The Spirituality of Blogging

On Monday I gave a seminar at Greenbelt Festival called “The Spirituality of Blogging”. I introduced the topic with “What Bloggers Hear” and “If The Bible was Blogged“, as well as some recent statistics on blogging from Kevin Kelly and some thoughts on cyberchurch and blogging from Tim Bednar’s “We Know More Than Our Pastors”

Here is the skinny on what I said. Blogging is a spiritual discipline because to blog is to find oneself in a place of:

1. Praise (public acknowledgement) – “publish glad tidings daily”

2. Accountability. (Eph. 5: 21 “Submit yourselves to one another”, quote from Athanasias)

3. Vulnerability (Daniel’s window)

4, Given-ness (Freely you have received, gift economy, Prov 11:24)

5. Creative Naming (Adam, Neighbors in Ruth)

6. Repentance (editing/deleting/changing our mind in new media)

7. Fellowship (hypertext linking, Koinonia)

8. Evangelism (storytelling, blogging from our lives)

9. Integrity (writing matches our speaking, design reflects reality)

10. Posterity. (store/guard what has been entrusted, writing history)

There was also another one: Watchfulness (“watch and pray”).

We did not have time to read “How Shall We Then Blog” but we did finish off with The Bloggers Prayer. Thanks everyone for coming and making it an enjoyable experience.

Other notes: Phil (the most comprehensive), Paul Roberts, Sarah

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • brodie says:

    would have liked to have caught your talk, but missed it as I was doing stuff with my kids. Thanks for the synopsis here, but is it worth getting the recording?

  • andrew jones says:

    sorry brodie – it was not recorded.

  • Dave Walker says:

    Thanks for the seminar Andrew – very thought-provoking.
    Having stopped and looked at it I’ve come to the conclusion that your sidebars do line up remarkably well despite your comments!

  • Andrew I wasn’t able to stay for all of it, but what I heard I found interesting and so thanks for putting the rest of your reasons why we blog on. I like the idea of ‘given-ness’

  • Andrew I wasn’t able to stay for all of it, but what I heard I found interesting and so thanks for putting the rest of your reasons why we blog on. I like the idea of ‘given-ness’

  • adamfeldman says:

    i especially like the fellowship aspect. there is a broad sense of ecuminical connection (and global connection) when we link & connect with others instantly…

  • Hils says:

    As an avid reader of your blog it was nice to hear you speak and find out who you really are! I often wonder if there’s any point to my blog so i especially liked the point about ‘blogging as praise – public acknowledgement’ Thanks!

  • hamo says:

    nice mate. In my blog I have heaped praise on my older, wiser but not so good looking kiwi brother!

  • Ian says:

    Really enjoyed the seminar, made me laugh (Pat Robertson idea) and certainly made me think.
    Thanks for the challenge presented by your outline of Blogging as a Spiritual discipline.

  • kbartha says:

    On this note, in the latest issue of Wired online John Stewart of the Daily Show said some cool things about use of the Internet in an article interview entitled “Reinventing Television”.

  • Phil says:

    Hi Andrew
    Thanks for what you said during the session, there was some good stuff. Speaking to some of my friends who i was camping with, the concept of blogging was a new thing to a lot of them, and at times I was/am not always sure how to justify what I do. But the way in which you brought thoughts together to think about blogging as a spiritual discipline was really helpful. I think/hope it will be helpful to me/them as I continue to share with them why I, and many others, do what we do.
    And thanks for the link to my blog. Has sent my visitor numbers soaring….

  • wow – yr blog session sounds a whole lot more in depth than ours (in the Between the Lines venue, a panel I was on, hosted by Nick Page). We had a reasonable crowd, but it didn’t really feel like we got anywhere, essentially. I enjoyed talking about my blog and interacting with comments from the floor, all the same. I would have come to yr session but other commitments meant i couldn’t… do you reckon you’ll be doing a similar thing next year, or will everyone be blogging by then, and know it all?!

  • Jason Clark says:

    wish I could have heard it, thanks Andrew.

  • Sarah H says:

    Thanks for a great seminar (and a link).
    The Athanasius reference really linked up a lot of stuff for me. It encapsulated exactly the way I view the way we need to reflect on what we include when we’re blogging.
    I really liked the gift economy stuff you said and it has made a group of us rethink a book we’re planning. We’re now thinking of pulishing on a blog as we don’t NEED the tiny bit of money we might get in royalties.
    The watchfulness idea also touched me. It’s good to know that people out there read with prayerfulness for those writing.
    Finally – thanks for making me feel not so “sad” for doing the technorati thing – glad there are others out there!

  • Sarge says:

    Great List! Thanks.

  • Bruce says:

    Excellent Andrew. I think you’ve managed to be quite definitive as an approach for ‘Christian’ blogging.

