Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Coffee Blogging

The other month, Philosophy Over Coffee was recommended at another blog called Contexting, which is a blog devoted to thinking about missional church issues. I was recommended along with a few other blogs whose titles reference coffee, prompting Caleb (the author) to ask, "What's the connection between blogging and coffee?" After the complete list of links, he adds, "Note the curious reference to coffee in their titles and the (equally curious) lack of coffee-related posts."

Well...there's no denying that. Coffee isn't specifically mentioned on the blog a whole lot. I've mentioned the origins of this blog's name before, but Caleb's observation and today being my 4th blogiversary, I can stand to go into more detail.

My freshman year of college, my burgeoning group of friends sent each other a few of those "getting to know you" meme e-mails. One of the questions had to do with what you like to do in your spare time, which someone had answered, among other things, "talking philosophy."

I remember getting what she meant immediately. She didn't mean discussing the finer points of Voltaire, DesCartes, or Nietzsche...she meant sitting around discussing the issues of the day, what we believe and why, what we're passionate about, and so on. She was using it in the broader sense than a particular discipline.

I loved that answer. I loved the thought of sitting with friends talking philosophy: hopes, fears, passions, relationships, culture, and so on. And then I began to think about the ideal situation for this type of discussion. What would provide the right ambiance, the preferable mood where people are relaxed, not taking themselves or the discussion more seriously than they should.

Everyone has their own answer for that. And I could name a few myself. However, at that point, I thought that the best way to talk philosophy was over coffee. And just like that, I started using this phrase in my own "getting to know you" memes. I even put it in my ministerial profile.

In fact, I've made "philosophy over coffee" a part of my ministry. I've found that meeting at coffeeshops with people can relax both of us and is less imposing on them than if I call on them at home. More recently, instead of offering a membership "class," I've been meeting with people interested in membership over coffee for a more relaxed conversation about their faith journey, their interest in joining, and so on. I have a dream of offering "office hours" in an area coffeeshop sometime soon.

And all that brings us to Philosophy Over Coffee, the blog. I've always envisioned this as a place where people are invited to relax, have a sip of java, and talk about whatever I throw on here, whether serious, personal, whimsical, or completely irrelevant. Usually, I'm blogging with a mug nearby.

So there you have it. Thanks for reading. Here's to another year of blogging goodness.