Thursday, November 17, 2005

Five Questions About Christian Blogging

I found these questions over at djchuang's blog and thought I would post them here so that my Christian blog friends can have the opportunity to answer them. DJ's blog is excellent, by the way. Although I didn't get to meet him at the GodBlog Conference, I have read several of his posts and they are always interesting and informative.

Here are the five questions:

1. What makes a Christian blog different from a secular blog in the material that they cover? Why have a “Christian blog” and not a neutral blog that’s written by a Christian? What are you, as a Christian blogger, hoping to communicate to your audience?

2. What was the purpose of having a “Christian Blogosphere Convention,” especially if you could just have an online chat?

3. I’ve heard that the Christian bloggers are hoping to hold TV Evangelists and other mainstream Christians accountable through their blogs. How and why do they hope to do this?

4. What kind of effect do you think the bloggers have on the rest of Christian culture?

5. What effect do you you think Christian bloggers could have on the rest of the blogosphere?

Again, hat tip to djchuang for posting these questions. His answers are excellent, too, but don't peek!! ;-) It is my hope that my friends here will answer the questions in their own words first!

9 comments:

Christinewjc said...

Yoo Hoo!

Where is everybody?

Guess we are all busy planning for Thanksgiving?

J/K...I know it takes time for people to answer blogposts...but I really hope some of my blog friends come over and give answers to these intriguing questions!

Anna said...

Hi Christine -

Extremely busy here. In fact, I'm headed out in a few minutes.

I don't know if I qualify as a blogger because I don't have a blog. Does participation as a commenter count?

Will try to get back online later. Another jam packed day ahead of me.

Blessings,
Anna

Christinewjc said...

Hi Anna,

OF COURSE YOU COUNT! That's what blogging is all about, right? Someone starts a blog to express an opinion/make a point etc. and others come along and comment on them. It wouldn't be any fun at all to just sit here and talk to myself...heh heh.

BTW, a professor at Biola U.'s GodBlog conference held a class on "blogging to non-Christians" and he doesn't even have a blog! He shared some great insights and ideas so I was glad I went to his class.

At my blog, all commenters are welcome to express their views. I only delete when absolutely necessary...especially when a comment is insulting and derogatory towards Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I had to delete such comments a few times.

Anyway, I totally understand how busy you have been lately and I'm keeping your "finished work" in my prayers...so excited for you!

Whenever you get the chance, please feel free to share your answers to the "5 questions." I am looking forward to reading them!

Love in Jesus,
Christine

Anna said...

Hi Christine -

Thank you. I really appreciate your prayers for my project.

For what it's worth, here's my 2 cents. Fair warning, it's pretty long!

1. A Christian blog will cover subjects through the filter of God’s Word and a Christian
worldview. Also, a Christian blogger wants to uphold Jesus so inappropriate material
is out. A neutral blog written by a Christian is an oxymoron. As a Christian blogger,I seek to bring clarity and understanding concerning who Jesus is, God’s plan to rescue mankind and the need for mankind to respond to God’s offer of forgiveness.

Another aspect of blogging is to shed the light of truth on the lies people have believed about both God and Christians.

2. Why would anyone want to meet someone they had talked with on the telephone?

The Internet, even with pictures, is less satisfying than a telephone conversation. The normal give and take of conversation, tone of voice, mannerisms are all missing,providing a very limited understanding of the other person.

3. I think this is too much of a generalization. It certainly is not my aim. It also depends on what you mean by accountability. I don’t believe in bashing ministries even when I see things with which I disagree. It doesn't mean I won't speak the truth in love. There are groups that provide accountability in the financial arena.

As part of the Body of Christ,I seek to encourage unity through the common bond of faith in Jesus Christ.

4. It gives Christians an opportunity to get to know each other, bring comfort and encouragement, and provide a non-threatening environment to exchange viewpoints and experiences. Blogging also helps Christians get a birds-eye view of the rest of the Body of Christ.

5. We are ambassadors of Christ. Hopefully, we’ll be mindful of this when we’re
tempted to behave in a way, which is inconsistent with Scripture. At one time, I worked as a receptionist. The person who trained me emphasized that I was the first person people would contact. It was up to me to give them a good first impression of
the company by my smile, my helpfulness and the way I conducted myself. The same holds true for Christians in the blogosphere.

Blessings,
Anna

Christinewjc said...

Hi Anna,

Very well said! Thanks for being the ONLY Christian to take the time to answer the questions.

I am doing a blog post today that is related to some of these questions and some of what you shared here. I do plan to post my individual answers to these question in this thread...eventually!

In Christ,
Christine

Christinewjc said...

Found this link today. It gives tips for aspiring bloggers and some "to do and not to do" advice.

Yep...I've broken a LOT of the "not to do" ones!!

Oh well...no one's perfect...

Christinewjc said...

This little quip is absolutely priceless!

"Don’t panic if no one reads your site; folks will eventually show up. Likewise, don’t panic if people are actually reading your site; you could stop writing and they will go away!"

