With all the new traffic I’m getting here, I thought it might be a good idea to post some thoughts on blogging so any new readers (we might have doubled to 10, hi mom!) will understand what is happening here.
1. While I appreciate sites and blogs with a lot of links to news stories and use them daily, I’m not interested in drawing in readers/followers/subscribers only to send them elsewhere. Therefore…
2. I want this blog to be one of my thoughts and writings. And I’m unapologetic about this. This is reasonable in so much as when I put anything down I want I do so for others to read. It’s a false humility that pretends it does not care if anyone is reading.
3. Blogging is cheaper than therapy.
4. There was a time when I wanted every post to be reworked and edited and just like I wanted it. Then I realized some of my more popular posts were ‘off the cuff.’ So you get a lot of both here.
5. The possibilities for hearing from people, getting feedback and speaking into other people’s live is extraordinary. Imagine you have a blog that gets 100 hits a day. That means dozens and dozens of people are reading what you’ve written. That’s incredible.
6. One of my goals is to have a place that is not saying what every other pastor/blogger is saying. I am a big fan of the evangelical blogosphere but let’s face it the overlap of subject matter is staggering. Sure we will all talk about a lot of the same subjects. But there is a need to talk about all these subjects without saying it the same way. And we need to talk about different things.
7. Christians should be glad to talk about controversial things. We should not be afraid of doubts and difficult subjects. Blogs are great places to do it. It’s in print so people can sit and think about the subject and the words written. And then they can respond with questions. Sure there are mean commenters but this has always been the case, even before blogs.
8. One of the more surprising encouragements in blogging has come from when I posted that I was reading Eugene Peterson this year. I knew it was outside the norm for a guy in my world to be helped by a pastor/writer like him but I was surprised by the reactions. I received two different reactions. First, there were those who thought I should be reading other men (Piper, Edwards, Calvin, Owen, – the Johns). They could imagine learning from Peterson. They cannot imagine anything, I suppose. But I heard from many pastors about how much Peterson has meant to them as a pastor but they were afraid to say so for fear of the first kind of person. Or they just thought they were crazy and alone. All it takes is one email or comment of thanks to help me realize it is worth it all. (Update: while writing this I got one of those emails.)
9. Even though it is hard to hear criticism, it is often helpful. It’s pretty easy to tell who has thought deeply about what has been written and who has just gotten mad and responded in anger. The former are usually asking questions while the latter are only pajama police.
10. Blogging is really a lot of fun. Writing and being read is a heckuva lot of fun. Whether it’s my neighbor next door reading or someone in Europe, it’s exciting. I’ll leave you with an example: I wrote a fairly controversial post called “Paul’s Silence On Evangelism” earlier this year. A few days later I got an email from a guy in Australia telling me to telling Satan ‘hello’ for him because of that post. My first thought was, “Someone in Australia is reading me!!!” Then I wondered why he would want to say ‘hello’ to Satan.