Monday, May 14, 2007

The End of The Constructive Curmudgeon Blog?

I am seriously considering shutting down this blog for numerous reasons. I really have little idea how much good or harm it does. It may do more harm than good. How can one know? People have counseled me to pull back. Perhaps pulling the plug is better. Heaven knows I have other things I could be doing--perhaps more worthwhile things.

This is not a trick to elicit praise or otherwise. What do you think?

48 comments:

Patrick Chan said...

Personally, I'd hate to see it go. To say the least, it's been quite an education for me to read your blog, Dr. G.

Then again, I understand if your priorities have changed, and you believe you could better extend the kingdom in other pursuits. I understand this is one reason, for example, why Don Carson does not blog: he feels there's a dozen more things he could do for the kingdom, and which would last longer, than blogging (e.g. publishing a book which will still be in print well after he's passed away, which will continue to speak though he is dead, and thus edify and equip the saints -- present and future).

In any case, may the Lord bless your endeavors for him, by his grace.

Frank Walton said...

Stay and keep blogging. Christians are a part of what Joseph Farah calls the "New Media" and I think you have a lot to give to it. We are in a battle of ideas and worldviews after all. I treasure your thoughts, and I think most thinking people do as well.

Larry said...

I like it. Keep doing it.

Yossman said...

I remember finding a couple of lectures on apologetics by a certain Dr. Groothuis less than a year ago. It was during a period that I underwent a spiritual renewal which engendered a hightened interest in apologetics.

I then found out about your blog. Reading it regularly was like becoming part of a network of like-minded individuals who want to serve God with their minds.

I frequent this blog almost daily and often find posts as well as comments that are challenging, informative and enriching.

This blog might well be part of the ministry that God has given you. But whether that is true is something you have to decide. Personally I woud regret the cessation of this blog.

Andrew McNeill said...

Noooo! I love reading your blog. Please keep it going! But having said that, if you think you could channel your efforts into other activities that you think are more beneficial, I wish you every blessing in that too.

Mark said...

Count me in as a vote for you to keep on blogging! I enjoy reading your blog. I'd hate to see it gone.

Vitamin Z said...

I dig your blog, especially when you talk about jazz. Do you have Keith Jarrett's "The Cure" I just got it and the record is amazing. It's an older one, but one of the best I think. The Ray Brown Trio with Benny Green on piano is amazing as well. I have been getting into that lately.

Back to the blog... In terms of harm, I'm not sure that would be the best word for it, but sometimes I do think your tone might at times read a bit harshly. Just my take...I like your blog and link to it from time to time.

The Trousered Ape said...

I have just recently stumbled upon your blog and I stop by a couple of times a day to try and catch up on the many past posts and read other peoples comments.

It has definitely been an educational experience in ways as well as a faith building experience.

I would definitely miss it since it has become one of my daily routines, but if you believe that it is not achieving your intended purpose for having it, or you think that you can have a far greater and lasting impact in other ways, then you must do what you believe is best in helping to further God's Kingdom.

Shawn

Jon said...

I would be sad to see your blog go. Your blog is one of the reasons I began to blog recently. Also, since I am currently away from seminary, it is a way I can stay "plugged in", at least to an extent.
That being said, I have learned in my short life that there are times when I must let go of something good so that I may find something better.
But if you kept blogging, I wouldn't complain!

David said...

If you are concerned about devoting too much time to this blog, maybe you could limit your involvement to posting your books reviews, editorials, transcripts from speaking engagements, and so on. That way we can continue to be edified by your insights, while it doesn't require as much effort on your part.

I'm nearly convinced that very little is accomplished in these forums by way of substantive discussion. That is not a criticism of you, Doug. It's just the nature of the medium, I believe. So providing a forum for deep and penetrating conversation probably shouldn't be the focus.

But a blog is great for keeping readers updated on current events and providing links to other sources of interest. In short, it's very effective in disseminating information, but not so much in encouraging wisdom and understanding.

Mike said...

Don't do it...s

Tom G said...

I think you should definitely keep it going if it meets other priorities. I get a lot out of it.

I'm curious whether this might have been a Freudian slip ;-)

This is not a trick to illicit praise.

Brandy said...

Illicit praise, indeed.

My husband and I both read your blog. We like it. We think you should keep it.

Fletcher said...

I would venture to guess that a) the blog is time consuming and b) people overreact to your posts and use them to publicly scrutinize you in various areas; personal, work, or otherwise.

So therefore I can see why you would want to shut it down. However, a thinker such as yourself is serving the world by sharing your mind on a regular basis on this forum. I personally check it several times a week, if not daily when I have time. So for selfish reasons I would hate to see it go, but I would understand if you decided to pull it.

Yossman, I am going to be in Amsterdam in September for a few days (business trip). Maybe we can meet in person for some coffee?

Dr. G, if you have time, and decode to keep blogging, I have a blog topic request: The Problem of Evil. I'd like to blog with the wise Curmdgeon readers about this issue... it's been bothering me lately.

If not, ask JP Moreland to start a blog so we can pester him instead!

