Celebrating Six Years of Eclectic Orthodox Blogging

Dear brethren,

This month Eclectic Orthodoxy is celebrating its sixth anniversary! That’s equivalent to 157 human years. 😉 Interesting stats for these six years:

      • 1,848 posts
      • 1,759,352 views
      • 558,900 visitors
      • 17 January 2018 was the most popular day for Eclectic Orthodoxy (8,015 views). I bet you can guess who the author was (it wasn’t me!).
      • The all-time popular article is David B. Hart’s response to N. T. Wright’s review of his translation of the New Testament: a staggering 25,996 hits (and still counting)!
      • My first post was published on 26 October 2012: “Why Eclectic?” It’s interesting to read, if only to compare with where the blog is now.
      • My first substantive article in 2012 was “Gregory of Nazianzus: Oration 38.”
      • My Readings in Universalism page has received 38,041 hits since September 2013. That makes it the most popular item on Eclectic Orthodoxy.
      • Monday through Thursday are the most popular viewing days. Hits decrease dramatically Friday through Sunday.

In other words, the blog is doing very well, especially for the kind of blog that it is. Theology blogs typically don’t last more than a few months. Eclectic Orthodoxy is a niche blog and appeals only to a strange kind of person (welcome to the club). I’m not a real theologian, just a retired priest. I simply read and then summarize what I’ve read. Even so, I believe that Eclectic Orthodoxy is one of the best theology blogs on the web and am quite proud of it.

I have asked a few of our previously published authors to celebrate the anniversary of the blog with a new piece. You can expect to see their articles in the second-half of the month (probably later than sooner).

So I am taking a short break (a week or two). I want to chill out with a Michael Connelly mystery and perhaps a Dark Tower novel (and who knows what else) and watch some movies. I don’t have the maniacal compulsion to write as I did six years ago, when I had to write to keep myself from being overwhelmed by grief. I’m in a much better emotional and spiritual place now, with the ironic consequence that the desire to write has diminished. I am still reading a lot, but I’m tackling authors that I find more difficult to comprehend (like St Thomas Aquinas and soon St Bonaventure). My ignorance doesn’t keep me from blogging, of course—I just try to keep the ignorance as well hidden as possible. From time to time I entertain writing a journal article on the universalist hope, but that would be a demanding project. I don’t know if I’m up for it. We’ll see.

I have a couple of ideas on the back-burner: dogma as grammatical instruction, the Holy Trinity in St John of Damascus, and finally the Holy Trinity in Bonaventure (as presented in his Breviloquium). After Bonaventure I intend to read Origen’s First Principles. We’ll see how many articles I can squeeze from it. Needless to say, these plans can change as the whim strikes. And one day I want to tackle St Maximus the Confessor—but that may be an eschatological hope.

Please be patient. I will be back. In the meantime I will repost one or two of my old articles (hopefully they will be of interest) and will continue to post citations from the Fathers and other theologians.

Thank you for your support over the years! Most of my readers hang around for a short time and then move on to greener blog fields (intelligent choice!), but some of you have stuck with me for several years. If any of you have been with me since the beginning, please identify yourself in the comments section. It might be fun to learn who the senior Eclectic Orthodoxy readers really are.

Pax,
Fr Aidan

I’m a blogger, dammit, not a theologian!

 

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30 Responses to Celebrating Six Years of Eclectic Orthodox Blogging

  1. Jonathan says:

    I wish I could say I’d been reading since the beginning. Many thanks and felicitations anyhow. EO is very well done: you should be proud. This blog was ingredient in my own conversion to the Christian faith, so I am a little biased, but I do think it’s one of maybe four or five websites or blogs that go some way toward justifying the existence of the internet. May you continue to enjoy all your reading, even if it doesn’t anymore call for so much writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Thank you, Jonathan, for your kind comments. You’ve been an important part of this blog, both with your always erudite comments and your review of David Hart’s The Dream-Child’s Progress.

      Like

  2. This is not merely a matter of me “reading” and “enjoying” your blog; no, your blog has literally changed my life. Your relentless, certain faith in the fundamental goodness of the eschaton infected me and dragged me out of darkness. Your ecumenical, eclectic spirit has washed away my hatred towards those who are different to me. My heart is exploding with love, joy, certainty, impassibility, omniscience, omnipotence. I know that ultimately it wasn’t you, and it was actually God through you, but what is God if not our true self, the self behind the self? So I say thank you, God bless you, and I eagerly await the day when I can shake your hand and embrace you. You are a true agent of the true gospel. I praise God for you, your heart, your intellect. Maintain your certain faith and continue to fight the good fight!

    Liked by 5 people

    • matushkamarychristine says:

      I am Fr Aidan’s wife and I want to thank you for your comment. I see the Holy Spirit work through him as well, but he doesn’t usually believe me. This encouragement is deeply meaningful to him.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dale Crakes says:

    Oh Pontificator Maximus as you know I regularly send out postings from your blog to the AWRV clergy. Well fairly regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve followed you since the Pontifications days. It seems that much of your work here at Eclectic Orthodoxy has been your way of going deeper into Pontificator’s Third Law (It’s one thing to read Scripture and the Fathers; it’s quite another thing to read Scripture through the Fathers) – and for that, I’m deeply grateful.

    Also, 13 years after your admonition to follow the words of Gandalf (fly, you fools), I ask for your prayers as I chart my flight path.

