Monday, October 16, 2006

Why I Blog

There seems to be a lot going on the Baptist Blogosphere these days. There are trustees meeting at SWBTS, Dwight McKissic is in the news again, there’s the mass assault on likes of Paige Patterson and the Caner brothers, and there’s talk of legal culpability for bloggers who post or allow libelous content on their blogs. In the midst of this, I’m tempted to dive headlong into the fray, but instead I pause here to give a perspective on blogging.

I have been blogging now for a mere two months—here it can seem like a great deal of time. In that limited amount of time I have seen many opinions, attacks, rumors, and downright stupidity asserted within the blogosphere. Conversely, I’ve also seen some decent writings, some people who seem to be genuine, and some who truly have something meaningful to say (although it’s quite demanding I’m sure and I don’t see how they do it).

In the midst of all this, here I am and here’s why I blog:

- I blog because I believe in the exchange of ideas. Just because some these ideas are ill-conceived or misguided does not mean that the exchange should not go on.

- I blog to be sharpened. As I blog I’m challenged by those like Ben Cole who, although I may not always agree with him, knows grammar, spelling, and word usage and at times castigates other bloggers for grammatical or spelling infractions. I’m also sharpened by some of the theological debate (both good and bad) that goes on.

- I blog to learn. There are blogs like Kevin Bussey’s that often have news updates on issues that interest me. There are also a vast number of blogs dealing with issues of theology. I get to read numerous viewpoints and arguments (some persuasive, some ill-conceived) for and against certain beliefs. Furthermore, I can learn almost anything about SBC politics from the blogs I read. The better question is, “how much of it is worth knowing?”

- I blog to express myself. I’ve heard it said that ideas can untangle themselves over lips and through fingertips. This means that we often are able to process thoughts better by speaking or writing them. As a verbal person, this is often a big help to me. Furthermore, sometimes I have something to say and this provides me a simple outlet through which I can express my viewpoint.

- I blog to think. Too often this is something that is lacking in the blogosphere. As I prepare a post I try to give careful thought to what I will say. It is disappointing as I read other blogs to see well articulated—clearly thought out arguments that are juxtaposed with ignorant off-handed remarks. Worse still are the posts that do not reflect or encourage thinking.

Here’s the reversal:

- I do not blog to build my own ego. This can be a struggle for me from time to time, but ultimately I have a life beyond this blog. While I confess I have a counter on my blog and like to see the numbers go up, that's not what I'm all about. My ideas may be accepted, rejected, or ignored, but here they are. Too often it seems that the criticism of narcissism is true of some bloggers. I pray that it is never something that may be accurately said of me.

- I do not blog to tear others down. This is not an anti-so-and-so blog. There are anti-Patterson Blogs, anti-Burleson blogs, anti-Page blogs, and so many others. If there’s someone to criticize, bloggers are there criticizing or libeling them. This is unChristlike and unacceptable.

- I do not blog to share rumors, lies, or urban myths. These blogs exist and ensnare far too many—God will judge them for leading those astray.

- I do not blog to support “the establishment.” My views are my own and may or may not coincide with those of certain institutions or important individuals. My views do often happen to be in line with the school I attend (SWBTS), the church I attend (North Richland Hills Baptist Church), and the country I live in and serve. However, when my views tend to diverge, they’re mine, and belong to none of these.

I know better than to think that my thoughts and reasons on blogging will turn the Baptist blogosphere around, but there does seem to be a backlash against those who post negligently ignorant, misguided, or libelous content. Maybe others will clean up their acts or find another pastime. I enjoy blogging for now, but when it becomes a burden rather than a joy, I too will find another pastime.

1 comment:

Kevin Bussey said...

Sounds like good reasons to me.