The Gyrovague said...

Keep it going please!! We need more Christian bloggers who network with other bloggers.

Think of it this way; A person gets to know you who lives in a different country and you can share the gospel with them, all from home. Previously a person would have to drive to Denver to see you or get to know you.

Blogs are great mediums for information. Slow down, that is fine. Dont stop.

Yossman said...

Fletcher:

We should meet. Coffee, Belgian Beer... whatever. Just get in touch through email and we'll get it organized.

See Dr. Groothuis: one more positive side effect of your blog ;-)

Jeff said...

Dr. Groothuis,

Without knowing the specific circumstances of your life and what other things you're struggling with, it's hard to give definite "go/no go" advice. However, a good rule of thumb for decisions like this is:

Are the benefits of the activity (in this case, the blog) worth the effort and worth the risks?

For example, my own blog is much lighter, and more "entertainment-ey" than some of the good Christian blogs (this one included). I feel like if I needed to quit, it wouldn't really be a big deal.

But it's a good creative outlet for me, and in my small way I'm attempting to glorify God and add to His fame. I do enjoy it.

And I have found so many good, worthwhile Christian blogs that I never knew existed. And not just seminary professors or pastors, either. I've been surprised by the quality of expression that I've encountered in the blogosphere.

So... do the benefits of blogging outweigh the problems/risks? For me, yes they do. If as you consider the issue you realize that the negative is greater, then by all means shut'er down and spend your time on better things.

Paul D. Adams said...

Perhaps the time it's taking is your responses to others' comments. Naturally, the dialectic approach is worthy in philosophy; however, maybe you could limit it to read-only and view it as a means of publishing your thoughts/news/et al. as Nigel Cameron's blog is...
http://choosingtomorrow.blogspot.com/?

This would make put less pressure on you to respond and you can pace yourself for whenever you're ready to post.

ChrisB said...

My two cents: As long as we are careful to say what we have to say with Christian love, the harm should be minimal, and maybe that "harm" was needed. If you don't stir the pot, stuff starts to burn.

As of my comment, there are almost 20 people who drop by daily for a dose of whatever you've got to say -- the size of a large upper level college class. I think a lot of good can be done with a daily audience of that size, but you've got to decide what is the best use of the time you've got.

mhertzle said...

I just started reading your blog and have received substantial benefit. I would like to see it continue, but I am not sure what your reasons for thinking twice about continuing are. Of course personal and family issues come first, but if your concern is whether people are getting a benefit or the Lord is being glorified from your from your writings, I think they are.

Hugh Williams said...

Press on, perfesser. We need Christian blogs with gravitas.

Don't take it from me. Take it from this guy:

Because apologetics is meant to be the public presentation and defense of Christianity as true, reasonable, pertinent, and knowable, apologists should attempt to offer their arguments in as many public venues as possible.

WhatIsChazaq? said...

For every believer that steps down...or fails to step up in the first place - there are plenty of naysayers, heretics and false prophets to fill the void.

Don't shut it down.

Paul said...

I'm a (philosophy) student in the UK, and a Christian, and I hadn't heard of you before I found your blog. I'm glad I did.

A blog isn't an academic journal, it's a social thing. Keep it.

FRANCIS said...

I would hope you keep this blog going. I find it very helpful in my apologetics study and ministry. However, I certainly understand that we all only have a limited amount of time and need to consider how we can make the most impact for Christ. Whatever your decision, may you continued to be blessed in your ministry.

Daniel said...

I vote to keep it up!

Johnny-Dee said...

I think you should keep the blog. I've had my moments when I thought about ending my own blog because of overreaction from critics or the raw time consumption. In the end, I still find that blogging is constructive and helpful. The internet is a dark place, and it is good to know that there are beacons of light dispelling this dark void.

You might consider putting together a "team blog" of evangelical Christian philosophers. This would take the heat off of yourself being the sole contributor and defender of your own views. (You are always welcome to join my blog, which consists of lowly evangelical Christian grad students.)

Anita Hensley said...

i wish you'd continue. i get a lot of good information from reading your blog. not very many are saying what you are saying. as for impact- this is better than a book. people can search for topics you have written about, find your blog, and find a view they might not have heard otherwise.

Gary said...

I will echo the comments of those who are encouraging you to stick around the blogsphere if you can. You are appreciated.

Zarathustra said...

I drop by on a daily basis (sometimes more often) and look forward to each new post. I would miss your presence on this blog. However,I do recognize that it takes a large committment of time and energy (that is why I have not joined the blogosphere as a contributing member). Also, I would submit that many who interact with you through this blog do not understand what it means to engage in philosophical reparte. Thus, when you challenge the beliefs and ideals that they hold dear without displaying an overwhelming concern for that individuals tender feelings, they get very upset and subsequently engage in personal attacks or qestion your "tone". Consider those folks philosophical neophytes who will eventually grow a thicker hide. Blog on.

Sam said...

I believe it has done much good for me. At the same time, I am well aware of the demands blogging can place on time.

Hugh Williams said...

