This essay by Carl Trueman is travelling like wildfire around the Christian blogging community, and with good reason. It’s a scathing critique of the profligate self-promotion that goes on in the Christian blogging community:
Let’s stop there a minute. This is madness. Is this where we have come to, with our Christian use of the web? Men who make careers in part out of bashing the complacency and arrogance of those with whose theology they disagree, yet who applaud themselves on blogs and twitters they have built solely for their own deification? Young men who are so humbled by flattering references that they just have to spread the word of their contribution all over the web like some dodgy rash they picked up in the tropics? And established writers who are so insecure that they feel the need to direct others to places where they are puffed and pushed as the next big thing? I repeat: this is madness, stark staring, conceited, smug, self-glorifying madness of the most pike-staffingly obvious and shameful variety.
As one of those younger bloggers, I particularly felt the sting of Trueman’s critique. Toiling in obscurity is difficult, and it’s tempting to get through that period quickly so that one can claim to have an audience. But the merits of obscurity shouldn’t be overlooked—I wrote a number of bad posts in my early days that went largely unnoticed, which makes me thankful that I had the opportunity to work out many ideas in relative anonymity.
But what strikes me more is that we had to wait for Trueman to say this.
I suspect if there was more intra-blogger accountability for such matters, Trueman’s critique would be less relevant and forceful. I have been enormously grateful for Joe, who has graciously given of his own time to read posts beforehand to make sure I didn’t sin in the publishing of them. But I suspect this sort of collaboration and accountability ‘behind the scenes’ does not happen nearly as much as it should.
Either way, read it all. It is a timely and convicting word.