Archive for November 2010

The History of the Calvinist Gadfly

30 November 2010 by Frank Turk

It's a little strange that an essentially-blank web page can start its life out with over 11,000 page views, and the only think it has promised is a somewhat-compelling logo and various takes on a mascot/avatar. So for the passers-by and the newcomers, a little history is in order.


Back in the olden days of the early 2000-oughts, like around 2002, "blogspot" was a pay-to-use site and the idea that someone could "blog" about a topic was a somewhat novel idea. But some people were doing it, and among them were some people, like me, concerned about making sure there was a viable and visible Christian presence out there.

Suddenly, Google bought "blogspot" and made it part of the Googleplex of sites that will eventually consume all other sites, and as "Blogger" became a free thing, lots of sites opened up for all manner of blogging.

After about 12 months of blogging, I joined some friends (including the formidable Phil Johnson) and began blogging under the header of the "Pyromaniacs" blog -- and we're still blogging there to this day. But in the meantime, a friend of mine made me extraordinarily jealous by inventing a URL which, had I thought of it, would have been my homepage monicker from the start: CalvinistGadfly.com.

His logo was, well, Drudge-esque, and his page layout and visual appeal was about par for any respectable blog -- and he had a keen mascot which he used. But his site was dedicated to counter-apologetics to the various genus and species of anti-Calvinist rhetoric which is sort of spilled out all over the internet. It was a dirty job, and someone had to do it. Someone on the internet, after all, was wrong.

Because that sort of apologetics is frankly a hobby which will eventually get you tangling with all manner of unreasonable people, my friend (who has asked not to be mentioned on the new endeavor) gave up the Calvinist Gadfly monicker and web site to do something which actually helps the cause of Calvinism: he decided to actually be a minister of the Gospel and go to seminary rather than fight with people who, frankly, are just looking to fight rather than to reason. I commend him for it.

But the domain was hanging out there, and when it came up to be renewed he e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to renew it.


And thus the second generation of CalvinistGadfly.com was born -- at least in theory.

I've spent the last 18 months or so sort of working on what the look and concept of the site ought to be, and I had a couple of ideas:
  • A web cartoon (as if I had time to produce a web cartoon)
  • A web comic (as if I had time to write and draw a web cartoon)
  • An aggregator for non-boring posts about Christian life from a confessional standpoint (but Carl Trueman already has a blog)
  • A page dedicated to gadfly-isms toward those who can't help but hate Calvinism and those who are doing their flat-out best to make Calvinism laughable from the inside

And I'm still mulling it over. @CalvinistGadfly has a presence on Twitter, and he's my character name in "City of Heroes", and I'm not sure how it all comes together. However, in the meantime, our purple-and-green deacon of daring-do will occupy this space for the duration until something more, um, "helpful" (as they say in respectable Christian circles) come to mind.

Thanks for stopping buy. Drop me a note at calvinistgadfly.com (any "@" will do) if you have a great idea to move this forward.

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