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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

I am still trying to figure out what my role is here at Elect Exiles. As many of you know, for the last year and a half I have been writing at Christ and Pop Culture. More recently I have taken on a larger role there as an editor. On a personal note, I think CaPC has benefited my writing tremendously due to being surrounded by an active community of writers and taking on the added challenge of editing. I grew weary of the random nature of my posts here at Elect Exiles and needed a more challenging and creative platform on which to write. CaPC has proved a fertile ground for such endeavors. Even more recently, I have begun writing a monthly column on Christianity, culture, and videogames for Relevant Magazine. This project has been incredibly rewarding as I believe the world of videogames is a pretty massive field that Christians are failing to adequately discuss, criticize, and interact with. These writing and editing endeavors along with being a husband, pastor, and soccer coach, have left me with little to no time to spend here at Elect Exiles.

At one point Elect Exiles was a fairly well read blog–at least in the sense that we had a number of subscribers, a regular rotation of weekly posts, active contributors, significant weekly hits, and the occasional article that blew up and spawned a lively discussion. However, life got busy for our other writers and eventually I was more or less the only active writer with Kevin Schaub posting the ocassional article.

So where does that leave Elect Exiles now? I have often thought about starting an entirely new blog where I write mostly personal things about life, marriage, family, ministry in the local church, and the like–things that don’t require extensive research and/or multiple drafts. However, most blogs die almost overnight it seems and I don’t see the point in starting something new when I have a blog I could resuscitate. Maybe I should let go of EE–it at least had a handful of productive years. And yet I haven’t been able to shut EE down, I feel like I still have something to say here.

For now my intention is to at least post a couple articles a week here. They will likely be personal rather than professional and reflective rather than academic. I know I have made commitments to this blog many times that I have failed to keep, so I am not making any promises but I do want a place to share what is going on in my life, my family, my church, and occasionally expound on my writing endeavors. Google+ may prove to be a better place for such endeavors but for now neither Facebook nor Twitter is sufficient for what I want to do, so I am going to try to pick EE back up.

So that is the tentative plan. Maybe Kevin Schaub will join in too and share his experiences–it was his blog in the beginning. Who knows maybe Tyler Whitman will resurrect his presence here as well–I can only hope so because blogging with Kevin and Tyler was a tremendous privilege. With that said, sometime this week–hopefully tomorrow, I plan to post a reflective piece on the birth of my daughter, Evelyn Jane Dixon, who was born last week and is precious!

I hope what I write here profits you but if not just remember the internet is a really big place ;)

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If there is anyone still reading this blog, you might want to know that I am now a regular contributing blogger at Christ and Pop Culture.  I WILL try to keep blogging here, I know I have been pretty sporadic and if you are still reading my stuff here–thank you!

Christ and Pop Culture is a very unique blog and I am looking forward to contributing over there.  They are one of the few sites that engages pop culture from a thoroughly biblical standpoint.  They are careful with but not fearful of pop culture and I find that encouraging.  You can find book, movie, television, and even video game reviews there alongside political and cultural commentary.  In addition, at CAPC, there is a cool section called “Of the Moment” where contributors post links to various things they have been reading–so I will be posting various things I come across pretty regularly.  Definitely check it out.

I will likely write an article there once a week or so, which will give me time to keep posting a few times a week here (I know I haven’t done that lately, but it is within the realm of possibility).  I tend to write ridiculously long posts–I plan to work on that so that I can actually keep this blog going.  In fact, I think that is why my blogging dropped off, because when you try to write big, expansive, far-reaching posts like I tend to, it can become a little overwhelming to keep that up regularly. So I am going to try to start writing shorter posts, hopefully that will make this blog more accessible.

I do have some plans to write some new posts on divorce and remarriage that will be pretty thorough–I have recently rethought my position on that issue and my old posts are still on the blog and frankly need correcting.  I have rambled on enough.  Here are some links to what I have written so far at CAPC:

My latest article is a review of Denzel Washington’s post-apocalyptic Bible-protecting action movie, Book of Eli.

I also wrote an article on the Sabbath and pop culture.

