Your Blog Steward

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There's a lot to be said for being me--or, in your case, you

I read quite a few theology blogs over the course of a week. Most are from people such as me, your regular, everyday run-of-the-mill Church or religious leader who wants a place to write. We blog about important stuff, and sometimes I read pretty impressive thoughts and ideas. I hear the strains of the gospel amidst everything from the mundane to the sublime. And I read the stuff too by the well-known folks...and here is where it gets interesting.

According to "Blogger" about 47 people read "Thoughts from the Prairie Table" every week. I once had a post that 63 people read, but I'm not sure why that was one you all chose...(It is entitled "Kitchen Drama.") Since I figure I must know most of you, I use this as a way to be "me." That is, I don't say much that I wouldn't say to your face, or say what I want to be preached or taught by me. Every now and then a new person reads a blog (my favorite was a guy from New Zealand), but almost always I know him or her as well.

This colors my writing in these blogs because, short of swearing (which is the biggest difference between my speaking and my writing), I figure if you tolerate me in person, you'll probably tolerate me in print. Now, my writing may be obscure, difficult, and bad, but through the "comments" I can try to clarify a question or two...some posts are irredeemable (and we'll just not talk about those). But we're all pretty much friends here, and because you 47 are spread out over 40 years, you're all friends of mine...which is enough to make you friends with each other, even if you don't know anyone else but me. Right?

But when I read these more famous folks, well, their readers are legion, and there is no indication that there is a friendship between the author and the reader. So, there is a lot more contentious debate, vitriol, support, encouragement, and all the other stuff that strangers argue about on-line, and in the 3D world we all live in together.

Reading people's comments as stranger-to-stranger is difficult for me because I don't want to argue, but some people are just not correct...but how do you tell a stranger you cannot agree? It's only as friends that our conversations amidst our differences can make a difference. It's only when I'm me and you're you that our conversations hold forth the promised peace and righteousness of God for us all. Two strangers tossing platitudes back-and-forth on the internet is not life-changing for anyone.

Nietzsche--and you're really an long-time friend if you remember that Nietzsche is my favorite philosopher--once wrote that "it is not courage to have convictions--but to stand an attack upon your convictions!" Most of what I read on the internet shows a lot of courage (maybe, maybe not, as the anonyminity piece might be a huge variable to the Nietzsche quote), but for all the "courage" I would like to read more friends...

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott, it seems that I always hear your voice in my head and I can see the expressions on your face when I read your blogs - almost like being there in person. - Diane