29 June 2007

Founders Conference, Addendum

by Frank Turk

One thing we didn't blog about was the session after the final session on Thursday night where Tom Ascol moderated a very cozy discussion of what TheoBlogging is like -- Joe Thorn was there, as was Timmy "babyface" Brister. It lasted about an hour, I guess, and the most profitable thing to come from it, I thought, was the discussion on the down-side of blogging. Since everyone agreed with me on this one, I'm going to sum up my comments here, and then let the slavering critics do their worst as I go on vacation for a week and stay away from blogging as much as humanly possible.

The NUMBER ONE down-side of blogging is that YOU WILL BECOME A PUBLIC PERSON. By "public person", that means that you will be saying things in public and not in your living room when you blog some piece of writing. People who don't know you personally will read it, and then they will either think [a] now they know you and are your personal friend, or [b] now they have the opportunity to take a shot.

In one respect, both [a] and [b] are correct. So if you want to post something in which you are fictionalizing who you are, don't be surprised if people treat you like the person you have portrayed yourself to be; if you don't want anyone to criticize you, don't post at all. You're going to take some flack even if you post pictures of bunnies and puppies all the time.

Which leads to the NUMBER TWO down-side of blogging: YOU NEED A THICK SKIN. If you're sensitive about being wrong, or can't admit it when you are, or take everything personally rather than as an opportunity to grow, you prolly don't belong in a public forum.

The NUMBER THREE down-side of blogging is that YOU NEED TO BE SOMEONE WHO JUST WRITES ANYWAY. If you want to become a writer by blogging, well, that's like saying you want to become a pro ball player by joining the Cubs: if you haven't ever played before, you're prolly not gonna make the Cubs because they don't need someone who would like to play: they need someone who has been playing all his life and is a player. If you journal or write or compose now, and you want to go digital, blogging is a good go for that. If you want to figure out if anyone will read your writing because you really always wanted to write, try writing first before you inflict, um, I mean publish your writing on the world.

That also answers the question of where you get the time to write a blog: you get the time by blogging what you have already budgeted as writing time. Personally, I'm a compulsive writer. I'm always writing something -- have been since College. Now I write and it gets blogged rather than stuck in a box in my garage.

And the NUMBER FOUR down-side of blogging is content burn-out. You know: there are three or four guys writing on TeamPyro, and we can't hardly make a post every day of the week. When I was solo blogging, I averaged one post a day -- but that included throw-away posts which were links to other stuff. Eventually, you run out of things to say. You can't help it. You only have so many words, and sometimes you're just happy with life and there's no reason to say anything at all.

There's nothing wrong with that -- until your blog stops getting hits ... then you start to wonder what you're going to do to top the great Santa Controversy of 2005 or whatever. And there's the problem of being glorifying to God, which means you can blog ads for casinos or whatever.

Joe and Phil expressed a lot of content burn-out last night. Then, after the session, I reminded Phil about GUTS church, and he realized that he was only out of old stuff. There are plenty of new reasons to blog every day.

Which is, of course, why you come here every day.

Hope that helps. be with God's people in God's house on God's day this weekend, and try not to get distracted by what's going to happen in the blogosphere while you're there. The blogosphere will pass away like a blade of grass, but you're going to have to spend eternity with those people there (if you're blessed and highly favored, that is). Try to think about them a little more.


Matt said...

Cent, is that your picture at the top? Why is your eyebrow not twitching. In my mind, you hit a homerun with this:

The blogosphere will pass away like a blade of grass, but you're going to have to spend eternity with those people there (if you're blessed and highly favored, that is). Try to think about them a little more.

Amen, and amen. Here you have touched on what is the greatest challenge with blogging - one that I have to work against. I feel like I have more in common with you or Phil or Dan than with people in my own church. Yet you guys aren't in my day-to-day life to interact with and to love in the context of personal fellowship.

Thank you for the excellent reminder.

cslewis3147 said...


good to meet you guys, it's so great to meet so many great folks who love the doctrines of grace...the blogging discussion was about the most fun, the eyebrow thing was classic!
-Alan from Newport

jsb said...

I have sensed the burden writing this blog can be sometimes. It is hard to be as consistently good as you guys are. It's fun for us, who like theology and like to mix it up from time to time, but you are the ones who really do the heavy lifting.

In the "old days" people wrote books. They thought about the words, got them just right, then sent it off and let the public take it (or not take it) from there.

