Why I Do What I Do

Under my post on the “Traditions of Men“, Scott came by to make a very important point:

When I think about non-Christians who may be inclined toward a life of faith, it occurs to me that they must entirely turned off by the amount of mental energy it takes to parse ancient Greek and Aramaic words in order to join the club.

He is quite correct. So why do I do what I do?

First, what drives me is the pursuit of truth. I can’t stand lies, deceptions, and general falsehoods and I work to uncover them, including in myself. I love the pursuit of truth as science as Bruce G. Charlton defines it:

Real Science noun Science that operates on the basis of a belief in the reality of truth: that truth is real.

Second, I do it because I am able to. Not everyone can—or desires to—make the effort required to discover whether or not a belief they hold dear is not biblical, but a novelty of later tradition. I delve into the minutia of biblical interpretation that simply isn’t interesting or even relevant to other people. Yet, so many people hold deeply held beliefs that are built on a false foundation, and shouldn’t someone discover and expose that? The alternative is simply to continue unaware that what one holds onto is built upon a lie, which is not desireable. If I can help anyone, even if it is just improving myself, then it is worth doing.

Third, it is a matter of obedience. While seekers may be alienated, the fault lies with those who have corrupted scripture and inserted their own traditions. In the Parable of the Sower, the seed was the same: every person heard the same message. The difference in outcome was the soil: every person’s heart was different. We are told to spread the seed (the Word of God) while God prepares the soil (the heart). In sharing the truth of the Word of God, it is expected that most people are not prepared to hear and will be turned off by it. Everyone receives the same Word of God anyway, even if most turn away. We don’t have a choice about sharing the Word.

Fourth, as of my writing of this post (April, 2023), my audience is extremely limited. I have very few readers and average significantly less than one comment per post. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that I have posts that only I have read.

Fifth, to the best of my knowledge my (very small) audience is mostly Christians. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying that non-Christians will be led astray by something they will never read.

Sixth, I write for personal reasons:

  • Doing anything well takes practice. Writing trains me to think, argue, and avoid mistakes. I’m a better writer than when I started blogging, but I have far to go yet.
  • My working memory is worse than my long-term memory. I need to write things down for them to be useful.
  • I use my articles as citations elsewhere to avoid lengthy discussions and rehashing points.
  • I write to relax.
  • I write for my children who read this blog.
  • I write about whatever I want. Unlike most blogs, this blog has no theme, no target audience.

Seventh, I write for the feedback. I just don’t get a lot. My blogs are sounding boards. My (arguably) most academic work (here) has had some feedback, which has been nice.

Eighth, I write because occasionally I write something that helps someone or wins them over. This is always an accomplishment on the internet, where it is surprising when you can actually convince someone of something. One such example was when I more-or-less convinced some people that the New Testament word for ‘head’ did not mean ‘authority’ or ‘leader’.

Ninth, I’m not very good at short-form writing (like Twitter). I’m presumably a little better at long-form.


  1. Derek,

    I’m wondering if that was my comment or another Scott, LOL. I don’t recall it so it was probably someone else but I do have a vague recollection of hastily commenting on a post without my full name or website. I nevertheless agree.

    I’m really intrigued with your third point. How often we fail to see sowing seed as a matter of obedience because we’re consumed with ourselves.

    I re-read the parable and paid more attention to the final verse than I have in the past: “…He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

    I recall Paul’s words, too: 1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”

    We must water, also. Discipleship, discipline, and fellowship are often so lacking in the present, individualistic world. We need more seed sown but we also need believers yielding a hundredfold.

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