Wednesday, July 06, 2005

If You Blog Read This

Since I started blogging, I've noticed a tendency towards solipcism, both in my own blog and others'. Solipcism is essentially a philosophy of life that is radically centered on Self. A blog promotes everything about you and from you, from your point of view. Therefore, it is dangerous. If you were the most important person in the world, then there would be no danger, but there are many more persons more important than you (or me), Three whose perspective is infinitely more estimable. There are a variety of other dangers, like cyber-ranting your opinons and settling for virtual community, which can threaten genuine relationships, both with the Trinity and others.

So what's the solution to these dangers? Drop the blog and hang out at coffeeshops with friends? Not exactly. Like every other cultural and technological phenomenon, blogging must be engaged critically and carefully. Setting some personal guidelines isnt a bad idea. I came across these from a random blogger. Whether you adopt them or not, give them some thought and consider making your own.

  • Does this blog honor Jesus Christ as my Savior and King? This is my first test because I am a Christian. I dare not assume the affirmative and go on. In a sense, the other questions are simply an elaboration of this overarching test.
  • Is this a waste of my time? Is this an excellent use of my time, or is it simply my own version of solitaire?
  • Is there any value in the words? Is my blog valuable to myself and others, or is it just twaddle?
  • Am I taking myself too seriously? Am I pridefully exalting myself? Is this an excercise in vanity as I espouse the superior importance of my own inflated opinions?
  • Am I unaccountable? Is anybody going to read this who can really take me to task for my words?
  • Do I have a critical spirit? Is this a forum for complaint and criticism, or is it primarily for edifiation?


At 2:47 AM , Blogger Dave said...

Jonathan buddy, I don't know how to respond. Obviously, we want God-centered blogs. However, if you are a God-centered person, I don't think there should be such a problem. Would not your integrationist, God-envading worldview preclude you from such dichotomizing? Pursue Christ. Blog as yourself, and Christ will come through; whether consciously or not. Whether talking about movies, music, relationships, beer, celebrity news, trips to NYC. Blogs are conversations or conversation starters. No one likes one-sided conversations.

Thought provoking as always!

At 8:28 AM , Blogger Jonathan Dodson said...

Good to hear from you.

You'll notice that the blog is primarily a warning to self which is, in turn, extended to others. If it isnt helpful or applicable, throw it aside.

No dichotomizing here. Don't you think that, as with every aspect of our lives, blogging or Bible-reading, we need the guidance of wisdom and the grace of God to avoid sinful patterns? No matter how "God-centered" a person may be, man-centeredness runs amuck, prone to leave the God I love. Christ doesnt just "come through" in all that I do...there's a lot of self too.

In my opinion, to be a godly integrationist, one must integrate critically. This includes quarantining certain things and reforming others, along with celebrating good stuff.

Gunton points out that culture is composed of three main things: knowledge, beauty and ethics. To emphasize one to the decline of the others, fails to allow the perichoretic nature of these three aspects of culture exist. To blog without restraint, is to make "beauty" or self-expression ultimate without the guidance of ethics and the grounding of knowledge.

Perhaps Paul said it better: "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable."

Yeah, conversations they should be, which is what I'm advocating.

At 11:24 AM , Blogger Josh said...

Glad to join in on this conversation. Jon, thanks for the encouragement towards God-centered blogging. I am a self-confessed horrible blogger. Not enough critical reflection or interaction with important issues. Thanks for the word from Gunton. I think that's a helpful way to find balance in our cultural engagement.

At 4:37 PM , Blogger Dave said...

Of course we need the guidance of wisdom and the grace of God to avoid sinful patterns. That is what being "God-centered" is all about. I'm just saying pursue Christ in all things and godly blogging will fall into place, with knowledge, beauty, and ethics.

No doubt, the medium of blogging is about self-expression. But all communication is about self-expression. No? Yes, I agree, we can look around at thousands of blogs that can certainly celebrate the self. I suppose I have not encountered too many Christian bloggers that are promoting and celebrating themselves.

Maybe I just think that if you are cautioning yourself, there is little need because your blog points me personally to the One greater than us both.

My initial comments were intended on:

Encouraging you that you haven't a problem from my perspective of self-centered blogging

Offering further suggestions for God-honoring blogs

At 5:29 PM , Blogger Jonathan Dodson said...

thanks, bro.

you have no idea how dark my heart can be...but thanks for the enoouragement!

At 6:07 PM , Blogger Dave said...

love ya jd


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