Before I started blogging, I made up my mind about certain practices I would try to keep.   I was an avid reader of various blogs for several years, but noticed a few patterns of some writers.  One deals with valid criticisms readers raise.  It bothers me to see a thoughtful push back of an author’s post and no response.  The following is an actual exchange I had with a blogger over this very practice:

Me: I regularly read your blog and gain much from doing so.

One question and this seems to be pervasive in the blogosphere: When one writes or posts a criticism of someone (as in your case with X) it seems incumbent upon the poster to be ready to interact with readers.  I speak from some experience.  Scot McKnight posted some of my Patheos work [e.g. “An Open Letter to Karl Giberson”], so I made myself available to interact with folks.  There were 100+ comments so I interacted with any comments directed my way.  Even though you are directing folks to someone else’s critique, your post by the critic of X makes it evident you agree with his take.

All this leads to me wondering why you are not interacting with your own readers and their legitimate push backs?

Best, Dave

His Response: I don’t necessarily agree. There are some blogs that don’t allow comments at all, so it’s certainly not a necessity. I do try to be available to comment at times, but other times I just have too much going on to dedicate that kind of time.

At this point I’m glad to just point people to [the critic’s] writing as I think it nicely summarizes each of my concerns.

My Response to His Response: Please bear with me…

I will invoke the ghost of Schaeffer on this one: isness does not equal oughtness.  Yes, lots of blogs do all sorts of things, but that is not much of an argument, is it?

The time issue is certainly understandable, but it seems there is a Christian priority to make space when one invites comment which your blog does.  Rerouting folks to the [critic’s] is of course perfectly fine, but neither one of you has answered the important question of whether you are in disagreement with other important leaders.


No response



4 thoughts on “I THINK THIS IS BAD FORM

  1. Dave Post author

    I would not mind if he had a no comment area, but he does. I don’t respond to everyone either, but I do to everyone who raises a question, and especially if it needs clarifying.

  2. Jeannie Love

    Having two sons who have spiritual questions at times, I would like to be able to guide them to a blog so that they are able to ‘dialogue’ with others (besides Mom and Dad) who perhaps can ‘hit the nail on the head’ for them. One son, when he attempted to interact on a ‘liberal’ political website, was ‘banned’ by the powers that be giving him the impression that the initiator was not interested in engaging in dialogue but rather was interested in spouting. I would not like him to be ignored when questioning spiritual matters.

  3. Dave Post author

    So sorry Jeannie. I find that pathetic! Over the years, several have told me how much they appreciate the freedom to ask anything in the Sunday school classes I teach. Not trying to toot my horn so much because I think this makes it so much more dynamic and even fun as a teacher. I would be bored out of my mind if I just taught people who either always agreed with me or were afraid to disagree. The fun in teaching, among other things, is the joy of learning new things yourself. How can you do that if no one ever raises a contrary perspective or belief?!


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