Friday, June 03, 2005

Blogging is beta, blogging is dialogue

Jollyblogger has opened a Pandora's box for another blog storm. He opined yesterday about either the need for more reflection before posting or thicker skin in the face of criticism for thoughts in progress for bloggers.

JB writes:
In recent years alot of the "process" has started taking place in public whereas it used to take place in private. This can be seen in publishing where younger and younger authors are writing more and more books and articles. But it is even more evident in the blog world where anyone at any stage of the journey is able to publish their thoughts.
He continues on with points about the folly of youth, suggesting more internal thought for bloggers and more (or continued) charity from respondants. Adrian Warnock responds by noting we should not "treat our latest idea like a fixed dogma of truth."

I see a lot of wisdom in this advice. I would also add blogging is the worst place for absolutes given its temporal nature. As I understood Adrian's earlier advice to me, it is assumed that blogging is a dialogue, not a personal manifesto or islands of cliques.

Some bloggers, particularly our favored theologs, put as much time and thought into their posts as they do for their Sunday morning sermons. Others -- I include myself in this category -- write as they would speak, as if we're having a discussion with the world in which I recognize my vulnerability and charity is assumed. To me, my blog is not a statement of what I believe as much as a hope that by putting my thoughts for public view, others will help me arrive at a better understanding.

I think it's good to draw a distinction from the strong thinkers to the less formal blogs such as mine, but I don't believe the distinction should segregate us. After all, we all got into this with the simple hope of fellowship and discussion. We all got into this with the notion we are at least partially playing devil's advocate with our ideas.

I would not publicize my opinions if I did not expect disagreement. Conversely, I would not write if I felt it caused unncessary division. I expect discussion that affords room for both exhortation and correction in balance with any civil disagreement. As a Christian blogger, I believe I have surrendered my right to be offended, short of any offense against the main and plain things of the Gospel.

As much as it offends my sense of the practical, Jollyblogger's post appears to me the beginning of Christian blogging mission statement. Perhaps there is room for all of us under His banner to find room to publically agree to humility, charity, fellowship, and (above all) love.

I'll leave that to those with the power and authority to unite, though.

No comments: