Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is blogging a healthy Christian activity? Every time I make the rounds and read blogs lately, the answer seems more obvious.


33 Comments:

  • Maybe you should stay out of the "rounds" that occur in the "ring?" I haven't blogged as much lately, but I have decided that encouraging healthy Christian blogging consists of encouraging healthy Christian bloggers.

    I hope you consider yourself encouraged. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/26/2009 8:53 PM  

  • I love the title Rose; Hi!

    Hi Missy, I like that a lot.

    here's another one

    :D Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/26/2009 11:14 PM  

  • Hi, I am aware that putting all our dirty laundry out in the blogosphere may not be the most intelligent thing... but for myself I find my blog forces me to research and think issues through that I have never done before... sure in theory I could journal with paper and pen... but I've never successfully done that, and I'm sure I wouldn't be as thorough. I recently posted a bit on how blogging may fit in the learning triangle here:

    http://jonjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/learning-triangle.html

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9/26/2009 11:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    It's interesting and ironic that those who talk the most about shortfalls in relational wellness are the least willing to own up or reconcile. After awhile I don't hear anything anymore.

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/27/2009 2:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think Theoblogging can be healthy, just like anything else though; it can be unhealthy.

    If you want to observe some healthy Christian blogging come my way. The Evangelical Calvinist is a new blog of mine; and it has been fostering some good exchanges (well, I did have to switch over to wordpress, I had one guy spamming my comment threads, and blogger isn't all that great for "banning" certain IP's).

    My name here is linked to the wordpress address; and here's the former blogger address: http://theevangelicalcalvinist.blogspot.com

    I hope you're not saying that you're done with blogging, Rose?

    By Anonymous Bobby Grow, at 9/27/2009 4:27 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I would have to say that my experience with blogging has been unhealthy. I suppose it takes a good bit of wisdom and spiritual maturity to handle it well.

    "Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    Lest you also be like him.
    Answer a fool according to his folly,
    Lest he be wise in his own eyes." Prov. 26:4,5

    I can't say I completely understand this passage, and it's even harder to consistently put into practice. I think we all find ourselves on both ends of this proverb at one time or another.

    Many words... blogging essentially comes down to that doesn't it...the desire or compulsion to put it all out there for the whole world to see? But aren't we just asking for trouble when we do that?

    "in the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
    But he who restrains his lips is wise." Prov. 10:19

    Easy to say , but most of the time hard to do. It's even harder on blogs because "on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog." It IS more obvious sometimes than others though.

    :~)

    By Blogger goe, at 9/27/2009 10:53 AM  

  • Ironic, Rose.

    I just taught a SS class this AM on digital relationships (including e-mail, blogging, facebook, etc.) to follow up on our pastor's sermon last week on the same topic. (My text was 2 Cor 5, as in prior guest posts on Rose's Reasonings here and here.) Needless to say, I had plenty of fodder for discussion from my blogging adventures over the last several months.

    It seems to me that some of the attraction of blogging is rooted in our intrinsic human need of true community. Could it be that this is a commentary on the poor "state of the Union" in the local Body of Christ in our culture? I don't think the answer is that simple, but I'm sure it plays a significant role.

    I would also say that motives are key; if I were to blog mainly just to hear myself "talk" or curry the favor of others for my brilliant ideas---which is certainly part of my flesh---then I should just hang it up right now. But both Michele and Gary make excellent points about reconciliation and wise speech, respectively, and it is IMO not a foregone conclusion that this could never be accomplished in digital relationships. When you think about it, I wonder what Christians in the first few centuries thought about how the epistles and gospels were circulated. The apostles must have seemed like THE gurus of IT!

    As to theo-blogging? Well, I'm currently engaged in a "pilot project" of the feasibility of such in the FG movement, and it may well be an understatement to claim that "the jury's still out" on that. I've also been contributing to Theology Forum (and Bobby as well, more recently) for about a year and a half, but I think that people's opinions rarely if ever really change on that forum. What we don't know yet is the effect that such exchanges may have on lurkers, of course, who would be very difficult to poll, or do some sort of "before-after" comparison. Jonathan's thesis is certainly thought-provoking; I have to admit that the blogs have certainly catalyzed some of my thinking, but to be quite honest, most of my theological development has come from solid relationships I have built in men's ministry over the last 5-6 years.

