After almost five years of blogging under the title “deeply committed” I have decided to move my blog to vitalpiety.com. The main reason is frankly embarrassing. With my first year of teaching full-time at SPU and finishing my dissertation, I neglected my blog for a few months and did not realize that the domain registration was about to expire. I had no idea that there was an industry that tries to pull people’s domains out from under them for a variety of reasons. In any event, when the domain registry expired someone else immediately purchased it. They appear to be using it to try to drive traffic to links on the blog that have nothing to do with Christianity. It is disappointing to me and if you were familiar with my old blog, my preference would be that you not visit the old site. I want to be clear here that I have absolutely nothing to do with it and cannot control what is posted there. Also, all of my previous blog content is now here at vitalpiety.com.
On a completely different note, I must admit I was always a bit uncomfortable with the title deeply committed. After I began blogging, I was often concerned that the title suggested that I was deeply committed to my faith and others were not. I settled on the title because I was pastoring a local church at the time and this was the best way I could concisely state my passion for renewal with United Methodism.
When I lost control of my prior domain, a friend suggested vitalpiety.com. I immediately thought that this name was so perfect for someone interested in the Wesleyan tradition that it had to have been taken already. When I discovered it wasn’t, I just kept thinking about the title until I finally decided to make the switch.
So, why vital piety?
The phrase comes from a hymn that was used when the early Methodists opened a school in Kingswood:
Unite the pair so long disjoined,
Knowledge and vital piety:
Learning and holiness combined,
And truth and love, let all men see
In those whom up to thee we give,
Thine, wholly thine, to die and live. (Works 7:644)
My passion as an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and as a professor at Seattle Pacific University is to reunite rigorous academic work in Christian theology with a desperate search for a holy life. Particularly in my work with United Methodist seminary students, my calling is to train them to understand the depths and riches of our heritage as members of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church and more particularly as people committed to the broader Wesleyan family. I am convinced that this work is integrally connected to “vital piety.” In other words, as we learn more about God, this knowledge should enable us to better love the God we know. And the more we love God the more we will love our neighbors.
The past nine months have seen many changes in my life and so it seems fitting for me to start a new chapter in my adventure in blogging.
Welcome to vital piety! I look forward to the (continued) conversation.