I was recently asked for blogging tips by someone thinking of starting out. So, being a blogger(!), I'll collate my reply into a blog post. Hoping it'll be helpful for some. If Mike Reeves is to be believed (which he generally is), then Luther rather thought that we must have a theology of everything - blogging included (ok, he didn't explicitly mention blogging). Otherwise we'll be doing those non-theologised things idolatrously. We do have a theology of everything - but what theology? What theos? If we haven't seen blogging in the light of the word, perhaps we're blogging idolatrously! So, without further ado -
I blog (in reverse order):
a) for myself - to help me think through what I'm learning. You know - you have a brilliant or deep thought, try to explain it to someone else, and realise it actually doesn't make sense. Or you forget it a day after having it. Blogging can help you think it through more. It also keeps you more accountable about such thoughts: goes some way towards you doing theology in community, rather than on your own. Which then helps to hone those thoughts, getting input, correction, etc., from others.
b) for the Church - helps me focus on building up the Church. That is, I have a thought, I learn something, something strikes me, or something happens to me. I want to share it. But how and why? Blogging forces me to think through the thing in a gospel framework, from a gospel perspective, for the building up of the Church. Why blog it otherwise? So I aim to not blog about something until I can do so in an edifying way. Of course, and sadly, I don't achieve this 100% - nor does that mean that my posts are all fluffy & encouraging! But they should be edifying. As I say, that's an aim... (This also means that I welcome comments on any of my posts, or on the blog in general.)
c) for God's glory - the 2 aims above come under this. Blogs are sitting around theologising together, only you can do it across the world and have random people listen in, learn, rebuke, correct, encourage, etc., which is marvellous. But as with everything, it can also be self-serving, self-glorifying, captivated by the desires of the idol factory within, so idolatrous.
So as with all things, blogging should come with a 'take care' tag. It isn't that blogging is intrinsically bad. But our hearts are idol factories, and we so easily take any good thing and quickly it shows up our sin / trips us up in ways in which we hadn't had opportunity before. So for example, it's all too easy to vent on a blog - to post quickly, without the care necessary, giving off to a faceless meta rather than purposing to minister to brothers & sisters in Christ. I sometimes go and type a blog post in haste & high emotion, then save it as a draft, come back to it days later, and rewrite it / scrap it because in its original form it wouldn't minister the word well to my brothers & sisters in Christ who read the blog, or it wouldn't point them to the hope we have in Christ. Another idol-factory blogging example is being enslaved to stats, for popularity or for pride. Knowing your blog stats is not necessarily bad, but take care of your deceitful heart. I know I all too easily slip into the captivity of fear of man, and pride - so I don't register with technorati.
The purpose of blogging? To glorify and enjoy God! So purpose that your blog will be a theatre for God's glory, not for your own. And please minister the word to me to rebuke & correct me whenever that's not the case here.
Some words from better bloggers than me: Adrian Warnock - Andy Shudall