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Blogging can be a difficult arena to proclaim the truth. Since there are so many bloggers, I believe every Christian blogger should thoughtfully consider why they should blog, whether they are adding anything profitable to what is being said, and whether what they say honors the gospel and brings glory to Christ.

When that happens, there are times that truth must be defended. If someone publicly defames Christ, there may come a time when they are publicly denounced. That is where every child of God must approach the confrontation with sincerity, humility, and a renewed mind. Anytime the flesh steps in, it is time to take a break, consider deleting a post, posting a contraction or apology, and then turning toward God out of a heart and desire for repentance. If there is no qualification to teach, then that blogger should reconsider the specific nature and purpose of their blog.

At times, Paul had to defend his ministry because of false teachers, and so did Timothy. So, where there are false accusations, stand firm for the truth. Where there is need for better communication, listen and speak diligently to the truth. Where there is need for repentance, confess your sin first to God, and then to those you have wronged so that you might be healed. Consider writing personal resolutions pertaining to your blogging and read over them weekly so that you do not stray from that which you have endeavored to do.

Blogging can be a helpful medium for the proclamation of the gospel, and we need shining lights among the dark and dreary landscape of blogging that too often screams against the truth and the gospel. Commit to pray before you blog. Commit to study before you blog, and if a time comes that you write something that stirs controversy because of truth, do not let anyone hijack your blog in order to snuff out that truth!

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Those two words may seem to be antonyms to you. Sometimes they seem that way to me. Blogs are the place where writers can tell the world exactly what they think about any given issue and we (the writers/bloggers) get to set the agenda. I don’t know if you know this but most of us have these little nifty tools in our blogs called “blog stats.” Seriously, I can tell you how many people read my blog yesterday and the day before and the day before that! I can tell you exactly how many people read my post on whether the Apostle Paul would play Playstation 3 yesterday. I can tell you what my most popular article is and I can tell you where most of my traffic is coming from.

My hope in starting this blog was to encourage Christians to live as “elect exiles” (1 Peter 1:1) in this lost world. In other words, when I started EE with Tyler and Kevin–I wanted to strive for EE to be centered around the gospel. I think in many ways that is true of EE, I especially tend to think that is the case with Tyler and Kevin’s posts. I think as I grow in my understanding of the gospel, my humility ought to grow as well. The gospel is after all the good news that Jesus, the King of the universe, chose the most humiliating path possible in order to reconcile us to God (Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:20-23). So if this blog is truly centered around the gospel–its posts ought to be seasoned with humility.

I think its easy for bloggers to fall into the pit of making their blog all about themselves. We staunchly defend our posts in the comment meta, we see the kind of hits that controversial posts get and so we decide to post more and more controversial things. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to controversy, sometimes we need to be controversial for the sake of Christ–He didn’t shy away from controversy, in fact you could say Christ willing stepped into controversy to pay for our sin! That said, controversy for the sake of controversy is pride.

Yesterday I wrote a long and detailed post about why my wife and I will not be celebrating Santa Clause (in typical way) when we have Children. I have now deleted that post. I stand by everything that I said in that post and would be glad to tell you why, but I am not sure I posted it with an attitude of humility–in fact if I am completely honest, I would admit that I knew that the post would probably generate a lot of hits because it was controversial. Controversy for the sake of blog hits is definitely pride. So upon the Lord’s conviction, I decided it best to just delete the post.

Deleting the post had nothing to do with those who commented on here or on the RSS Feed that was posted to Facebook. I deleted the post because I sensed pride in my own heart that needed to be put to death–my conscience before the Lord was the motivation for deleting it. I also failed to think carefully about the number of well-meaning Christians who do celebrate Santa Clause in their homes. I think the issue of Santa Clause needs to be thought about carefully by Christians, but I don’t want to be the kind of pastor who makes people feel like they have to get on board my ship when they are not yet ready. There are things that people need to get on board with me on (i.e. that Jesus is the Son of God who died on a cross and was raised on the third day) but the conviction not to celebrate Santa Clause is not one of them.

