There’s a big stir about Jim West’s “retirement” from blogging, which he has apparently announced on Facebook. But don’t believe it. Jim will surely be back. He’s done this sort of thing to grab attention many times before. Here’s the history:
1/20/06: Jim deletes his first blog (The “Biblical Theology” Blog).
10/?/06: Jim deletes his second blog (“First Baptist Church of Petros”).
12/31/09: Jim deletes his fourth blog (The second “Dr. Jim West” blog).
I suspect that the skewering Jim recently received at the hands of Hector Avalos has something to do with his sudden flight. Chris Heard once similarly called Jim’s credentials into question, and Hector is highlighting the same kind of hypocrisy. There is, of course, nothing wrong with lacking credentials in itself, and as we all know, many biblilobloggers (like myself) are independent amateurs. What’s problematic — if utterly hilarious — is to see an individual like Jim (whose credentials are far from mighty) habitually lash out at dilettantes, homeschoolers, and others for (supposedly) not measuring up to credentialed standards.
On Roland’s blog, a commenter named Adam suggests that Jim “suddenly realized that his blog was no good and was embarrassed”, and Stephanie Fisher hopes that if he returns, “he leaves out the cruel humour against suicide victims, homosexuals, atheists and fat people” — which, of course, was a large part of what was “no good” and “embarrassing”. But I tend to think that’s the sort of thing that kept Jim blogging more than anything else.
Well, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Jim will be back, despite his insistence otherwise. Mark my words!
UPDATE: It looks like Jim has a church blog, though it should be noted that this is not the same “Petros Baptist Church” blog that succeeded Jim’s “Biblical Theology Blog”, and which Jim deleted in October 2006 (see above timeline). (Hat-tip: Roland (via Steph).) A church blog won’t be enough for him. Jim craves a more academic spotlight, and as Rick Sumner says in comments, “he won’t be able to help himself”. I repeat: Jim will be back. It may take a week, a month, a few months at most, but he will return.
UPDATE (II): Chris Heard worries that his position may be misunderstood, and since I’m the one responsible for dragging up his three-year old post, I’ll do the courtesy of citing his emphasis: “My comments about Jim’s educational background and teaching practices were not an attack on the quality of the credentials themselves (as I think Hector intends his own comments), but part of a critique of the inconsistency between Jim’s own educational practices and his intense rhetoric against home schooling.” And of course, that was exactly my own point in this post.
UPDATE (III): Mark Goodacre also thinks Jim will be back. And he will!
NEWSFLASH: Jim is back. It took only six days.