    Jay (a/k/a The Benedictine Lutheran)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Those were heady days back then, Jay. I remember well the “Fly, you fools” post. It sure generated a lot of comment around the Episco-net. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote (I don’t think I have a copy of it), but I do not take back the exhortation. Leaving the Episcopal Church was a heartbreaker for me, but I would have lost my soul if I had stayed. The years since then have confirmed my decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fr. Kimel, thanks for the work you have put in here. I would probably never been exposed to much of the material that you write on otherwise. So many theo-blogs are about rancorous debate, not engaging and irenic discussion, yours stands head and shoulders above the rest. My life has been incredibly enriched by the things we discuss here, and this has had great benefits on how I view God and the hope I have in his goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mdgreig says:

    I’ve been with you from the start. I can’t say I read every article but I have you on a feed reader and see at least the title and brief description of every article. I am an evangelical protestant and got interested in theology awhile before this blog started when I found your previous one . I have found it very informative. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Roger Martin says:

    Very dear Brother in Christ Aidan,

     I have been with you”since the beginning”and am still appreciating your light footed approach,your lack of bigotry and clericalism,your openness and originality in these times of narrow-mindedness and extremism,the more so as these qualities are becoming rare in our world and since a few years particularly in the U.S.

    With thanks,in His Light,

    Roger P.Martin,D.D.,S.C.L,Bishop of Flanders,Nicene Catholic Apostolic Church

    Liked by 2 people

  8. matushkamarychristine says:

    I have been following you longer than any other reader. It has been both my privilege and my cross to pre-read many an article and to have listened while you grappled aloud with particularly thorny theological difficulties. I am honored and blessed to be a (very) small part of your theological, 😬 I mean blogging ministry. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Steven says:

    I’ve probably got nothing to add that hasn’t already essentially been said, but I nonetheless feel compelled to say that a couple years ago I haplessly stumbled onto your blog and began reading, and my theology has never been the same. Seriously, some of the things you’ve written or shared on your blog have been instrumental in my gradual conversion to a personalistic view of Christianity from a legalistic model, and a joyfully hopeful view of eschatology from a gloomy one. My being introduced to Robert Jenson, George MacDonald, Julian of Norwich, and most recently Waclaw Hyrniewicz, was directly due to your blog. Not to give one single blog too much credit in my transition from a gloomy legalistic view of Christianity to a joyful, hope-filled view of it (my discovery of Bernard Haring was highly influential in this process and independent of this blog, for example), but you’ve certainly been a positive influence in my journey to a closer relationship with Christ. Plus, with all the readings on universalism you’ve provided, and most recently my reading of Hyrniewicz, I’ve finally been won over after a lengthy years-long internal struggle with the matter, into the universalist camp. Don’t doubt your influence here on this blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Patrick Halferty says:

    Father Aidan,

    I was curious about the most popular post for 2018 and went back in my inbox to 17 January 2018. It appears you penned it, unless it’s a typo and you meant 16 January, which is a review of N.T Wright by David Bentley Hart.

    Just seeking clarification.

    Thank you for Eclectic Orthodoxy!
    Patrick Halferty

    Like

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Hart’s review appears to have gotten even more hits on the 17th appears than on the day it was originally published. In fact, the hits came on coming for days afterwards. The total views for the review so far this year: 25,996! No other article published on the blog comes even close, not by a long shot. Hart dwarfs all the rest of us! 🙂

      Like

      • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

        I just added Hart’s review to the stats in the article. It’s too staggering not to be mentioned. 🙂

        Like

  11. danaames says:

    Thanks, Fr Aidan. I confess I’m not very interested in your Thomist streams, but there’s always something to think about here. (And any day Wright and Hart intersect is a good reading day for me! Maybe there will be an opportunity some time to share how much good Wright did for my personal theology.)

    I pray your blessing, and the Lord’s blessing for you, and send a hug from California-
    Dana

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Totally understand about Aquinas. He’s an acquired taste, especially his metaphysics of esse.

      Like

  12. Connie says:

    It is a joy to read how others have been affected by your blog, dear Fr Aidan. I, too, have kept with you from the beginning. Your posts on Universalism gave me much needed air to breathe within the Orthodox Church. I no longer wonder whether I should wear a chain with a large letter A for Anathema dangling around my neck.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Anthony says:

    Fr. Aidan,

    Thanks so much for your blog. I’ve been following it for a few years now, and so many of your posts caused me to dig deeper and introduced me to very important thinkers that have deeply shaped my theological imagination. Thanks so much for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have read this blog regularly ever since Ephraim Radner mentioned somewhere years ago that you had returned to blogging, and though some of the arguments go over my head I have learned a lot from others. I am surely not the only reader who is quite happy in the Episcopal church and sorry, I have to say I could not belong to a church that did not ordain women or accept same-sex unions, but what I appreciate about your blog is that you stick to theological essentials and stay away from those and gender issues on which (I assume) we disagree. The universalism posts in particular have been a wonderful resource.

    Like

  15. mdgreig says:

    I should add that the blogs I most enjoyed reading were the series meditating the 4 quartets. I did not know them before and am now significantly influenced by them

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Thank you! I was wondering if anybody read them. Those articles—or more accurately the poems that generated the articles—became important to me. It was a real challenge to blog on the Quartets. One day I need reimmerse myself in them.

      Like

  16. Paz says:

    Thank You Fr. Kimel
    Blessings 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Robert Fortuin says:

    Consistently the best blog on the information superhighway. Informative, challenging, even-handed. Thank you, Fr Aidan. You may be a blogger, but I count you as a theologian of the first rate!

    Liked by 1 person

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