Nearly three years ago, Alan Jacobs wrote in Books and Culture, "Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the blogosphere is the friend of information but the enemy of thought." First drawn to blogs for news, Jacobs hoped the blogosphere could become a forum for developing and exchanging ideas. Yet like so many bloggers who start with big hopes, his enthusiasm waned after he became better acquainted with the medium.
Every other week, this column aims to introduce you to theology stories and theological angles on stories in the news. Thus, I regularly scour theology blogs to see what professors, pastors, students, and laypeople are saying about the latest books and current events. I value the indispensable work of bloggers who direct readers to good content and theologians who popularize work that otherwise would never have escaped libraries. Two blogs, Out of Ur and Christian History, even allow me to share my thoughts on pastoral ministry and the great cloud of witnesses.
But when friends ask me about blogging, I usually discourage them from taking on this responsibility. If you run your own blog, there is constant pressure to post so you won't lose regular readers. The Internet never shuts off. Then when you post, you frequently check the comments, worried what "Bob" thinks of you. And you better believe Bob won't hold back. He doesn't know you, and you don't know him, so anonymity emboldens him to state opinions, however uninformed, boldly. Afterward you wonder why, again, you care what Bob thinks. If this is the future of theological discourse, then we have entered the worst of times. Can you imagine Martin Luther hiding in Wartburg Castle, distracted from translating the Bible because "Chuck5" didn't like his post on ...1