What is Marturo?

If you remember back far enough, my blog used to be called Marturo. I changed the name a while back, and then have decided to return to the original name. The origin of the name, as I explained about four years ago, is this:

At this point, Marturo is essentially a name for a ministry I spearhead that has a very bright, but largely undefined future. The word comes from the first person singular of the Greek verb “martureo”, which means “I bear witness or testify.” It is from this verbal idea that we get our word martyr, who was simply one who uncompromisingly bore witness of what they believed to be true, eventually to the point of dying for their beliefs.

It is this kind of idea that seemed like a good idea for a ministry to my good friend Michael Dalton and myself several summers ago while painting a now non-existent waterslide in the middle of July at Word of Life camp in Hudson, Florida. The original idea for the ministry involved the hardcore/indie music scene heavily and took the form of interviewing various bands and giving them the opportunity to share what they believed. This went well until both Michael and I went back to camp the following summer and life happened relatively fast once the summer was over. I was mired in finishing my degree, and Michael eventually ended up touring with A Plea for Purging as their lighting guy.

Fast forward to now as I am in Dallas going to seminary and Michael is in Florida recently graduated from Full Sail and at the helm of Dreamery Films. In a sense we are both still sharpening our respective skills and until that is done it is hard to say exactly where Marturo will resurrect in physical form, but it will surely be more intense and more organized than before. Originally we still worked long distance as I was in Tennessee and Michael was in South Carolina, but the demands of daily life have increased rather sharply since then. For the most part now, Marturo is my personal blog that I use as an outlet for my thoughts. It is in the process of expansion though, and it is hard to say where that will lead.

Beyond the history, the take-away here is that Marturo embodies the idea of a radical commitment to Christ and to bearing witness to the Truth.

If we fast-forward even further to the present, Michael and I are both out of school, and interestingly enough now both live in Orlando only a few miles apart from each other. We haven’t really talked about resurrecting the original idea since at this point. Michael is pretty set making sweet videos (which you should check out here) and I’m teaching high school and working with our church.

As far as why the name of this blog should be Marturo, here’s a quick rundown: when I first started blogging about more than just my random thoughts about life (i.e. my Myspace and prior to that my Xanga) I decided on using “Marturo” as the name of the blog.

This lasted more or less until late Spring 2010 when I switched to self-hosting and because I couldn’t take Marturo.com as a domain name, went with MetaMarturo. Reasons need not detain us, but using your imagination and the knowledge that “meta” means “beyond,” you should be able to piece together what that was all about.

After a couple of rough apologetic exchanges online, and because of the rising intensity of school in my last year at Dallas, I decided to pull back from the apologetic tone of the blog and rename it. I believe it was at that point I went with “Think Theologically” and switched the domain to its current address.

In other words, I originally had a pretty specific focus for the blog, and then didn’t necessarily widen it, but diluted it somewhat. Or at least you could say I took it from the concrete into abstraction (something you might have noticed I am pretty good at). Then later I would actually widen it with the brief period when this was called “Words With Nate.” If you remember my explanation it was something along the lines of allowing myself to just talk about whatever. This entailed more theologically thinking, but also the freedom to blog about my random thoughts about life (which basically was returning to the age of Myspace). In all of this I ramped up my blogging output, but really lost any kind of grasp on a focused niche in the blogging world.

For reasons I’ll add to soon, I decided the best course of action is to switch back to Marturo as the name for the blog, but ultimately it will end up being something quite a bit larger than just a blog.

One way that will manifest itself is using the “Marturo” idea and name for the reading group that I mentioned starting. We’re a “collective” in the sense that we’re a group meeting together, and it is a “marturo” collective in the sense that our purpose together is to learn how best testify to what we believe. This involves learning not only how to defend and explain the faith, but also how to effectively critique faulty belief systems and theology. In a way then, the group or collective is focused on individual theological development. We are learning how to “think theologically” but that is only part of living out the lifestyle of a faithful witness of Christ.

Rather than broadening the concept of “think theologically,” I think returning to the Marturo name is completing it. We need to think Christianly, but we do more than thinking when we live out our faith. I am very cerebral and analytically oriented so intellectual activities are my strong suit, but hopefully not my only suit. I am hoping in the coming months and years to put to practice things I’ve learned throughout seminary and help build up the body of Christ through discipleship and mentoring. All of that includes more than just training in theological thinking and helping the process of renewing minds, but certainly can’t include less.

So, what does all this mean for you? It should hopefully lead to more focus in the content I put into the blog. There will still be a lots of book reviews, but I am moving away from traditional reviews to more interactive snapshots of books. I will continue to commentate on cultural issues, and may start discussing TV and movies more frequently. The bulk of the content will flow from the purpose of witnessing (Marturo in Greek = I testify) to the truth of the Christian worldview in creative and practical ways.

None of this constitutes a substantial change to the content. Overall, it should better orient the content around a holistic purpose as well as connect the blogging to an output in the real world via the Marturo Collective. Which, if you’re still interested in being part of the Collective, let me know. We’re just getting warmed up right now, but starting in full swing come January. And if you don’t happen to be in/around Orlando, still let me know and maybe you could just start up your own Collective in your neck of the woods. I’d love to branch out and see some Collectives started elsewhere, but need the right person on board to lead one effectively. If you think that’s you, then drop me a line!

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