Blogs: The Expression of Ideas

Blogging is a relatively new apparition. Most teenagers have lived longer than the advent of Blogs. When I was a teenager people wrote books not blogs. Politicians, economists, religious gurus, professionals in all fields, men and women without any special training, the average person turned psychotherapist, and authors are bloggers.  It seems as if everyone vies for the number one spot on the internet with a tidbit of information or an image.  It is referred to as going viral. (A word used in internet technology to describe the rapid distribution of a small bit of information; from my perspective a virus of primarily useless information.) My preface does not conduce a positive view of blogging, nevertheless, I’m writing a blog.  I was informed by experts that if I expected to succeed as an author, I must write a blog.  On a good day at least ten people will read my blog, but I don’t have many good days.  Success?

I doubt very seriously if Alasdair MacIntyre ever wrote a blog and almost certain not a typical blogger. Alasdair MacIntyre’s notable work After Virture contains thousands of pages of blog material. J. Gresham Machcen was a 20th century New Testament scholar.  However, his intellectual acumen was demonstrated by his authorship, theological inquiry, and classical studies. Writing blogs would not be his style.  This is not a blog to denigrate blogs, but to point out the value of substantive writing by men endowed with gifts and abilities.  Most of the blogs that appear on the internet are subjective uneducated jaundiced expressions of ideas.  Blogs are useful to me by providing book reviews, casual discussions about culture, and condensing world views for analysis.  Without being redundant, my purpose for writing these blogs is to stimulate a virus derived from my books and experience as a pastor, student, teacher, and author.

For example, The Church: First Thirty Years has a chapter titled “The Church Growth Movement.” It discusses the relationship of the church to the culture.

The children of modernity are the ideologies and world views that influence the public sector.  Secularism, pragmatism, consumerism, relativism, individualism, and managerialism are a few of the children of modernity.   The offspring that comes from these ideologies and world views produce still more offspring.  The Enlightenment project gave birth to modernity and modernity has served as an agent to expand the influence of secularism.  The focus of secularism as a world and life view is on the present age.  Unfortunately the focus on the secular drives Christians to become the progeny of that secular philosophy.  The dilemma leads us to the sad fact that “secularized Christians rather than secular humanists…must account for the disintegration of religious vitality”[1] in the evangelical church.

The relationship between modernity and the Enlightenment project has more to do with the expression of ideas than with dogmatic philosophy.  When Alasdair MacIntyre, a contemporary moral philosopher, argued that the “Enlightenment project…failed by its own standards”[2], he went on to describe the mass of destruction it left in its path.  The Enlightenment was the seed for the full development of modernity.  The progeny of modernity which comes out of the Enlightenment project will be a powerful and devastating force against the evangelical church.

When liberalism threatened the church at the beginning of last century, J. Gresham Machen responded by writing an apologetic to defend the cultural mandate for Christians.   Machen said, “From every point of view, therefore, the problem in question is the most serious concern of the church.  What is the relation between Christianity and modern culture; may Christianity be maintained in a scientific age?”[3]   Throughout the book Machen refers, at least implicitly, to the cultural mandate in the period of modernity.  Christians should be ashamed for allowing culture to be controlled by the children of modernity.  It is the duty of the Christian to invade the culture not for the culture to overwhelm the church. The children of modernity are the monsters invading the evangelical church.  More blogs will be forthcoming based on the book, The Church: First Thirty Years.

[1] Michael Horton, Made in America, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991).  P. 16

[2] Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), p. 77.

[3] J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1923). p. 5-6.

One thought on “Blogs: The Expression of Ideas

  1. Most people don’t take time to read anything that is not conveniently put in their own little space, and they certainly won’t read it if it doesn’t conform to their way of thinking, unfortunately. Sad, but true. I love reading things that enlighten me, and challenge me; but also things that parallel my views.
    Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

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