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Friday, May 09, 2008

BDW Quoted In Blogging Baptists by John Hall

Blogging Baptists by John Hall is the first of two articles published today that quoted yours truly.

Hall writes,

For some people, blogs are like a family reunion where people barely know each other. There’s a lot of talking going on, but there’s little agreement on much of anything. But for many of the increasing number of Baptist bloggers, that’s the beauty of it....

The blogosphere is the world’s online dinner table, where people from all perspectives can share their thoughts and opinions on what is going on in their lives and the world around them.

And here's me:

Aaron Weaver, a Baylor graduate student who blogs at www.thebigdaddyweave.com, uses his blog to stay informed of Baptist issues related to politics, but he also advocates what he calls Baptist distinctives. He believes blogging is a way to connect with younger generations.

“For the most part, the young Baptists that I know don’t read Baptist publications. They don’t read denominational newspapers. But they do read blogs; they like blogs. Many even have blogs of their own. They are exchanging ideas with each other, and they are willing to read blogs from other Baptists of all ages,” Weaver said.

“Their blogging is definitely not limited to Baptist or even religious subjects, but some young Baptists are thinking and writing about topics of interest to other Baptists. It is my hope that more younger Baptists will discover the Baptist blogosphere and become more interested in our distinctives, history and the future of Baptists.

“In our increasingly pluralistic, post-modern, post-denominational world, what is the future of Baptists? That is a question which Baptists—young and old—should be dialoging about. The Baptist blogosphere is the perfect place in which to have that much-needed conversation.”

I enjoyed the article and appreciate being asked for input. However, I do differ a little with Professor Amanda Sturgill of Baylor University who is also quoted in Hall's article.

Amanda Sturgill, a journalism professor at Baylor University, blogs on media and religious issues at aejrmig.blogspot.com. She believes Baptists, in particular, blog for two reasons—they are family-oriented, creating a desire to share their family lives with others, and as evangelicals, they believe they have something important to add to the global conversation.

Baptists may be supplying information and perspectives that Internet surfers are wanting, Sturgill noted. Research indicates 25 percent of web users have looked for religious information on the Internet.

“People from evangelical faiths have classically seen new media technologies as being a great witnessing tool—allowing believers to reach all the world in an expeditious manner. This has been true for everything from print to the World Wide Web. It’s no accident that Gutenberg’s first product was a Bible. But usually it doesn’t live up to hopes. There is Christian broadcasting, but mostly existing Christians watch and listen, for example,” Sturgill said.

I think it's safe to say that Dr. Sturgill is a newbie to the Baptist Blogosphere. The Baptist blogs that I've read for the past 2 years are focused on Baptist-related issues - theology and politics - not family. And while there are Baptist blogs that serve as a sort of "witnessing tool" - most do not. This article points to reasons why Baptists blog.



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