Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On blogging

I've been thinking about this yesterday and today: this interesting habit that we in the twenty-first century have of displaying our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams to the world at large, hoping that someone, somewhere, will read them. A comment by Curious Servant a little while back left me contemplating the nature of a blog, the different ways that people use them, and the different interactions that arise among us because of them.

I think at some level it's part of our ongoing quest for significance. There's a desire in all of us, I suspect - I know it's there in me and in everyone I've talked to - to know, or at least feel that we know, that our words and our lives mean something: that we matter. The blog is one of the ways that the people of this hypertechnologized, often self-absorbed, nearly always postmodern generation look for that significance. It's an outlet for our thoughts that, people imagine, the world hears. Whether or not the world does hear is an entirely different question, of course.

Yet a blog is not merely a place where people go to find significance. (I find it interesting that I describe the everywhere/nowhere of the internet as a place - I think it says something about our conceptions of the reality of this "space" that we so often "inhabit" with our time and our thoughts.) That's a good thing, because if it were, I'm not sure I or any other Christian would have any business blogging at all. Our significance is found, not in a blog or in a friendship or in a marriage or in our job or in anything at all other than the work and person of Christ - or rather, it shouldn't be; and ultimately can't be, however much we try to make it so. But the blog is more than an outlet for vanity, if we let it be. The blog is, like every other "place," an area where Christ can be glorified, where mutually edifying relationships can be formed, where all manner of thought - deep and theological or just plain silly - can find an expression, and thus display a little more of the glory of the Creator. It is a place where the creative outlets can flow freely and unhindered, and a place where focused logical analysis too is safely at home. It is a place where people pour out their wounds and find themselves comforted by others who come alongside, united by commonality of experience and especially of faith, though separated by many hundreds or thousands of miles. It is a place of open doors and opportunity.

Like all such open doors, of course, one must be wary of what lies on the other side. Every technological advance carries with it the potential for both great good and great evil. The same technology that allows us to type out theological treatises and run them past our friends equally allow people to distribute pornography. So long as we are wise, though, we can use this technology for great good. We can speak of the wonders of all that Christ has done. We can share our own personal testimonies, opening up our own weaknesses that that God's strength can be revealed in us. We can support each other in times of need. We can connect with those on the far side of the city, country, or world, with whom we have much in common in heart, though little, perhaps, in circumstance.

It's interesting to me to see the differences in various blogs. From Tim Challies to my mom to Daddy'sGirl to Curious Servant, we all have very different blogs, with very different styles, with very different points, with very different readerships. I don't think any one of those in necessarily better than the others, though. They're just different. Every one of them glorifies God in some way. Every one of them points to Him. And that's the important part. We can take these things that all too easily become all about us and instead point them at Him, to glorify His name, to honor Him. Just like we ought to be doing with every single part of our lives.

Next time: Will the Real Men Please Stand Up?

May our Father's peace and love reign in your hearts.

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. blogging is an interesting phenomenon. i'm amazed at what it's evolved into for me. i'm amazed at the friends i'm made through blogging. i'm even more amazed at how often God has used my words for His purposes and His glory. i love the record of my life that it provides; something to pass onto my children; something for me to reread and remember the goodness of God :)


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