    Ditto on Missy's comment. All of you rock, in my book.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 9/27/2009 9:48 PM  

  • Here's how I responded, on behalf of Jim (not that he needs it) to someone else over at Fred L.' blog who takes the same tact (or lack) as our bro. Lou; I said:

    -------------------

    Well, I think defining our terms is important, don’t you? That’s all I see Jim trying to do. Wasn’t it Socrate’s, ‘Euthyphro’ who illustrated that “he who frames the questions wins the argument?” Not that anyone is trying to “win” around here, per se; just that terms, concepts, etc. need to be defined up front — so that we don’t just end up with a Euthyphro agenda (to win the argument, for its sake). All I see Jim doing is being careful, and so far, the other side (Lou and now you Greg) wanting to “win” the argument by having Jim answer the “question” based upon your framing.

    If I were Jim, I would do the same thing . . . in theology they call this prolegomena (literally, the ‘before words’). I think you all just need more patience . . . this is a Christian (virtue) fruit of the Spirit — isn’t it?
    ----------------------

    I think folks aren't being careful, here; and Jim is!

    By Anonymous Bobby Grow, at 9/28/2009 3:25 AM  

  • Missy,
    Good idea. Staung away from the places where people like to really get nasty would probably be best. I guess old habits are hard to break.

    Michele,
    I love that! hahaha! 'I can't come to bed, someone is WRONG on the internet.' That is priceless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/28/2009 8:47 AM  

  • Hi Jonathan,
    At it's hey dey, that is exaactly what my blog did for me. It was good. Thing is, there came an element into blogging... of real nastiness like what is in the comic. Maybe you haven't seen this stuff around Christian blogs, but it has overshadowed them in my mind for the last umteen months. And I think it is totally unhealthy for Christians to take part in nasty debates. Mob mentality and marginalizing, harassment and gossip... it all sems unhealthy and unchristlike. But I will check your blog out. Perhaps you have kept it free of this stuff. :) :)
    Thanks for visiting.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/28/2009 9:10 AM  

  • Bobby,
    Hi! I don't know - I don't know. I certainly don't feel inspired to do any posting right now. I read things, though... and this is where I get the feeling that it isn't healthy. Probably reading the wrong things.

    I looked at your blog. The "Evangelical Calvinist"? :) :)
    I like that. If you're going to be a Calvinist, then at least be evengelistically minded. :) :)
    I appreciated your commetns on Prolegommenon (sp). When John taught a systemiatic theology course at our church, that is when I first learned that word. Made me smile when I read you use it. "5 dollar word" as John would say.

    Thanks so much for your participation!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/28/2009 9:15 AM  

  • Gary,
    I get it. I understand the desire and complusion to speak one's mind, especially when one has been offended. :)

    Jim,
    I have the utmost respect for you and feel privileged to know you. Thank you for gracing my blog with your presence. :)
    That must have been an interesting Sunday School class. Thanks for sharing. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/28/2009 9:18 AM  

  • Rose,

    HI. Here are an assortment of my thoughts on blogging.

    I think one's personal blogging will be done according to what he wants to get out of it. Conversation? Distraction? Comradery(?)? Like lonely or idle jabbering on the phone; this seems to be what drives much of blogging.

    Like anything, it can be a self-ingratiating waste of time.

    But it truly has rare and precious potential in the area of individual learning. The internet is sort of a big encyclopedia - of truth as well as garbage and deception.

    I used to know a guy who would talk for days in puruit of some sort of truth but who clearly avoided getting there when it would mean that he had to stop talking? ('intellectual self-gratification'?)

    There are all sorts of ways we fail at conversation and communication; blogging is just a written record of it.

    Look at how many ways the discussion in a group bible study can break down.

    I've seen people go out to blog in order to gain accurate information and insight and correction. It is very difficult and seems to be as much of an aquired skill as everything else. Instead of lending itself to that though, the blogshpere is more like a seventh grade classroom after the teacher leaves the room.

    So if a person wishes concentrate on what they came to find out, and ignore everything else, then blogging can be a great personal tool.

    Imo!

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 9/28/2009 11:30 AM  

  • Rose, those habits are hard to break. But just like an addict, I discovered it was poisoning me - maybe because I am too immature to digest the gristly meat yet or maybe because it really was spoiled meat, God can decide that. I felt it best for me to work on my growth in other areas for now - sweet fruits!

    But I still love the encouragement and comradery I get from blogging. I have met far more reasonable and lovable characters than not.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/28/2009 12:24 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    To answer your question - "A qualified 'yes'" but only (bearing in mind your cartoon)if the rules governing behaviour are strictly stated enforced.

    One reason why I started commenting on your site many moons ago was because it seemed to be fair. And, overall, I have no complaints.

    I wouldn't like to go to my Mission Board (or, more importantly) stand before the Lord and say that I had spent a lot of my time blogging.

