Speaking Now at GodBlogCon: Hugh Hewitt Panel
Hugh Hewitt is moderating a panel of Tod Bolsinger of It Takes a Church, pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church; Mark Roberts, pastor of Canal Street Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, and John Mark Reynolds, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Biola who blogs at Eidos talking about how they got involved in blogging. . . and, more importantly, why.
How: Hugh Hewitt’s influence. Why? The blogosphere needs the Christian voice.
Hugh, as moderator, directs the audience to www.MarkDRoberts.com to see today’s post Mark put up about “Are There Contradictions in the Gospel?”
John Mark says there will be a GodBlogCon II this coming summer and that everyone is welcome. Apparently there was a certain amount of controversy around some liberal Christian bloggers feeling (alleging?) unwelcome at this event. John Mark wanting to dispel this misimpression.
John Mark cautioning that blogging follows you around through the Google cache. He’s glad blogging wasn’t around when he was in college. He says he spend most of his time online reading people who disagree with him.
John Mark saying he built his audience by doing short linky pieces. . . then purposefully stepped back and started writing longer essays that he knows most blog readers won’t finish. Thinks we don’t need a God Blog version of Drudge.
Hugh says: beyondthenews.com is a portal for political bloggers.
Hugh now asking: what historical figure would you like to have seen as a blogger — he suggests Cromwell. Much laughter.
Mark Roberts — what I’ve given up to blog? Yes, it’s a harsh mistress. Some not too hard. Some television. But other times I come up with huge ideas . . . family lets him know when he is spending too much time. Used to frame it as a “hobby” but now his wife corrects him that it is not a hobby — lay ministry. Service to the community.
Tod Bolsinger — learning curve the hardest. More and more blogging is integrated into his life as a pastor. For example email blast to the church every Thursday telling the church about what’s going on on the blog. Constant reference back to the blog as place of discussion. Multi-venue writing. Blog as place for people in the church to get to know him. Authenticity that doesn’t come through sermons.
John Mark — what are the ethics of ghost-blogging? Hugh replies that he knows one major pastor who has someone writing up his thoughts and that it works okay in his opinion.
Hugh asking: dangers of blogging??
Mark Roberts — blogging in anger. . .glue on the computer screen “Speaking the Truth in Love.”
Tod Holsinger — heady moment in realizing that people read what you’ve written. Temptation to see an opportunity to “strike a blow for truth (?). . ” but any time you’re thinking of “striking a blow” you’re off track.
John Mark — must develop a thick skin. Avoid the temptation to self-justify in response to criticism . . . your critic may be your best friend.
Lengthy discussion of ego temptations of blogging.
Mark: you shouldn’t blog — 1) to escape painful things in your life; 2) your family has a particular need for you at this time; 3) you have problems with anger; 4) if you’re a perfectionist; and 5) if you really don’t care about words and grammar
Tod: story about a young Princetonian who asked Dr. Bruce (?)Metzger about the ONE book he needed for seminary — Strunk and White, Elements of Style! (Yes! I was the one person in the audience who clapped at this! I love that book — used to put it on my syllabi at UVA.)
Blogging should be an element of Christian community — need for accountability.
Hugh asking about pastors and politics. . .
Mark — I must be a pastor first and foremost and so avoid taking stands on specific political candidates. But each pastor must think this issue through carefully.
Tod — part of the reason he set up his website separate from the church site was to keep a measure of separation between his personal views and the church stance.
Hugh — someone you’ve encouraged to start blogging? Or someone you’d like to see blog?
Tod — DimeStore Guru, a political liberal
John Mark — would like to see more traditionalist Muslims like his friend Mustafa who writes the White Path.
Hugh: bringing back up the historical question. (I love this question!)
John Mark — Joan of Arc. Charles Stewart, King and Martyr, disastrous king but good guy.
Mark — Luther pretty much was a blogger. The Apostle Paul — he was really doing with letters what we are doing. Short letters, using the medium of his culture to transform the culture. Calvin — I found him very hard to read in the form he wrote.
Tod — Jurgen Multman. . . (sorry, Hugh asked who in the world this is, and I missed it!) Audience member says he was the “orginal milblogger!) World War II era. Here he is: Jurgen Moltmann.
Hugh just asked me and Stacy Harp if we feel that the blogosphere is hostile to women.
I responded that I have felt very supported in the blogosphere, as a woman per se; the criticism I get is based on my political opinions.
Stacy, and another woman in the back, said they felt positive about the blogosphere. (She was Lores Rizkalla of JustaWoman.org)
Interesting discussion of collegial blogs – this is a theme that Joe Carter started earlier in the day as a way of developing more community, increasing quality, and balancing the “all about me” factor. Hugh warns that making a blog too big loses personality and that it can be like a college roommate situation where if one person is a skunk at the picnic, it can be a problem.
# # #
Note: Brant deBow also liveblogging (his notes are terrific)
Pastor Mark also liveblogging. . .
LaShawn, too. . .