Friday, November 07, 2003
Tim Bednar is conducting a survey of Christian bloggers. I've responded - woo hoo - and vented :) a little below.
Preface: Are you a minister/clergy by training? (y/n) If yes, give your credentials?
*** I'm an associate pastor at my church, only On-The-Job-Training - media/discipleship focus.
1.) How has your use of the Internet (specifically blogging) provided you a platform to present your ideas?
*** I don't like the question, but it's more my aversion to anyone having an agenda when they communicate. While I might use my blog to mouth off, I don't consider it a "platform". Maybe I do and I just don't like that word. But for me, it's an online journal - I'd be writing this stuff in a wire-bound notebook like I had been since high school. That other people read is a wonderful extra bonus for me, but it's not why I write. I ask for feedback sometimes, or I'll preach a little - but I hope anyone reading feels that I'm conversating, not just laying out my platform.
2.) Each of you have developed a sort of online 'status' and gained an audience, how did you gain credibility view of others?
*** Well... while I don 't like the idea of a platform, I do appreciate others reading my stuff and giving feedback, sharing their thoughts, posting on their blogs something that I sparked, etc. I see it as more of an online kitchen table, where we all sit around and have the courtesy to listen to each other, to really interact. I joined blogs4God as a blogger, than later as a moderator, and that spiked my blog hits a bit. I post from memes like the FridayFive, and I list my site on other blog portals. How did I gain credibility? Don't know that I have yet - maybe if I say something that agrees with someone else, that person will look at me as credible. Others think I'm a dork - but I blog on.
3.) What criteria do you use to select your blog roll (specifically Christian bloggers--we all have 'non-Christians' on our blog rolls)?
*** I don't split christian from non-christian - wheat and tares and all that :). My blog roll is *MY* blog roll. It's a place to put links to other blogs *I* want to read. I've been asked about exchanging links - I'm not into that. If I read it, and think I'll read it again, I'll list it. If I don't get anything from that site anymore, no hard feelings but I'll remove it. From the length of my list, though, I don't remove many. Do I care if they're "christian" or not? Yes and no - I'm more weighted on whether they can write, get their ideas across, stretch my imagination, etc.
4.) Why do you blog? If you want, please describe your process. Do you consider it 'spiritual'? Why or why not? (Please read my update at the bottom of this post.)
*** Because I want to. Because I journal. Is it "spiritual"? Sure - just like anything else a christian might be involved in becomes "spiritual" because you're empowered by the Spirit and seeking to live this kindom-life on earth. My process? "Hmmm... think I'll jot that in my blog." That's about it.
5.) In your opinion, how is spiritual blogging similar to or different from preaching?
*** I don't like the question, but I've already typed about my aversion to having an agenda. "Spiritual blogging" and "preaching" have their differences. Both have their levels of intimacy, interaction. In my blog, I can type and not worry about how people will react because I won't see them. On the other hand, I invite more interaction blogging then preaching, don't I? So it's a both/and kind of thing - I hope I preach in a way that allows the people to ask questions, and I hope I write in a way that stretches the conversation.
UPDATE (10/30/03) I am right now wrestling with the Christian part of 'Christian' blogging and tried to sneak in the back door regarding the issue my blog roll question. But I need more help--so I will be more straightforward...
I am trying to articulate how we (as Christian bloggers) sort out the Christian bloggers from the 'religious' or 'spiritual' bloggers. This has nothing to do with whether I have a link to Fark on my blog roll or not. Rather, I want to know how do we authenticate Christians? I wonder if it is even necessary.
As I look at Christian blog rolls there seems to be some 'filter' at work--but I am having trouble figuring it out. Why am I concerned about this? For the same reasons business' worry about 'About' pages--there is a basic need on the Internet to be able to determine identity and credentials. Right?
One of the great obstacles for the 'church' using the Internet or blogging is that of maintaining orthodoxy. I feel blogging is very susceptible to syncretism and I'm trying to address the issue in my paper.
**** Tim, I don't agree with this at all. For me personally, I don't like to filter anything. My filter is me - do I like it? Did it stretch me? I don't care if someone misses the mark on some doctrinal issue - can I still find truth articulated well at that site? I don't see why we've got further separate ourselves from the rest of the world. "*IN* it and *NOT OF* it" still has "*IN* it" in it, right? People will show their colors; you'll just know. But I don't like setting up some criteria that will probably always leave someone out. God judges the heart, I can only read their stuff - and if it's worth sharing, it's worth sharing regardless of the label or tag we want to attach to it.
Thanks - I'll be copying this to my blog, too - not in an agenda :), but just 'cause I think it's an issue I've been thinking about alot lately, too.