Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cur hic bloggus (Why this blog)

(Apologies to Anselm [Cur Deus Homo?], and thanks to RT for Latin-help)

From time to time, when I tip one of their most-sacred cows, I've had drive-by's snipe that this or that post has nothing to do with "Biblical Christianity." Without exception, I point them to the purpose-statement which has been there from the start; without exception, they do not admit their error.
Which — just pause and relish that for a second with me, Dear Reader. My blog, conceived by me, defined by me, executed by me. Yet (A) drive-bys feel qualified to tell me "You're doing it wrong!"; and (B) when I point out the mission-statement that I myself wrote, they never, ever simply say, "My bad, sorry." Does this give you a clue as to why I don't pour my days and nights into making trolls happy with me (Proverbs 9:7-8a)? But, I digress.
So I thought it might be useful to supplement the sidebar with a Whole Danged Post.

Simple, blunt statement:
the purpose of this blog is
to tell people what I, a Biblical Christian, think about things.

Hence the name.

Now a breakdown, in affirmations and denials:
  1. This blog, by stated design, is eclectic. I think I use that word about forty-seven times in the purpose-statement. Maybe the snipers won't look it up? Well, here y'go: eclectic means "selecting or choosing from various sources," "made up of what is selected from different sources." It works like this: the subject-matter of my life is eclectic, but it has a unifying theme. As a Christian, I am ever in the process of taking my major premise ("Jesus is Lord) and working out the implications. Those implications involve everything. (Tip: that's why they call it a worldview.) So I may talk about Bible, church, prayer, politics, culture, movies, food, fishing, music, cats. Everywhere I go, I'm a Christian. I see the world from that perspective. These are my thoughts, as a Biblical Christian, about things. And miracle of miracles, some people (God love 'em!) want to read some of those thoughts.(BTW, specifically, the blog-name also echoes the name of my low-tech web page.)
  2. Nobody has to read this blog. Well, except my poor, dear wife. (And even she doesn't really have to.) So if you read it, that's pretty much your choice, and you get it for free — at least in the sense of no cost to you.
    This, by the way, always what amazes me about bitter nature of some complaints I/we get here and at Pyro. Folks often voice their disapproval in such demanding, outraged tones. I invariably want to encourage people to request a refund of their admission-price at the door.
    So, the way I see it: no one has to come here, no one pays for it... so no one gets to keep coming back again and again screaming and whinging because my daring to exist in public makes them feel bad. Then don't come.

  3. This blog is primarily about what I think and/or observe. It isn't primarily about what you think. That is what your blog is about... unless your blog is meant to be Open Mike Friday FOREVER. In that case, I'd say, give it that name: Open-Mike Friday FOREVER. Or call it "Bobby," or "Pumpernickel." That's your affair. Like this is mine.
  4. The metas enable a goal-oriented, moderated discussion where readers can have a constructive conversation. At first, I had no meta. Then I hesitantly opened up for comments. Here's the framework: the Biblical Christianity meta is like a meeting I hold at my house, featuring a brief talk and then a discussion among welcome guests, who come because they want to. I called the meeting for a purpose, and the conversation is meant to further that purpose. So I lead the conversation. It's fairly open, but it's not a group-grope. I'm deathly opposed to disruptors. Permit, if you will, an...
  5. Illustration. Imagine that there's been an hourlong presentation of the deity of Christ. A case is carefully built from Old and New Testament. All the folks who listened are discussing it, working out the implications, asking questions and discussing challenges.
    Then someone who came in five minutes before the end of the talk pipes up loudly, "Yeah, but Jesus can't be God, because that'd make two gods, he just said he was a teacher, and the Illuminati actually controlled Chalcedon. I wrote a book on that. Here, it costs $15. Who wants my book?"
    So, everyone except Bud Arian came to hear the talk, listened to the talk, and are now discussing the talk. Should they all have to forget moving ahead, building, growing, discussing, so that they can accommodate some arrogant ignoramus who isn't really willing to learn anything, anyway? For some blogs, the answer evidently is "Yes." That's their right. You like that? Go there. For this blog, the answer would be "No." Further...

