Well, we made it a year.
365 days ago, I sallied forth to start a blog that would add a voice to the decades-long fight over creationism and evolution that was unique, consistent and just a bit cheeky.
But I also wanted to create a community, in which Christians who accept evolution — who, in the evangelical world, often feel like and sometimes are the only people in their churches who think the way they do — could feel supported, encouraged and maybe have a laugh or two.
I was a little impulsive, I admit. I’ve made mistakes over the past year. But in spite of all that, the support that you’ve offered has been nothing short of amazing.
So, check this out:
That’s the all-time hit counter for God of Evolution from our WordPress server, as calculated this morning. Which means, in just a little over a year on the ol’ Interwebs, we’ve managed to garner close to a quarter of a million views. Sure, that’s not much in the grand scheme of things, and there is no shortage of blogs (which confront such weighty topics as things overheard on the subway or funny pictures of kitties) that could claim far more.
But, for a part-time blog about a niche (and decidedly minority) view, that’s not too shabby for a first year. Add to that a combined following of close to 2,000 people through our Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blog subscriptions, and I think it’s safe to say GOE’s first was a very, very good year.
The site has also begun, in recent months, to garner the notice of other, more established media outlets. Just this year, GOE and I have been featured in The BioLogos Forum, The Dish, Religion News Service, the Daily Kos, Charisma News, Science Recorder, numerous blogs and a number of newspapers, including The Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Not to mention Portland Monthly, the news and general interest magazine in my own home city, which has featured us not once, but twice. The latest is the naming of GOE as No. 53 of the “100 Reasons to Love Portland”:
Of course, we’ve attracted some less-than-positive attention as well. My work here has gotten me labeled a “heretic,” “moral relativist,” “false teacher,” “servant of Satan,” “misguided Christian,” “compromising Christian,” “coward,” “secular high priest,” and even, “goat.” Of course, my personal favorite, so far, has been “a lost reprobate with no hope.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m sort of asking for it. I started GOE with the tagline “Theology with Attitude,” and I think I’ve been pretty true to that promise, often provoking the ire of the young-earth creationists who seem to be the primary philosophical opponents of this site, but also, occasionally, offending even those who agree with me that there need be no conflict between Christianity and evolution.
I’ve taken such input to heart and, the past couple months, I’ve made a concerted effort to dial down the biting-bordering-on-caustic tone that some felt was coming to characterize my earlier posts — without sacrificing the humor and gentle sarcasm that is our trademark here. With a solemn, heavy heart, I renounced my habit of applying silly nicknames to our Christian brothers Ken Ham and Ray Comfort (after realizing that their ideas, for the most part, are silly enough as to make any nicknames superfluous).
I still agree with the poet T.S. Eliot that “Humor is also a way of saying something serious,” but I’ve come to believe that mockery for mockery’s sake simply isn’t helpful to our cause.
I’ll leave you with one final thought, and a big question. First, I want to thank you all for your support of this project. This year has far surpassed my wildest expectations, and having never spent a dime on advertising, I know I have nothing but you and your shares and word-of-mouth support to thank for it. So, thank you.
And the big question, and I’d like to hear from as many people as possible: What would you like to see, or see more of, from GOE in year two?
I am so looking forward to continuing this journey with all of you, and I can’t wait to see what our great God has in store for us next.