Why Do I Blog?

John ArmstrongPersonal

I am quite sure that blogging has made a real difference in the political realm, for good and for ill, or so it seems. At the same time blogging is the ultimate expression of independence and personal opinion. Anyone can do it thus it invites nuts, cranks and whackos, as well as ordinary and brilliant writers. (I hope I am at least "ordinary" an clearly realize I will never be brilliant.) Most blogging is, frankly, mediocre. A great deal of it is valued by only a very few who know the writer. (This can be a very good thing too.) I read a few blogs, but only a few, one’s that I find useful. In the end, I read blogs in order to keep up with writers I value and some friends I love.

Personally, I find it difficult to meaningfully blog on a daily basis and at times, like last week, I just have no energy or time to keep up with this pursuit. A part of me wants to give this up altogether while another part of me is aware that some friends, and a few others who check in now and then to see what I am up to, appreciate what I write, or at least some of it. I would tend to write my thoughts down somewhere whether blogging existed or not. I just love to write, period. This medium offers a place to do some of that. When I do write in this way I am often thrilled to express my self in this manner. My goal is simple: To offer thoughtful insights on theology, culture, education, art, film, music, politics, church movements and personal likes and dislikes, especially on baseball and college football, two of my great loves.

Generally speaking, I do not believe blogs should become essays or full-blown articles. In my case, this type of writing appears as my ACT 3 Weekly articles and podcasts. You can subscribe to this free service at ACT 3. Blogs are shorter, much more personal, and perhaps a little more on the edge, without crossing the line of good decorum and Christian ethics.

I hope to blog on several subjects over the next few days. I want to provide an overview of our recent ACT 3 Dialog on Catholics and Evangelicals. A DVD of this event will be available in the next few weeks. Details for ordering it will be shared at the appropriate time. Before that DVD becomes available I want to reflect on my own thoughts about this lovely evening that we shared in Naperville on September 16th.

I also want to interact with an emergent dialog I attended last Thursday evening. I have been quite favorable to emergent writers and some of their ideas. I came away from the event last week much more troubled than I expected. I will explain why in due course.

Our own ACT 3 Catholic and Evangelical event was well-attended and well-received. I was pleased and energized by what happened. Someone asked me, just last night, "What next?" I am not sure but I see this as a beginning of further dialogs just like this one. I believe dialog, not compromise or polemics, is the future for vibrant faith in the world we must now learn to navigate as serious Christians. I sincerely believe that those who hold to orthodox Christian faith, while at the same time they hold tenaciously to charity and civility, will be allowed to speak to the future with the greatest impact.  I want ACT 3 to be one of those ministries that shows how this can be done by actually doing it. Blogging has a part in this overall vision so God willing I will keep at it.

Pray for me, if you are my friend. Many things work against me having the time and strength to write. The spirit is willing. My love for writing has not diminished one iota. Indeed, my weakness has increased my love for writing and this all makes me think I can learn to be a better writer because of it.

Can blogs prompt critical thought and yet sow love and peace? I believe so. I am committed to critical realism and Christ-centered charity. I fail in this commitment for sure. I promise that I will keep working at it. Thanks to all of you who remind me of this commitment by correcting me and by interacting with me in so many helpful ways on this blog spot. Everywhere I travel I meet people who read these blogs, and who express real gratitude for them, so that alone makes me want to press on in this work of writing.