There are blogs I love and other blogs I don’t really like. Maybe you care about my opinions, perhaps you don’t. But I spent a lot of time on the road recently. Blogging is way to big a part of my life and takes up way too much of my limited brain capacity, so I spent some time ruminating on what I liked and disliked about blogs. So, here’s what I came up with.
1) I love blogs that have variety and interest; I don’t like narrow-focus blogs.
I’m not a big fan of blogging crusades – it gets old real quick. I am amazed at the ability of some people to chew the same meat forever. When a blog posts one article after another on the same topic, boredom sets in and I go elsewhere.
But I think of several of my favorite blogs and they are anything but monotonous. Denny Burk will post several times today and I have no idea what they will be about. There might be a theological post, a devotional reminder, a cultural observation, a political entreaty, or even something about sports or entertainment. Variety is the spice of blogging.
Go to Marty Duren’s blog and read the recent articles on the main page. If you can get past his inexplicable fascination with Ron Paul you will find humor, movie reviews, technological stuff (that goes way over my head) and insightful analysis of issues in the Christian world.
A good blog (in my humble but correct opinion) has variety; it does not hammer the same topic or two repeatedly and relentlessly until the joy is gone.
2) I like courageous blogs that confront evil; I don’t care for the nattering nabobs of negativity.
Sometimes, we need to take a stand. This is a fallen world and the effects of that fall are everywhere, including in the Baptist world. There are things that need to be confronted and corrected.
I appreciate someone who can confront boldly, directly, with a spirit of grace.
But, honestly, there are some blogs that just go overboard with their relentless negativity.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get my yard in order. It’s a big job – weeds are much hardier than grass out here in Sioux City. I sow seeds, I water the grass. I spread fertilizer. And then, every once in a while I put down some weedkiller. If all I ever did was pour weedkiller on the lawn, no grass would grow.
The blogs I like most are those that sow seeds, water the lawn and fertilize it (there are way too many easy jokes there – rise above it!). Yes, sometimes we’ve got to bust out the Roundup and blast the weeds. But there is a proportion there that needs to be maintained. When all a blog does is lay down poison, it does not aid growth, it just kills.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about censoring or silencing anyone. That’s one of the things I like about blogging – it is so democratic. Anyone can start a blog and say whatever they want. But, in the same vein, I get to read what I want and I have pretty much chosen to ignore the nattering nabobs. Life is better that way.
3) I don’t like “us vs. them” blogs; I like self-reflective blogs.
For a long time, I was on the mailing list for a major national Christian organization. Every month I got a letter or two warning me about “them.” Some group or another was seeking to destroy America, but this group was bravely defending us against the barbarian hordes. Unfortunately, without my support, they could fail in their efforts to deliver us all.
The point of this sarcastic rant is that this organization existed by creating a “them” against whom “we” needed to unite. It’s us against them.
And, yes, there are some false teachers out there. The church was warned about the presence of wolves among the sheep. There is a “them” out there; those who deny the Word, deny the Lord, deny the truth.
But most of us are “us.” All these disparate groups that vie to steer our denomination are part of the “good guys” group. No, I’m not advocating ignoring doctrine nor do I believe that all viewpoints are equally true. What I am saying is that our even those who are wrong on most of the issues we debate are still on the same side of eternity as we are. As we hash out our differences, it is good to remember that.
Mike Leake, on his excellent blog “Borrowed Light” and also here on this site, published a series of posts about aggressive Calvinism. Mike is one of “those guys” – a Calvinist. He didn’t write about the evils of those who oppose his view, but wrote to hold those who agree with him accountable. I think that is much more healthy and productive than the us against them tactic.
4) I like well-written blogs.
This is a dangerous one, since someone will probably find a typo or grammatical error here to throw in my face. But I like blogs that feature good writing. Perhaps this is snobby elitism, but when someone can’t put three intelligible sentences together, when the writer doesn’t edit or make use of spell check, I tend to lose interest.
5) I like blogs that are about the King and the Kingdom, not the blogger.
Okay, I will admit it, this is so subjective and is in the eye of the beholder. But when I sense a blogger is tooting his own horn a little too loudly, when there is a sense that this person is all about building their own little blogdom, that is a turnoff for me.
Christian bloggers have only one reason to blog – Christ. It’s not a cliche, its a fact. If its not about him and his glory then it is not worth doing. I fail at that regularly (and so do you.) But that has to be our goal.
These are my opinions. That’s what they are, opinions. You are free to disagree with them. Have at it.