3 Reasons Christian Blogs Fail

Fail 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.

The Googleization of Argument


Google, in both its noun and verb form has brought a less rigorous form to the state of discussion. In academic and general conversation, the ability to search Google based on a keyword pertinent to your studies or a thread you are participating grants you the ability to expand your knowledge on that topic. The creation of the hyperlink opens up whole new worlds with regard to pointing readers to your source or support for a point you’re making. The trouble comes in the uncritical use of this facility.

In the largely self-edited environment of the interweb it is incumbent upon you to search further than the page that you want to reference to determine the underlying character of the site before naming it a reliable source of credible support for your point. For example, if I say that we cannot know something about the nature of the world, adding the link that I did leads you to a web site that supports my statement. Obviously, the majority will find the beliefs espoused here to be quite contrary to reality.

Another class of web sites that is often linked to are those in the advocacy category. The site you are reading could be considered an advocate for the truth of Christ. The troublesome links are those that take a completely one sided position on some topic, so much so that they are not to be considered as a single source point of information. The advocacy position should either be revealed or an argument from another source that balances the first should be offered. In a recent discussion a link was offered that was to be considered representative of all Jewish thought on a subject. Unfortunately, just a few moments of searching revealed the extremely narrow theological and philosophical viewpoint of the writers making the opinion worthless in the larger scope of the discussion. Unless the original poster meant to use this opinion to bolster his argument deceitfully, the viewpoint should have been considered and revealed.

If we’re going to discuss anything of importance, it’s crucial that we maintain a standard of credibility. Consider both sides rather than simply rattling off your talking points. Be balanced in the sources you cite. Be nice.

The Google logo is trademarked by Google.

Digg This

Church Management Software

imageMy lengthy examination of CMS (Church Management Software) is in this month’s Your Church magazine. This software segment has evolved in numerous ways and the packages go way beyond maintaining the membership roles. Some of the vendors are on the verge of creating church based replacements for social networking offerings. It should be interesting to watch.

Read it here.

For the Common Good

I have an article in the latest PRISM magazine. It talks about the fallout from the Rick Warren invitation to Barack Obama to speak at the Saddleback AIDS conference. My contention is that we as a community led by Jesus need to put aside denominational and perhaps faith differences in order to seek to good of the city (as Jeremiah would put it.) Give it a peek and let me know what you think.

The article PDF is here.

Blog Categories in Word 2007

Many blog hosts support categories, including WordPress where this blog is hosted. Though many argue that in a Web 2.0 world, tags have superseded categories for classifying posts, that’s an argument for another day. Including a Categories entry for your sidebar gives your readers quick access to your collected wisdom on a topic. The question at hand then is, what kind of support does Word offer for the blogger?

Inserting a Category

When you have set up your blog connection, the categories that you have already defined in WordPress will be recognized and made available to your post. On the Ribbon, your first group is the Blog group in which the Insert Category button lives. Clicking on this button will insert a drop-down box at the top of your post.



When you click on the drop-down, you can select one of your categories. Publishing your post will pass this data to WordPress and your entry will be appropriately classified. Want to include a post in more than one category? Click on the Insert Category button again and select another category.


Adding a New Category

The Category drop down box tempts you with the invitation to ‘type a new one’ to add a category to your WordPress list. Don’t be fooled. This function does not appear to work and each test that I did succeeded in pushing my post into the uncategorized category. The only workaround I have found right now is to go to the blog control center and add the category there. Update your entry and publish it. We’ll watch for a fix for this in the future.

A Word 2007 Shortcut for Blogging

One of things that make the blogging life easier is having simple, click-to-open access to your tools. Choosing Word 2007 as your client might not seem to be worth the effort on first glance. Right out of the box, creating a new post is a three step process.

  1. You’ll start Word which creates a default empty document.
  2. Then you’ll click the Office Button
  3. and then select Blog Post from the menu.






Seems like way too much work for me. Perhaps we ought to make a shortcut to simplify the whole process.

Creating a Word Blogging Shortcut

Word documents are based on templates that contain the formatting information for each type of document that you create and the blog post is no exception. Word supports command line switches so, with a little creative shortcutting we can override the Normal.dotx template with the Blog.dotx template and start the word processor in blog posting mode. Once you’ve located everything the process is a piece of cake. Watch.

  • The first thing you need to do is gather some information. You’ll need to identify the locations of the two files you are going to use, Winword.exe and Blog.dotx. Their default locations are:
    • Winword.exe F C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE
    • Blog.dotx F C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033\Blog.dotx
  • Right click on the desktop and select New-Shortcut from the context menu. You’ll troubles will be rewarded with this:



  • You are going to use two of Word’s switches:
    • /q – starts Word without the splash screen
    • /t – starts Word with a specified template
  • In the data field, type the following line being sure to make any changes needed to accommodate your folder structure. The double quotes are necessary because of the spaces in the path. Also be sure to note that there is no space between the /t switch and the template name. Inserting a space there will open the template for editing and you don’t want to do that. At least not right now.
    • “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE” /q /t”C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033\Blog.dotx”



  • Click Next and you’ll be asked to name the shortcut. You’re a blogger, be creative.
  • Tada!








That should keep you occupied for today. Next, we’ll start checking out some of the features that Word brings to the game.