The Christian Blogosphere
The Christian blogosphere has posts on anything you could possibly wish for:
- Want to know who’s books to read? Look no further.
- Want to know who’s doctrines are false? Debates galore.
- Want to know who’s in error? Just a google away.
From Barak Obama to John Owen, you can find anyone out there.
Anyone except Jesus.
Warning: Needless Debates
Speaking to students at his church, my girlfriend’s pastor warned them not to blog. He said everyone he knew who blogged was more worried about minor debates than proclaiming Christ crucified.
He has a point. Think about it, how many posts have you read evaluating the Emerging church and how many proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers?
There is a certainly a place for discerning evaluation of doctrinal positions (even Jesus had debates) but that place is not above the Gospel.
Do you distract or minister?
I’ve realised in starting this blog that it is essential that I constantly re-evaluate my motivations in blogging. If what I am doing is not for Jesus it is not worth my effort.
Take this time to evaluate yourself and your blog.
Is your blog a distraction, to you and to others? Are you more involved in debates than glorifying Jesus Christ? Or is your blog an essential part of your ministry, proclaiming Christ to the Church and to others?
Let’s change our ways. Let’s preach the Gospel of Christ from our blogs again.
Those of you who follow the comments section of this blog will have seen rjs1 staunchly defend the work of Hodge. I feel in light of this I need to make a public apology.
Before I do I’d like to encourage rebukes like rjs1’s. His rebuke was humble and gentle but firm and I welcome this. I do not want to be propagating error. I want to know and tell what is true in the Scriptures. So if you feel it is necessary do rebuke.
My Sinful Attitude
As I was writing the previous post I suddenly became a bit concerned that I hadn’t quite got to the bottom of the ideas about the Trinity.
I had considered not posting or skipping the part quoting Hodge, yet in my sinfulness I posted.
One may argue, there are no problems with working through these things and inviting comments, but the public isn’t the place. These post can be read by many and so I should be certain before I post.
The fact I am uncertain about these things shows a BIG gap in my own theology. I’ve never looked in great depth at the Trinity, and what a thing to miss, the very nature of God.
So over the summer (when I will have more free time) I intend get stuck into this doctrine and get my head around it. If I ever do I will post my thoughts. I have taken rjs1’s advice and ordered Robert Letham’s book as well as John Owen’s on Communion with God, I’m going to study various systematic theologies I have got too.
However I’m going to postpone this series on the trinity and start posting on things I’m certain about. I apologise for being so undiscerning for you readers and can only hope I won’t do so again.
If anything this shows how sinful I am, but how great God is in that even though I fail there is still redemption for me through the blood of Jesus. Thanks be to God.
With so many errors from believers, false believers and unbelievers debate is unfortunately an essential part of being a Christian.
Debate for Christ
Debate was also essential for Jesus. Pharisees constantly tried to undermine his ministry with references to the law.
Consider Mark 2:23-28. Jesus is criticised for letting his disciples pluck grain on the Sabbath. Jesus defended from Scripture his decision to allow this and proved the Pharisees didn’t understand the law correctly.
Christ’s Aim in Debate
Yet Jesus didn’t lose his focus in such debates. He always brought his hearers back to himself. In this argument he demonstrates his authority over the Sabbath and his graciousness in handling the law, doing what is best for man.
This convicted me in my discussions to keep this Christ-centred focus. Often I lay out a stellar argument, yet leave don’t draw back to Christ.
Let me exemplify. I will often want to argue for male headship in the home and in the Church. I know the texts on this issue back to front and inside out. Yet I often fail to convey some very important points:
- Marriage is an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Egalitarianism obscures the Gospel.
- Male headship should be like Christ’s headship, caring and sacrificial.
- Christ laid down this requirement because it’s for our benefit. Male headship is for the good of both men and women.
Keep me accountable and watch your own hearts. Never let debating move off Christ’s centre.
(Picture by WhatCouldGoWrong under the Creative Commons Licence)
Abraham Piper has been criticised for his 22-word posts. I’ve a less ambitious word limit of 250 and desire to justify briefer forms of blogging:
- People will read: People don’t read long posts. I write to exhort my readers to come to Christ or walk closer with him. Shouldn’t I make that information as accessible as possible?
- I’m not Jonathan Edwards: I have much less of interest to say than the greats, so I’ll give them the words. I’ll keep my posts the size of my intellect. It’s good for my humility.
- I’m not Paul: I want my readers to read their Bible more than they read me.
- Long posts can be discriminatory:
- Against workers (including mums): At Uni I could read essays about Justification. Now on placement in school, I struggle to do Bible. Busy people need shorter posts.
- Against the less educated: It’s hard for us middle-class evangelicals to get, but some people find reading quite a chore (that’s why video and audio are great).
- Against “lay” people: The reformed blogosphere is dominated by pastors and pastor wannabes. Such people have the time and inclination to read long posts. “Lay” people don’t. Bloggers should read the greats and summarise for the masses. Pastors should read the greats themselves.
- Variety is great: As I said at Piper’s blog, the Bible is a varied place. Why shouldn’t Christians be varied? Some are called to be 22 word bloggers, others are called to be 2,000 word authors. All are Christ’s.
Feel free to disagree.
“If you ever have any free time and you’re wondering, “What in the world am I going to do now?” don’t go to my blog. Have extended devotions, or read some good book on our Savior, or serve your family. And once you’ve done that, come and visit my blog.”
This a quote from Bob Kauflin’s (then) 17 year old daughter. Fantastic advice, I heartily advocate, as is the rest of his article on blogging.