From The Archives: Of Evangelicals, Bibles, and Blogs

Originally published here in 2008.

“Do you still read your Bible?”

Brothers and Sisters,
Do you? Why would I ask such a question? There are so many influences that impact our daily habits. We can’t and won’t explore all of them in this small space, but there is one that we can touch on today.

For the last five years there has been an explosion of blogs on the net. While most are personal in nature and intended for family and friends, their use continues to evolve. Blogs are not simply about the summer trip to the Spam Museum anymore. Blogging is increasingly used as a publishing means for social and religious commentary, shared in relatively brief snippets. Twenty years ago, there was no means for ‘everyman’ to publish their thoughts to a worldwide audience. Not so now. Blogs give a platform to every opinion and viewpoint under the sun.

Certainly this mish-mash of hoi polloi writing has its low points, inane ramblings, and downright nastiness. If you watch where you step and exercise a little discrimination in your reading, you can find hundreds of helpful weblogs. But you already know this. In fact, I’m willing to bet you watch numerous blogs which you find interesting, informative, or challenging.

What does this have to do with reading your Bible? Well… do you? You know… actually read your Bible anymore? Or have Christian blogs taken the place of regular Bible reading in your everyday life?

Oh, I know. It’s not like you deliberately set out to abandon daily, regular, habitual feeding on God’s Word. And after all, you’re spending that time reading Christian blogs that talk about, explore, and apply the Bible; right? I’m sure it was never your intent to let your Bible gather dust. There is so much good information, teaching, instruction, and reflection out there. It’s all so interesting. But at what cost, dear friends? Are we using wisdom when we pour our lives into endless reading of commentary on the Bible instead of reading the Bible itself and learning directly from the Master?

“Do you still read your Bible?”

Are you convicted by the question? If you are, here are a few suggestions that might help.
  • We must realize that, while God does call pastors, teachers, and theologians to serve the church, there is no command that we must read everything that every good and godly writer has to say. In fact, it is impossible to do so.
  • We must realize that blog posts take inordinantly more time to read than we account for. This is akin to the old timewarp phrase resulting in multiple hours spent at your computer, “I just need to check my email.” Yeah, right. Like we just need to throw away a year of our life.
  • We must realize that the internet and blogs are a relatively recent development and we are not conscious of the invasive and dominating impact they are having on our lives. There has not yet been a broad and intentional development of good and right use of them in everyday life. There are indications that more people are starting to acknowledge these personal challenges raised by the new media.
  • Pare down your blog ‘watch list’ to a handful. Stop trying to be omniscient or Solomon in the breadth of your knowledge. You can’t be, and you’re not.
  • Finally, put down the mouse and go read your Bible today.

Brothers, go forth and blog

Dan Phillips shares his insights on blogging. It is filled with both wisdom and encouragement. Let’s not be silent, brothers. Lift your voices for His glory!

Although Dan paints himself as one of the lesser lights of the evangelical blogosphere, I continue to be impressed with both the quality and volume of his writing. It takes me hours of struggle to put together a measly five paragraph post. Near as I can figure, Dan is a robot who doesn’t sleep. I can’t imagine any other way he can work full-time, care for his family, eat, sleep, and serve in the local church while pumping out multi-page, quality posts every single week.

Obviously, I’m not Dan. I may never be able to write like that. Even so, I will bring my widow’s mite posts and place them in the Lord’s treasury.