Saturday, March 15, 2008

Erasure: It's Just a Click Away, Click Away...

I often wonder about the value blogs, especially The Constructive Curmudgeon. Maybe the time is better spent elsewhere, in more permanent and edited settings. So, here is a thought experiment. With one click of the mouse, I could erase all 750 posts along with all the responses to this blog: 2005-2008, RIP. What effect--if any--would this have on you? This is not a threat, but a query.

36 comments:

carpediem365 said...

I subscribe to your feed with attitude and read every salty post. Some are more valuable than others, but I greatly enjoy the time you give to this endeavor. My .02.

Tom said...

With the exception of discussions with some of my students, this is my main portal into the conservative evangelical world. I would be worse off for losing it. And I suspect that many of your conservative evangelical readers benefit from the responses of readers like Sir Fab. You should resist the temptation to hit the delete button.

Sarah Scott said...

Nooooooooooo! This blog is extremely helpful; it both informs and sparks thought in a wide array of areas and is therefore an excellent resource. Please don't delete!

Sirfab said...

Dr. Groothuis, you know it:

I did not have much of an intellectual life before I found your blog. Do you really want to kill it? I will label your decision pro-death on my blog if you do :-)

Fab

havoc said...

It would be very sad for me. I only discovered you and your blog a few months ago. I read every post and learn or am encouraged with each post. You bless me here, almost daily.

The other side of that coin is that if you're putting effort in here that would better serve the Kingdom elsewhere, then you have to choose what's better for the Kingdom.

Just today I made an entry in my personal journal (offline) about discouragement. We all deal with it. I would be discouraged to see this treasure fade away.

Douglas LeBlanc said...

I too would miss your posts greatly, and not only because you're a fellow Douglas.

Vertigo said...

The internets would be that much stupider without your insight. Take a break if you must, but please don't quit.

John J. Pethtel said...

I read it regularly and believe that you have a unique and interesting perspective on Christianity that needs to be heard today. (Plus I recommend to my friends that they read it as well.) Please don't go.

Yossman said...

You've tried this before. The answer is: NO DON'T! Your blog is one of my few connections with the evangelical academic world. I am inspired by it and have made spirited efforts to apply this kind of thinking in my own life and ministry. There is so much theological thinking that is not clearcut and precise. I really need the challenge and insight that you give in so many areas.

carson said...

its kind of like asking, "what if i erased all your breakfasts from your diet for the past month? what effect would that have on you?" I'm not entirely sure I know the answer--except that it seems that I enjoyed eating breakfast for the past month.

The Scottish Reslers said...

I have had the benefit of sitting under your teaching at Denver Seminary and still am challenged now through this blog. You have poignant commentary on our culture, our faith, and our church that would largely go unspoken or unread by many. Thanks for you diligence and faithfulness.

Vasile Tomoiagă said...

I'm a reader from Romania, I met you at Eger in 2007, where you said you have a blog: searched for it, found it.
I especially like your epigrams. Witty. And follow some of your recommendations.
So, may advice: continue to write.

Jeff Burton said...

If I'm not mistaken, you've posed this question before. Once again, please note that not all of us
a) attend seminary
b) subscribe to journals
c) got to conferences
d) live in the Denver area.

Matt Steele said...

Dr. Groothuis,

Whether you know it or not, you are having a hand in discipling me. These teachings are important to me. Even your positions that I do not agree with (one so far) help to sharpen my own positions in regard to what the Scriptures teach.

You would be missed if you were no longer teaching me via this blog.

Fletcher said...

Please don't do it, in fact, blog more!

It's a great way to instantly provoke discussion amongst people all over the world on issues that actually matter. Unless, this is not something you wish to do? But I think I know better...

Southern Dreaming said...

In line with your question, I would be interested in why you write this blog. Thanks.

ChrisB said...

If I may borrow a phrase, the world needs good blogs because there are bad blogs.

Doug Groothuis said...

The reason I blog is contained in the description of the blog under the name.

jeff said...

I quite frequently read and re-read you comments. As a youth pastor, I am frequently bombarded by requests to abandon solid teaching and move along to fun games and more pizza. Your blog is often a refreshing thought pointing me in quite the opposite direction.

Doug Groothuis said...

Jeff:

How about theology, philosophy, apologetics--and pizza!

DG

adam said...

Dr. Groothuis,

I just signed up for a google account which brings me more engrossed in technology (something you would I believe generally discourage). But, I did that in order to urge you to continue your posting. I would much prefer they were face to face in a classroom but your dedication to truth and a well reasoned faith has given me a mark to aim for in my own life. I only had you in class for 1 semester but your impact has been disproportionate to the time. Thanks.

Jim Pemberton said...

There are many blogs. You lend a different melody on the same chord progression of other blogs I read. I like the counterpoint.

Tony and Julie said...

Living in South America, one of the things I miss most about the US is our regular exposure to thought provoking conversations on theological and philosophical topics. Your blog helps to meet that need while we're working far from home. I thank you for it and hope you will continue.

Don Emmerich said...

Dr. Groothuis:

I'm a former student who admires and respects you, but this blog is a waste of time – for you and for others. The medium, let us remember, is the message. And this medium is entirely antithetical to rational argumentation and deep thought. No one thinks deeply in the blogosphere. All they do is rant. Even you, Dr. Groothuis. In the classroom, you’re charming and challenging and at times brilliant. But your blogs consist of one rant after another, most of them void of rational argumentation.

I’m certainly not insulting you. But I encourage you to stop compromising to the whims of the age. Reject blogging -- or if you continue blogging, only post well thought out and researched articles.

Sincerely,
Don Emmerich

alo 89 said...

