Why blog?

Today I received an email asking me about why I blog. I have removed the name of the person and also have edited the content slightly for the sake of brevity, “effectual grace”? Many folks are busy reading James White, or Albert Mohler, Steve Camp, Carson, Sproul, Dever, and 30 other blogs of professors/pastors/authors. Monergism even has 1000s of mp3s and articles available, as does sermonaudio.com, free RTS on itunes, etc. You post 8 paragraphs, but in a week in gets buried in an archive that most likely is not examined by people swamped in other blogs, mp3s, and materials; One guy I know has read Calvin’s Institutes 20 times through; Thus not likely to have the free time to check out your blog.

I don’t write any of that to attack you, I appreciate your material, and do visit your site about once a week; However, I’m just saying, those are the type of thoughts that paralyze me from uploading anything. I guess God can see a blog akin to a widow’s mite that never got much traffic, but was posted in love and obedience…

Thanks again for your time. Keep up the great work. I am grateful for your ministry.

I responded in this way:

You ask me why I started a new blog when there are so many others already out there. There are several reasons.

The first is, to misquote Eric Liddell, “when I write I feel God’s pleasure.” I feel called to write just as I do to preach.

Then, I write because I feel I have something to say. I leave it in God’s hands regarding the size of the audience. That is His business, not mine. If I can write something that helps even one person, then it was worth the effort.

I also feel I am saying it in simple terms so that people do not have to be top notch theologians to grasp the concepts. That is part of the feedback I often receive – people say “I always struggled with (they then name the issue or theological problem) until your article explained it (or I heard you teach on it).”

Next, I have already been a writer at reformationtheology.com (the blog of monergism.com) for over 5 years and have received sufficient positive feedback from that to feel it is worthwhile to keep going. Again, I believe God has used the writing.

Another point is that I am really not hung up about someone who reads the Institutes 20 times.. that sort of person is probably not going to be the person I am writing for. I write for the house Mom, or the teenager or guy who struggles with his faith… who would never read a huge book but would check a website and read 6-8 paragraphs on an issue. In other words, I think I know my audience and who it is I seek to influence for the glory of God.

If God is not in this, I will stop. However, in the month and a half I have been doing this blog, the audience has tripled and the feedback has been very good. Already the comments have come to me (some posted on the blog, others sent to me privately) that something I have written has helped them enormously or allowed them to understand a verse in its context for the first time. That is huge for me. I may not ever meet that person in this world, but it is heartwarming to think that one of God’s precious sheep has been nourished or helped by the little effort it took to bang away at my keyboard here.

I have no real ambition to try to challenage the Piper’s, the James White’s, the Sproul’s and Mohler’s and what not out there for some sort of web supremacy. That would be so foolish anyway. They are people I admire greatly anyway and not the enemy. I actually pray for men like this that God would make their ministries even larger than they are. They are on my side. They are on my team. They are doing a fabulous work.

I love and respect these men so much, even if I may never be close friends with them. (I know Dr. James White and he is a choice servant of God, but I recognize he is a busy man, but I count it a privilege to be his friend and to pray for his ministry regularly)… but then again, I have actually met some people who feel these guys are beyond them… hard as that may seem to be to believe… Sproul is a master communicator (in my view) but I know a number of people who can never get past the big words he uses.. I try to write with these people in view so that if I use a big theological word I immediately explain it.

If my words get burried or swamped in other blogs.. then ok.. it is not going to bother me.. but if I feel the call to do it, God has someone out there who needs to hear what I say or read what I write.. That is His business not mine.. the results are in God’s hands and I am not results driven in terms of numbers.. if I reach only a few, that is ok. I will simply seek to do my best with the gifts God has given me.

I could say the same about preaching: why preach when there are so many good preachers out there? Why preach when people can stay at home and hook up an mp3 of other greats both in our day and even in former eras?

Why? Because God made it clear I should and because He knows I have something to say. I can be a voice and not merely an echo… I am saying things in ways people can grasp.. and He knows how to help people find me… I have preached in many nations and seen God do some amazing things and never once did anyone say, “I would listen to you more, but I would rather listen to John Piper.” They listened because God sent me to them, and gave me something to say to them from His word.

Being totally honest with you, my advice to you is not to bother with a blog. I think you would be discouraged too easily (judging by the way you think) … unless God is in it the best thing to do is forget it… just being honest.

My own father (now with the Lord) was a wonderful Evangelist. After I came to know the Lord he took me aside and said, “if you can avoid the ministry – if it is at all possible, do not do it. Only enter Christian ministry if you can tell me, “Dad, I cannot do anything other than this with my life.”

That was so wise. As a teenager, I had the chance of pursuing a professional career in soccer, but laid that down to pursue a calling in God, not knowing the exact form that it would take. And now, almost three decades on, I have no regrets. His yoke is easy, His burden is light.

So brother, if there is any way you can avoid being blogger – really giving yourself to the task – then do something else with your valuable time. God will use you in other areas.

God bless _________ and thanks for writing,

John

5 thoughts on “Why blog?

  1. i have enjoyed your writing very much john, so thank you for doing so. your simple expositions have not only been a blessing to me but they are very good for using as apologetic material to introduce people to reformed theology and answer some of their questions about particular verses and themes.

  2. Let me encourage you, John. I will read James White, or Albert Mohler, Steve Camp, Carson, Sproul, Dever, or 30 other blogs of professors/pastors/authors maybe once a month.

    I read your posts daily.

  3. “Why?” is always a legitimate question; your answer to that question was excellent–and non-defensive. I scan several (too many) blogs including the names your questioner mentioned, and I have enjoyed your blogs. Keep up the good work and have a blessed Christmas!

  4. Hi John! I am writing to say that I find your blog so inspiring, uplifting, down to earth, encouraging, at times challenging, fun, and informative. Thank you so much for writing it!

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