Taking Stock: The Blog after Two Months

By: Wolfgang Vondey
Monday, June 28th, 2010

Renewal Dynamics has now been online for two months. We have seen a consolidated team efforts of dedicated individuals who poured their heart and faith out into the blog. These are not ordinary blog posts. No lightly written opinion pieces. No quickly summoned wits to fill a page. Often, several hours are quickly gone to prepare a well-put post. Words are important here. They count, both in quanitity and quality. What we write represents in some fashion the School of Divinity and the Center for Renewal Studies at Regent University. But most of all, each post represents us, our thoughts, passions, convictions, and interests. The blog is the product of a good team: Diane Chandler, Dale Coulter,  Jim Flynn, Antipas Harris, Jason Wermuth, myself, and a host of guest bloggers. We love what we do. But in the end, we do not write for ourselves. We write for an audience that should find in this blog what its title promises: dynamic proposals for renewal. The more important question is therefore: Do you love what we do?

Renewal Dynamics offers a new post every day. We have posts on biblical studies, church history, and contemporary theology, church ministry, evangelism, faith and culture, family life, spiritual formation, leadership, mission, worldview, and urban renewal. We sponsor book reviews of high-caliber publications and discussions on important topics. All in an environment without advertisement and other distractions. We don’t mean business. We mean truth, honesty, integrity, sincerity, and dialogue. In response, Renewal Dynamics has seen an average of 60 hits and 6 comments posted every day. That amounts to about 200 comments and 2,000 hits per month. We have seen spikes in interest depending on a particular topic and the timeliness of its posting. We have seen sincere dialogue with those who disagree, as well as some abrasive comments. We get our share of comments that aim only at selling their own business under the pretense of commenting on blog. There are the unavoidable ping backs from sites that catch our posts on sexuality and similar controversial topics. In short, it’s all in a blog’s life. In all this, our administrative team has done its part to keep the blog clean and without distractions. Thanks to Charles Eichmann, Marc Santom, and Jason Wermuth, who keep the administrative site on track and keep the blog looking good.

So, if you had a chance to tell us what we should write about, what is worth reading, what would it be? Did you feel that any particular blog was cut short? What did you really appreciate? Have we omitted any topic you really would like to see?

If you like the blog, why not let us know that you appreciate Renewal Dynamics. Please tell us your favorite ideas. Share your interests with us. Let us know what else would contribute to dynamic proposals on the idea of renewal.

We are just getting started!

Tags: ,

Wolfgang Vondey
This entry was posted by on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 5:00 am and is filed under Renewal Studies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Taking Stock: The Blog after Two Months”

  1. Marva J. says:

    My husband and I have enjoyed reading the posts by Dr. Harris. His posts always inform, challenge, and bring encouragement. Keep them coming!

  2. Jason says:

    Dr. Vondey,

    I absolutely love the blog. I look forward to the variegated topics which are presented here. I try to read them every day, and if not, I soon catch up. As to your questions:

    I think that if I could raise a few topics for the bloggers, they would be: open theology, post-modernism, radical orthodoxy, relational theology and overall more on the pneumatological hermeneutic of the divinity school.

    As for blogs that were perhaps too short, the only one that comes to mind was Jason Wermuth’s blog on hell/heaven.

    So far, I have appreciated all of the blogs. A few have stood out to me, such as the series on Women in the Ministry by Dr. Coulter. I also enjoyed Marc Santom’s blog on dancing. I think the “series” approach to the blogs keeps me coming back for more, so to speak.

    Also, it would be great to hear other voices within the divinity school. Perhaps a few more professors from the field of Biblical Studies could contribute?

    Overall, I encourage others to read this blog, even if they are not divinity “students.” This is a great work, please keep it up.

    Eirene.

    • Haha. Thanks for the shout out Jason! I will certainly try to do a follow up post on this topic some time in the future. Perhaps you could give me some suggestions for things you would like me to address is a blog about hell/heaven.

      Peace.