  6. This is not an argument-clinic. A bit of history may shed light, here. I started using in "The Internets" as a tool to witness and edify and communicate back around 1990, not long after Algore invented it, and when some of you were in diapers. Countless times I've seen Bible-believers' constructive, would-be purposeful conversations derailed by arrogant trolls, heretics, apostates, and/or berserkers. I actually had to shut down one message board because a very troubled, obsessive troll posted one-and-two-letter posts until he had erased everyone else's posts. Well, nothing like that is going to happen here. Specifically...
  7. This blog does not exist to provide therapy for folks who don't want help. They keep trying, though, with all the energy of the pathologically obsessed. We've had (and still have) poor souls who can't rest until they silence or wear out everyone who makes them feel bad about their maladjustment. They can't find rest, knowing that dissent still thrives, somewhere, on the internet. In every comment, they display contempt for the blog's mission, and anyone who shares or promotes it.
    So why do they come, and return again and again? A good topic for a doctoral dissertation in abnormal psychology, perhaps; but not our purpose. And so...
  8. This blog is not about re-inventing the wheel for trolls. I probably was actually too patient about that during October, as one or two kept coming in and doing that thing they do with their keyboards — having clearly only skimmed the post on which they ostensibly were commenting, if they even did that much. So, for instance, in the meta of a post containing a number of links detailing what a remarkable, breath-of-fresh-air Godsend Sarah Palin was, they'd recite the MSM/DNC's meme about what an unqualified, idiotic inept she was. I guess they saw the words "Sarah Palin," thought, "Oh, I know about her. She's an idiot. Let's see, where do I say that...?"— and made that comment. Because, you know, there aren't nearly enough outlets offering that viewpoint. Well, besides CBSABCMSNBCCNNPBS and most of The Timeses and Postses. And so once again...
  9. There are limitless blogs allowing endless arguments; this is not one of them. I'll be specific. If you want to argue forever, try Triablogue. I don't know what those good brothers do for a living, but evidently they have endless time for endless arguments. God bless 'em, I say! And that isn't me. I have a totally-unrelated fulltime job, and squeeze my blogging in when I can. Thank God, my job lets me do that, at present.
    But I don't have time to do lazy people's research for them, to supplement the lacunae of their Government Reeducation Camp years; nor do I have time to do The Endless Waltz with trolls simply to feed their personal issues.
    Or, do you want to mock and shout down your betters, in Biblical understanding? Try Between Two Worlds. Justin Taylor — I say with heartfelt sincerity — provides some of the most jaw-droppingly excellent material on the internet... but he has a very laissez-faire approach to his meta. Why? No clue. That's Justin's business! The result of such an approach can be that many grown-ups stop bothering to comment or engage. That won't happen here, however.
Now, you know all that.

And now, I can just link here every time someone objects because my purpose doesn't dovetail with his purpose.

Not that a troll will listen.

37 comments:

Matt J Cwanek said...

Can trolls even read? ;-)

DJP said...

They can read "Post a comment." Beyond that--?

chrish said...

I disagree with everything you've said, and demand an apology! Further, you're not nearly as charitable as I am, and need to apologise about that too. Additionally, stop being so paranoid about the media biases, or go live in the woods with a Bible and a trust dog...

Finally, I'm kidding. :) I don't get the traffic you do, so I don't have trolls to worry about. One would think, "This is my blog," would be pretty much the only argument you'd need to make, but...

DJP said...

In a relatively sane world, yes.

But in the world that just adoringly anointed an empty suit with a one-page (double-spaced!) resume and a passion for abortion as the Messiah....

PS - "trust dog"?

chrish said...

Trust dog. You haven't heard of one of those? Sheesh!

Okay, so I forgot the "y" in "trusty." :)

eastendjim said...

"That's not an argument. That's just contradiction." "No it isn't." "Yes it is." "No it isn't." "Yes it..." A picture is worth a thousand words.

I enjoy reading your free blog every day and I always get my money's worth. :o)

But seriously. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog and your posts over at Team Pyro as well. Your online presence has been a blessing to my walk with Christ.

Steve Lamm said...

Dan,

The rules for the meta both here and at Pyro keep both blogs on my very short list of sites worth reading. In fact, I check here and at Pyro almost daily to see what's been posted.

I've had quit reading several blogs which allow a free-for-all in their metas because it's usually not long until the subject of the post is completely lost. Here the comments are usually thoughtful and worth reading.

So, thanks brother for taking the time to run a disciplined blog that I can confidently recommend to my colleagues and church members. May its readership grow.

Blessings,
Steve Lamm

Terry Rayburn said...

Dan,

O.K. smartypants, what do you think of Picasso's "The Old Guitarist", from his "Blue Period", huh? Huh?

You...you...creative renaissance people are all alike!

The Art Troll

DJP said...

Hm. It's actually probably the loveliest Picasso I've ever seen...

...which is very relative praise!

VcdeChagn said...

I don't get the traffic you do, so I don't have trolls to worry about.

Just post something about Rick Warren or Richard Abanes...you'll get some...

I also prefer tightly moderated to free for all. I used to be a moderator on a large Ford Mustang board, so understand trolls as well as they can be understood.


But in the world that just adoringly anointed an empty suit with a one-page (double-spaced!) resume and a passion for abortion as the Messiah....


Can you derail your own meta :)

DJP said...

1. LOL

2. By definition, No.

DJP said...

Steve and VC — to flog my own example a bit further:

In an unmoderated, or barely-moderated blog, it's like the illustration of the talk about Christ's deity. The host gives the hour-long lecture, then opens up for discussion. The guests are discussing, asking questions, facing challenges, reflecting...

...then the disruptors come in, start shouting down the folks who were there, abusing them, "grabbing the mike," totally destroying the conversation that the participants had been enjoying...