Dittos to Johnny-Dee when he said:

You might consider putting together a "team blog" of evangelical Christian philosophers. This would take the heat off of yourself being the sole contributor and defender of your own views.

I daresay that might be even more edifying.

Matt Steele said...

I hope that you will continue to blog. I am a seminary student who is trying to absorb everything that I can from those who are senior to myself in the faith. I have learned greatly from you. Your blog has encouraged and edified me in my goal to be used by God.

Ken Click said...

I do hope you continue your blog. It is a joy to read your thoughts.

In Him,

Austin Storm said...

Most of your posts are good, but (with all respect) this one's awful. Why tell us that people have counseled you to scale back your blogging, and that you have 'numerous reasons' to shut down your blog without giving us any of those reasons? How are we supposed to help?

I am edified by your blog. Blogging as a medium has its benefits and drawbacks, like *any other communication medium.* One of its benefits is that if it weren't for this blog I would know you only as the person who wrote two books on the New Age Movement, and would miss out on all the wonderful things you've written here.

Jeff said...

I've benefited quite a bit from your blog. Just one example is that I'm now more likely to pick up a good (old, thick) book than turn on the TV than before I came across your blog.

Make a wise decision, but I'd like to see you continue blogging.

SK said...

Doug,
I hope you'll keep the blog. One year after launching my own, I felt burned out from writing substantial posts on a regular basis.

My solution: I added three other blogging members to lighten the load. I've notice other bloggers doing the same.

Besides, if you quit, where else am I going to find references to Kierkegaard?

Either/or, it's your call.

Ed Darrell said...

I'm puzzled by your support of intelligent design. It's academically lacking in virtue.

Pull back until you find a justification -- a Christian justification other than just appealing to one's biases or making a good dudgeon -- to support a policy that leads so many to paths of iniquity.

Singing Owl said...

If you go, I'll have to change my links.

Harm? No. Okay, I would hate to see you leave, and I hope you stay, but do what is best all around. If your time is better used elsewhere, I pray you bear much fruit for the Kingdom.

Lainie Petersen said...

I have greatly enjoyed the blog, even when I disagree with what you have written. I urge you stick with it.

danny wright said...

Kathy says she doesn't think you should stop. As a baby blogger myself, I realize it can be time consuming. May you seek and find God's will on this matter. That said it'd be sad to see you go.

BTW there are some comments about you on my blog under "Schaeffer".

Abbi said...

Whether or not you can spare the time in balance with all your many other responsibilities is a question only you can answer...

that being said, I'd love to see you continue the blog for many years to come. I love it.

Jamie said...

I realize how time consuming blogging can be, but I'd definitely miss reading. It was your blog that convinced me to start reading Francis Schaeffer, and the two of you together were a big part of what kept me from losing my mind (and my faith) in my last year of college. You are making a difference, and I'd hate to see you go.

Nick Hill said...

I really enjoy your insights, especially from an evangelical philosopher of your caliber. If possible, please continue to share your insights. May God richly bless you in your continued ministry,

Nick

Dr. Steve Cowan said...

For what it's worth, Doug, I hope you keep the blog going. I benefit much from your insights and your drawing attention to cultural happenings that I might otherwise overlook. Of course, there is much else that could be done with your time. I try to blog some myself, but other priorities prevent me from posting more than once a week or so. So, I hope you keep it going, and only cut back a bit (if at all).

Mary Lee said...

You can't stop now...I finally found your blog!!! It is very interesting to me especially since your "sabbatical" at COG. Keep it going!

Karen LH said...

Assuming that your concern is with comboxes getting out of control:

While a good blog with an active, articulate readership in the comboxes is great, it can be a source of scandal when the inevitable food fight erupts. See how these Christians love one another -- not.

If you don't have the time or inclination to monitor the comboxes, why not just stop accepting comments? There are some very good blogs which operate on that basis.

But don't shut down your blog. Blogs by people who actually know what they are talking about, like college professors and clergy, are a great information resource. The Internet is a good vehicle for evangelization and apologetics, as well as being a way for a teacher to extend his or her influence.

Beth said...

I think scaling back would be far preferable to shutting down, as I find the blog very thought-provoking and helpful, and many other readers have said the same. If you have a difficult time finding a workable scale-back approach, I thought some of the reader suggestions were excellent: adopt a team approach with other Christian philosophers, limit posts to book reviews, editorials, etc., or go to a “no comment” format. Continue to pray for guidance; it is the Lord’s opinion that matters most. I personally hope you continue.

Johnny-Dee said...

Here's one more thought conerning the nature of blog comments. I formerly used blogger for my blog, and the commenting was out of control -- I had a lot of anonymous and mean-spirited comments. So, I switched to wordpress (wordpress.com), and that blogging format gives the blog owner more control over comments, and that has helped me a lot. You may consider switching to wordpress or some other blogging interface that gives you more control. I've also installed a feature on my blog that closes comments on posts after 21 days, so I don't get stuck with people commenting on posts that have long expired. Finally, you might considering enabling comments only for certain posts, so that if you post a simple announcement or link (for example), you aren't going to allow a heated debate to arise.