A Brief History of Blogging

Tim Challies has a great article at his site on the history of blogging and the societal trends that surround it. Here is a key point from the latter section dealing with societal trends:

What we see in this Web 2.0 world is the downplaying of expertise and the rise of enthusiasm; the decline of the position of the professional and the rise of the amateur … Just as the most-visited political blog is not one run by a Presidential candidate or Senator, the most-visited Christian blog is not one run by John MacArthur or John Piper or another major ministry leader … Instead, the most popular sites are run by amateurs who are mere enthusiasts rather than necessarily being experts. Blogs have given a voice to the other people-to the people who elect the politicians or who sit in the pews and are taught by these ministers. Amateurs are gaining wide influence in the information people encounter and in the interpretation of this information. And in many ways this is the way people want it.

This is a reality that makes many Christians uncomfortable. After all, the Bible is clear about the importance of leadership and leadership that is duly-appointed and properly-qualified. We only have to read Titus and Timothy to realize that, within the church, God has dictated that there must be very clear patterns of leadership and authority …

So how do Christians react to a world where the power to teach is now resting in the hands of the many rather than in the hands of the few? How do we react when we see so many people attempting to have an influence over others and an influence that falls outside the usual context of the local church? And how do we react when we understand that these people are not chosen or elected but gain prominence simply by weight of statistics-of numbers of visitors and numbers of links to them?

This is an excellent point, and one that the church surely needs to grasp in today’s world. How about you? What do you think are the advantages and/or dangers of “the rise of the amateur?”

Leave a Reply