Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jim Packer on the superficiality of blogging

The veteran Evangelical Anglican theologian delivers his none too favourable verdict on blogging:

"I'm amazed at the amount of time people spend on the internet. I'm not against technology, but all tools should be used to their best advantage. We should be spending our time on things that have staying power, instead of on the latest thought of the latest blogger—and then moving on quickly to the next blogger. That makes us more superficial, not more thoughtful." (From World Magazine article on Packer, Patriarch).
Does he have a point?


Jonathan Hunt said...

Of course, but not all blogging is of the same quality. Nobody could deny the enduring usefulness of your most excellent site ;-)

If one was being mischievous, one could title this piece 'JI Packer agrees with Peter Masters shock'


Elwood said...

"Does he have a point?"

Yes. And no. To use an old euphemism, the "signal to noise ratio" of bloggers is not favorable. There is much noise, but only a little of it is really of value. But is that significantly different from the allegedly Christian bookshop these days? There are many books, but few really worthy of being read (and re-read).

On the other hand, the blog posts (and books, for that matter) that are thoughtful are always worth reading. Blogs simply make them easily accessible to a (much) broader audience. And, of course, you must find them, wading through a gigantic marshland of tripe. :^)

Exiled Preacher said...

I think he must have been reading my blog before the great man made those comments.

Andrew said...

I think that he definitely has a point - but then again how would have learned about his point if I hadn't read it on your blog????

Exiled Preacher said...

Does the fact that you read Packer's comments on a blog render them superficial?

DJP said...

I don't know. Something about being lectured re. superficiality by someone (even Packer) who'd hold up Mother Theresa as a model-Christian... just rubs me the wrong way.

Exiled Preacher said...

Yes, Dan. I share your concerns re Packers' misguided ecumenism - ECT and all that. The Manhattan Declaration is great on social/moral issues. But co-belligerence with Rome and Orthodoxy must not be taken to imply a shared vision of the gospel. I'll be writing on this in the UK's Evangelical Times sometime soon. MacArthur and Begg were right not to sign.

Having said that I still have a lot of time and respect for the author of Knowing God.