It was posted by J Jason.

Jabez said...

Hi Christine!

Here is my response to the Five Questions about Christian Blogging.

The first question brought to my mind more questions than answers. 1a. - Are they looking for some Mission Statement or Statement of Faith in order to look for flaws in doctrine or theology? 1b. – Why not have a Christian Blog? I didn’t know how God’s Word could be neutral. For a Christian to write a blog that was neutral, it would not be a Christian blog. 1c. – Hoping to communicate? I guess they have not read the great commission.

2. I guess they also missed the part in the Bible where we are to go and fellowship one with another.

3. This question throws a big net out on all Christian blogs. Again, it appears they have missed how the Bible deals with areas such as accountability. If Christians hold true to His Word and put the true message on the Net, those with a willing heart will understand the difference. We should be answering questions and holding people to accurate Biblical terminology. Blogging is not the Biblical way to hold ministries accountable. Accountability requires relationship and firsthand knowledge of the situation. The Bible lays down very specific procedures for accountability.

4. – This is another big net question. Is the question on total blogs or on just Christian blogs? Forget the Christian culture; I believe Christian blogs are having a positive effect on the culture. If they weren’t, you would not be having such a backlash when there is a controversial issue being discussed or someone doesn’t like the Biblical answers you give.

5. – I just look to it as part of the overall battle of good and evil. Again, God laid out a plan and we are instructed to go forth and carry the message until called home or Christ’s return.

I think these questions are intellectualizing Christian blogging too much. If you follow the principles laid down in the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, everything should fall into place.

May God continue to bless your work.

Jabez

Christinewjc said...

Thanks Jabez! You made some really good and important points.

It appears to me that the person asking the questions was not a Christian. I could be wrong about that, but the questions seemed more geared to "why is it even necessary to have a Christian-oriented blog."

I think you are correct in your assessment that the person who originally asked the questions was more into intellectualizing the concept of God blogging rather than focusing on the gospel message and spiritual, Biblical wisdom.

I think I'll take a shot at answering the questions.

1. "What makes a Christian blog different from a secular blog in the material that they cover? Why have a “Christian blog” and not a neutral blog that’s written by a Christian? What are you, as a Christian blogger, hoping to communicate to your audience?"

I think that a Christian blog generally focuses more on God's will for our lives. We tend to face questions, problems, situations,and advice based on what Scripture says rather than on what 'man' says.

I agree with you and Anna that a 'neutral' blog would lose its Christian value fairly quickly when confronted with life's most important questions and issues.

The focus of Christian blogging is to keep our eyes on Jesus and His Word as we communicate with people who visit our blogs. Jesus' last commandment to the disciples (and all believers since) is to preach the gospel to all nations. Imagine how ominous a task that would have sounded like at the time it was said and heard. Travel was difficult and time consuming. But Jesus knew the future! He knew that the day would come where we could travel "to and fro" and communicate instantly via the internet to people across the world! What a great tool the internet can be for sharing the gospel!

2. "What was the purpose of having a “Christian Blogosphere Convention,” especially if you could just have an online chat?"

Many bloggers who attended have shared several reasons why it was advantageous. But the most common reason that I had heard was just the fun in meeting face to face, and talking with other Christians who share this passion of God blogging! Of course the second most important reason was to share ideas and learn more about communicating effectively with others.

3. "I’ve heard that the Christian bloggers are hoping to hold TV Evangelists and other mainstream Christians accountable through their blogs. How and why do they hope to do this?"

At one of the plenary sessions, this was covered in detail. Briefly, it was shared that the ordinary "lay person" in the pews of the church could now have a voice out there; not just the pastors, preachers, and ministers who have access to T.V., radio, or the pulpit in churches. Yes. T.V. evangelists can be held more accountable to their audiences because the bloggers can refute anything that is said that is not Biblically accurate.

On the other hand, one person mentioned that if we are afraid to make mistakes while blogging, no one would write anything! Good point...no one is perfect. However, God's Word is perfect and His absolute truth corrects those in error, even if non-believers attempt to counter what is written.

4. "What kind of effect do you think the bloggers have on the rest of Christian culture?"

I think that we can positively affect the culture and point those who are lost towards the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus transforms lives on this earth and His truth gives us life with Him for all eternity. What could be better than that?

5. "What effect do you you think Christian bloggers could have on the rest of the blogosphere?"

I sincerely hope that they will, ultimately, have a positive effect on people in the blogosphere. However, it is to be expected that disagreement will arise and conversations can become heated between people on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. That has already happened here, in fact. But we must realize that this may be inevitable. Dealing with crucial issues that come up are bound to stir up a hornets nest of reaction!

I loved Anna's and Jabez's answers on this.

Anna: "We are ambassadors of Christ."

Jabez: "I just look to it as part of the overall battle of good and evil. Again, God laid out a plan and we are instructed to go forth and carry the message until called home or Christ’s return."