Midsummer update

Gee, things have been quiet around here, haven’t they?

I have no real excuse except that work, family, a little bit of travel, and sundry other activities have pushed blogging down the scale of priorities considerably.

Not that there hasn’t been stuff going on in the world: we had some major Supreme Court cases come down; the horrific shootings in Charleston, South Carolina; the Greece situation; and most recently the nuclear deal with Iran.

But then again, I’m not particularly qualified to comment intelligently on most of these topics and have generally limited myself to the occasional quip on Twitter.

The other major topic of this blog, at least historically, has been theology. But to be honest, I’ve gotten pretty burned out on that. I’ve all but stopped reading theology books, and I’m increasingly uninterested in the debates that rage among Christians on the Internet. I don’t know if I’m in some sort of spiritual-religious funk, but let’s just say theology and I are “on a break.”

I’ve also tried to resist the urge to have “takes” on everything little thing that happens. This, admittedly, is not a recipe for prolific blogging, but it is more conducive, I think, to my mental health.

On the positive side, I’ve been reading more in other areas I’m interested in: among other things, I’ve finished a history of the French Revolution, Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest, and a fascinating treatise on aesthetics and culture. Right now I’m making my way through Akhil Amar’s big book on the U.S. Constitution and the first volume of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Mauritian series.

I may pop in now and then as the mood strikes me, but I think it’s safe to say that this (already sporadic) blog will be pretty quiet for the rest of the summer.

Overdue blog retirement party

I’ve been blogging for over ten years(!), but it’s become apparent to me–and quite likely to you, dear readers–that this blog has been running on fumes for quite some time. The truth is, at this point in my life I have neither the time nor much of an inclination to update this blog on a regular basis. I’m happy with a lot of what I’ve published here, but I increasingly don’t have much new to say on most of the topics I generally cover.

I’ve had some very enjoyable and intellectually stimulating interactions with commenters and other bloggers over the years, but for better or worse the free-wheeling atmosphere of the early blogosophere seems to have largely dissipated. The various blogging communities I’ve been a part of have drifted apart, as people moved on to other projects or just stopped blogging altogether. Anyway, these communities seem to happen more on Twitter or other platforms nowadays, and I’ll still be actively tweeting for the foreseeable future.

There’s a good chance I’ll find myself with the itch to blog again at some point, but if I do, I’ll probably do it somewhere else and with a different focus. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has read or commented over the years. I’m both honored and humbled to think that people have found it worth their time to read this blog.

Another year (almost) over. . .

Since it’s unlikely I’ll do much substantive blogging over the next couple of weeks, I want to wish you, dear readers, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Also, thanks to everyone who still reads this humble blog! 2013 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for my blogging, productivity-wise (or quality-wise you might add). Like a lot of people, I find myself more active on Twitter these days. But from time to time I still want a place where I can think out loud about things in more than 140 characters. Plus, we’ve had some pretty robust comment threads around here this year. ATR commenters may be few and far between, but they’re almost uniformly high quality.






As readers of my Twitter feed may be aware, my wife gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy last Thursday morning. We’re extremely happy (and tired, etc.). However, a foreseeable, if unintended, side-effect of the new addition is less time (and energy) for blogging. So expect few if any posts for the next few weeks at least (not that this will be a huge departure from my usual posting frequency). Thanks as always to everyone who reads this blog, and thanks to all who’ve sent good wishes our way.

Bad blogger

I’ve been a little under the weather and extra busy this week, so the Advent series may have to go on hold. I hope to have some more time for blogging soon.

Note on the blogroll

I’ve updated the blogroll, mostly pruning some sites that’ve become dormant. (My rule of thumb is that a site is dormant if nothing new has been posted in 6 months or more.) As always, I’m happy to re-link if a site becomes active again.

Added later: I’ve also removed the Twitter widget from the sidebar, which seemed to me to be unnecessary clutter. I’m assuming that anyone who’s interested in my Twitter feed probably follows it elsewhere. But if anyone finds the Twitter display on the blog particularly valuable, let me know.


Natural disasters are the kinds of events where bloggers, unless they’re on the scene, can’t add much value to the coverage from quality news sources. But I wanted to at least make note of the ongoing events in Japan and encourage folks to pray if they’re the praying sort and give if they can afford it.

Red Cross

ELCA Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami relief

ELCA International Disaster Response


Apologies to anyone who saw a post with an explicit video posted on ATR. (Or ended up with it in their RSS feed.) It seems the blog was hacked somehow. I’m going to contact WP and see what steps I should take to address it.

UPDATE: In the meantime, I’m going to change the blog’s settings to hide it from public view until I can sort out what to do.

UPDATE 2:And…we’re back. It looks like the problem originated in my e-mail account. Someone hacked into it and sent a message containing the video to all my contacts. And because I have the “post by e-mail” feature enabled on my WP account, it appeared here too. I’ve taken some steps that hopefully will prevent a recurrence.

Administrative note

I’ve been giving the blogroll a long-overdue pruning and updating. A few sites have been removed that, while not officially inactive, haven’t been updated in a looong time (usually 6 months or more). But I’m always happy to re-link any blog that becomes active again. This all, of course, assumes that people still find blogrolls useful in these days of RSS feeds, Twitter, etc.

Papa don’t blog

On April 28th my wife gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby girl. All is well and we’re extremely happy.

Needless to say, though, blogging is likely to be sporadic at best for the foreseeable future. Not just because of time constraints and lack of sleep leading to fuzzy thinking, but also because I suddenly find myself with little interest in thinking about the sorts of things I typically write about here or in following the blogospheric contretemps of the moment. Imagine that!

Hopefully, though, things we’ll pick up here again once we’ve settled into a routine. But who knows? Thanks, as ever, to all you readers for stopping by.