Hello, my name is Caleb. I am the one who usually maintains the technical side of the website you are currently reading, and in the past I have written some of the teachings hosted here, such as the weekly portions and some of the brochures. In order to keep up with the times (blogs have proven to be more than just a passing fad) and continue the effectiveness of our ministry, we have decided to start a blog.
When we decided to move forward with this idea, I definitely had some uncertainty about how exactly I was going to structure this blog and what I was going to write about. Questions began to arise as I contemplated and researched. Should this be a broad, general-purpose blog, or one that is more directly focused on a narrow issue or set of issues? Should it be more personal or more formal? How often should I write a post here? Through this process, it occurred to me that some of the questions I was asking myself would also be of interest to potential readers, and thus my first post was born. Here I will introduce the blog and hopefully answer some questions, hopefully including the most important: "Should I read this blog?"
Who Am I?
The very fact that I’m asking this question already tacitly answers whether the blog will be personal or formal. Of course, an introduction like this is going to be more personal than a normal post, but nevertheless I am hoping to strike a path about halfway in between the two extremes. Each post may be a little bit different: some topics may require a more formal tone while others may allow me to speak more casually.
As the opening sentence said, I'm Caleb and I work for the Judeo-Christian Clarion ministry full-time. I'm 23 years old, which apparently puts me right at the tail-end of the Millennial generation.
One term that could be used to describe my religious beliefs would be Judeo-Christian. What does this mean? The way our ministry uses this term is to emphasise the Jewish roots of our faith in Jesus, whose name in Hebrew is Yeshua. Yeshua is the Messiah that the Hebrew Scriptures testify to. Yeshua said that He did not come to abolish the Law (Torah) or the prophets. He and His disciples kept the seventh-day Sabbath, the feast days, and the rest of the Torah. We believe that since we are His disciples, we ought to follow His example in all things, including His commitment to the Torah. There isn’t one single name for this belief system, but you may have heard the terms "Messianic" or "Hebrew Roots", and these would be similar to how we are using the term “Judeo-Christian”.
A couple things should be emphasized regarding this belief to avoid confusion. First, in order for obedience to truly be acceptable to God, it must be preceded by a relationship with Him. Yeshua shed His blood on the cross in order to make this relationship possible. When we put our faith in Him, He reconciles us to God and frees us from sin and its ultimate consequence, eternal separation from God. As long as we continue to have faith in Him, He is our Savior and our Lord. Because He is our Lord, we will obey Him, and indeed the closer we are to God, the more we will find that our desire is to submit totally to His will.
Why a Blog?
Blogs have been around since the late 90s, and since then they have only continued to grow in popularity. People like to read blogs for a variety of reasons. Some blogs are more social, while others have great information. The term "blog" is in fact short for "web log", and this is an apt description of what it is: a place to keep track of thoughts and happenings, almost like a public journal.
Blogs offer a great way to get a message across, and our message is the life-changing message of the Kingdom of God. Supplementing our other teachings with a blog will allow for commentary on contemporary issues and a chance for us to reach out more frequently.
How is this blog different from other parts of our website? The first distinction is the frequency. Teaching Moments are published every month, Teaching Letters are published every three months, and Brochures aren’t created on any particular schedule. On the other hand, this blog will be published once a week or so. Another distinction is the author. Of the material on this website, I have written the portions and some of the brochures, and now I will be writing the blog posts.
What Will This Blog Be About?
Since this website is the Judeo-Christian Clarion, the blog will be about Judeo-Christianity. Judeo-Christianity is a pretty broad subject, so this blog may touch on different aspects of this.
I might react to any current events that are relevant to Christianity and Judeo-Christianity.
There may also be opportunities to review or respond to books, other blogs, and ideas floating around in the world.
Each post will be influenced by Scripture. Additionally, I'll make posts that are dedicated to individual verses or passages of Scripture. Maybe a particular passage or verse will pique my interest or seem particularly relevant to a recent cultural trend or event, and so I’ll write about it.
Maybe just random thoughts I have that seem relevant to Judeo-Christianity, things that have occurred to me or happened to me that people would be interested in.
Another aspect of this blog will be youth and young adults. Because of my age, issues affecting these younger generations are relevant and interesting to me.
They say it's best to write about what interests you. It's certainly a lot easier anyway. You don't have to try as hard to write when it's just a natural outpouring of your enthusiasm. In addition to the other topics I’ve mentioned, I'm also interested in history and technology. I don’t know if I’ll be able to work the latter in, but there are definitely valuable lessons to be learned from history, both secular history as well as Christian and Jewish history.
What Makes This Blog Different from Others?
Every person has a unique perspective, and so naturally every blog will be a little bit different. Some blogs limit discussion to a very narrow subject, while others are more general. This blog will probably be more general, but I’ll try to relate everything back to Judeo-Christianity. Some blogs are more personal and can cover any subject related to an individual's interests, while others are run by corporations or businesses. This one will try to take a middle road, with a limited purview (Judeo-Christianity) but an individual touch.
So, should you read this blog? I might be biased, but I think you should. If you're interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity, Israel, Christianity and culture, theology, history, and youth/young adults, then you are the target audience and hopefully you’ll find the content here useful.
In conclusion, I hope that you’ll stick around and read some of my posts. I hope that the content of this blog will edify you and encourage you in your walk of faith. Please feel free to contribute to the conversation in the comments section or by sending me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.