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Southern Religion

Without linking to or naming a single Baptist blog

Douglas Baker of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger has penned a blog On Baptists and Blogging without linking to a single Baptist blog and without naming a single Baptist blog, although in a paragraph about ChurchRelevance’s top 100 church blogs he does allude to some Baptist bloggers by name.

Whew! What a relief.

Because, despite his headline, the primary named focus of Baker’s writing is on Joshua Micah Marshall’s decidedly secular Talking Points Memo.

After an eerie exercise in reading Marshall’s mind, Baker incorrectly describes Marshall as a “a junior editor at The American Prospect” while writing about the period during which Marshall was Washington editor. That was after Marshall served as associate editor. Not “a junior editor” in either case.

Having both lost track of the facts and demonstrated a failure to grasp the hyperlinked nature of blogs (by failing to do any linking himself), Baker proceeds to warn us, it seems, that blogs are somehow innately deceptive:

The challenge for the Christian blogger is to both expose and edify in a manner that obeys Jesus’ process of log and speck (Matt. 7:5). Far too often blogging can be both anonymous and autonomous, tricking the writer into thinking that what they write and how they respond represents true community and reality. The real test for great writing is not its spontaneity or immediacy. Rather it is the ability to write in a manner consistent with Christian doctrine and communicated in a manner that seeks to be salt and light in the midst of a very dark world. With this as the goal, there is hope that blogging might truly be used to the glory of God.

Speaking of deceptions, that paragraph is one.

It makes unproven, undocumented, unlinked and otherwise unillustrated assertions about blogs, effectively finding some unmeasured group of blogs guilty of “tricking” someone. It then proceeds immediately to reach a vague yet effectively irrebuttable conclusion about what these possibly nonexistent blogs should do.

Okey-dokey.

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September 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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