I’ve just closed the 2016-2017 reader survey that I’d been running for a few weeks. You might be interested in the results, and you’re welcome to add more in the comments.
I’ve been through a creative dry spell, partly because of the busyness of the holidays. It’s improving, and I’ve been successfully writing original work for The Stream again. This week was rough in our family, though, as we said goodbye to a beloved pet. I expect to pick up the blogging pace again soon, though, and these thoughts from readers help a lot.
Of 55 respondents, a sample that’s neither large nor random enough to be representative, but at least has a chance of representing those who want to have input into the blog’s direction:
- 82 percent are firm believers in Christianity
- 64 percent have been reading the blog for more than a year
- 56 percent read comments fairly regularly
- The topics of highest interest, in order from most to least, are (as shown in the graphic above):
- General apologetics (76%)
- Philosophical discussions about belief (72%)
- Science and faith (70%)
- Answering atheism (57%)
- Understanding what the Bible teaches (56%)
- Marriage, morality, and sexuality (46%)
- Book reviews (37%)
- Other Religions & Religious Freedom, (tied at 32%)
- 25 percent of respondents are younger than 40
- 82 percent are male
- 74 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree; 43 percent hold advanced degrees (and kudos to the other 26 percent, as this blog is written to be thoughtfully challenging)
- 53 percent are interested in the concept of the Thinking Christian Connection. (I’ll be responding to each person’s interest as soon as time allows.)
Interesting notes about what people would like to see on the blog
These are all verbatim quotes, other than corrections for minor typos.
- I’d like to see more posts regarding topics that similar sites don’t discuss often. For example: many apologetics sites discuss the ethics of abortion, but few discuss the ethics of triage during a natural disaster. Some posts about politics would also be good, especially analysis of political systems outside the U.S. mainstream.
- Answers to Islam
- 1. Movement from homosexuality to sexual sin in general, bad response of people acting in the name of Christ toward sexual sin. 2. How to respond with grace and competence to non-Christian worldview — again, cultural Christianity usurps the true Christian response and becomes a heretical caricature of how Christ would want us to respond to many issues (in content, comportment, or both).
- [Get ready for this one!] I’d love to understand the basic human need (weakness) which makes billions of supposedly intelligent humans forsake rationale, logic, common sense (etc), to main supernatural beliefs which were founded in the least enlightened period of recorded history. If someone purported be the son of God in this era, with only ‘hearsay’ as evidence, they would be laughed at by atheists and the religiously inclined alike. What makes ‘want it to be true’ corrupt people’s thinking so much that it becomes virtually impossible for them to fathom that life can be just as happy, rewarding, fulfilling, ethical, virtuous, fair, ethical, etc without the shackles of religion. In fact I would suggest that the world would be a genuinely better place for all if people weren’t prone to using their dogmatic views to unflinchingly justify abhorrent behavior. And would religiously inclined people truly be happier if everyone believed the same delusion and unquestioningly abided by ancient inflexible/irrational rules? Which delusion would suit all?
- More discussion of apologetic strategies
- Reliability and Historicity of the Gospels
- More excerpts from your book(s). More follow-up blogs focused on the comments and clarifying the discussion points.
- Religion relation to personal honor.
- Engage more with non-atheistic ideas (e.g., Muslims, Buddhists, various neo-pagan ideas, general “spirituality”). Continue challenge our culture on sexual issues, but branch out more (e.g., militarism, ideas conveyed via film/TV, euthanasia, etc.)
- How current events relate to Biblical prophecy but on a theological level.
- More about Genesis 1
- More book reviews
That’s it. What else would you like to add?