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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Exponential Impact of the 21st Century Gutenberg Press

One of the things I have heard over and over again through interviews, video stream, and past articles by the media is the influence blogs have and are making in the SBC. The whole idea of blogging seems to be divisive in and of itself. As I have talked to SBC leaders, some are for it and many are against it. Since the SBC annual meeting (especially yesterday), a few comments were made that I thought would be worthwhile to mention. Consider these quotes: According to Frank Page (at press conference immediately after announcement):

Page agreed the bloggers, a new phenomenon in SBC politics, made a difference. While the bloggers are few in number, he said, "I think there are a large number of leaders who do read those blogs. I think they played a role beyond their number -- perhaps an inordinant amount of influence given their number -- but they are a growing phenomenon in Southern Baptist life."

According to Wade Burleson:

When Frank's election was announced I was walking around the arena and just happened to be stopped by a reporter in the underground hallway. He wanted my reaction. Soon other reporters stopped and by the time all was said and done probably over 25 media persons from around the nation stood four deep and asked questions for forty minutes. One of the questions that kept being repeated over and over again is whether or not I believed blogs played a role in this election. I said, "Absolutely." Baptist bloggers in 2006 may well go down in history as the first time bloggers actually determined the outcome of a national religious/political election. Why? When all three candidates were being nominated my wife leaned over to me and said, "I feel like I know all three men because of the blogs."

According to Art Rogers:

Gene Mims, as he was addressing the convention, said that "there is too much bloggin' and communicatin' goin' on out there."

If you want the convention to be uninformed and for about 35 men to control the SBC, then I suppose that is true.

If you want a well informed convention, that elects men that reflect the bredth of the SBC, then we may need a few more.

I just sat down next to a messenger from Texas who asked if I was the Art Rogers from the blog. When I told him I was, he thanked me for the information.

Over the past year or so, I have chronicled some of the impact blogging has made in the SBC such as the IMB/Wade Burleson controversy, Lifeway changing their Centrifuge curriculum, responding to the caricatures and charges against Calvinism (including the “white papers”), and of course the disappearance of BaptistFire. But blogging cannot be measured only with empirical data. One must consider the intangibles as well, such as the intricate networking, meaningful interaction, and democratization of the SBC voice—and this is simply scratching the surface. I know that there will be many who will continue the mantra that blogging is bad, divisive, and a waste of time, but I am thankful that there are some who refused to believe that bloggers are not making an impact. They are, and the vindication of the hours spent researching, reading, and writing does not come from the hit counter on the bottom of the page. It comes from the reformation which is taking place before our eyes. Semper reformanda my friend, semper reformanda.

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