Blogging Is Redemptive (or can be) : Blogging Series, Pt. 1

*I should note that this post is going to lead into a small series on why I think (most but not all) Christians should blog. So, I will just consider this part 1.

A few months ago while visiting family in Michigan, I had the opportunity to worship with the congregants of Mars Hill Bible Church. If you don’t know, this is lead by the ever-so-creative, trendy and polished Rob Bell. I must say, I think Rob Bell is an excellent teacher-preacher. We need more Rob Bell type of preachers and for anyone who stands in the pulpit, well, they can stand to learn a bit about homiletics from him. I was glad I had the opportunity to attend Mars Hill.

That said, I think Rob Bell could stand to learn a bit from others too—like bloggers. In a recent interview with Relevant magazine (HT: L&H), Bell said this about blogging:

"When the followers of Jesus can think of nothing better to do with their time than to pick apart and shred to pieces the work of other followers of Jesus who are trying to do something about the world, that's tragic . . . When a Christian can find nothing better to do with their time in the face of this much pain and heartbreak, you start realizing some Christians need to be saved. . . You have to be totally disconnected from the pain of the world to think that blogging is somehow a redemptive use of your time. I guess I have some strong thoughts on that."

Now, I’m not going to pick Bell apart here (that would make him right) but I do want to say that for the most part, I disagree with him. However, there is one element of his statement that I think is spot-on, I want to comment on this first. Bell is surely right that in the blogosphere—and this is particularly true in the biblioblogosphere—that there is too much sarcasm, too much picking one another apart, too much criticism, etc. Indeed, it’s so easy for people to get caught up in it, so easy in fact, that many people don’t even think twice about how it affects others or even their own personal witness. On this topic, Bell is absolutely correct. I can see where someone like a young believer would feel terribly threatened and ridiculed by more experienced biblicists and bloggers. I can also see where both Christians and non-Christians could become quite disillusioned with the whole thing (like Bell has) and just shun it. If changes were made in this area, I think the reach of Christian blogs would go beyond the bubble that it’s in and do great things. Granted, Bell is right on this topic but I do disagree with his comments about blogging being a waste of time and being un-redemptive.

Here’s why I disagree with him: Blogging, for me, has had (and still has) a redemptive side to it. In fact, in the last week, I’ve had a number of people drop me lines saying how much they appreciate me and my site. Some have even asked for permission to download or copy my entire site—what is that but a positive influence? Needless to say, Pisteuomen has been redemptive in some people’s lives, including my own.

It is redemptive for me personally in the sense that I get to share truth with my Christian brothers and sisters as well as with non-believers. It is redemptive for me in that I get to converse with people all over the world about God. It is redemptive for me because it allows me to hone my gifts. It is redemptive for me because I get to make connections with people that I otherwise would have never met. It is redemptive for me in that I am challenged to go deeper in my faith and studies. It is redemptive for me in that I get to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (or at least other parts of it). It is redemptive for me because it allows me to keep up with and stay informed about Christians and various Christian movements and events all around the globe. It is redemptive for me in that it is a release from other stressors that I have in my life. It is redemptive for me because it reminds me that there are thinking Christians left in the world. It is redemptive for me because with so much trash online, Christian blogs can be (and while some aren’t but certainly should be) a positive presence on the Internet. I think I could offer many more ways that blogging has been redemptive in my life but I will pause here.

In short, Bell is right that it is high time for Christian bloggers to change some things. Yet, he is off base in that blogging cannot be a productive or redemptive thing. Indeed, I believe that my blog is another aspect of my ministry and I always try to keep that in mind. I would say that for guys like Alan Knox, the same is true. Without a doubt, I am always encouraged by him and the way that conversation is conducted on his blog. For many of us, I think we would do well to treat our blog (as he does and as others do) as a ministry, not just a popularity contest, a soapbox for criticism or whatever else. The world is watching (and reading) and we never know who might happen upon our site and be touched by it. May we heed to the call to be redemptive people this year and in doing so, be redemptive bloggers.


  1. I agree with you completely, except I don't know who has been affected by my blog except a few friends here and there.

    However, blogging has been proven to be a very productive usage of my time. It gets me thinking theologically, it encourages me to share my calling and talents with others, and it keeps me wanting to learn, read, and grow.

    Those are all good things in my book...and certainly not wastes of my time!

  2. Matthew,

    Thanks for reading and thanks for the confirmation. For the record, since I've started reading it, I've found your blog very informative. Keep up the good work.