I recognised that I needed to get a blog quite a while before I actually started blogging, but I always felt stymied by not having a name for it.
In my personal universe, things have to have names, you see. I’m the sort of person who names their car (the current model is HMS Dauntless), so I can’t just call it “Geoff’s blog”. In my world that’s not a name, that’s a description, and not a particularly descriptive one at that.
I didn’t want to get into having to rename my blog either. At first, this was because I thought that once you’d created the thing, the name was fixed. I found out differently. No, the name of your blog isn’t fixed for time and eternity.
But still, I didn’t want to have a blog identity crisis after only a few weeks of posting by suddenly realising what I ought to have named it.
I needed a name, and I wanted to get the name right before I started.
It needed to have a personal resonance, otherwise it was going to be a non-starter. But given that my tastes can get pretty weird, it shouldn’t be too off-the-wall. I wanted something I could live with for the next however long.
I was probably going to be mostly posting on Christian theological and cultural issues, but I didn’t want something that would restrict me to just that any more than I wanted something that wouldn’t let me talk in depth about my faith.
So, personal, livable-with in the long term, Christian but not exclusively so. And because of my eclectic interests, linguistic, ancient world, cross-cultural or astronomical references would be a plus.
It suddenly all fell into place when I remembered that about a year before, I’d been playing with the letters of my name and discovered that it anagramised to OH YE FORGE OF WORDS. Bronze Age metallurgical reference together with linguistic reference together with personal meaningfulness and even an oblique Bible reference (to Proverbs 17:3)
I played around with it a little more. “Oh ye forge of words” didn’t seem quite right for a blog. But almost immediately I settled on “The Word Forge”.
A lot of what I do here seems to be fairly well symbolised by bronze metallurgy. Bronze is a mixture of tin and copper, both of which are very useful metals in their own right. But mix them together and you get bronze, a metal as easy to work as copper but which will take and hold an edge. So, take two unrelated truths and mix them together to see what happens. That’s part of what I do.
The other part of what I do is expressed in the tagline I think I’ve now settled on. I wanted to say “Melting down golden calves since <insert starting date>”, but I haven’t been at this long enough yet for that to look anything other than ridiculous.
Christians have a lot of things in our peculiar subculture that don’t stand up all that well to the light of truth. Parts of what we do that are purely cultural rather than Biblical. Things that are unexamined because it’s just the way it’s always been.
As someone who’s lived in more than one culture, I may have an advantage in recognising some of these. No doubt I have other blind spots all of my own. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.
But here, we melt down Christian golden calves. The little idols we don’t really think about, for whatever reason. I don’t want to offend anyone just for the sake of it. But I do plan on speaking the truth as far as I know how.