The Unbearable Lightness of Blogs

January 21, 2006

One reason that I’ve been reluctant to enter the blogosphere is that I am concerned that blog-writing and reading only adds to a bad tendency that we today already have–a fascination with the newest, latest, and most recent.  And the newest and latest also often means that which is of only immediate value, that which is passing.  That is opposed to that which is enduring, and which has in fact endured and lasted.  We write words here which crawl along electronically and leap out through your fingers and eyes to take precious minutes and hours that the Lord has entrusted to us.  Could these small things we write really be that important?

On the other hand, I had a wonderful time today at the South East Gospel Partnership in London.  Here, I met friends old and new, and discussed Reaching, Building and Sending in the Local Church.  Simon Smallwood (minister at Dagenham), Peter Jensen (Archbishop of Sydney) and a number of others spoke.  Then I had the treat to have dinner with William & Janet Taylor (William is the minister of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate here in London), Dick Lucas (who was the minister before him) and Peter & Christine Jensen.  The conversation was wonderful, encouraging, instructive and enjoyable.  As I came home, I thought that perhaps through a blog like this, we can share something that will be enjoyable, instructive and edifying.  Maybe we can model, encourage, and even partially provide that kind of fellowship.

Having said that, I am concerned that we not neglect reading more important things.  Even beyond the Bible, there are 2,000 years of Christian reflections in print before we get to blogs.  (Now let’s see if Al really reads these blogs!)  I was reading recently about an earlier president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, John R. Sampey, and a "lightening" that was happening in theological education a century ago!  Sampey recalled, “The course in ‘Special Theology,’ which was the successor of the course in ‘Latin Theology,’ was changed to ‘Biblical Theology.’ Under Dr. Boyce this course was limited to the reading of Latin; under Dr. Kerfoot and Dr. Dargan some reading of Latin was still required; Dr. Mullins gradually reduced the readings from Anselm and Turrettin, until in 1904-1905 only textbooks in English were studied.” (John R. Sampey, Memoirs, p. 109). 

So be sure and set aside some time to read more substantial things.  Commune with the saints that have gone before.  Give some time to reading Anselm and Turretin, Samuel Rutherford’s Letters or John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.  And if you still have some time, you can have some other food for your soul–side dishes–snacks–by reading this blog. 

Thoughts, gentlemen?