I still hold to the arguments I made in that post, but I asked myself whether my purpose in writing was more to encourage other believers or to prove myself right–I couldn’t honestly answer that question and that drove me to delete the post.

I want EE to be firmly centered on the glory of Christ and the good of His bride, the Church. Just because my arguments may be sound doesn’t mean that my motives are. That said, I confess that my motives were not centered on the glory of God and the good of His Church yesterday, and I hope you understand my decision to delete the post. Thank you to all who commented. If anyone would like to read it, feel free to post a comment here and I will gladly send it to you via email (when you comment, only no one other than me can see your email address).
Finally, a word to you, the reader: If you ever sense pride in my blogging–feel free to let me know. One of the great things about blogs is that you can leave comments. I am incredibly appreciative ANYTIME someone leaves me a comment, even if they completely disagree with me, because that says they took the time to read something that I wrote. So please feel free to comment and feel free disagree with me–I could even be wrong! When you comment, it keeps me on my toes and helps me think and at times even convicts me of something, or helps me see where I went astray. Your commenting makes blogging fun and sharpens my thinking, I will do my best to make sure that what I am posting is written in humility, with a desire to see God glorified and the body of Christ edified. None of my posts will ever be perfect–though I hope they will be seasoned with humility, they will also at times be seasoned with my sin-nature.

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Elect Exiles is nearly 6 months old, so I thought I would highlight some of our more popular/interesting articles for those who may be new to our blog! Also, don’t forget to check out our Church History Quiz competition. You could win a free book.

More than anything else we hope make much of our Lord Jesus Christ in these articles by digging into the Scriptures as well as addressing issues of cultural importance from a biblically informed worldview in the process.

  1. There Will be Blood and Postmodernism :: An informed commentary on the Academy Award winning movie from a Christian perspective. We have also published a post about the movie Atonement.
  2. Christ’s Righteousness, Not Our Own Pt. 2 :: A popular post on the gospel, how we are saved and how Christ’s death atones for those who believe.
  3. The Purpose of God in Salvation :: An exposition of Ephesians 2:8-10 hitting on some crucial issues that people often miss in this oft quoted text . . .
  4. Reconciled to Christ Part 1: The TRUE Secret :: This is our most popular article. It debunks the worldview presented in the best selling book The Secret (endorsed by Oprah) and sets forth the true purpose for which you and I exist.
  5. Miller Lite :: An honest and critical, but fair review of Donald Miller’s popular book, Blue Like Jazz.
  6. Abortion’s Shades of Gray? :: Is abortion really a black and white issue or are there various shades of gray?
  7. We also have articles on Spiritual Gifts (4), Cosmetic Surgery, Slavery and the New Testament (3), Leadership in the Local Church, Spanking, and Divorce and Remarriage (2 posts and more to come).

Well, these are a little sampling of what we have put together here at EE. I hope you continue to visit our blog and are encouraged to boast more of the cross of Jesus Christ!

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If you don’t know yet, that crazy guy Tony Kummer over at Said at Southern, has come up with a blogging tournament of sorts, he is calling it Said at Southern Blog Madness. Tony chose what he saw as the best 30 blogs as of late and had people vote for their favorites. I was honestly surprised that Elect Exiles made the list. This is kind of ridiculous, but the tournament is set up by regions and each of the blogs were seeded just like the NCAA Basketball Tournament that is going on right now.

Somehow, Elect Exiles made it to the second round of the tournament, but now we are up against some pretty stiff competition (two great blogs in particular: Kingdom People and Christ and Pop Culture). So if you would like to make Elect Exiles a Cinderella story in the blog madness, head on over to Said at Southern and vote for our blog. You can follow the link above; we are in the West Division!

Honestly this competition is pretty silly and I have no hope that we can make it further than we have already. But, if we give a decent showing, there is the possibility more people will be turned on to our blog and I really think that there are some great things being addressed here and I hope that more people are blessed by the articles found here.

So if this blog has encouraged you to glory more in Christ or has challenged you to think more biblically on a given issue, please by all means vote for us in the Said at Southern Blog Madness!

At some point this week, I will try to link to our most popular posts as well as some of my personal favorites.

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