Thursday, June 20, 2002

Christian Blogging

In the blogosphere neighborhood that I live in, Spudlets was the most recent to ask the introspective question “why blog?” I decided to take a stab at it myself.

Personally I had hoped that I would reach new believers. As it turns out, that has not happened very often. With hindsight it is easy to understand why. They are either not looking for Christian blogs or, if they come across one, they are overwhelmed by theology or rants against the secular world. If you are looking for the basic Gospel, someone screaming about NRO dissing evangelicals will not likely be of interest.

It is not our fault. Blogs are dynamic and responsive. A blog with static content relevant for new believers would not get many hits and no links, and consequently would not be found. Traditional websites are better equipped to route new believers to appropriate content.

In the comments section of his post, Marc (spudlets) suggests that we may have to venture into other “neighborhoods”, perhaps of the seedy variety, to reach non-believers. That seems like a reasonable suggestion. It won’t be easy though. In the past I have tried going head-to-head in forums and chat rooms. Typically it degenerates into name-calling. This cyber equivalent of proselytizing does not require the moxie of the real life version, but it is not for the feint hearted either. If you venture there, pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Presently, I get almost no hate mail. This is a clear indication that the blogosphere is highly segregated (and that my neighborhood is a low-traffic gated community).

One amusing anecdote: After I installed the site meter, way back on day one, I was excited the first time someone trundled into my blog. I was even more delighted that he came in from a link in someone else’s blog – not just the update list. When I looked at the referring URL, I found that the author had a post that read: “check out this nutter” (must be a Brit) and the word nutter was a link to my site! That was a bit deflating! Occasionally I still get a hit from his site so it may yet prove to be of some value.

The Christian blogs are roughly split between those that are predominantly theological with a bit of politics (like mine) and those that are the other way around. It may be that the blogs that are more political are better at reaching new believers.

Christian bloggers do edify one another, and that is a very good thing.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NKJV)

Sometimes I am discouraged that, for the most part, we feed off each other. Jeffrey Collins at Joyful Christian once thanked me that many of his hits cam from my site. I suspect, however, he would be more delighted (for a given number of hits) if each entry came from a unique source.

I have learned quite a bit from the blogs I link to. And when we disagree? While I think that we all are fairly entrenched in our views, we do benefit from counter arguments, whether it be to humble ourselves or to cause us to launch into the Word to solidify our position.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal. 5:25-26, NKJV)

Are we selfish?

I can’t speak for others, but I certainly am. I want people to read what I write and I am delighted when someone comes into the site by a novel route. When I link to someone that doesn’t link back, I am a tad disappointed. Sometimes I post a blog that I am sure will generate a lot of feedback and instead it’s a big dud. (The most recent: my Ayn Rand blog.) C. S. Lewis said that he never had a selfless thought in his entire life. I am not sure it’s that bad, but at best it’s almost that bad. I think we can moderate the selfish part of it by praying for God’s glory and asking, when we write something, whether it will be edifying to anybody.

God’s Glory

The Joyful Christian has a well reasoned post on (among other things) how, even if you are convicted that you seek His glory and not your own, you must still act responsibly (especially in a fiscal sense).

My Hometown

I give you this story about my new hometown in order to evoke hormonal level envy in those of you living in crowded urban areas. I do this as a brother: you must learn to deal with those feelings! Need a picture of the town center where our Strawberry festival will take place? Look here.

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