David Alan Black on Blogging

Tim Brister —  August 21, 2007 — 7 Comments

Noted professor and scholar, David Alan Black, recently wrote a refreshing word about blogging. The overwhelming response from academia, I admit, has been quite negative towards blogging (bad thinking, bad writing, etc.), so I was pleased to hear what Dr. Black recently shared on his blog. The appropriate excerpt is provided below.

Occasionally I’ll hear some slighting remarks about “all those blogs out there that are ruining the church.” I’m amazed that anyone could have such a negative attitude toward blogging or websites in this age of cybernetics. Let me put it this way: If I publish a book it may take 5 years for 10,000 people to read it. But if I publish an essay on my website it may take a week for the same number of people to read it. And these people live in India, Ukraine, Brazil, all over the world in fact. Get the picture? And all of this for only 10 measly bucks a month. The Internet is such an incredibly effective tool for publishing that I am shocked at how few are using it effectively. My advice to you if you are a fledging scholar is to start a blog, publish it regularly (constant updating and good content are the two keys to any successful blog), and watch what it will do for your writing skills as you begin that first book project. And if I can give you any advice along way don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to “shepherd” my web audience as well.

HT :: JT

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  • While it is somewhat dated (really dated in blogosphere time), I posted a list of blogging professors last summer. Here’s the link:


  • Too bad Dr. Black’s blog doesn’t have an RSS feed!

  • What a refreshing word. Just yesterday, one of my professors complained about the blogosphere for the very reasons Black was responding to (poor writing, not very thoughtful, too much rapid response and not enough reflection, etc.). But if good writing necessarily requires a long period of time, I suppose those who embraced Guttenburg’s new technology could have registered similar complaints. I say, let’s flood the blog world with enough great content that our voices are heard.

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  • Tony,

    Not only that, but I don’t think you can hyperlink to any particular part of the blog. 🙁

    Black has some great stuff on his blog, though.


    Great to hear from you brother. I look forward to discussing church planting and other stuff in the future. I think we had the same professor (who said that blogging is bad for ________ reasons). I am really puzzled by some of the professors out there regarding the blogosphere. Maybe it is that they are reading some really bad blogs. Or, maybe it is that they are reading some really good blogs–but not good enough (for them). Either way, it poses a challenge more for them than I think it does for popular culture because no matter how good a thinker and writer you are, if you relegate yourself to elite erudites, the purpose of theological education is supplanted for secondary (at best) purposes. Sigh.

  • Dr. Black brings up a great point about blogging. We can’t throw out the baby with the bath water (okay, did I say that correctly?). Yes, there are many, many badly written blogs. But, there are quite a few blogs written by men and women who pay attention to detail and quality when writing. Thanks for this post.

  • That’s right Danny. It’s a medium that can be greatly used and greatly abused (just like telephone, television, radio, printing press, etc.). The blogosphere requires just as much discernment between clicks on the mouse as one does with the clicks on the television remote. Hopefully the programming here is substantive and done in a spirit of excellence (at least that is my intention).