I would like to comment that I am just beginning to discover a network of blog voices that can inform my daily Christian walk and my daily ministry efforts. I may be late to the table, but by accident or on Purpose, your blog is on my daily list and your voice speaks a language that is my own.
Be encouraged.

alo 89 said...

P.S. I strongly disagree with Mr. Emmerich. The web provides an education for those who want it. It also provides access to conversations about the things that really matter that was once available only to those with the time, money and privilege required to attend university. This new portal to the ongoing Great Debate is equivalent to the advent of books. Many who could not participate or were unaware of the dimensions of the "speech space" now have a free ringside seat. If the price of admission is putting up with a certain amount of "noise" then it is still exceedingly cheap and incredibly valuable. Where else can a retired shoprat attend to the conversation of pastors, preachers, professors and philosophers. My knowledge of the topics of this grand conversation may be a mile wide and an inch deep but it enriches my life, informs my teaching, helps me to understand the marvelous world that God created and makes me happy. 'Nuff said.

Jason said...

You should delete this blog, discontinue blogging, and change your tenor.

1. Your comments destroy the chances of your students being accepted into top programs. Your reputation as a pugnacious fundamentalist is well-known. I doubt your intellectual honesty and am uncertain about the caliber of students you are producing. I am not interested in accepting students who want to fight a culture war; I am not interested in students who read Josh McDowell.

2. It distracts from your academic publications. 10 articles in conservative journals are less impressive than 1 journal in a top-tier publication. Do the latter and you will garner scholarly respect.

3. For Christians who have moved away from fundamentalism, your rants, black and white thinking, and triumphalism (whilst lacking serious academic credibility) is stumbling. It is easy for the next generation of top Christian philosophers at places like Notre Dame, Pitt, and NYU to associate Christianity with your reactionary attitude and reject it. Many smart atheists have been born by your anti-intellectualism.

4. Your writing is often poor and inarticulate. It lacks nuance and hints of sophistication and makes me question your intelligence.

Doug Groothuis said...

For all those charges, it is too bad that "Jason" does not list who he is. His blogger ID says nothing. He poses as a professor at a top school. Maybe he is; maybe he isn't.

He continues the chop that I'm not a real academic. This gets old indeed. One is what one is. Anyone who wants to see my CV can do so by asking me. It is not Alvin Plantinga's, but it is not that of an intellectually posing Fundamentalist either.

As I've said, I am no Fundy. However, I do take stands on what I see as true and signifant. As to the writing, it is not as polished oftentimes as my published work, which always goes through my wife as editor. But this is a blog, for heaven's sake! The standards are not exactly the same, although I do not take things likely. Some of my posts have been previously published and are better written for that reason.

Doug Groothuis said...

Don:

This is false. The blog has plenty of rational argumentation if you read it properly. But it also has epigrams, provoking thoughts, poems, etc. I often republish book reviews, articles, and so on.

Doug Groothuis said...

Since I'm in defensive mode: There are at least two professional philosophers who read and respond to this blog, neither of which is a Fundamentalist, both of which like it.

Jim Pemberton said...

I, for one, am with you, Dr. Groothuis. I had read Jason's comment and typed a response picking it apart point by point. If I, a mere non-professional philosophical mortal, can spot the logical and linguistic errors in his sophomoric condemnations, then his arguments, assertions and presuppositional preferences don't hold much weight. A prayer later I deleted it just prior to posting not wishing to return snootiness for snootiness.

Jim Pemberton said...

As a further observation I would say that while we have available to us an intricate verbal language with which to communicate, it is yet clunky and often lacks a precision that is not possible with any conservation of verbiage. This is where rhetoric and logic divide. Certain creative writings appeal to a body of common experiential reference to convey meaning beyond the sum of the words used. When such creative writing is laid on the foundation of a thoughtful endeavor toward truth, the result is much of what we read here on this blog. Thanks, Dr. G.

Sarah Scott said...

Jim,

On your first comment, I did the same thing! Mine was probably far snarkier and less systematic than what you would have posted, so I took a breath and hit "delete". It is amazing that some people give themselves so little else to do that they create cyber-personas from which to hurl unfounded charges and to sling mud.

On your second comment, brilliant last (compound) sentence. Amen.

Don Emmerich said...

Dr. Groothuis:

You’re right, I was wrong: there is plenty of rational argumentation on your blog. BUT…

I guess what troubles me is that many of your political posts are filled with unsupported premises. For instance, in your February 7th post (“Politics and ‘Purity’”), you tell us that McCain would be a better president than either Hilary or Barack because, among other things, he doesn’t support “Socialized medicine” and he doesn’t support “Internationalism--‘talking’ to Iran [and] other terrorist states, which cannot be trusted--and the weakening of national defense.”

As a philosopher, I think you have an obligation to explain yourself. Do the Democrats really support socialized medicine and, if so, what’s wrong with that? And what’s wrong with talking to Iran? What’s wrong with “weakening our national defense”? These are very controversial issues, issues that many thoughtful Christians disagree about.

Maybe I missed it, but when have you given a sustained argument--or any argument, for that matter--against socialized medicine and internationalism?

And unless you give such arguments, I just don’t see the point of such posts. There’s no merit in merely stating one’s opinion. Everyone in the blogosphere does that.

Doug Groothuis said...

Don:

My post on "purity" was no so much an argument about all the policies, but a call to conservatives to unite around McCain, given their previous commitments.

It was not meant as an argument for the conservative positions themselves.

David said...

Sorry abit late to make comment. I hope you are not serious and tempted to erase the blog. As it edify many people (including me)in areas of faith,reasons and truth across the global such as in Asia, where previously not possible.