GodBlogCon over and out
GodBlogCon has drawn to a close. My little session about emerging church blogs was a brief introduction to what the emerging church is about, and how blogging is being used to shape theology, Christian practices, and how followers of God in the way of Jesus can behave differently for the good of the world. Special thanks for subject matter expert Aaron Flores for being up front with me for the breakout session.
I think we were the only 2 emergent types in the GodBlogCon mix. Now, there were a few others who were emergent supportive or emergent friendly, including organizer Andy Jackson (who even changed his flight schedule to meet Tallskinnykiwi, who unfortunately didn’t make it). And a few more who were emergent curious. Some times I wondered if what we’re saying just plain doesn’t register. Maybe we should have stirred it up more, by throwing some bombs about being disaffected by the church, the way our buddy Will Samson did back in April at the IE21 conference – another event attended largely by traditional mainstream evangelicals.
The conversation got most interesting when we broached the topic of why there weren’t more emerging church bloggers at GodBlogCon, if blogging is such a significant catalyst for the forming of emerging church theology and practices. I made a mention of things I’ve heard about: the registration and travel costs; some plain couldn’t afford it (time and/or money); some might have been skittish because of the location (Biola University as an institution is not known as being emerging church friendly, tho’ they have held an event to foster some dialogue about emerging church in
April May 2005, to mixed reactions), or a bit uncomfortable with the majority of the response being from politically conservative, evangelical bloggers; event being scheduled too close with the Emergent Village gathering, which happened earlier on the same week. Lots of factors, granted. I can’t speak for everyone else, I can really only speak for myself. I came. And a special treat that Rudy “urbanonramps” Carrasco stopped by for 5 minutes too!
The AP wire picked up on the GodBlogCon event, ‘God Bloggers’ Head to National Conference, and I sat in front of the lady who reported on it. Rob rightly observed that: “Most was about how to use a blog to communicate Christian thought and use it in politics if you so chose.” Joel guest-blogged his political (and theological) reaction to GodBlogCon over at Bene Diction. I can say this, since I am politically ambivalent, that panelists were careful to exhort people to blog for Kingdom sake, and not for politics sake. That’s what I saw. But I’m not politically charged or politically sensitive, and do not see all religion as politics and all politics as religion. Some do.
So what can be done differently, and what would it take? That’s the question on the blogosphere table. The organizers sincerely want to do what they can to make GodBlogCon a place where a wide range of perspectives, theological and political, can come to dialogue. Your comments welcomed.
What I find interesting is the sheer number of US bloggers that didn’t comment, didn’t post about this conference, didn’t say anything.
I find that oddly encouraging, for if nothing else it shows me that a political party is front and centre to a few, not the many.
People may have their priorities a bit straighter than I originally thought.
I have no problem with US church leaders or US political media leaders attempting to organize a group to affect culture that started before a regional conference. I agree with Joel Thomas, I don’t think there will be the organization some hope for.
I can only speak for myself. I’m not in a culture war, that concept is literally foreign to me. I’m in it, I engage.
Blogging is something we do, like you, I don’t need to make a list of whys, and I know some people feel a need to outline a world view.
I look at pictures of the earth from NASA sometimes, for the sheer joy of doing so.
It’s a great worldview.:^) What an amazing planet! I look at it and think for God so loved…
I think we can keep trying to talk to each other past borders, past labels one by one by one, and that kind of listening takes work.
I’ve really enjoyed your posts dj, thankyou.
I didn’t go or even look into it because I didn’t hear much buzz about it. If I had, I probably would have thought it sounded too introductory. I’ve been blogging since early 2003, not nearly as long as you, but still long enough that none of the “how to blog for Christian purposes” isn’t interesting to me. I also lack the time and money to go to conventions of any kind, and the Emergent Convention would have been higher on my list.
I also didn’t like the blogs of a lot of the people named as major presenters. If I’m going to spend time and money to hear from people being held up as examples, they’d better be more credible than GodBlogCon 1’s big names.
Andy Jackson, for example, seemed to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of blogging when he:
a) Sent me a bulk, unsolicited, out-of-the blue email asking me to link to his blog shortly after he launched it. Exact text of his email: “I enjoy your site. Please link”. That’s it, along with the subject line “FYI – New Resource Site & Blog – http://www.SmartChristian.com” (email 11/13/04)
b) Sub-titled SmartChristian.com “Your Christian Provider of Essential & Relevant Information”. I don’t think that’s the purpose of a blog, but rather of a big media outlet. I got the impression that if I read Andy’s blog, he would tell me what to think so I didn’t have to go to the trouble of thinking for myself.
Hugh Hewitt, another big name at GodBlogCon, has ridiculous ads in the sidebar of his blog. George W. Bush’s Omega-3 supplement? Three powerful exercises for combat conditioning? I’m supposed to trust this guy’s advice?
Now, if Rudy C. had been a presenter, along with Andrew Jones, that would have been something else entirely.
Thank you for covering GodBlogCon for the EC crowd. I wish I could have been at your breakout session.
Good to see you tonight. Is my group “emerging”? You travel enough to tell me
Hey there, I attended the Saturday sessions and during your time slot I was tossed up between the emergent blogging session and the theology blogging session. Ultimately, I attended the theology blogging session because I have had some great interaction in the past with its presenter, David Wayne from Jollyblogger.
In any case, I was definitely interested in what you had to say. I have mixed feelings about what I see going on in emergent circles. Some things are wonderful while other things seem potentially dangerous. In a lot of ways, the emergent movement reminds me in many ways of the Jesus people movement of the late 60s/early 70s (through which both my parents grew to faith). I think its something I’ll reserve judgment on until we can see where its going to end up. Anyway, sorry to miss it!
DJ, from reading your post and these comments, there appears to be a positive, unintended consequence: the “emerging church” conversation is being broadened
Andy emailed me, and I realize now that I was a bit uncharitable toward him in my earlier comment. I want to say publicly that I don’t have anything against him or Hugh, just that I was not initially impressed with their blogs when I encountered them. Most of this is probably worldview difference, since I’m coming at blogging from a postmodern & EC rather than evangelical angle.
Obviously, they have attracted huge followings, probably much larger than my blog’s, and I wish them the best.
sounds like you guys had a great time. is there going to be a similar meetup in the near future?