      JW

  3. Mike Marcano says:

    I’ve been following the blog for a little under a month and have grown to anticipate the posts – especially from Dr. Vondey (on sexuality) and Dr. Coulter (on Church History). I would be interested to see some blogs regarding the impact renewal hermeneutics has on the inclusivist thought (as it relates to salvation). Also, on a different note, it would be neat to see a type of survey component tied into the blog, mainly to gauge the consensus of those reading (who normally don’t post). Finally, it would be nice if we could sign up for an email notification if someone replies to a response we posted. All in all, great work Regent bloggers! It is greatly appreciated!

  4. Hi guys,

    I’ve only been tracking this blog for a few weeks now. I forget how I stumbled upon it. But I bookmarked it as a regular in my theology tabs.

    So far the reason I like your blog is that is deals specifically with a Pentecostal framework. Pentecostal blogs are few and far between. Decent Pentecostal blogs are even fewer and farther. I think this is only the third charismatic blog I’ve bothered to bookmark.

    Since you asked I’ll give a bit of feedback. I understand this blog is just starting, it’s a group blog, and it’s associated with a university. So there are certain parameters and realities at work.

    I currently visit your blog for the posts with the scholarly edge to it. I find it helpful to see the new books, ideas, and trends from the university side of things. I’m a Bible BA (AG)/ MDiv (Foursquare) currently edging up to my PhD work (probably AG. Maybe Regent?). My basic demographics: just shy of 40, wife and four kids, worked in a lot of urban ministry, and am currently consulting with churches develop discipleship and outreach programming. Some others blogs I find helpful are Out of Ur, Journeying with Those in Exile, Reclaiming the Mission.

    But none of them are going to review or comment within a distinctly Pentecostal framework. So that’s why I’m lingering around your site :0)

    All caveats aside now, here’s some out and out opinions. I like that you highlight scholarly books, but I don’t love the book report format. For example, I’ve got a vested interest in both Synan and Twelftree, having read other books by them and consider them to be interesting. So I was curious to see that both had new books out. But then I got to the book report format which walked me through the table of contents. What was more interesting was Twelftree’s actual response. Then I learned something about the book. Beyond being an argument, his discussion on communion has fantastic, real ministry implications that could be highlighted and discussed. So from your site I can see that Twelftree has new book out…and then I have to go over to Amazon to see what people thought of it :0) The article itself could have been response, Twelftree’s process of writing the book, what to include or exclude, etc.

    Some of the other reflective pieces are a bit generic, ie, does God like winners or telling your story. The argument pieces on Hell or the Role of Women struck me as familiar territory and bit tedious in their scholarship. There’s a safeness and perfunctory-ness to the debate.

    That’s all my two cents. I understand that I may not be representative of your target audience or I’m just an outlier. I know a new blog takes a minute to find it’s voice and this is well within the learning curve. My three suggestions would be: 1) more passion with dis-passionate, academic material. 2) Collect more data and feedback from your readers. I’ve seen some encouraging comments and nice comments. But find a way to collect more data outside of the friends and family zone. 3) Use guest posters to add dimension outside of your setting. It’s hard to write anything about Synan or Twelftree if you have to see them the next day at lunch. Or have a quarterly essay collection from distinctly Pentecostal vantage points.

    Sorry for the length, opinions, and more opinions.

    I’m rooting for the blog,

    Troy

    • Troy,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments! These ideas will be very helpful going forward. If I am not wrong, a lot of what you are asking for is more opinion and spice! Perhaps us bloggers need to take more of a stand on the issues and leave the safe stuff in the bag? Perhaps I am reading you wrong, but that’s the sense that I am getting.

      Thanks again and keep reading. Also tell others about us if you have the chance!

      JW

  5. Ken says:

    I was exploring Vietnam for 6 days and haven’t been around that much, but I’d like to say that I’ve really appreciated this blog and the writings of Dr. Coulter. His series on the Westminster Captivity was excellent and I hope that it’s in book form one day, because it was very helpful.

    Ken