Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why Blog? (Part 2)

I started blogging in earnest in March. I'm not sure that my reasons when I started are the same as they are today. I see three main benefits to my blogging:

1. Blogging disciplines me to read. It has made me more serious about study. My TV sports viewing has declined noticeably in the past three months.

2. Blogging disciplines me to think. The fact that I'm forcing myself to put something together for publication on a near-daily basis demands that I constantly have my antennae tuned to find connections and analogies between events or ideas if I'm going to write anything that resembles a lucid thought. Occasionally, I succeed.

3. Blogging disciplines me to write. People like Luther, Calvin, and Spurgeon would have had far less impact had they not written. Now by my age, Calvin had already written the Institutes. This blog is a step or a million below the Institutes, but it is a first step.

You'll notice that all my benefits to my blogging are self-centered. I can make no promise whatsoever that the readers will experience any benefits of their own.

Then there are also a couple reasons not to blog:

1. Blogging isn't doing. Talking incessantly about ideas is a sorry substitute for acting on those ideas. Phil Johnson shared some great commentary on this point yesterday.

2. Some blogging is a form of teaching. And teachers have a solemn and terrible responsibility. "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1 NASB).

3. To this point I have uncovered precious little evidence that women find blogging attractive.

Hugh Hewitt argues in his book, Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World, that leaders ought to be blogging. You can hear more extensive comments from Hewitt in this brief audio interview. So if I'm doing it, many more of you should be.

End of series. Finally finished one.

17 comments:

Paul said...

Compelling reasons Paleo; thanks for sharing. Imagine if Calvin and Luther et. al could blog!

skh said...

Those are good reasons to blog, and there is good reason for you to keep blogging. Thanks for your effort and discipline.

NeoFundy said...

Without a doubt, I have found this to be true for myself. There is one more good reason for leaders to blog - particularly pastors (Hewitt briefly alluded to it). There is much that I study that is ancillary to what is presented, yet is also integral to what I am teaching and the direction I am going. Blogging opens up a window into my study, allowing the people in my church to probe further than simply and passively absorbing the abreviated version known as a sermon.

joy said...

>> 3. To this point I have uncovered precious little evidence that women find blogging attractive. <<

Try not to be too disappointed. I find the converse can be true (not the converse that women find it un-attractive, but the converse that men can find women's blogs attractive), and it's frankly not all it's cracked up to be. Anyone who loves you for your blog is in for a big old shock anyhow.

Just think of the myriad of surprises such women might have in store upon first in-person meeting of you: your many personality quirks (I don't know -- I'm just saying "might," ok?), perhaps handicaps in cooking or geographical orientation, quite possibly the deafening aroma and repulsive texture of your socks, the irresponsible way you let your books get all beat up, the disgusting habit you have of loaning your books out (!), the insane number of hours you perch at your computer typing on your blog or surfing Sharper Iron...and the list goes on.

No. Blogs ought, ultimately, to be considered a deterrent to your love life -- it's like taking three steps forward and five thousand miles backward.

Shannon said...

Joy,

I suspect you will be a single gal for a long time unless you stop blogging Joy. I have to believe there's only a couple of men on earth who wouldn't be intimidated after reading your posts.

I wish I could be privy to your exchanges with Bob ;)

centuri0n said...

Dude: no profile?

Isn't that like unsportsmanlike conduct or something?

Even Pedantic Protestant has a profile.

Ben said...

Shannon,

Let's keep this a friendly place for the ladies, 'kay? You may not need to stay in the good graces of any woman but your wife, but I can't afford to be tolerating such insensitivity.

Centurion,

Point taken, but we paleoevangelicals tend to be a little paranoid about our privacy, and I don't like the blogspot profile feature. I'm musing on how to do what I want to do. E-mail me and I'll be glad to tell you all you need to know.

joy said...

ben, no worries.
i THINK that was shannon's attempt at being complimentary. i've been told i'm intimidating before -- that's what they all say till they MEET me. then they stop "saying" and just start running. =}

if you put a profile up, make it a fake one. that'll be fun!

joy said...

uh, so that wasn't real clear. i mean, i apparently am even MORE intimidating when they meet me in person, judging by the evacuation-like response.... =} and invariably when i discuss things with Bob (Pastor), i lose, so if i'm intimidating...what does that make HIM? that's right. even scarier.

Greg Linscott said...

Joy and Ben,

You might find this link interesting regarding your conversation on blogging...

Ben said...

Greg,

Sound to me like that JD character has been taking Al Mohler's marriage rants too seriously.

Maybe I should blog about that. Anybody have any objection to me throwing down on the good Dr. Mohler's discussion of courtship and dating from last fall? It's old news, but I wasn't in the business back then.

Paul, I may need some backup here. Can I count on you?

Nikki Daniel said...

I really respect JD's boldness. I have been "pursued" by various guys who don't know what they want and are wishy-washy about marriage. I am truly thankful for the JD's pursuit of me!

And I vote "yes" on the Al Mohler thing. I'm curious to see what you have to say about it.

Ben said...

Ah, the power of SiteMeter.

Welcome Nikki,

Congratulations to you and JD. Y'all over there at SBTS seem to have more sense of humor than we at SEBTS. Perhaps the fact that everyone is a fatalistic Calvinist makes you more adept at appreciating irony.

Kidding about the fatalism, by the way. As I also was kidding about JD.

Ok, no I wasn't. But I certainly didn't mean to impugn his character. Boldness ought to be appreciated. I was really just trying to sound cynical about relationships. Is that any less reprehensible?

I'll listen to and read the Mohler stuff again post-haste and try to have something up by mid-week.

Nikki Daniel said...

Paleo (I can't find your name on your blog!)-
Nah, we don't have a better sense of humor. I think highly of SEBTS. Just to be clear, JD and I have mutual friends that thought we should meet. It wasn't a random internet "hook-up." If a random guy asked me out on my blog, I would laugh and move on. But, it turns out that there was more to the story.

Yes, sitemeter is great! I've found several links to my blog from extremely random places. Blogging is fun!

Just for the record, blogging can definitely be attractive. Your beliefs and feelings are revealed...sometimes it's hard to find guys that are willing to open up and say what they are thinking.

Ben said...

For his excellent investigative work in finding that link, "Greg" will henceforth be known as "G-Harmony" on this blog.

Greg Linscott said...

A lot of happy guys out out there, no thanks to G-Harmony.com!

:-}

Paul said...

Yes Paleo, I got your back on the Mohler stuff. Looking forward to you bringing it.