To blog or not to blog . . . Is that a question?

I’ve been asked to write a blog.   Well . . . more precisely I’ve been asked to contribute to a blog . . . just one of several writers.  So one of my first thoughts was . . . “I need to know what a blog is, before I try to blog on a blog.”  Am I being asked to write a blog (noun) or am I being asked to write a B.L.O.G. (an acronym)??  Obviously, I’m ill-acquainted with blogs.

Consequently, one of my first steps in preparing for this process has been checking a few dictionaries for their definitions of blog.  It seems that blog actually is a noun (and at times a verb) and not an acronym for something longer.  A representative definition goes something like this — “a journal or diary written for public viewing on a website and consisting typically of personal reflections, commentary on current events, etc. arranged chronologically.”

I wasn’t sure that a dictionary definition was dynamic enough to provide a realistic, 3D idea of what a blog or B.L.O.G. is . . . so I decided as a second step of preparation that I should visit a few blogs.  Check them out.  Survey characteristics. Get a feel for it.  And so forth.  So I visited a statistically insignificant number of blogs.  A few done by friends and acquaintances and a couple that I’ve hear mentioned in varying tones with varying degrees of acceptance.

The blogs that I checked cover a wide range.  One has a picture of scenery, Bible verses, and rejoicing over God’s greatness and blessings.  One comments on Bible verses and themes, as well as, on church issues.  One comments on current events with personal observations, comments, experiences, remembrances, etc. – a self-proclaimed curmudgeon.  One is a hodge-podge (sort of like cacophony for those of you who are unfamiliar with hodge-podge)of criticisms, calmness, and comments.  Some are large and complex.  Some are individual and brief.  Some come out daily, some weekly, some occasionally, and some are constantly being augmented.

My impression is that blog is a very plastic term and that covers a wide spectrum.  Perhaps the B.L.O.G. acronym actually does fit well.  They seem to go from Blowing Lots of Gas (as in hot air!) to Believers Living Out Godliness.  At one end I found those who sit in the dark and yell (a definition of critic that I heard years ago . . . ooops! let’s make that decades ago) and at the other end I found those who attempt graciously to answer honest questions about God’s Word and church.  But then again I looked at a statistically insignificant number of blogs, a limited number of times, on one day—perhaps not the best measure of any one blog or blogs collectively.

My take on blogs:

  1. They are personal.  These are the author’s thoughts, reactions, feelings, etc.  They are the author’s dairy of life.
  2. They are conversational and not academic.  No need for citations and footnotes.  Assertions, feelings, ideas, reactions . . . about anything goes.
  3. Their scope is seemingly unlimited.  Some boundaries are set by the design or intention of the author.  Others are set by the events of the day.  Others set by what the author can critique or criticize (yes, there is a difference between the two).  Some boundaries, as frightening as it actually is, are set by the spontaneous ramblings of the human mind.
  4. I’m sure there are more characteristics to mention, but I’m already way beyond the number of words I’m supposed to use, so I need to move along.

My conclusion:

What I’m being asked to do in contributing to this blog is to share some of my personal wanderings and wonderings on a somewhat regular basis.  My intention is to write in the Believers Living Out Godliness end of the B.L.O.G. spectrum.  However, if and when you should think that I’ve journeyed to the other end, please either forgive me or take a look in the mirror because you may just be taking this a whole lot more seriously than I am.

God bless.

Chuck McLain

About Charles McLain
I am Chair and Professor of Old Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

4 Responses to To blog or not to blog . . . Is that a question?

  1. John Banks says:


  2. Chris says:

    My vote is…BLOG. For the very reason that your wanderings and wonderings are more coherent and practical than most. Much like ‘Your Roving Reporter”! I would consider that good company.

  3. Kurt says:

    Well, I’m certainly looking forward to more of your blogs. Maybe you could re-explain the jussive to those of us who have been out of seminary for a while.

  4. samuel Dinenna says:

    Yes Blog..we love Dr. Van’s cogitations…he has been blogging for years!

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