    The summer rest was good. Looking forward to more postsa from you and interaction wi' the various friends here.

    Regards,

    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 9/28/2009 12:28 PM  

  • With no exception, my blogging experience with every one who has commented here so far has been extremely healthy! ;-)

    I fall into the group Jim mentioned concerning the "state of the union". So much of the scripture really is taboo in our local churches.

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/28/2009 3:17 PM  

  • Greetings, Rose,

    A worthwhile topic; glad you raised it. We live in an exhibitionistic culture; the ability to sound off where the whole world can hear you is a commodity one can sell, and there's quite a market for it. Christians seem to be buying like everyone else...

    The blog medium can be, and has been, terribly abused. The immaturity of our Christian communities stands revealed for the world to see. It will take time for us to develop an 'institutional' resistance to the temptations involved.

    On the other hand, I find that I am able to maintain and enrich friendships online that I wouldn't manage to maintain otherwise. There's a blessing there. But with a couple of notable exceptions, my good online relationships are with people that I already have good (not necessarily deep, but good, non-adversarial) in-person relationships with. And even with the exceptions, I go to voice contact (phone/skype) for delicate things, or when the friendship starts to strain a bit, or just because it's more personal.

    I suspect the key is to find a way to negate the dehumanizing aspects of the medium, and part of that is moving out of the medium periodically into something more than written text. Even phone is better; video chat better still; and there's still no substitute for physical presence -- easier, way easier, to hear someone's heart when you're there.

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 9/29/2009 10:58 AM  

  • Todd,
    I think you have some excellent thoughts there! I have always appreciated your contributions to the discussions. :)

    Colin, "ditto" as they say here in the US.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/29/2009 1:23 PM  

  • KC,
    heeheehee :)
    With no excpetion? See, now I wonder what you mean by that - if it means everyone without exception or ... or all the ones that are still showing on the thread...

    ...or maybe you are majoring on the word "healthy"? :)

    You are great, KC. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/29/2009 1:25 PM  

  • Tim,
    What an insightful comment. Wow, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I think blogging can definitly build up our relationships with those that we intersect with in our physical existence, in person. I have had that experience. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/29/2009 1:27 PM  

  • Sis, I was just crushing on everyone who has a comment displayed. I was blissfully ignorant of any others. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 9/29/2009 2:16 PM  

  • Dear Rose, I hope you are feeling encouraged with so much healthy Christian blogging activity occuring right here in your very own "home!" I am. :o)

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/29/2009 3:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    In my opinion, most of the FG blogging I’ve seen is not a healthy activity at all. I started visiting some of the FG blogs two or three years ago. Until then I had not been very aware of the gospel debate going on within the FG community. Boy, what a shock—and I’m talking about the viciousness I saw on both sides. I continue to visit various sites off and on but sometimes I wonder why I do it. It’s kind of like diving into a sewer reservoir looking for a nugget here and there.

    Your blog is among the few exceptions as far as I’ve noticed and I think it’s because you exercise control over it. I can’t help but think that the blog administrators will be sharing in the responsibility of the sins of others someday at the Bema simply for allowing them to be displayed. (Of course, some of the administrators themselves seem to be among the greatest violators of the law of love.) Free speech may be an American value but not necessarily a Christian one, at least the way it is practiced today. I agree with Colin that the only way doctrinal blogging can be healthy is if the rules of engagement are strictly enforced—and, of course, if those rules reflect Biblical standards.

    There seems to be a blindness when it comes to doctrinal discussions. One thing I’ve noticed is that it seems that people see the sin in the actions of those taking the other position but dismiss the sinful actions of those with whose doctrine they agree. And it can be an extreme temptation to reply in kind to someone else’s statement made in the flesh. I really think some would do themselves a favor to refrain from blogging at all when that temptation is too strong.

    Thanks for letting me share. I guess that was kind of negative, wasn’t it? So let me close by saying that I do appreciate the difference I see in Rose’s Reasonings!

    By Blogger David Bell, at 9/29/2009 9:58 PM  

  • I have had some good and am still having a good conversation on my blog.. perhaps because I don't get as much activity, its much easier to keep things on an even Keel, but I think it can be healthy. I do not pressure myself however and when I get busy I take a break. :) Thanks for hosting the Blog Rose.

    I do think there are people in the blogosphere whose purpose is to cause strife however.