...and the host just sits there impassively.

He lets the good folks who are trying to learn and grow and enjoy fellowship get beat up. He invited them. He invited them to chat. But he's letting them be abused and shouted down.

He has the power to stop it, but, like Gallio, "[pays] no attention to any of this" (Acts 18:10).

So really, to me, it's three things:

1. I won't deny that I moderate because I want to and think it's right; but even more

2. There's something I want to communicate, the obsessives I have in mind will never stop gainsaying and derailing unless I stop them; but beyond that

3. It's just being a good host to the good folks who come because they want to learn and give and fellowship and grow.

NoLongerBlind said...

Mister Dan,

HSATYD, and, FWIW, your ecclectical approach from a God and Christ-exalting perspective has been a blessing in my life.

Thank-you!

reallyrobins said...

Dan - I don't get many trolls on my site. As VcdeChagn said, I don't get much traffic.

The few trolls I have had I've probably spent way more time on than I should - but not arguing with them. I just go back, re-cite any links to statistics they have ignored, and thank them for their opinion; telling them I hope they are feeling better soon. (stay-at-home, homeschooling mom here!!)

I pray the trolls never get you to a point you decide blogging isn't worth the effort. Not only do I enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions, I would possibly be willing to pay for them... and I'm a cheapskate!!

I'm just saying...

DJP said...

That's very sweet, and I appreciate it a lot. Thank you both.

threegirldad said...

Let me just say, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" for refusing to tolerate the blogosphere equivalent of someone inviting himself over to your house, wiping his muddy shoes on the freshly-cleaned carpet, and complaining about what is (or isn't) in the fridge.

Jon said...

Oh man, keep it up! You've got the art of being serious, but also giving enough satire to not depress us out of our minds. Especially with our silly little president-elect we now have to deal with.

I just saw this book by Doug Wilson, "A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking" and it reminded me of this blog and of course Pyro's.

Daniel said...

This blog does not exist to provide therapy for folks who don't want help

That is pure poetry. Apples of gold my friend, apples of gold.

steve said...

I'm offended! I demand reparations!

If you don't repay me for the pain and suffering you've inflicted, I'll report you to Pres. Obama!

chrish said...

@Steve:

I tried that. DJP is too calloused a heart to listen. All this higher standard of truthiness he holds to...

The IBEX Scribe said...

Maybe the trolls are all chartered accountants who want to be bloggers instead.

CR said...

What, pray tell, has possessed you to think you have the right to have a blog and tell people what you think about things and deny others to say what they want to say. The raiz de ton (sp?) [reason for your blog's existence] is so people say what they want, when they want.

The unmitigated gall...

Rachael Starke said...

CR,

Well, technically it's raison d'etre, but my favorite English Prof used to say "raisin deeter".

Ahh yes, mangled Latin and French. We're an eddykated bunch.

DJP said...

We mangle only the best languages at BibChr, Rachael.

DJP said...

For those keeping score at home, Steve (above) is one of the tireless Triabloggers.

RT said...

Your willful and contumacious refusal to recognize my absolute right to comment freely leaves me no choice but to file a lawsuit against you for infringement of my civil rights!

How quickly do privileges and opportunities magically transform themselves into "rights" in our entitlement-driven society. Before long your use of the internet for a blog will be contingent upon your "fairness" as defined, of course, by our ever-pervasive government. Wait and see. Frankly the will is already there - only the competent control of the technology is lacking.

In the meantime your willful denial of (un)civil rights to trolls is sincerely appreciated.

DJP said...

I don't deny ever having been contumacious before.

Only that it has ever been pointed out.

And for that, I thank you.

CR said...

Rachael,

At least I could pronounce it correctly. :=)

One Salient Oversight said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilbert said...

"They can read 'Post a comment.' Beyond that--?"

As judging by the above---to quote a DJPism(r)--notsomuch(tm).

Rabbit said...

Bravo, Dan. Thank you for your uncompromising stand for truth and for not allowing your metas to go off the exit ramp into oblivion. It's the reason I visit here and Pyros daily - I learn like crazy, and I'm enormously grateful for the gift you provide us.

And dude - you are the first person I've ever known who can use the word "lacunae" in a sentence outside of my Anatomy/Physiology class.

DJP said...

Gilbert, it isn't a happy thing, but for years I've been blessed with detractors who - with none of the wisdom of self-awareness - repeatedly underscore everything I say.

Rabbit - LOL. Thanks; non-pedestrian word choice can make for a tasty garnish. (Or distracting frippery.)

candy said...

Vcd: Rick Warren and Richard Abanes are SO yesterday.

threegirldad said...

French is one of "the best languages"?!?!

[head explodes]

;-)

Kyle said...

Only one quibble - Blog is obviously feminine. So - blogga, not bloggus.

:)

DJP said...

I must say, 3GD... you have a point.

Though my daughter, with her newly-minted Master's in French, might demur.

DJP said...

Not my blog, Kyle.

(c;