Friday, April 08, 2005

Navel-gazing or metablogging?

Joe Carter and Josh Claybourn agree that blogging about blogging is "incestuous and self-serving". Well, it could be depending on one's motivation, but I don't think it is necessarily.

For one thing, the blogosphere is about bloggers being connected to other bloggers rather than millions of bloggers doing their own thing in isolation. Even the "long tail" is connected to the main body rather than being an amputated appendage. Who links to whom is a deliberate choice, presumably with some thought going into that choice. So bloggers thinking about what other bloggers are doing and saying is unavoidable. This can either take a reactionary form or an analytical form. There's certainly no harm in giving thought to what we're doing individually and collectively.

Also, I think there is biblical precedent for giving thought to communication within the church and with the rest of the world. When we consider examples like Paul's address to pagan Greeks on Mars Hill, his defense before the Sanhedrin, or Peter's letters to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad", it is evident that these apostles were not just saying clever or profound things but were giving thought to how their message is received by a particular audience: they considered how they were coming across. More than that, they received and responded to feedback from their audiences. No, they didn't lose sleep over how many people did or didn't accept their messages because that decision is made by each individual. But they did place a premium on seeing that Christians lived and communicated the Gospel where non-Christians could see and hear it. There is no New Testament precedent for a separatist, isolationist church, invisible to the world. Not that Joe or Josh are saying we should be. But whether we blog or do other things, we should do it mindfully, even when we're just playing.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16