  • Aj says:

    Most excellent! This friend speaks my mind! So, are you going to re-write “Celebration of Discipline” for the pomo/tech generation in all of us? The discipline of study by looking through delicious popular tags? Meditation using flickr photos? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

  • TIM (FROM BRISTOL) says:

    Andrew, although I’m not myself a blogger (yet), I really enjoyed your thought-provoking seminar. You’re really on the cusp of the future here.
    Most of all though, I enjoyed meeting the famous TSK – who is, as it turns out, a heck of a nice guy.

  • Amanda says:

    Yeah… just wanted to echo what others have said really. The seminar verbalised a few things that had been running round my head but also gave me loads to think about, so thanks. Although, I confess, as a blogger but also someone who is pretty rubbish with computers, the parable of the one who tracked back left me in a cold sweat as I understood so little of it! Give me time, I’ll get there.

  • Why Blog

    Andrew Jones’ seminar at Greenbelt on “The Spirituality of blogging” has started quite a discussion on the textistential question of Why blog? Sarah and Phil have written some stuff around this and I’ve certainly been thinking about this in the…

  • Are Karlsen says:

    Nice! I will blog this one!

  • Kathryn says:

    Sadder than ever that a domestic crisis meant I missed this…Was hoping that you were going to be at the earlier blogging panel, with maggi, John, Kester et al,- and in the event this was the only bloggy happening I managed this year. Thanks for posting notes from yours; if I’d needed encouragement to keep on blogging, you certainly provide it here.

  • John Davies says:

    I like how you describe the ‘place’ we’re in when we blog, and many of those categories you mention I also have in mind at different times, when I’m blogging. You will I’m sure have thought of this, and may have touched on it in your session @GB: the question about the actual nature of the place – ie it’s not physical, it’s not corporate – because that affects the way that praise, repentance, fellowship are encountered, that offers a different spirituality perhaps than when we encounter these things in physical places, alongside others….??

  • fritzon.. says:

    why blog?

    i started writing this post when hanneke asked me why i was blogging? i had already started thinking a bit about this blog lately, but she encouraged me to write it down, even though it took my a month to

  • daniel says:

    My question upon seeing the blogging stuff in the GB schedule: why are we still talking about blogs? Or, at least, can we ask some new questions?
    This is also interesting: “‘Christian’ blogging.” Hmmm…do you have to listen to Christian music in a Christian cafe to blog Christian? Wait I bet it’s lack of profanity. I’m fucked then.

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Andrew
    Insightful as usual… I have a dear friend who just recently started serving in the Dominican Republic. She has been sending out these wonderful emails to share all that is happening, and how to best pray for her/the team and the work the Lord is doing through them. I suggested to her that she start a blog as she said “daily so many amazing things are happening” in explanation to her very long email updates…which I happen to love.
    ok, so here is the question, how would you suggest she get started? I myself don’t blog, so I was unsure where to point her. Also she is in a location where she has computer/internet access, and it can be a sketchy connection. Any suggestions you or other faithful members of blogdom can toss my way would be much appreciated. 
    cheers and blessings

  • Can blogging be spiritual?

    No doubt blogging is a tricky thing. I think it’s an excellent way to stay in touch, to converse with people in our high speed society, even to disciple to a certain extent…

  • Andrew Black says:

    HILS commented:

    As an avid reader of your blog it was nice to hear you speak and find out who you really are!

    That seems to imply that even such an intense blog as does not reveal the real man. We have to see him face to face, look him in the eye, hear his voice before we really know him. So a blog is just another front, like our telephone manner and our e-mail style. Is that so?

  • Remembering Why Blogging

    TallSkinnyKiwi with a challenging post on the Spirituality of Blogging has freshly inspired and reminded me why I set out on this blogging adventure. Thanks for all the links and see especially Sarah Hamilton’s notes and the quote from Athanasius

  • andrew says:

    i prefer to have a cup of tea.
    if the blog spoke for me, i would not have to be travelling one third of my time. that would be nice. but we cant replace turning up in the physical.

  • 2005 has been and gone

    Woosh, that was 2005! How scary! I feel like years have taken a cue from Chocolate manufacturers i.e if you can’t put the price up then make the product smaller or shorter! In my ironic tribute to TV (even though…

  • 2005 has been and gone

    Woosh, that was 2005! How scary! I feel like years have taken a cue from Chocolate manufacturers i.e if you can’t put the price up then make the product smaller or shorter! In my ironic tribute to TV (even though…

  • Going to church can be spiritual. Blogging can be spiritual. Even eating a carrot can be spiritual if done the right way. Anything ban be spiritual if it is engaged with the right state of consciuosness. Religion is used, in part, to explain spirituality, spirituality, in part, is used to explain a transcendance of conciousness. If the consciousness is in the correct state, the experience is spiritual.

  • Ars Gratia says:

    A Few Good Links

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