I have posted in the past an article concerning the incredible rise of blogging and social networking that would make saints of old, especially the Puritans, turn over in their graves. Nevertheless, I continue to enjoy blogging and have even found Facebook to be a fun way to keep in touch and post quick, insightful (I hope) comments. So why do I do it? There are some strong arguments as to why blogging is not worthy of our time. Several of my “heros” in the faith do not blog, including D.A. Carson, J.I. Packer, John MacArthur, Wayne Grudem, Alistair Begg, and others. There are other prominent religious leaders who do blog, including John Piper, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Justin Taylor, Kevin Deyoung, and Tim Keller. I am finishing a book called “Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys That Should Be)” and one of the authors, Ted Kluck (a writer for ESPN.com Page 2 and ESPN the Magazine) cites some reasons why he prefers writing a book rather than blogging. At the top of his list was the idea that “there is something good about the editing process, the idea that your work sits for a while and is evaluated before being thrust before the world.” D.A. Carson asks the question, “what would I have to give up for 2 hours a day to write and respond in a blog format?”
These are good questions, and as I point out in my previous post, there are theological concerns to keep in mind as well. I find myself at times going back to revisit something I have written on a particular topic, that I probably wrote in about 25 minutes, and end up heavily editing it in my mind. The time concern is also definitely an issue, as I both as a Christian and a minister want to be utilizing my time effectively and honorably. So why do I blog?
First, I blog because I want to keep writing. Journaling is a spiritual discipline, one that I need to work on. Keeping a private journal of our thoughts, our response to God in life’s daily ins and outs, and our wrestling with Scripture is a healthy and important tool for spiritual maturity. In somewhat the same way, effective and purposeful writing does not happen naturally. It takes time and practice and can be a tool to keep Christians thinking through issues and wrestling with our own positions. Blogging allows me to continue to sharpen my writing, my thinking, and my engagement with Scripture.
Second, I blog because I’m not in a position to write books. I agree with Kluck’s assessment, it is preferable to let something sit, be reviewed by a team of editors, and go through all the processes that writing a book entails. Yet, most of us are not in a position to take the time, or have the connections to write and publish a book. Even more, most of us would struggle with having enough engaging things to say to fill an entire book on a single theme or topic. Incidentally, the same thing is true with preaching. There are a select few, such as John Piper and others, who can preach for 6 weeks on Romans 12:1 and still have something good to say about that one verse for the duration. I believe I will write a book one of these days (a doctoral dissertation at least) and I can assure you that my blogging with decrease when such a task begins.
Third, I blog because a few people (albeit, very few) want to hear what I think. One of the great joys of being a minister is that I receive tons of questions about the Bible, translations, dinosaurs (hehe), and the beginning of the world. It is quite humbling that others value my opinion and my experience on such topics. Although my blog is nowhere near the “top of the list” in terms of hits and readers, I average a good number of readers each day and those people are important to me, so it keeps me motivated to provide insightful and biblically accurate material on my blog.
Fourth, I blog to give God glory. If through my keyboard and computer I can lift God’s name a little higher and expound a little more on his infinite greatness, kindness, mercy, and love, then it is all worth it.
Having said those things, there are some inherent dangers in blogging. Perhaps the greatest is pride. Blogging can become a competition of whose blog site is most popular, whose looks the best, and whose is listed on the “most influential blogs” lists. When that kind of thinking creeps in, then an unhealthy amount of time can be spent on updating, writing, responding, and tweaking a blog. Secondly, blogging can lead us to think a bit too highly of ourselves and our opinions. Although we want to write with confidence and hold true to our beliefs, there is an essential need for humility (as it pertains to Christian blogs) that can very, very quickly disappear. I’m not always right. And neither are you. Third, blogging can become an idol. If the time comes where I place my website, which is meant for good and Godly things, above the God I am writing about, then it is time to close shop. Lastly, blogging can consume too much time, especially if I fail to take care of the most important things: time alone with God, time with my family, and time at work. Blogging comes well below those things.
So, I hope you are enjoying my little place on the web here. I do my best to bring you current events and my commentary on them as well as thoughts on Scripture and life. I appreciate you being here.