Recently, I conducted a series of interviews with Christian bloggers. If you caught the series, I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I appreciated taking part in the conversations. The participants were a mixture of people I know from "real life" like John, Gary and Geoff, also Martin and Jonathan, who I've only met once or twice and "e-friends" such as Byron and Michael who I've never met. Only one person refused to sit in the hot seat, but he shall remain nameless.
I wanted to know why Christians blog and what they get out of it. A pretty common response was that blogging helps Christians to have fellowship with other believers in new ways. By visiting other believer's blogs and leaving comments were are able to have e-fellowship. This is no substitute for personal relationships, but it enables members of the worldwide family of faith to get to know each other in ways that were not possible even ten years ago. My faith has been fed by reading blogs. New books have been bought because of blog reviews My thinking has been challenged and I hope sharpened in discussion and debate. Jonathan Edwards prophesied,
"The invention of the mariner’s compass is a thing discovered by God to the world to that end. And how exceedingly has that one thing enlarged and facilitated communication. And who can doubt but that yet God will make it more perfect, so that there need not be such a tedious voyage in order to hear from the other hemisphere? And so the country about the poles need no longer be hid to us, but the whole earth may be as one community, one body in Christ". (here)
But blogging has a downside. It can become an obsession with hits and stats. We must beware of the stat-nut syndrome that worries far too much about how many people are reading our little journals. Blogging can also engender a false sense of self-importance. But we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. We only blog because no-one will pay us for our thoughts! Someone criticised the interviews for being too humorous. But blogging is what we do for pleasure and enjoyment. We should not get too pompous about it all. Another reader called Blogging in the name of the Lord "a Chalceldonian moment in blogging" because it showed that that Christian bloggers have a human as well as an "electronic" nature. Well, I don't know. The series will be back with another set of interviews sometime later this year. I'm conscious that the conversations were a bit blokey this time. Maybe I'll try to get a woman or two to sit in the hot seat. Any volunteers?