I am yet to get a feel for whether the motivation for blogging will survive my move to Australia. If this blog is to continue, it is clear that it cannot do so on the same basis as before. I started blogging as a way of disseminating information and ideas that I thought might be interesting and informative within the Baptist Union of Great Britain. While I remain a minister within that Union (and thus as the URL to the blog, which I am reluctant to change, declares, still Sean the Baptist), my context is different.
Which explains why I have eschewed all of the helpful and the not so helpful suggestions for a new name for the blog and gone with an idea of my own. The title (which I am aware sits uneasily closely to Michael Halcomb's excellent PISTEUOMEN) is an attempt to bring together a number of things:
1. By putting the title in Greek it marks a shift away from a blog focussed on Baptist church life and theology with a bit of New Testament on the side, to a blog that will be far more explicitly devoted to the New Testament, and specifically Paul – the focus of my teaching and research over the next few years. That is not to say that other things won't appear here, and I don't want my largely Baptist audience who have been so faithful over the past 2 years or more, to give up reading. It is just that in the end the best chance of me continuing to blog will be if the content relates closely to my work – and my new role is much more explicitly focussed on research/writing and teaching.
2. Specifically, I am hoping to return to work on Paul's letter to the Philippians, and to begin work in 2 Corinthians. The Greek word that forms the title of the blog is derived from 2 Corinthians 5.20 and lies at the heart of a text and a passage that are very important to me. The verse was the motto of Bristol Baptist College where I undertook my initial theological and ministerial training. The wider passage of 2 Cor 5.16-21 has been crucial in shaping my understanding of and approach to Paul's theology.
3. As many will know, the word means 'We are ambassadors…' That seems appropriate for a British Baptist working with the Uniting Church in Australia.
So, for the time being this blog will be called ΠΡΕΣΒΕΥΟΜΕΝ / PRESBEUOMEN. The new look is partly due the fact that I have stepped down an account level with TypePad and partly change for changes sake. The picture … well you form your own opinion.