This has been a very difficult week for me, mainly because it has just been so busy. But busy in a way that leaves little capacity for me to really think through posting a blog. Besides work and school I have also picked up 10 clients that I counsel each week so my ability to “meditate” properly on issues has been somewhat diminished these last couple of weeks, but I hope that with more practice I can better manage my mental, emotional and intellectual functioning. But what this week has done for me, is to bring to a collision my “obsession” with blogging and my inability to sometimes post a blog though I so desire to.
I am a big fan of online technology and am a proponent of blogging whenever I can be. I led a workshop last October at GodBlogCon at Biola on blogging and college students, and this August, I will be moderating a couple of discussions for some prominent theologians, along with other bloggers, at GodBlog Conference 2006. So anything I can do with blogging I do, and I am looking forward to being a part of the launching of a new blog site soon. So I think you get the picture. I love to blog, and when I don’t post something, at least five times a week, then I start to feel a little down, or like I’m failing in my area.
So I have just been re-thinking a lot the purpose of my blog. Have I gotten away from what I want to do? What is my intended audience? Am I too obsessed with traffic and linking? All of these things sometimes compel me to blog when I wonder if I have anything good to say. But that’s the good thing about linking. When I have nothing good to say, I just link those of you who have good things to say.
Blogging is definitely a part of my own job description as the college director and I am working hard on getting some of the other pastors to blog….I think I have almost convinced them how important it is. But with blogging as essential as it is to ministry now, how do we balance our lives and ministries in such a way so that we reap the benefits of blogging (communication, connecting, information, etc.) without succumbing to some of it’s failings (inauthenticity, dual personalities, exchanging human relationships for online ones, etc.)? This is the question I am pondering right now.
I have recently been thinking about this guy, and more specifically his book, The Technological Society, which is quite frightening when you consider it was written and translated in the 50’s and 60’s. Talk about prophetic to the issues facing us now, especially with the emergence of online communities and blogging. Ellul says,
Modern technology has become a total phenomenon
for civilization, the defining force of a new social
order in which efficiency is no longer an option but
a necessity imposed on all human activity.
So with the necessity of efficiency imposed upon us with technology, how do we make best use of it? How do we use it effectively without allowing it to impose upon us at all, but rather us using it when we want? Is there a time and place, especially in ministry and the spiritual life where efficiency is a detriment to who we are and want to be, and what we are trying to do?
Ellul and others are causing me to pause and think about the way I have sometimes allowed technology to dominate my life and impose its own demands upon me. So how do I as a Christian and pastor and husband and friend, use blogging technology to my benefit while not allowing it to control me, or make me feel down because I haven’t posted in a day or two? How do I make blogging and the use of technology a spiritual discipline in my life, rather than something that distracts?
Just some questions I am thinking and pondering right now.
In the modern world, the most dangerous form of determinism is the technological phenomenon. It is not a question of getting rid of it, but, by an act of freedom, of transcending it. How is this to be done? I do not yet know. That is why this book is an appeal to the individual’s sense of responsibility. The first step in the quest, the first act of freedom, is to become aware of the necessity. The very fact that man can see, measure, and analyze the determinisms that press on him mean that he can face them and, by so doing, act as a free man. If man were to say: “These are not necessities; I am free because of technique, or despite technique,” this would prove that he is totally determined. However, by grasping the real nature of the technological phenomenon, and the extent to which it is robbing him of freedom, he confronts the blind mechanisms as a conscious being. At the beginning of this foreword I stated that this book has a purpose. That purpose is to arouse the reader to an awareness of technological necessity and what it means. It is a call to the sleeper to awake.
(Excerpt from The Technological Bluff, published in 1990, which is an expanded, re-write of The Technological Society)