment, but could bring a big pay-off. Is anyone interested?
I’m very pleased to announce that my mother, Elaine Gingrich, has agreed to let me post some of her poems and short articles here on DGO. Mom is a skilled amateur wordsmith. She drank in all she could second-hand as I completed my English Literature B.A., and she’s spent far more hours than I have reading and thinking about great literature. She has written some real gems, some of which connect well with my themes of Bible and Church. I hope to post one a month to add literary craft and heart reflection to my less-polished reflections. I think you’ll find this refreshing.
I want to end this update by thanking you again for your interest as I begin this new online venture. About 45 of you have signed up for emails, Feedly tells me 6 of you are following me there (I don’t know who you are!) and others have been finding me via social media and search engines. If DGO proves useful, it will be in large part because of your support and feedback. May we serve Christ and his Church together, for his glory!
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