    Grace and Truth

    Trent

    By Blogger Trent, at 9/30/2009 11:16 AM  

  • The great thing about blogging is that you are exposed to different ideas. Visiting blogs has helped me to get out of my little dogmatic church world and see the faith in a healthier way.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 10/04/2009 8:07 PM  

  • HI Rose,

    I have been away from blogging (both posting and reading) since April in part because of the nastiness and how I felt myself being drawn into fruitless conversations.

    I would like to put what I think my motivations are out there. For me writing is process; it is thinking. It's how I work things out, roll them around, poke 'em with a stick. A blog post is an excellent format for this. Also, for me publishing is way to expose my thinking to others and let them take a whack at it. Where are the holes in my reasoning? Am I onto something? Am I still a little fuzzy? Maybe I have some insight, but I haven't written clearly. Or perhaps I'm full of hot air.

    The thing is, blog readers can do that, but really they can only do that in a friendly venue. Hostility and aggression and theological McCarthyism kill the whole enterprise dead. Would you attend a writing group where any of the people hate and are trying to destroy you? No way! There needs to be trust, respect, mutual encouragement. You wouldn't think it was too much to ask from your brothers and sisters.

    So what I truly want is a venue that is restricted to friends (even when they disagree and offer criticism), and keeps the bullies and witch-hunters out. On my blog I made it clear that they weren't welcome, and was able to persuade the Prime Offender to keep away. But it was wearying when after all I just wanted to exchange some beautiful truths about God with people, for crying out loud.
    On the other hand I met some wonderful folks, many of whom read and comment here, and include yourself:-) It wasn't my motivation in starting, but it was the biggest benefit. I love you guys!

    Some of you set a wonderful example of maturity, Christlike character and thoughtful dialog. Thank you. How I wish to meet you in person. My conclusion is: It is better to engage than to retreat, and it is better to exemplify than to simply complain.
    Blessings, friends!

    By Blogger Steve Dehner, at 10/07/2009 1:57 PM  

  • David,
    Thanks so much for visiting! I'm sorry I did not acknowledge your comment sooner, but I read it the day you made it and was very encouraged. I have seen your name pop up elsewhere too. God bless you! I have observed the same thing you have....

    Dear Trent,
    I will check out your blog. I remember when you started your blog, I thought it was great and was sad when you left it off. Thanks for adding your thoughts here! I agree with you...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/08/2009 8:17 AM  

  • Bob,
    Yes, since I started blogging, I sure have been enlightened! I hold my same views, but I certainly see how diverse belief systems are. The differences actually have made me appreciate my own spritual heritage immensley more than I did before I remined ignorant. Far from dangerous and "trapping" - reading others' ideas has helped me think. THINKING is a good thing, not dangerous. :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/08/2009 8:20 AM  

  • Steve,
    You can't know how much I appreciate your comment. :) Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I agree... this kind of thing does not work when there is hostility and agression. Thus, the queston in my post. The jury is still out with me - I am not sure what I am going to do as far as my participation in blogging. I like FB because people who you want to keep out are OUT. I wish we could block people off our blogs. There is only one I would block, but MAN! would that make a world of difference. Maybe Blogger will evolve and I will be able to do that eventually. :) Thanks for the visit!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/08/2009 8:23 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I would like to encourage you. Your graciousness and generosity of spirit comes across so well on your blog. I would venture that the attacks and threats that you receive (I started getting copied on them again today)are evidence that you effectively communicate grace in your conduct, rather than just talking about it. I have been able to remain cheerful because I've found that it takes more than someone's desperate verbal sniping to rob me of my joy in the Lord. Same for you? I hope so!

    By Blogger Steve Dehner, at 10/08/2009 11:30 AM  

  • Steve,
    You said: I've found that it takes more than someone's desperate verbal sniping to rob me of my joy in the Lord

    Absolutely! The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Christ has come that we might have abundant life, not that we should be intimidated by verbal sniping in our consciences before Him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/08/2009 2:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I don't have the heart for endless debates anymore. A dear friend invited me to post on her group blog. If you need a good recipe for pumpkin roll, come join us.
    I hope that you're doing well, Rose.
    You're a special lady.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Susan

    By Anonymous VA~Susan, at 11/13/2009 11:39 PM  

  • Rose,

    I guess you've noticed that I shut my blog down awhile ago, so thagt pretty much answers the question for me. Yet, it was for another reason also that I shut it down. Sometimes I second-guess myself, but I still believe that overall it was best for me. I may one day reopen aonther, but for now, it was time for a break. I do appreciate you & some other blogs & bloggers, & hope you persevere in blogdom. I'll keep visiting if you'll keep on being as gracious as you are!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 11/27/2009 3:53 PM  

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