Last week I mentioned that many conversations are taking place on line that ultimately end up in book form. As our world is changing, many new voices are speaking into what gets talked about, argued about and ultimately written about in print. This is changing the very dynamic of the publishing industry and creating a seismic shift in who influences what we think and read about. Keeping up with what is “really” going on around us requires reading these thought influencers and their blogs, no matter what we think about them or their particular point of view
Here are some conversations taking place in the blogosphere that have already produced books or will do so in the months to come:
- The role of men and women in marriage and sexuality – whether or not you are egalitarian or complementarian was a minor conversation until the recent suggestion by a blogger that men are made to conquer and colonize their wives and women are made to receive and surrender. My favorite article written in response to this controversy was entitled, “How Can You Conquer a Woman when you are Washing Her Feet” and was written by new CLC author Ed Cyzewski. That blog post might become a book itself.
- Redefining bigotry and the impact of the church – the massive outpouring of support from the evangelical community this past week to Chick-fil-A in the wake of the Dan Cathy controversy was seen by some as a sign of the strength of the evangelical church in America. On-line, however, there were many voices, that pointed out how this might have been viewed differently by the LGBT community and left me wondering if Jesus would have eaten at Chick-fil-A or not? One thing for sure is that a new generation of writers are defining bigotry not just in terms of what we say, but also what we do and how our behavior impacts our ability to truly influence the world around us. (Editorial note: Please know that I love Chick-fil-A, eat there regularly and strongly support Dan Cathy’s right to free speech)
- Science and the Bible – this is a conversation that has been taking place for a long time, but has taken on new shades in the blogosphere. When I was growing up, it was pretty well accepted in most evangelical circles that God is the creator, evolution was a misguided theory and that the six days of creation mentioned in Genesis were literally six days. There has been a robust discussion taking place in Christian academia about this subject for many years now. This has now spilled over into a mainstream conversation taking place on line and even ended up as a recent cover story in Christianity Today magazine. Many young evangelicals (who are also bloggers) have a different view of evolution and do not accept the age old conflict between the Bible and Science.
These new voices have a massive following on line and are affecting the thinking and reading habits of a new generation of Christians. While there is a lot to be concerned about what is being written and some significant challenges to orthodox Christian teaching, this is being done in a format that allows for dialogue. Some of the most interesting parts of these conversations take place in the comment sections of the blogs. I plan to keep paying attention, praying for these new influencers and participating in the conversations when I can. May God use the fires of these on line controversies to refine His church and not allow them to tear us apart.