Sunday, June 19, 2005

Why Blog/The Faithful Blogger

OK, so I am trying to be a good blogger. Meaning, I'm writing on topics that interest me and hopefully, saying something that interests others. I also want the writing to be high-quality, although I am also trying to be spontaneous and free-flowing, not belaboring every single post.

But all is for naught if people aren't even reading my blog, right? Well, not necessarily. I do feel that even if no one at all read my blog, it is still worth my time to put my thoughts into writing as I have done; it helps me think through issues more deeply, clarify my thinking, and in the process, gain better insight into what I really do think and believe.

Of course, these are pretty well-known benefits of writing-- so why blog? Why not just put my musings into a private journal or computer diary?

Hmmm. That's a good question. Why am I blogging anyway?

My blog is Christian, so I'm presenting a Christian point of view; adding my own (hopefully distinctive) voice to the dialogue in the marketplace of thought and ideas. I have learned, from people like Francis Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis, that a particular worldview is expressed by the thoughts and ideas we embrace and promote, and that ideas have powerful consequences. The ideas of thinkers, philosophers and people of influence in media and elsewhere eventually trickle down into popular thinking, becoming embedded into a society's way of life through the passing of laws, the writing of textbooks and curricula that reflects these views, media promotion, and other means.

For example, why do so many today consider abortion to be a woman's right? The view of abortion that many hold today can ultimately be traced back to ideas-- ideas that crept into the thinking of the Supreme Court justices that made the ruling in the famous (infamous) Roe vs. Wade case. Subsequently, a practice that was once illegal and viewed as immoral progressively came to be seen as not only legal, but also moral. Surely many since Roe vs Wade have thought, could it be legal if it were not also moral? So the passage of laws that have made abortion legal and the promotion of abortion values by various propagandists (artists, media, film directors, political organizations, etc.) have together shaped the thinking of the last generation, so that many now grow up thinking of abortion as this sacred "right" (if they have not questioned the popular notion).

So one important reason for me to blog is to promote a Christian point of view on issues of the day, pointing people to the revelation of God as the source for truth on such matters. Although, as mentioned in my previous post Gimme Some Truth, it isn't very easy to talk about truth these days because our postmodern way of thinking doesn't recognize or define truth in the way it has been previously defined. Still by writing on such topics I can hopefully show the flaws, and ultimately the futility, of such thinking, and perhaps influence a few towards truth that is substantial and meaningful and makes a real difference to their lives.

Another reason to blog is that it helps keep me honest. Hey, I don't want to be found to be among the hypocrites by saying one thing in my blog, but living in a different way. I'm sure pastors who preach sermons and others who teach can relate to this point.

Now, is there a part of me who wants to blog so that people will read my posts and think, "My, what a clever fellow!", or "My gosh, what insight this man has!"? Yes, I admit I'm guilty of such base motivations. But, I also find within myself the artistic impulse to express myself-- which comes out in my music and songwriting as well as in my blogging. I don't think that this impulse is evil. On the contrary, I think it is God-given. But like all of God's gifts, this impulse should be submitted to Him, so that it functions properly in my life, serving Him rather than myself.

So I'm hoping, as "fluffy" and lightweight as the practice of blogging sometimes feels to me, that in the end, it will not have been a waste of time, that it won't be burnt up on Judgment Day as a mere work of my flesh. So that's one more reason why I hope to make this blog more effective in reaching people, which necessitates that I will likely have to learn a lot more about the technical aspects of a good webpage, including good design, good coding, using links, optimization for search engines, etc.

[As an aside, I have been working on this kind of stuff lately. For example, I had added a whole bunch of links to my site, which I picked up lock, stock and barrel from Adrian Warnock's UK Evangelical Blog. I have decided to delete all but a few of the links, because I'm quite sure that there's some I wouldn't necessarily want to endorse, though they may be well-read and popular. Mr. Warnock's philosophy on this expressed on his own site is that he doesn't have time to visit all the sites he lists, and that even if he lists sites he wouldn't endorse theologically or otherwise, listing them may create worthwhile points of dialogue (an interesting thought to consider). I think what I'll do is add sites as I visit them, which I can do with just a click].

2nd aside:
[I don't know about you, but a lot of blogs annoy me! I mean I don't know what's going on when I visit them. They seem entirely esoteric, full of knowing insider references that make me feel like I'm not "in the know". Also, there's so many visual distractions at many blogs--you just don't know where to look. I guess these are blogging trends, since many blogs seem to have these characteristics. Anyway, I hope I can keep my blog simple and clear, though I would like to add more options to my blog/website in the future, such as links to my music.]

Could blogging become a source of income, could it be a paying vocation for me someday? Perhaps-- this too will require research and prayer. But for now, I'm just striving to be a faithful blogger, who writes intelligently and in a way that honors God.

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