Christian blogs fail, not in attracting readers, but rather, to affect the world for the better. There is a vast difference between a theological blog and a blog whose author is incidentally a Christian. Nothing wrong with either position until one attempts to present themselves as the other. Here are three reasons that Christian blogs fail to connect with the uncountable readership of the interwebs.
1. Don’t Hold on to One Sided Arguments
There are many things that mainline Christians accept as settled fact. Google a handful of statements of faith, line them up next to one another and you will see what I mean. Outside of those things however, theology within the centuries old Christian faith ranges far and wide. Writers who fail to avail themselves of the depth and breadth of this theological history usually end up camping on one position without understanding why they are against the other positions that challenge their belief. Take Modalism for example. You read somewhere that it is wrong and your fellow theo-bloggers are not hesitant to throw the heresy flag when mentioning it but, do you know why they consider it a heresy? Simply saying something is wrong is not an argument. Before you go on the offensive or even just take a stand against a particular belief, educate yourself. Understand why the belief arose and why people believe(d) it. Study the proof texts offered in the context of the whole Bible, not just your theological framework. Be able to enter a discussion with something more than “because I said so.”
Oh, and Wikipedia is not to be considered a definitive source.
2. Don’t Be the Possessor of an Uninformed Theology
Discussing Christian theology and ecclesiology are immensely complex undertakings. It is an undertaking that requires study and meditation and no small amount of time seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit before you can be effective in your presentation. When you find yourself simply regurgitating the work of others (who have put in the blood, sweat, and tears to arrive at their conclusions) you are doing little more than diminishing the possible impact your post might have. If each of your posts contains the reference “so and so” says “this or that” as the basis for your theological position, I may as well simply go directly to the original thinker’s/author’s website and read the words directly. Any authority that you hope to embed in your writing comes from the reader’s trust in your knowledge. If, when a comment challenges your theological position, you cannot demonstrate an understanding of the challenger’s position you will lose the trust of not only that reader, but others who survey the whole conversation from a distance.
Oh, and John Piper, John Wesley, and James White are not always right.
3. Don’t be Self Serving
If your entire reason for blogging to promote yourself, do it in a different format. We have all seen blogs that have a thin veneer of Christianity that peels away to find every post being an exposition of how wonderful/altruistic/sacrificial the blogger himself is. Readers will soon discover that the faith is simply a jacket worn to give the blogger a reason to talk about themselves. Ask yourself how this affects the kingdom. Is it glorified or expanded or masked and diminished by the monumental ego that attempts to supersede it? This is not to say that personal entries, off topic asides, and the pride of sharing some accomplishment are out of place. Each is a part of the life we lead while still a part of this world. The ratio that the reader sees between personal and thematic posts will put on full display what is most important in the eyes of the blogger.
There are probably many more topics that could make this list but these are my top three. Then again, I could be wrong.