One of the many things I learned at GodBlogCon05 was of a strong concensus against blogging anonymously or using pseudonyms. That learning has stuck with and convicted me to the extent that I have decided to reveal that Joel Thomas, while my real name, isn’t my entire real name. Originally, at least until Richard asked me to guest blog, I had no intention of doing anything other than leaving comments at other blogs and it didn’t seem to be an unusual practice for people to comment without revealing their full identity. I have, though, always included a real e-mail address of joelthomas67ATnetscape.net. However, at some point, I came to believe that I was engaging in a type of deception and that belief was pretty much cemented at Biola. I also became uncomfortable taking on people who were willing to put their full identity on the line knowing that for the times they wrote something ignorant, as we all do, that those words might stand in Google’s version of “eternal life.” So, I’m going to take a break from blogging and then return to post using my last name.
Why wait until 2006? I’m emotionally burned out, but not by the blogosphere. Rather, on September 15 a beloved 18-year-old nephew died from injuries received in a tragic auto accident the night before. I regarded him almost as if he were my son and I haven’t worked through my emotions to allow me to effectively be both a pastor and blog, even as a guest. Still, I don’t pretend that I have any clue as to the grieving process his parents and sister are going through. His family is, however, one of a tremendous and sustaining resurrection faith. I also take comfort that my nephew was an organ donor and his organs helped dozens of recipients to any life or even a better life.
So, on the one hand I want to switch to my full identity. On the other hand, I’m not currently ready to engage people at that level. I have temporarily lost my appetite for argument and for real dialogue to occur, argument is often unavoidable and I don’t seem to be up for even civil disagreement.
Thanks for reading my posts and engaging me on matters of faith and politics. By all means keep reading Richard’s and those of his other guest bloggers AND HIT THE PAY-PAL BUTTON! (Some things are worth shouting about.) See you after New Year’s!