GodBlogCon: Blogger distinctives

Hugh Hewitt compares blogging to Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. What he means is that Internet blogging is a technological advancement that is being used to lower the barriers to mass communication. Gutenberg’s printing press drastically reduced the cost of printing books, and in Gutenberg’s day the rarest and most expensive of books was the Bible. When John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English, Gutenberg’s technology was ready to cheaply print and distribute that Bible to the masses.

Blogs have taken publishing to another level by making it possible for anyone with a computer to create his or her private newspaper. Whereas freedom of the press has been famously reserved for those with the money to own one, Internet blogging lets everyone become an amateur journalist.

And while this may not be all good, it isn’t all bad, either. The press has always limited information, in part because they need to turn a profit, and in part because human beings are story tellers, not dictation machines. The press tells the stories they like to hear. They take sides, and many times they ignore stories that disagree with their particular viewpoint.

Blogs are like the alternative newspapers that spring up on the street corners of every town. They are sometimes raw and in-your-face, but they express a viewpoint that isn’t being heard in big media.

What are some of the viewpoints that I represent, viewpoints that aren’t heard from much in big media?

I’m an evangelical Christian. But before you think “Pat Robertson,” let me point out that I’m also a card-carrying Democrat. To listen to big media, you’d think that evangelicals are genetically pre-determined to be Republicans. Not true.

I’m a pro-life Democrat. The Democrats for Life don’t get much respect from Matt and Katie, but they’re a serious political organization with a large following.

I’m a career missionary. Think African Queen without the leeches. You probably thought missionaries went the way of whale-bone corsets. My work puts me in contact with people who are very poor. That causes me to wonder about the global distribution of wealth and resources, the injustices that global economies create for the poorest of the poor, and the failure of the rising tide of capitalism to raise all boats, especially in countries where the poor are merely treading water.

My point here is that the mainstream media portrays Christians as cookie-cutter people. Blogging gives a voice to the real people who make up our very complex and untidy world.

Yesterday I attended a discussion led by Barbara Nicolosi of Act One, an organization that is training Christians to be part of the Hollywood film industry. Christianity has been historically an enthusiastic patron of the arts. At Biola, a Christian university with a top-notch film school, a new generation of students is being prepared to work in the media arts. Like leaven that spreads through the dough, the key to reforming the art world is not boycott but immersion.

The best bloggers use their blogs to talk about what makes them unique. Christians in flim will not turn the movie industry into Sunday school, but they will begin to tell stories that aren’t being told. As a result, you may begin to hear points of view that you have heard before. And that’s a good thing.

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  1. What is a pro-life Democrat? A Democrat who is against the death penalty? Now that sounds like a decent person.

    What good is it calling yourselves “Christians” if you are gun-carryiers/owners, executioners of prisoners, if you let 25% of your own “Homeland” go without health care, if you support a puppet called Dubya who robs two elections, illegally invades a soveriegn country claiming, first WMD threats then “regime change” leading to 100,000 plus dead Irakis and VERY nearly 2,000 DEAD poor Americans (taken from among that 25% of poor people of course), if you support a tax system which has seen billions given back to billionaires and billions taken away from the rest, whilst squandering (LOOK IT UP IN THE DICTIONARY……..) a huge budget surplus, turning it into a record deficit (DITTO…..) etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. IF YOU SUPPORT ALL THIS THEN YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF BIN LADEN, BUT JESUS CHRIST AIN’T GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR BELIEFS

  2. Actually, I oppose the death penalty. As for the rest, I think history will judge the elections fairly won and the Iraq war a necessary step to halt the spread of Islamofascism.

    Oh, and I think your CAPS-LOCK key is stuck, Paul. You ought to get that looked at.

  3. I think you are right that blogging is giving people of all backgrounds and beliefs the ability to share their thoughts with the world in a way that has never before been possible. I am willing to risk allowing many ill-founded ideas to escape because many more well-thought-out and reasonable ideas will be presented and seen.

  4. Charlie:

    It was great having the chance to meet and talk with you at GodBlogCon, which I thought was a super event. I haven’t yet had the chance to tell my son about your daughter. It is, as they say, “a small world.”

    “African Queen without the leeches…” I like that.

    Democrats for Life is a very cool organization and when one considers it, a pro-life position is more consistent with the history of post-1912 Democratic Party.

    God bless you!

    Mark Daniels