Blogging has the virtue of being instant, but also of perhaps not being reflective enough. Sometimes one takes a position or posts something he wishes he hadn't. But then feels he has to stay with it.

And the commentors! Boy howdy, can that be a mixed bag.

You guys have been great. Perhaps some short stuff that asks questions from time to time. Or a couple of paragraphs and let the meta take over.

Someone ought to do a study on the longterm effects of consistent, content rich blogging. Like eyebrows that won't stop.

anyway, God bless you guys. Thanks for what you do here.

donsands said...

Teampyro is the best. Keep on.

If the Apostle Paul were here, I'm sure he would commend you for the stance you take for the truth in love with your blogging epistles to the brethern, and sistern.

Ebeth said...

Grace and peace to you too. Thanks for all the hard work the Team Pyro members do.

Tony Kummer said...

Don't push "Babyface" ... He'll push back.

SB said...

good points
one i thought i thought you were going mention that relates to your first point-is that I think there is a tendecy to think that we are somebody special when we are just sinners saved by grace.

Brad Leber said...


Words are powerful things. I am thankful for yours and the other Pyro's.

It is what sets the blogosphere apart from the other "information" media. It's words, and words mean things.

In an age where images are king and emotions reign, we were getting dangerously close to losing written words as a means of communicating our thoughts.

In fact, with the rise of video games and the other various forms of visual entertainment, I dare say we were only being communicated to visually in a way that really did not engage our minds.

Thankfully, I have always been a reader, and my wife and one of my daughters are also that way. So we are thankful that the internet is still full of words, and also offers a venue to pour our thoughts into occasionally.

Keep on writin' so we can keep on thinkin'!

Only Look said...

True thoughts. Some of us though may have found that blogging tempted us into a life of activity that only inhibited us from experiencing the rest He wants for us at His bosom. We are all differant and have differant gifts for so many reasons. I am learning not to see others through my own lens. I really think many of us have that proclivity. Yet we can associate with one another; but only God knows what the deepest need of our heart is.

brentjthomas said...

"To write all things in a book is to leave a sword in the hands of a child" (Clement of Alexandria). He would probably say the same of blogging. Blogging seems to be such a risky endeavor. I am glad that the fine thinkers among the Pyromaniacs are willing to do the hard work, so thoughtfully, and to take such risks (energy, ego, privacy, etc.) in defense of the faith. May our Lord bless each one of you maniacs in your endeavors.
My only criticism of the Pyromaniacs blog is the lack of images of kittens.

philness said...

Oh good grief, count it all joy. Keep blogging. You don’t have to hit a home run every time with brilliance. That would be selfish to think right? You are part of a team, (together everyone achieves more) remember the acronym. You guys got the gift so use it. This is what you guys are equipped to do. Your teaching more people than you could through a book. And besides, your sitting down, in the air-conditioning, with a cold beverage of your choice, beating the heat and out from amongst the elements.

Looky here Cent, if your still a little upset because of that person who railed you on that whole cartoon character thing….well, you shouldn’t be. You guys both made some valid points and to the credit of both of you I and others are more knowledgeable in the Word and better equipped at reaching and reasoning and warning the lost. And that’s a good thing. God Bless you and have a much needed vacation. Now I’m gonna get banded for 6 months for bringing that thing up you watch. I shall count it all joy.

Phil Johnson said...

brentjthomas: "My only criticism of the Pyromaniacs blog is the lack of images of kittens."

Look for our new collection of feline images; coming soon to a blog near you.

centuri0n said...

I didn't think of the medusa thing at all in making those comments. I only think about that when I see my beautiful wife.

Kevin Stilley said...

>>"You're going to take some flack even if you post pictures of bunnies and puppies all the time."

Hey, I've been looking for a new direction for my blog and this may very well be it. Bunnies and Puppies... hmmm... I wonder if that domain name is still available.

Lance M. Roberts said...

Thanks for the post. I often wonder if I will continue my blog. This article helps me to think through a few things. I started a blog because a friend encoruaged me to, but it is more work than I first imagined. I now see why the Lord told us to preach.

SolaMeanie said...


Maybe Frank has eyebrow-burn out also.

I am afraid I've advanced beyond eyebrow twitches. My left eye now bats like Inspector Clouseau's boss every time I encounter an EC-type. I have yet to take over a castle in Germany and hire nefarious types to sow mischief around the world, but it won't be long.

I'm kidding.

Doug said...

Maybe pictures of Schmeradactyls would help occasionally.

cj hoyt said...


What? Blogging and no Mac?